IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND
EN LA PALMA DE TU MANO
1949, Televisa, 90 min, Mexico, Dir: Roberto Gavaldón

Fortune-telling astrologer Jaime Karin (Arturo de Córdova) seduces the widow of a millionaire (Leticia Palma) to bilk her out of the inheritance - only to learn she plotted to murder her late husband. A tense game of cat-and-mouse ensures - but who’s the cat? Noir is rife with charismatic charlatans (NIGHTMARE ALLEY, THE SPIRITUALIST) and IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND stands with the best of them. Director Gavaldón - the Robert Siodmak of Mexican cinema - teams with his stars and stupendous cinematographer Alex Phillips to create the greatest film noir ever made in Mexico.


THE PROUD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
LES ORGUEILLEUX
1953, Pathé, 103 min, France/Mexico, Dir: Yves Allegret

Was director Yves Allegret “answering” Henri-Georges Clouzot with this film, where the setting is highly reminiscent of the oppressive atmosphere permeating THE WAGES OF FEAR? Here, however, there is no harrowing adventure tale at the dark center of the story - only the ravaged lives of two lost souls (Gérard Philipe, a doctor whose dalliance in a sweltering Mexican town has reduced him to a hopeless drunk; Michèle Morgan, a woman whose life hangs in the balance once her disreputable husband dies during the outset of a raging typhoid epidemic). What happens to these two is the crux of this powerful melo-noir that dares to take both of them to the brink of degradation, with only the barest chance of escape. Adapted by Jean Aurenche from a play by Jean-Paul Sartre.


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