Friday, March 8, 2013

The Film Noir Foundation celebrates noir and suspense films.

Dial 1119(1950). A film noir. Cast: Marshall Thompson. Directed by Gerald Mayer, nephew of Louis B. Mayer.

Gunther Wyckoff, escapes from a mental institution, murder a bus driver and, then, takes six hostages in a bar.

Jane Wyman and Marlene Dietrich.

Stage Fright (1950). A British crime film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Great performances from Jane Wyman, Marlene Dietrich, Michael Wilding, Alistair Sim, Sybil Thorndike, Joyce Grenfell, Kay Walsh anf Richard Todd.

This murder mystery has many plot twists and turns with a touch of dark humor. Dietrich is a perfect bad girl and this may be the best my favorite Wyman performance. The story begins when actress Eve Gill, is interrupted during rehearsal by her good friend, actor Jonathan Cooper, who tells her that he is having a affair with stage actress/singer, Charlotte Inwood. He also tells her that Charlotte visited him after killing her husband wearing a bloodstained dress and he agreed to go back to her home to get her a clean dress.

When he gets there he finds the body of Mr. Inwood, then tries to make it look like a burglary gone wrong, only to be seen by Charlotte's maid, Nellie Goode.

Eve, takes him to hide in a house near the coast owned by her father Commodore, who notices that the blood on Charlotte's dress has been smeared on deliberately and he and Eve believe that Jonathan has been framed. He does not believe them, destroying the dress the only evidence they have on Charlotte.

Eve posing as a reporter, bribes Nellie Goode to say that she has fallen ill and cannot work for Charlotte for a couple of days. Eve, then takes the temporary job.

Soon after, Eve meets Detective Inspector Wilfred Smith. Even though they have become fast friends Eve, has not been able to get much information about the case from him. Smith visits Eve and her mother at their home in London. They are later joined by the Commodore who drops hints that Jonathan has left their house by the sea.

Meanwhile... Charlotte continues to perform in her musical and is secretly visited by Jonathan who wants her to go away with him. Then tells her that he still has the dress with the bloodstain. Charlotte, tells him that she will not give up her career. The truth is she is having an affair with her manager, Freddie Williams.Jonathan, goes back to thank Eve for her help, but she feels torn because she has fallen in love with, Wilfred Smith. Will she continue to help Jonathan prove his innocence, or is he...

please click here for past movie review

Audrey Totter.
Tension (1950). Crime/thriller/film noir directed by John Berry. Cast: Richard Basehart, Audrey Totter, Cyd Charisse and Barry Sullivan. The story begins with Police Lieutenant Collier Bonnabel, of the homicide department speaks to the audience, telling them that the only way to solve a case is by applying pressure to all the suspects, until one of them snaps. He then tells us about a murder case involving Warren Quimby, which leads to a flashback:

A mild mannered drugstore manager turns killer after his cheating wife leaves him for another man. He comes up with a plan, which involves taking on a new identity, to make it look like someone else murdered her new boyfriend. Things take an unexpected turn when someone else commits the murder and he becomes the prime suspect...

Marie Windsor.
The Narrow Margin (1952). A film noir directed by Richard Fleischer and written by Earl Felton, based on an unpublished story written by Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard. Writers Goldsmith and Leonard were nominated for an Academy Award for their story. Cast: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor and Jacqueline White.

When a mobsters wife decides to testify against her husband, she goes into hiding to avoid being killed. Now, that he's coming to trial she has to be escorted across country via train to testify. Cop Walter Brown and his partner are assigned the job, with the mob not far behind.

 Alexis Smith.
Split Second (1953). Cast: Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling, and Keith Andes. A thriller film about escaped convicts and their hostages hiding out in a Nevada ghost town, unaware of the real danger they are in.

Jack Palance.
Man in the Attic (1953). A mystery film directed by Hugo Fregonese. Directed by Hugo Fregonese. Cast: Byron Palmer and Jack Palance. The movie, based on the novel The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes, fictionalizes the Jack the Ripper killings which was previously filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1927, by Maurice Elvey in 1932, by John Brahm in 1944, and by David Ondaatje in 2009.

The story takes place in London, 1888. On the third night of the Jack the Ripper killings, a man rents out an attic from an older couple. The man, a research pathologist, begins working on his experiments in the rooms. The landlady, becomes suspicious of him, especially when her niece shows an interest in him.

Linda Darnell.
Second Chance (1953). A thriller, directed by Rudolph Mate. The picture, shot on location in Mexico in 3-Dimension. Cast: Robert Mitchum, Linda Darnell and Jack Palance. It is best known as the first RKO film produced in 3D.

Claire Sinclair, is hiding in Mexico to avoid testifying against her gangster boyfriend. Her seclusion is made difficult by Cappy Gordon, a thug out to kill her unless she runs off with him. Trying to help Claire is, American prizefighter, Russ Lambert.


Piper Laurie.
Dangerous Mission (1954). A Dramatic color film noir/thriller. Cast: Victor Mature, Piper Laurie, Vincent Price and William Bendix. Directed by Louis King. It is best known for its use of 3-D film technology.

After, Louise Graham, is a witness to the murder of a crime boss, she decides to hide out in Glacier National Park.

She is followed by two men, Matt Hallett and Paul Adams, one is a federal agent, who's job it is to protect her and bring her back as a witness, the other's job, is to kill her.

Please click here to read past movie review.


Suddenly (1954). A film noir directed by Lewis Allen. Cast: Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason and Nancy Gates.

A small town comes to life when the U.S. President is scheduled to pass through and a hired assassin takes over the Benson home to ambush the president.

This maybe my favorite Frank Sinatra performance. He is very convincing as a cold blooded assassin out to kill the President.

Please click here to see my past movie review posted at the Cafe.


  1. Well, this is pretty neat. I took the day off & am having a lazy morning catching up on my blog reading while watching TCM. This morning I've seen two movies you referenced in this blog - "Tension" and "Narrow Margin". So I can read about the films while watching them. What a great morning :)

  2. I'm doing the same thing, during a thunderstorm while drinking a hot cup of tea...

    I really want to see the film, Dangerous Mission.

    Also, having a little drama of my own with a malfunctioned porch light, that looked like I had firework display in the front yard.. Sitting here with my fire extinguisher, waiting for the electrician to come fix it..


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