MEET DANNY WILSON
1952, Universal, 86 min, Dir: Joseph Pevney

Frank Sinatra stars as a hot-tempered singer (imagine that!) who is kept afloat by his buddy-pianist (Alex Nicol) and a heart-of-gold chanteuse (Shelley Winters). Complications ensue when gangster Raymond Burr enters the picture with an eye for both Shelley and Sinatra’s salary. Produced after Frank’s bobby-soxer era fame faded and prior to his mega-stardom in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), this noir-stained musical is one of “Ol’ Blue Eyes’” most overlooked and underappreciated movies. A NOIR CITY nod to Sinatra’s centenary.


TAKE ONE FALSE STEP
1949, Universal, 94 min, Dir: Chester Erskine

William Powell makes his only foray into ’40s film noir as a married college professor whose reacquaintance with a wartime fling (Shelley Winters) takes a bad turn when she disappears under suspicious circumstances. Marsha Hunt plays the gal-pal who tries to help Powell - the prime suspect - solve the crime and salvage his reputation. There’s more comedy than usually found in noir - as audiences still expected from the man who embodied the legendary Nick Charles. James Gleason and Sheldon Leonard are the cops pursuing Powell through Los Angeles locations lensed by the great Franz Planer (CRISS CROSS).


HE RAN ALL THE WAY
1951, Park Circus/MGM, 78 min, USA, Dir: John Berry

John Garfield's final film role, and one of his best. He talks a young woman (Shelley Winters) into inviting him home for dinner - but he takes her family hostage once they realize he's wanted for a cop-killing. The daughter falls for him anyway, seeing a kindred spirit who only wants to escape tenement life. Taut and claustrophobic, with superb performances and bold cinematography by James Wong Howe.


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