1952, Warner Bros., 118 min, USA, Dir: Vincente Minnelli

Hugely entertaining - and still on-target - drama of the relentless scramble to succeed in Hollywood, starring Kirk Douglas as producer Jonathan Shields, a born hustler who creates great movies while he alienates everyone who loves him – including Lana Turner as the alcoholic daughter of a Barrymore-like matinee idol, Barry Sullivan as a trusting young director and Dick Powell as a sharp-tongued screenwriter.

1946, Sony Repertory, 85 min, USA, Dir: Robert Rossen

JOHNNY'S NO GOOD...but that's how women want him! Innocent Nancy Hobson (Evelyn Keyes) ventures to the nasty noir city when her sister winds up dead. She’s soon up to her chin in a tangle of gamblers, gangsters and surly cops - not to mention falling under the spell of charismatic casino owner Johnny O’Clock (Dick Powell, in his signature role). Scribe Robert Rossen’s directorial debut as a director offers the full range of noir iconography, and is played to the hilt by a colorful cast, featuring Lee J. Cobb, Ellen Drew, Nina Foch and Thomas Mitchell. NOT ON DVD

1944, Warner Bros., 95 min, USA, Dir: Edward Dmytryk

In this adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel Farewell, My Lovely, quintessential L.A. private eye Philip Marlowe searches for an ex-con's girlfriend but, as always, winds up swimming in deceit and double crosses, all of it washing up at a lavish Malibu beach house. Featuring former hoofer Dick Powell as Marlowe, and Claire Trevor as the fabulous femme fatale.

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