CAUGHT
1949, MGM [Warner Bros.], 88 min, USA, Dir: Max Ophuls

Robert Ryan gives a towering performance as psychotic billionaire Smith Ohlrig, who gives impressionable young Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes) everything she ever wanted. Leonora suffocates from the security, and soon falls for an altruistic doctor (James Mason), leading her husband to devise a scheme to permanently lock the bonds of matrimony. Superbly directed by Max Ophuls, with cinematography by the great Lee Garmes. Not on DVD!


FEMALE ON THE BEACH
1955, Universal, 100 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Pevney

Joan gets wet! Moving into her late husband’s Balboa beach house after the previous tenant committed suicide, Joan Crawford finds her neighbors incredibly accommodating - especially the hunky beachcomber who becomes her lover (Jeff Chandler in his USDA prime). Sexual obsession, blackmail and murder are folded into a froth of suspicious neighbors (Jan Sterling!), hurled martini glasses, secret diaries and plenty of crashing surf. Perhaps the most perverse film of Crawford’s 1950s diva phase; certainly one of the best! “He was the kind of man that her kind of woman can’t leave alone!” Not on DVD!


A WOMAN’S SECRET
1949, RKO [Warner Bros.], 88 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Consider it a film noir version of ALL ABOUT EVE. A famous singer (Maureen O’Hara) who’s lost her voice shoots her protégé (Gloria Grahame) in a fit of rage. As the young woman lies dying, flashbacks recount the tawdry saga of their backstage relationship. The Herman Mankiewicz script is no CITIZEN KANE, but he brings nasty wit to this adaptation of Vicki Baum’s novel. The terrific supporting cast features Melvyn Douglas, Victor Jory, Bill Williams and J.C. Flippen. Don’t miss the chance to see one of Nick Ray’s most rarely screened films! Not on DVD!


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