CRY OF THE CITY
1948, 20th Century Fox, 95 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Perhaps the best realized of director Robert Siodmak’s films noir indelibly relates the enduring theme (based on Henry Helseth’s novel The Chair for Martin Rome) of neighborhood pals who tread divergent courses. Victor Mature becomes a lawman, Richard Conte goes crooked. The two square off all across Manhattan with tragic results. Siodmak eschewed the semi-documentary style then in vogue at Fox creating instead a vivid, Expressionistic urban landscape that ideally suited this mythic mid-20th-century tale of good and evil. Co-starring Shelley Winters, Fred Clark and that Amazonian nightmare, Hope Emerson.


CAGED
1950, Warner Bros., 96 min, USA, Dir: John Cromwell

Flat-out the best “women behind bars” movie ever made. Sentenced to prison for her role in a failed robbery that killed her husband, vulnerable innocent Marie Allen (Oscar-nominated Eleanor Parker) undergoes a degrading transformation in “the joint.” Parker gives the performance of her career, supported by a cell block of sensational actresses: Agnes Moorehead, Hope Emerson, Betty Garde, Jan Sterling, Lee Patrick, Jane Darwell and many more. A classic!


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