THE SEARCHERS
1956, Warner Bros., 119 min, USA, Dir: John Ford

John Wayne gives the performance of his career as Ethan Edwards, a deeply troubled Civil War veteran who heads off in search of his kidnapped niece (Natalie Wood) and becomes more obsessive and irrational as his journey progresses. Through Wayne's character, Ford explores the contradictions and dark side of the American frontier.


THE WRONG MAN
1956, Warner Bros., 105 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Henry Fonda plays real-life jazz musician Emanuel Balestrero, an innocent man who is one day sucked into a whirlpool of circumstantial guilt and left to drown in New York’s criminal justice system. This seldom-seen gem by director Alfred Hitchcock, a grim orphan amongst his glossy 1950s confections, was shot entirely on-site in the locations where the story actually happened, and it expertly draws the viewer into the nightmare of the falsely accused. Hitchcock was famously paranoid of anything and everything to do with the police, and those fears reach their zenith of expression here. With Vera Miles and Anthony Quayle excellent in supporting roles.


PSYCHO
1960, Universal, 109 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Coming off the comparatively big budget NORTH BY NORTHWEST, director Alfred Hitchcock decided he wanted to make a nice little, low-budget black-and-white film for a change of pace. This was the result, and the shock waves are still reverberating. Lovely embezzler Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) takes refuge from a rainstorm off the beaten track on a lonely California highway. Unfortunately, she checks in at the Bates Motel, presided over by young Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a strange fellow living with his mother in a nearby mansion. Hitchcock used the small crew from his popular TV show for this hair-raising example of California Gothic, and it remains one of the most influential chillers ever made. With Vera Miles and John Gavin.


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