THE BRIBE
1949, MGM [Warner Bros.], 98 min, USA, Dir: Robert Z. Leonard

Less a coherent drama than a sweaty fever-dream of ’40s film noir, THE BRIBE features an all-star cast (Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, John Hodiak) trapped on the steamy Caribbean isle of “Carlota” (as only MGM’s art department could render it), perspiring through a convoluted tale of romance, disease and WWII contraband. Skip the logic and wallow in the exotic artifice of this sublime noir fantasia, directed by Robert Z. Leonard, photographed by the great Joe Ruttenberg and scored by the magnificent Miklos Rozsa!


WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION
1957, MGM Repertory, 114 min, USA, Dir: Billy Wilder

Accused murderer Tyrone Power (in his final film) is defended by ailing barrister Charles Laughton in Billy Wilder's dark, delightful courtroom nailbiter. Marlene Dietrich as Power's duplicitous spouse helps supply one of the most insane, out-of-left-field twists in any mystery.


RUGGLES OF RED GAP
1935, Universal, 92 min, Dir: Leo McCarey

This McCarey classic stars Charles Laughton as a veddy proper English valet who’s won in a poker game by a man from the Wild West (Charlie Ruggles), setting off a culture clash. With Mary Boland, ZaSu Pitts, Roland Young, Leila Hyams and many others. Remember: Always bring the pot to the kettle!


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