THE FALLEN SPARROW
1943, Warner Bros., 94 min, USA, Dir: Richard Wallace

Scripted by Warren Duff, from the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. This convoluted but compelling story, told in creepy Val Lewton style, stars John Garfield as a Spanish Civil War veteran being driven crazy by stateside fascists. Is porcelain-gorgeous Maureen O’Hara his only ally … or his enemy? Stunning photography by RKO’s in-house noir master, Nicholas Musuraca. With Walter Slezak, Patricia Morison and Martha O’Driscoll.


RIDE THE PINK HORSE
1947, Universal, 101 min, USA, Dir: Robert Montgomery

In this adaptation of the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes, a surly vet (director/actor Robert Montgomery) ventures into a New Mexico resort town during fiesta to settle a score with a vacationing mobster. A strange, oddly paced film that plays as much like a Japanese samurai movie as film noir. With Thomas Gomez, Wanda Hendrix and Andrea King.


IN A LONELY PLACE
1950, Sony Repertory, 94 min, Dir: Nicholas Ray

A brilliant, moody drama of a screenwriter (Humphrey Bogart) accused of murder, and the starlet (Gloria Grahame) afraid to trust him. On one level, a poisonous rejection of all things Hollywood; on another, a love triangle of almost demonic intensity between the director and his two stars. Although Dorothy B. Hughes’ original novel also possessed a desolate ending, Ray’s equally downbeat climax was quite different and undoubtedly did not find favor with the studio powers-that-be. Co-starring Frank Lovejoy.


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