THE SUSPECT
1944, Universal, 85 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Timid tobacconist Philip Marshall (Charles Laughton) develops a friendship with a poor young woman (Ella Raines), igniting his wife’s shrewish jealousy. Despite the Edwardian-era decorum, THE SUSPECT is a classic noir - one of Siodmak’s best - featuring Laughton’s memorable portrait of a repressed and lonely man who will do anything to protect the unexpected joy he’s found too late in his life. Costarring Stanley Ridges and Rosalind Ivins.


HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO
1944, Universal, 100 min, USA, Dir: Preston Sturges

When Eddie Bracken is discharged from the military for chronic hay fever, his pals decide to send him home with a reputation as a great war hero. What ensues is a flurry of patriotic fervor, some genuine and some ridiculous but all of it hilarious in writer-director Preston Sturges' hands. Sturges' incisive view of what defines true heroism during wartime is as spot-on today as it was in 1944, and his direction of an ensemble of gifted character actors is a timeless delight.


PHANTOM LADY
1944, Universal, 87 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Loyal and lovely Ella Raines is “one hep kitten” as she high-heels her way through the noir demimonde, searching for the one woman who can save her boss from a murder rap. Director Robert Siodmak and DP Woody Bredell wring every juicy bit of shadowy mystery from the novel by master of suspense Cornell Woolrich. Famous for Elisha Cook’s manic interlude as a wigged-out jazz drummer in orgiastic frenzy! A truly seminal noir classic!


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