BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK
1955, Warner Bros., 81 min, USA, Dir: John Sturges

Set in a mythical desert town post-WWII, the film follows one-armed combat veteran Spencer Tracy as he seeks to discover the whereabouts of a Japanese-American comrade. De facto town leader and full-time racist bully Robert Ryan and his thuggish pals, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine, are the stateside fascists in this suspense-filled classic from director John Sturges and screenwriter Millard Kaufman. Co-starring Anne Francis, Walter Brennan, Dean Jagger and John Ericson.


ARTISTS AND MODELS
1955, Paramount, 109 min, Dir: Frank Tashlin

Former Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin was the perfect choice to helm this wacky tale about comic books and their creators. In one of the last and best films of their highly successful partnership, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis play an aspiring artist and his comics-obsessed roommate; Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine (in her second feature) provide romantic interest. Along with prime Lewis slapstick, Dino gets to croon some wonderful songs by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks.


MEET DANNY WILSON
1952, Universal, 86 min, Dir: Joseph Pevney

Frank Sinatra stars as a hot-tempered singer (imagine that!) who is kept afloat by his buddy-pianist (Alex Nicol) and a heart-of-gold chanteuse (Shelley Winters). Complications ensue when gangster Raymond Burr enters the picture with an eye for both Shelley and Sinatra’s salary. Produced after Frank’s bobby-soxer era fame faded and prior to his mega-stardom in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), this noir-stained musical is one of “Ol’ Blue Eyes’” most overlooked and underappreciated movies. A NOIR CITY nod to Sinatra’s centenary.


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