KING OF KINGS
1961, Warner Bros., 168 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Director Nicholas Ray and epic producer Samuel Bronston seemed an odd couple, but the pair made this reverent, straightforward portrait of the life of Christ work on its own terms. Filled with moving performances by Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus, a potent, often mysterious messiah, and Robert Ryan as John the Baptist, with support from Siobhan McKenna, Rip Torn, Royal Dano, Harry Guardino, Viveca Lindfors and others. Meticulous and spectacular production design augments the realism, while Orson Welles’ narration adds storybook charm. Originally played at the Egyptian Theatre!


BEWARE, MY LOVELY
1952, RKO [Warner Bros.], 77 min, USA, Dir: Harry Horner

The incredible Ida Lupino plays a lonely war widow who employs a penniless drifter (Robert Ryan) as a household handyman, only to learn - too late - precisely why he has no references on his résumé. As the film’s original tagline puts it: “Trapped by a man beyond control!” Lupino and Ryan, a pair of noir heavyweights, battle through a “day without end” (the film’s original title) to an unexpected climax. Mel Dinelli’s suspenseful script is adapted from his hit stage play “The Man.” Not on DVD!


CAUGHT
1949, MGM [Warner Bros.], 88 min, USA, Dir: Max Ophuls

Robert Ryan gives a towering performance as psychotic billionaire Smith Ohlrig, who gives impressionable young Leonora Eames (Barbara Bel Geddes) everything she ever wanted. Leonora suffocates from the security, and soon falls for an altruistic doctor (James Mason), leading her husband to devise a scheme to permanently lock the bonds of matrimony. Superbly directed by Max Ophuls, with cinematography by the great Lee Garmes. Not on DVD!


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