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THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS
1946, Warner Bros., 88 min, USA, Dir: Robert Florey

Volatile (and dead) concert pianist Francis Ingram (Victor Francen) has left his Italian estate to his American nurse (Andrea King), much to the chagrin of an avaricious brother and nephew. Peter Lorre is the dead musician’s astrology-obsessed, mentally unbalanced librarian who becomes convinced that his late employer’s left hand - now missing from the corpse - is creeping about the villa, bent on murdering all those who oppose Ingram’s last testament. The rest of the household, including King’s paramour Robert Alda and police commissioner J. Carrol Naish, soon become convinced he may be right. The over-the-top Max Steiner score ably punctuates the deranged proceedings.


I WAS A SHOPLIFTER
1949, Universal, 74 min, USA, Dir: Charles Lamont

Cop Scott Brady agrees to go undercover to shadow shoplifter Mona Freeman, a judge’s daughter who has been coerced into working for a robbery ring run by the always entertaining Andrea King (SOUTHSIDE 1-1000). Her sinister sidekick is a looker named Pepe, played by 25-year-old Tony Curtis. Also keep your eyes peeled for noir tough guy Charles McGraw and a young Rock Hudson.


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.


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