SHIELD FOR MURDER
1954, MGM/Park Circus, 82 min, USA, Dir: Edmond O'Brien, Howard Koch

The poster’s tagline says it all: “Dame-Hungry Killer Cop Runs Berserk!” Money-mad dirty cop Barney Nolan (Edmond O’Brien) bumps off a numbers runner and pockets $25,000 for a down payment on his dream house in the ’burbs. A deaf mute who witnessed the crime may force Barney to become a serial killer! Featuring dishy Carolyn Jones. Once again, a crackerjack script from ace crime scribe John C. Higgins, co-directed by O’Brien himself and Howard Koch (BIG HOUSE, USA). NOT ON DVD


BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ
1962, Park Circus, 147 min, USA, Dir: John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton

Convicted killer Robert Stroud (Burt Lancaster) becomes an internationally respected bird expert from behind prison bars in this true story. Director John Frankenheimer livens up a potentially static tale with innovative visuals and help from a supporting cast that includes Karl Malden, Telly Savalas and Edmond O'Brien.


WHITE HEAT
1949, Warner Bros., 114 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" Demon-speed direction by Raoul Walsh makes this one of the most electrifying crime thrillers ever made. Mama's boy Cody Jarrett is the quintessential James Cagney performance, an invigorating example of a star's titanic personality merging with the fiction to create an unforgettable character. Even when Cagney’s portrayal is seen in the wake of Al Pacino’s Tony Montana in SCARFACE, it remains perhaps the most chillingly convincing profile of an outlaw sociopath ever to come out of Hollywood. The stellar supporting cast includes Virginia Mayo as Cody’s two-timing moll, Edmond O'Brien as undercover G-man Fallon, Steve Cochran as Cody’s dapper rival within the gang and Margaret Wycherly as Ma. If you've never seen the explosive climax on the big screen, here's your chance!


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