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1950, Warner Bros., 90 min, USA, Dir: Cy Enfield

Another unjustly neglected noir by director Cy Enfield, in which the always entertaining Dan Duryea plays a cynical reporter who digs dangerously close to a corrupt publisher’s family secrets. Costarring Herbert Marshall, Gale Storm and Howard da Silva, and featuring dazzling cinematography by the great Stanley Cortez (NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS).

1930, Rialto Pictures, 92 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

The plight of the wrongly accused was something director Alfred Hitchcock returned to often in his career; here a young actress (Norah Baring) is mistakenly condemned for murder. Enter Sir John Menier (a wonderfully affable Herbert Marshall), a juror browbeaten into a guilty verdict who decides to investigate the woman’s case on his own. Hitchcock’s resourcefulness in the early sound era can be seen in the shaving sequence, where Sir John’s thoughts were prerecorded and played back on set, and the radio music he’s listening to is an orchestra performing offscreen.

1947, Universal, 99 min, USA, Dir: Sam Wood

Joan Fontaine memorably portrays an amoral Edwardian vixen whose hobby of seducing wayward men becomes the road to perdition. Fontaine’s tour de force performance occurred in a role originally intended for her sister Olivia de Havilland! A distinguished British cast includes Patric Knowles, Herbert Marshall and Sir Cedric Hardwicke. NOT ON DVD!

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