BORN TO BE BAD
1950, Warner Bros., 94 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Joan Fontaine looks sweet and innocent on the surface, but after she steals millionaire Zachary Scott away from another woman, she continues an illicit affair with novelist Robert Ryan. Things just get more complicated from there in this energetic, daring and slightly nasty little melodrama. One of Nicholas Ray's best early films, and certainly his most audacious until JOHNNY GUITAR. With Mel Ferrer - and the original deleted ending!


GUILTY BYSTANDER
1950, BFI, 91 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Lerner

Alcoholic ex-cop Max Thursday (Zachary Scott) lives a dingy existence as house detective for a run-down hotel. When his ex-wife shows up and tells him that his son has been kidnapped, it’s just what Thursday needs to spring into action and reclaim his old enthusiasm.


MILDRED PIERCE
1945, Warner Bros., 111 min, USA, Dir: Michael Curtiz

"Mildred had more to offer in a glance than most woman give in a lifetime."

Joan Crawford gives her signature performance (an Oscar winner) as James M. Cain's ultimate maternal martyr, in thrall to her own femme fatale daughter, Veda (a deliciously venal Ann Blyth). After Mildred divorces her cheating husband, she turns her pie baking skills into what ultimately becomes a successful restaurant chain – all the while, working to give her demanding, selfish daughter the best of everything - but even that isn’t enough for Veda! The twisted combination of high-strung soap opera and hard-edged pulp produced what may be the greatest Hollywood melodrama of all time.

"Loving her was like shaking hands with the devil."


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