1949, Warner Bros., 73 min, USA, Dir: Ted Tetzlaff

This unnerving adaptation of Woolrich’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is one of the most suspenseful films ever made. A child (Bobby Driscoll, who earned a special pint-sized Oscar for his performance) witnesses a murder but can’t get anyone to believe him - except the killers, memorably portrayed by Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman. Brilliantly directed by Ted Tetzlaff.

1951, Warner Bros., 101 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

A chance encounter between tennis champion Guy (Farley Granger) and psychopath Bruno (Robert Walker) on a train triggers an unstoppable race toward double murder. Hitchcock’s classic thriller is a finely-tuned engine of suspense, taking barely a breath as it steams through a spine-tingling story of fate, coincidence, guilt and psychopathology - favorite themes of noir writer Patricia Highsmith, whose novel was adapted by the great Raymond Chandler. With Ruth Roman.

1954, United Artists [MGM Repertory], 85 min, USA, Dir: Arnold Laven

Seeking to solve the murder of a colleague, FBI agent John Ripley (Broderick Crawford) doggedly pursues the late agent’s last three cases, hoping to uncover the killer. He discovers a trifecta of dames (Ruth Roman, Martha Hyer, Marisa Pavan) entangled in extortion and murder. Based on a trio of true FBI cases as adapted by The Gordons, the film benefits from fantastic Los Angeles location work, including one of the earliest (and best) uses of the famed Hollywood sign. Not on DVD!

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