INFERNO
1953, 20th Century Fox, 83 min, USA, Dir: Roy Ward Baker

It’s the essential film noir plot: Illicit lovers hatch a “foolproof” scheme to bump off the woman’s rich, domineering husband. But what if the husband, left for dead in the scorching desert, doesn’t die? What if that husband, crippled but hell-bent on revenge, is played by the indomitable Robert Ryan? Watch as unmerciful nature takes on unbreakable man in amazing 3-D! Toss in titantic, Titian-tressed Rhonda Fleming as the deceitful, voluptuous vixen, and you’ve got perhaps the best 3-D movie of the original Hollywood stereo-optic craze!


DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK
1952, 20th Century Fox, 76 min, USA, Dir: Roy Ward Baker

Marilyn Monroe has perhaps her finest dramatic role in this "one night in the big city" drama. A lovelorn airline pilot (Richard Widmark) hopes to reunite with his chanteuse girlfriend (Anne Bancroft) at a Manhattan hotel. Once jilted, he blithely decides to rebound with a comely babysitter (Monroe) working in the hotel. Uh oh, this babysitter is buggy - not surprising, given that her uncle is played by Elisha Cook Jr.!


A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
1958, MGM/Park Circus, 123 min, UK, Dir: Roy Ward Baker

Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the “unsinkable” Titanic struck an iceberg, and in less than three hours, had plunged to the bottom of the sea, taking with it more than 1,500 of its 2,200 passengers. In his unforgettable rendering of Walter Lord’s book of the same name, Roy Ward Baker depicts with sensitivity, awe and a fine sense of tragedy the ship’s last hours. Featuring remarkably restrained performances, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER is cinema’s subtlest and best dramatization of this monumental 20th-century catastrophe. (Program notes by the Criterion Collection.)


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