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.


ONE WAY STREET
1950, Universal, 79 min, USA, Dir: Hugo Fregonese

Even though he had just begun his American film career, James Mason already had his doomed-fugitive persona down pat in ODD MAN OUT and THE RECKLESS MOMENT. Here he’s a disillusioned doctor who feels responsible for his wife’s death and believes he’s only worthy of patching up wounded criminals. Deciding to take a gamble, he tricks Los Angeles gang boss Dan Duryea out of his latest haul, as well as absconding with Duryea’s more than willing moll, Marta Toren. The pair head for Mexico with the swag – but can they outrun Duryea’s seemingly limitless reach?


CITY ACROSS THE RIVER
1949, Universal, 90 min, USA, Dir: Maxwell Shane

Perhaps Hollywood's earliest treatment of urban youth gangs and juvenile delinquency, with the Amboy Dukes (a young Tony Curtis, Mickey Knox, Richard Jaeckel, Al Ramsen and Joshua Kelley) pitted against a cast-against-type Stephen McNally as a crusading community-center leader in Brooklyn. With the great Thelma Ritter, Jeff Corey, Richard Benedict and Anabel Shaw. This forerunner of better-remembered films including REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE is very rarely screened. NOT ON DVD!


Syndicate content