SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR
1948, Universal, 99 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Director Fritz Lang jumped (with abandon) onto the 1940s Freudian bandwagon with this wildly symbolic cinematic fright ride. On a pre-wedding holiday, Joan Bennett meets the real man of her dreams (Michael Redgrave), who sweeps her off her feet and into a nightmarish honeymoon that's a cross between REBECCA and BLUEBEARD. Ridiculous but visually stunning!


MR. ARKADIN
CONFIDENTIAL REPORT
1955, Janus Films, 99 min, USA, Dir: Orson Welles

A ruthless financier (Welles) hires a sleazy young cigarette smuggler to write a "confidential report" on his past, hoping to erase the last traces of his infamy so that his beloved daughter will never find the truth about him. Welles decks out this mock-tragic "chronicle of a death foretold" with down-and-dirty rococo effects and tall tales, including that epitome of cynicism, the fable about the frog and the scorpion.


THE LADY VANISHES
1938, MGM Repertory, 97 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

No one believes witty playgirl Iris Henderson (a fine Margaret Lockwood) when she claims the elderly “governess” Miss Froy has mysteriously disappeared from a train en route from the fictional country of Bandrika to Western Europe. No one, except for charming Gilbert (Michael Redgrave), who joins forces with Iris to expose the foreboding magic trick of a woman vanishing into thin air on a moving locomotive. Featuring mesmerizing overlapping camera work by cinematographer Jack Cox and a script loaded with can’t-believe-that-slid-past-the-censors political doozies, THE LADY VANISHES is so much more than its usual branding as “light entertainment” - it’s Hitchcock at his pre-Hollywood best, a perfect blend of suspense and screwball.Watch for Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford as two cricket-obsessed fellow passengers - their pairing here was so successful, they co-starred in a further 10 films playing essentially the same characters!


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