THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
1955, Preminger Films, 119 min, USA, Dir: Otto Preminger

Director Otto Preminger defied the Production Code for the second time with this first American film about drug addiction. Frank Sinatra, in the performance of his career, plays a junkie jazz drummer and card sharp torn between love for his girlfriend (Kim Novak), a sad-eyed cashier in a strip club, and loyalty to his crippled wife (Eleanor Parker). Darren McGavin (“The Night Stalker”) is the villainous heroin pusher. Shooting in the studio rather than on location, Preminger creates a richly atmospheric, lower-depths milieu. Elmer Bernstein’s moody, compelling jazz score and Saul Bass’ seductive opening titles are memorable.


KISS ME, STUPID
1964, Park Circus/MGM, 126 min, USA, Dir: Billy Wilder

On the way from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, big-shot lounge singer Dino (Dean Martin) becomes stranded in Climax, Nevada. When local aspiring musicians (Ray Walston and Cliff Osmond) catch word of this, they sabotage Dino’s car and attempt to provide ingratiating entertainment in the form of local bar floozy Polly the Pistol (Kim Novak). With Felicia Farr and music by Ira and George Gershwin.


VERTIGO
1958, Universal, 128 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

With its hypnotic visuals and palpably wistful characters, director Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological suspense masterpiece continues to entrance audiences. Retired San Francisco police detective "Scottie" Ferguson (James Stewart) becomes obsessed with Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak), a troubled woman he is privately hired to follow. Before he can remotely understand Madeleine’s neurosis, tragedy strikes. Scottie’s obsession with the glacial blonde spirals out of control (literally, thanks to the retina-like coil designs of graphics great Saul Bass), and reaches a fever pitch when he stumbles upon Judy Barton (also played by Novak), a young woman who bears a striking resemblance to Madeleine. With Barbara Bel Geddes as Scottie's hopelessly overlooked admirer, Midge.


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