THE HITCH-HIKER
1953, RKO, 71 min, USA, Dir: Ida Lupino

A groundbreaking, fact-based story of two pals on a Mexican fishing trip kidnapped by a serial killer who terrorizes both men into delivering him to safety. The only American film noir directed by a woman - the great Ida Lupino - features a trio of terrific performances by Frank Lovejoy, Edmond O’Brien and the odious William Talman.


MAN IN THE DARK
1953, Sony Repertory, 70 min, USA, Dir: Lew Landers

A long-lost noir in fully restored 3-D and glorious black-and-white! Pinched by the cops after pulling off a big heist, crook Steve Rawley (Edmond O’Brien) undergoes an experimental operation to eliminate his criminal urges. It also makes him forget where he hid the loot ... much to the consternation of his old gang and his itchy-fingered girlfriend (Audrey Totter). Fortunately, clues pop up (literally!) in Rawley’s dreams, and soon he’s leading the crooks and cops on a careening hunt for the money, culminating in a spectacular chase through Santa Monica’s creepy old Pacific Ocean Park! NOT ON DVD!


THE KILLERS (1946)
1946, Universal, 103 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

The CITIZEN KANE of film noir that begins with the ending - "I did something wrong ... once" - and moves backward through interweaving flashbacks to reveal the layer of double crosses that led to the opening scene. The script by Anthony Veiller (with an uncredited assist from John Huston) takes the first 10 minutes from Hemingway's short story and then spirals into the noir netherworld that Robert Siodmak depicted better than any other director. The smoldering sexuality between Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner catapulted both to super-stardom. With Edmond O’Brien and Jeff Corey.


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