FLESH AND FURY
1952, Universal, 83 min, Dir: Joe Pevney

Tony Curtis delivers a knockout performance as a deaf boxer who looks to be easy pickings for a mercenary blonde (Jan Sterling) while a compassionate reporter (Mona Freeman) tries to prevent him from being counted out for good. Bernard Gordon’s crisp script and a solid supporting cast (including the debut of Harry Guardino) bolsters Curtis’ early starring turn.


HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL!
1958, MGM/Cinema Associates, 85 min, USA, Dir: Jack Arnold

“Behind these ‘nice’ school walls – a teacher’s nightmare! A teen-age jungle!” More interested in studying marijuana than mathematics, tough new kid Tony Baker (Russ Tamblyn) makes a beeline for the wrong crowd in this fast-paced exploitation fave. The cast is as wild as the action, with memorable appearances from slumming Hollywood scions Charlie Chaplin, Jr. and John Drew Barrymore, recovering teenage werewolf Michael Landon and the immortal Mamie Van Doren as Tony’s hot-to-trot aunt. Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis sings the classic title song.


SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE
1956, Universal, 103 min, USA, Dir: Arnold Laven

This stepson to ON THE WATERFRONT packs a wallop of its own. An upstart district attorney (Richard Egan) tries to crack the New York waterfront’s mob-enforced code of silence and mete out justice for a murdered whistleblower. Jan Sterling is terrific as the victim’s widow, heading a dynamite supporting cast of familiar and fantastic character actors, including Dan Duryea, Charles McGraw, Sam Levene and Walter Matthau. Lawrence Roman’s fact-based script is vigorously directed by Arnold Laven. NOT ON DVD


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