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MY DARLING CLEMENTINE
1946, 20th Century Fox, 97 min, USA, Dir: John Ford

John Ford directs one of the most beautiful, melancholic, lyrical Westerns ever made, painting an atmospheric interpretation of Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda), the Earp siblings (Ward Bond, Tim Holt), Doc Holliday (Victor Mature) and their escalating feud with the cattle-rustling Clanton family (Walter Brennan, John Ireland and Grant Withers). Although Ford hews closer to the legend than to the cold hard facts (especially with the fictionalized female characters, Cathy Downs as Clementine and Linda Darnell as Chihuahua), that is, in large part, the point of the film - an elegiac vision of a heroic age when almost-mythological personalities walked the earth as real, flesh-and-blood people. Poignant, exhilarating and gorgeous from beginning to end.


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.


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