Quicksand (1950)

IRVING PICHEL Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  USA, 1950.  Samuel H. Stiefel Productions.  Screenplay by Robert Smith.  Cinematography by Lionel Lindon.  Produced by Mort Briskin.  Music by Louis Gruenberg.  Production Design by Boris Leven.  Costume Design by Joan Joseff.  Film Editing by Walter Thompson.   Mickey Rooney plays an auto mechanic who is out drinking with the boys when he spots a dangerous blonde…

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Tales of Terror (1962)

ROGER CORMAN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1962. Alta Vista Productions.  Screenplay by Richard Matheson, based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe.  Cinematography by Floyd Crosby.  Produced by Roger Corman.  Music by Les Baxter.  Production Design by Daniel Haller.  Costume Design by Marjorie Corso.  Film Editing by Anthony Carras. Highly entertaining triple dose of Edgar Allan Poe stories, all starring Vincent Price at…

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My Favourite Brunette

BB.5 (out of 5) Bob Hope is on death row waiting to be executed for murder and is visited by curious reporters who want to know his story.  He flashes back to some time earlier when he was working as a portrait photographer, renting an office next to a private investigator (played in a tongue-in-cheek…

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M

BBBBB (out of 5) Early film noir is considered the most important step in German expressionist cinema. Directed by the incomparable Fritz Lang, the film tells the tale of a serial killer (Peter Lorre) with a predilection for murdering small children. Its sympathetic look at the weakness and insecurity that leads an individual towards the…

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20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

BBBB (out of 5) It’s a whale of a tale as Jules Verne’s exciting adventure story is adapted to the big screen with rich, enjoyable results. Sailor Kirk Douglas and scientists Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre are nearly drowned after their boat is destroyed by the legendary sea monster that has been the talk of the new world….

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The Maltese Falcon (1941)

JOHN HUSTON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  USA, 1941.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by John Huston, based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett.  Cinematography by Arthur Edeson.  Produced by Hal B. Wallis.  Music by Adolph Deutsch.  Production Design by Robert M. Haas.  Costume Design by Orry-Kelly.  Film Editing by Thomas Richards.  Academy Awards 1941.   The one and only original film noir, the film that launched a thousand imitations….

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Beat The Devil (1953)

JOHN HUSTON Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  United Kingdom/USA/Italy, 1953.  Romulus Films, Dear Film, Santana Pictures Corporation, Rizzoli-Haggiag.  Screenplay by Truman Capote, John Huston, based on the novel by Claud Cockburn.  Cinematography by Oswald Morris.  Produced by John Huston.  Music by Franco Mannino.  Production Design by Wilfred Shingleton.  Film Editing by Ralph Kemplen.   This exotic adventure stars Humphrey Bogart and is directed by John…

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Hollywood Canteen

BB (out of 5) War propaganda has never been as shameless as in this endless bore. The film takes place in the actual Hollywood canteen, a real nightclub started in the forties by cinema stars and directors (Bette Davis and John Garfield being the two key founders) where servicemen taking leave in Los Angeles could have a…

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Casablanca

BBBBB (out of 5) Here’s another one of those rare classics that actually deserves its status among the greatest films ever made: in Casablanca, intrigue, romance and a colourful cast all conspire to make one of the richest and most entertaining viewing experiences you’ve ever encountered.  Humphrey Bogart plays an acidic bar owner in Morocco during World…

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Secret Agent

BBB (out of 5) Weirdly uneven Hitchcock mystery about a British soldier (John Gielgud) given a false death record against his own will and recruited into the government’s secret service operation. Based on a story by Somerset Maugham, the film soon finds Gielgud being introduced to his new partner (Madeleine Carroll), who is posing as…

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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

BBBB (out of 5) Hitchcock remade this film twenty years after the original British production, and which one is better depends on who you ask (the maestro himself preferred the later version). While a married couple are on vacation in the Alps with their teenaged daughter, a friend of theirs is shot before their very…

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Arsenic And Old Lace

BBBB (out of 5) Hilarious adaptation of the popular play about a well-intentioned suitor (Cary Grant) who is trying to court Priscilla Lane but hopes that she won’t find out his dark family secret: all of his relatives are loony! “Insanity runs in my family…practically gallops,” he finally admits to her. What she doesn’t know is…

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