LET US LIVE
1939, Sony Repertory, 68 min, USA, Dir: John Brahm

Compelling proto-noir concerning a pair of innocent taxi drivers (Henry Fonda and Alan Baxter) railroaded to the death house for a robbery-homicide. An early standout performance by Fonda receives stellar support from costar Maureen O’Sullivan, along with a well-crafted script (by Anthony Veiller and Allen Rivkin), photography (Lucien Ballard) and superior direction by noir maestro John Brahm.


THE BOSTON STRANGLER
1968, 20th Century Fox, 120 min, USA, Dir: Richard Fleischer

One of Richard Fleischer’s most uncompromising and startling films: Tony Curtis delivers an amazing performance (arguably his best) as Albert DeSalvo, the unstable blue-collar worker who terrorized Boston in the early 1960s. Henry Fonda is the head of detectives who doggedly tracks him down. The increasingly elliptical, stream-of-consciousness narrative, especially after the captured Curtis’ mental disintegration accelerates, was extremely daring for a major Hollywood studio film.


BATTLE OF THE BULGE
1965, Warner Bros., 167 min, USA, Dir: Ken Annakin

In November 1944, the German army surprised the Allies with a last-ditch offensive on the western front, near the Ardennes forest. This entertaining (if fictionalized) look at the pivotal conflict features an all-star cast including Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews, Charles Bronson and Telly Savalas (a Golden Globe nominee), as well as some superbly executed action sequences.


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