CITY ACROSS THE RIVER
1949, Universal, 90 min, USA, Dir: Maxwell Shane

Perhaps Hollywood's earliest treatment of urban youth gangs and juvenile delinquency, with the Amboy Dukes (a young Tony Curtis, Mickey Knox, Richard Jaeckel, Al Ramsen and Joshua Kelley) pitted against a cast-against-type Stephen McNally as a crusading community-center leader in Brooklyn. With the great Thelma Ritter, Jeff Corey, Richard Benedict and Anabel Shaw. This forerunner of better-remembered films including REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE is very rarely screened. NOT ON DVD!


PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET
1953, 20th Century Fox, 80 min, USA, Dir: Samuel Fuller

Pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) lifts a stolen military microfilm from the mistress of a Communist spy. Next thing the lowlife wharf rat knows, he’s the hottest thing in the Big Apple, with the Commies and the feds all trying to kill him. A former New York crime reporter, director Sam Fuller knows how to make a backlot feel like the real thing; in his sweaty subways, skid row tenements and waterfront dives, the heroes aren’t the do-gooder feds, but nervy grifters more interested in their own survival than affairs of state. In Fuller’s world, loyalty vies with self-interest, and tenderness battles brutality to a standstill every step of the way. With Jean Peters, Richard Kiley and an Oscar-nominated Thelma Ritter.


ALL ABOUT EVE
1950, 20th Century Fox, 138 min, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Seemingly timid fan Eve (Anne Baxter) ingratiates herself into Broadway mega-star Bette Davis’ inner circle in this backstage, backstabbing masterpiece by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Eve wastes no time stealing Davis’ spotlight and man (Gary Merrill), but Davis takes nothing lying down. A superb supporting cast (George Sanders, Marilyn Monroe, Thelma Ritter and Celeste Holm) brings New York's theater set to life. "Fasten your seatbelts...it’s going to be a bumpy night."


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