TAKE ONE FALSE STEP
1949, Universal, 94 min, Dir: Chester Erskine

William Powell makes his only foray into ’40s film noir as a married college professor whose reacquaintance with a wartime fling (Shelley Winters) takes a bad turn when she disappears under suspicious circumstances. Marsha Hunt plays the gal-pal who tries to help Powell - the prime suspect - solve the crime and salvage his reputation. There’s more comedy than usually found in noir - as audiences still expected from the man who embodied the legendary Nick Charles. James Gleason and Sheldon Leonard are the cops pursuing Powell through Los Angeles locations lensed by the great Franz Planer (CRISS CROSS).


LIBELED LADY
1936, Warner Bros., 98 min, USA, Dir: Jack Conway

Remade a decade later as EASY TO WED, this screwball comedy gem features a veritable dream team of MGM stars at the top of their game. Heiress Myrna Loy sues the New York Evening Star when it paints her as a home-wrecker, but editor Spencer Tracy thinks he can get the suit dropped by trapping the wealthy woman between one of his ex-reporters (William Powell) and his own fiancée (Jean Harlow). Powell’s hilarious fishing sequence is but one of the many highlights.


HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE
1953, 20th Century Fox, 95 min, USA, Dir: Jean Negulesco

HOW TO MARRY was actually the first feature shot in CinemaScope by 20th Century Fox, but it was released after THE ROBE in 1953. Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall learn the price of true love in this hilariously mercenary musical comedy, scripted and produced by Nunnally Johnson. Watch for mild-mannered boyfriend David Wayne (who made four films with Monroe, more than any other actor), and listen for the sparkling score arranged by Alfred Newman.


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