ALIAS NICK BEAL
1949, Universal, 93 min, USA, Dir: John Farrow

A true noir rarity! The Faust legend is played out as a supernatural noir thriller, with Ray Milland as the suave devil tempting ambitious DA Thomas Mitchell and fallen woman Audrey Totter in this dark and devious doppelgänger of Capra's IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.


TENSION
1949, Warner Bros., 95 min, USA, Dir: John Berry

Vampy sexpot Audrey Totter is married to mild-mannered druggist Richard Basehart - but she sleeps with every “real man” she sees. So Basehart takes the noir way out - kill his wife’s lover and disappear into a new identity. But cops Barry Sullivan and William Conrad smell a rat. Then Audrey and Barry eye each other ... and the tension is stretched to the breaking point. John Berry’s expert direction steamrolls plot holes flat - and Audrey is a 100-proof hoot.


ROADBLOCK
1951, Warner Bros., 73 min, USA, Dir: Harold Daniels

After several years of playing tenacious cops or cruel gunmen, character actor Charles McGraw was elevated to leading-man status by RKO boss Howard Hughes, becoming the studio's "B" version of Bob Mitchum. Nobody could clip off dialogue like McGraw. In this prototypical noir, he finally reveals a soft center, as an insurance investigator who goes crooked trying to satisfy an avaricious dame (Joan Dixon).


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