CROSSFIRE
1947, Warner Bros., 86 min, USA, Dir: Edward Dmytryk

Robert Mitchum, Robert Young and Robert Ryan lead the cast in this noir-tinged drama, among the first Hollywood films to confront anti-Semitism. When a Jewish man is murdered, a homicide detective (Young) focuses on a group of former soldiers, while an Army sergeant (Mitchum) conducts a parallel investigation to clear his friend of the crime. Costarring Gloria Grahame, CROSSFIRE earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.


THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
1944, Warner Brothers, 95 min, Dir: Jules Dassin

This fantasy-comedy, adapted from Oscar Wilde’s first published short story, features one of Charles Laughton’s most delightful performances in the title role. When U.S. servicemen are stationed at the Canterville estate during WWII, one of them (Robert Young) learns he is a distant relative of the ghost that haunts the castle – and may be able to put him to rest with an act of bravery. With Margaret O'Brien.


SECRET AGENT
1936, BFI, 86 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Based on stories by W. Somerset Maugham, this espionage tale stars John Gielgud as Richard Ashenden, a British officer dispatched to Switzerland to kill a German spy. Sent to assist him on the mission are seasoned assassin (and scene-stealer) Peter Lorre and Madeleine Carroll, who is posing as Ashenden’s wife – which does little to stop suave Robert Young from chasing her. With several years of sound filmmaking under his belt, Hitchcock makes brilliant use of such audio effects as a sustained organ note and a dog’s howl.


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