BERLIN EXPRESS
1948, Warner Bros., 87 min, USA, Dir: Jacques Tourneur

Robert Ryan, Merle Oberon and Paul Lukas head an international cast in the first Hollywood film shot on location in Allied-occupied postwar Germany. An ad-hoc cadre of allied officials, headed by train to a peace conference, suddenly become detectives when Germany’s most outspoken peace activist goes missing. A solid thriller, and a remarkable historical document of its time.


ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW
1959, Park Circus/MGM, 96 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

Bigoted ex-convict Robert Ryan’s mistrust of partner Harry Belafonte undermines the heist plans of their ex-cop leader (Ed Begley) in this searing, underrated crime drama - the first film noir to feature a black protagonist. Great on-location New York ambiance fills every exterior shot. With Shelley Winters and Gloria Grahame, and featuring an atmospheric score by Modern Jazz Quartet pianist John Lewis.


THE SET-UP
1949, Warner Bros., 72 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

Robert Ryan stars as Stoker Thomson, a two-bit fighter making his grim last stand in the aptly named Paradise City boxing ring. Certain his boxer will lose, manager Tiny (George Tobias) accepts a gambler’s payoff - without bothering to tell Stoker to take a dive.


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