THE ACCUSED
1948, Paramount, 101 min, USA, Dir: William Dieterle

A spinsterish college professor (Loretta Young) finds herself in jeopardy after killing an amorous student in self-defense. As the noose tightens around her, both the victim’s guardian (Robert Cummings) and a dogged homicide detective (Wendell Corey) begin to fall for her - apparently being a killer makes her irresistible to men. The provocative script gives a decidedly feminine slant to a classic noir premise. Presented in a gorgeously restored print, giving new life to a neglected classic of the genre.


THE CHASE
1946, 86 min, USA, Dir: Arthur Ripley

Scripted by Philip Yordan, from the novel The Black Path of Fear by Cornell Woolrich. In this hallucinatory adaptation, Robert Cummings plays a drifter hired as a chauffeur by two Florida crooks (Steve Cochran and Peter Lorre). He falls for Cochran’s dishy wife (Michelle Morgan) with dire, unpredictable results. As close to Lynch-ian as movies got in the 1940s.


REIGN OF TERROR
(aka THE BLACK BOOK)
1949, Sony Repertory, 88 min, USA, Dir: Anthony Mann

Director Anthony Mann and DP John Alton, using the full-bore noir treatment, turn the French Revolution into a crime saga dripping with greed, deceit and betrayal. With Robert Cummings as Charles D’Aubigny and Richard Basehart as Robespierre, all of the elements are here - atmospheric camerawork, taut script, a beautiful spy (Arlene Dahl, again!) and fearsome Charles McGraw (looking like the leader of a French biker gang) as Robespierre’s sadistic henchman.


Syndicate content