BUY ME THAT TOWN
1941, Universal, 70 min, Dir: Eugene Forde

This Runyonesque rarity tells the tale of a gaggle of New York gangsters (led by the redoubtable Lloyd Nolan) who, after getting popped for speeding through a small Connecticut town, hatch a plan to turn the sleepy burg into a resort for rusticating racketeers. Not noir by a long shot, but the script is more prescient than its writers could ever have imagined (did Bugsy Siegel see this movie?). DP Theodor Sparkuhl lends his always evocative camerawork to this rambunctious B gem, enlivened by the marvelous mugs of Albert Dekker, Sheldon Leonard and Edward Brophy.


RIFFRAFF
1947, Warner Bros., 80 min, Dir: Ted Tetzlaff

Former Hitchcock lenser Ted Tetzlaff (THE WINDOW) expertly helms this slam-bang murder mystery about international intrigue, a missing map and murder. Pat O’Brien and Anne Jeffreys volley the snappy dialogue back and forth while the sinister bulk of Walter Slezak ominously hovers. The RKO lot effectively doubles as Central America with Percy Kilbride as a wiseacre Panama City hack driver. Don’t miss the astounding opening sequence!


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