FLESH AND FANTASY
1943, Universal, 94 min, Dir: Julien Duvivier

Considered one of the greatest French directors (his PEPÉ LE MOKO is the virtual template for the “poetic realism” that informed film noir), Duvivier escaped the war years at home by bringing his incredible style to several offbeat Hollywood films of the early 1940s. This anthology of slightly supernatural tales - a proto-“Twilight Zone,” if you will - features a dazzling cast of stars (Edward G. Robinson, Barbara Stanwyck, Charles Boyer, Betty Field, Robert Cummings, Thomas Mitchell) and exceptional camerawork by Stanley Cortez and Paul Ivano.


THE UNDERWORLD STORY
1950, Warner Bros., 90 min, USA, Dir: Cy Enfield

Another unjustly neglected noir by director Cy Enfield, in which the always entertaining Dan Duryea plays a cynical reporter who digs dangerously close to a corrupt publisher’s family secrets. Costarring Herbert Marshall, Gale Storm and Howard da Silva, and featuring dazzling cinematography by the great Stanley Cortez (NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS).


SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR
1948, Universal, 99 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Director Fritz Lang jumped (with abandon) onto the 1940s Freudian bandwagon with this wildly symbolic cinematic fright ride. On a pre-wedding holiday, Joan Bennett meets the real man of her dreams (Michael Redgrave), who sweeps her off her feet and into a nightmarish honeymoon that's a cross between REBECCA and BLUEBEARD. Ridiculous but visually stunning!


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