1934, Warner Bros., 93 min, USA, Dir: W.S. Van Dyke, George Cukor (uncredited)

Hard gambler and racketeer Edward "Blackie" Gallagher (Clark Gable) and bookish district attorney and would-be governor Jim Wade (William Powell) have been lifelong friends, brought together by their both being orphans. When Blackie's girlfriend, Eleanor (Myrna Loy), leaves him for the more sensible Jim, there are no ill feelings between the friends, but when Blackie kills the D.A. running opposite Jim for the election of governor, Jim must face the most difficult case of his career: convicting his best friend of murder. The first of 14 onscreen pairings between Loy and Powell, and made in the same year as their most famous film, THE THIN MAN. Look for Mickey Rooney in one of his earliest roles, playing Blackie as a child. MANHATTAN MELODRAMA has become infamous as the last film seen by gangster John Dillinger before he was gunned down leaving Chicago's Biograph Theater.

2011, 93 min, Spain, Dir: Santiago Segura

The fourth installment in writer-director-actor Santiago Segura's franchise about iconic lowlife cop-turned-private eye Jose Luis Torrente finds the titular character contracted to kill the father of the bride whose wedding he has just turned upside down. Yet Torrente's contractor betrays him, and the balding detective winds up in jail, where he meets a slew of colorful characters (including 87-year-old Tony Leblanc, who has appeared throughout the series as Torrente's uncle Gregorio) who help him scheme a hairbrained strategy for busting out of prison. With Enrique Villen and Kiko Rivera. In Spanish with English subtitles.

1973, Paramount, 130 min, USA, Dir: Sidney Lumet

Easygoing policeman Frank Serpico (Al Pacino in one of his best performances) loves what he does and has a great time doing it - until he slowly discovers that his fellow officers are enmeshed in corruption. Serpico goes undercover to expose the truth and learns that doing the right thing has a very high price. An early example of director Sidney Lumet's preoccupation with ethics and the law, and one of the great New York cop movies of all time.

Syndicate content