LADY ON A TRAIN
1945, Universal, 94 min, USA, Dir: Charles David

Nikki Collins (Deanna Durbin) witnesses a murder while waiting for a train, but can’t get the police to believe her when no body is discovered. While they dismiss her as daft, she enlists the help of a mystery writer to sleuth out the culprits on her own. Based on a story by veteran mystery scribe Leslie Charteris (The Saint), this is a wildly entertaining mix of comedy, musical and suspense, rendered in evocative noir style by cameraman Woody Bredell (PHANTOM LADY, CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, THE KILLERS), and featuring a superb cast of sinister and suspicious supporting players (including noir fave Dan Duryea) who swirl ominously around “America’s Sweetheart.”


MAN MADE MONSTER
1941, Universal, 59 min, USA, Dir: George Waggner

In one of his first horror roles, Lon Chaney Jr. plays a man whose immunity to electrocution attracts the interest of two scientists - one of whom (Lionel Atwill) hopes to use the discovery to create an army of electrified killers. A shockingly effective B-movie!


THE KILLERS (1946)
1946, Universal, 103 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

The CITIZEN KANE of film noir that begins with the ending - "I did something wrong ... once" - and moves backward through interweaving flashbacks to reveal the layer of double crosses that led to the opening scene. The script by Anthony Veiller (with an uncredited assist from John Huston) takes the first 10 minutes from Hemingway's short story and then spirals into the noir netherworld that Robert Siodmak depicted better than any other director. The smoldering sexuality between Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner catapulted both to super-stardom. With Edmond O’Brien and Jeff Corey.


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