Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 21 / 25 May 2017
 

More dark & evil doings

Film

Noir City 9 fest concludes at the Castro Theatre


Great noir actress Barbara Stanwyck.
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This year's annual Noir City Film Festival ends (Jan. 27-30) with more rarely seen movies about the frightening side of human nature, often concealed behind "normal" personas. Just ask Barbara Stanwyck and Alexis Smith. They're The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947), both married to mentally unbalanced painter Humphrey Bogart. Of course, neither knows about the other, although Stanwyck soon realizes her husband is neither well nor the man she thought he was. Bogart relishes his mad villainy. With Nigel Bruce. Directed by Peter Godfrey. A flop upon release, it has an operatic fascination. Not on DVD. Nina Foch says My Name Is Julia Ross (45), and lands a dream job working for a wealthy widower. The dream becomes a nightmare when she wakes up to find herself living with a mad husband (the chilling George Macready) and a manipulative woman claiming to be her mother-in-law (Dame Mae Whitty). She insists Julia has had a nervous breakdown. What's a girl to do? A remarkably tense B-picture, grippingly directed by Joseph. H. Lewis. Not on DVD. (1/27)

Convicts Arthur Kennedy, William Bendix, Luther Adler, Marshall Thompson, and a pre-Perry Mason William Talman Crashout (1955) of prison in search of hidden stolen payroll. Talman's knife-wielding religious fanatic is scary. With Beverly Michaels and Gloria Talbott. Graphically directed by Lewis Foster. Not on DVD. Barry Sullivan desperately searches for a Loophole (54) as a bank clerk unfairly accused of embezzlement. Grim, sanctimonious, scary Charles McGraw pursues him with an Inspector Javert intensity. With Dorothy Malone. Harold D. Schuster directed. Not on DVD. (1/28)

An escaped prisoner (Chester Morris) and his moll (Ann Dvorak) travel down a Blind Alley (1939) to hold guests at a dinner party hostage while they wait for their escape to freedom. Ralph Bellamy is a psychiatrist determined to unearth the root cause of their pathological behavior. What he learns is startling. With Melville Cooper, child actor Scotty Beckett, and Milburn Stone, long before becoming famous on television's Gunsmoke. Directed by Charles Vidor. Not on DVD. The great Fritz Lang – in a hallucinogenic, Freudian-inspired mood – reveals The Secret Beyond the Door (48). Traveling before her

Ray Milland is So Evil My Love .
wedding, Joan Bennett meets real-life bisexual Michael Redgrave, who turns out to be the man of her dreams – or nightmares. Audiences are unlikely to make sense of this bizarre mix of Bluebeard and Rebecca, but the visuals are striking, and the movie is never boring. With Natalie Schaefer and Anne Revere. Not on DVD. (1/29, matinee)

Funny uncle

In The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945), George Sanders, one of classic Hollywood's premier gentleman bitches, plays an interior decorator who at long last meets the woman of his dreams (!), Ella Raines. Alas, his possessive sister, Geraldine Fitzgerald, isn't about to let him go. Crackling dialogue and an amazing, over-the-top performance by Fitzgerald. With Moyna MacGill, Angela Lansbury's mother. Directed by Robert Siodmark. Not on DVD. Ray Milland is So Evil My Love (48) as a charming cad who persuades devoutly Christian Ann Todd to help him with his crimes. With Geraldine Fitzgerald and Leo G. Carroll, long before television's Topper and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Not on DVD. (1/29, evening)

Jean Simmons' Angel Face (1952) conceals a twisted, father-obsessed personality. She's a Los Angeles heiress determined to get the man of her dreams: rugged, working-class Robert Mitchum. The tough, resourceful Mitchum is in over his head. With Herbert Marshall as Simmons' daddy, and, as a District Attorney, Jim "Mr. Magoo" Backus. Directed by Otto Preminger at his best. England's Belita gained fame as an ice-skater, but later had a career in B-pictures. In The Hunted (48), she's a femme fatale just released from prison for robbery, but claiming she was framed. Did former lover and cop Preston Foster set her up? She's planning revenge, so he'd better be careful. With Charles McGraw. Directed by Jack Bernhard. Not on DVD. (1/30)






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