1945, Universal, 101 min, USA, Dir: Billy Wilder

Director Billy Wilder’s experiences working with Raymond Chandler on DOUBLE INDEMNITY reportedly drew him to this hard-hitting portrait of an alcoholic on a downward spiral. Ray Milland stars as New York writer Don Birnam, whose battle with the bottle takes him from bars to pawnshops to a psychiatric ward as he hits rock bottom. Co-starring Jane Wyman and Howard Da Silva, the film won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay (by Wilder and producer Charles Brackett).

1949, Universal, 86 min, USA, Dir: Lewis Allen

Alan Ladd is a newspaper reporter obsessed with a young woman he finds dead in a cheap brothel. Connecting the dots all around Chicago, he cobbles together the sad history of a good girl (Donna Reed) gone wrong. Incredibly rare, not screened for decades before being resurrected by the Film Noir Foundation, the film makes excellent use of various Chicago locales (shot by the great John F. Seitz) to tell a tawdry, ink-stained variation of LAURA. Featuring a terrific supporting cast, including June Havoc, Irene Hervey, Arthur Kennedy and Berry Kroeger.

1947, Universal, 83 min, USA, Dir: John Farrow

Returned to the screen for the first time in decades, this long-lost noir stars real-life pals Alan Ladd and William Bendix as cargo pilots who seek revenge when their best buddy dies under suspicious circumstances. Gorgeous Gail Russell plays the dead man’s fiancée - but is she also the linchpin of an Asian smuggling ring? The sensational cinematography of John F. Seitz enhances the fantastic studio-bound exotica. One of the long-missing titles on the noir résumé of the great John Farrow (THE BIG CLOCK, ALIAS NICK BEAL).

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