MINISTRY OF FEAR
1944, Universal, 86 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Ray Milland plays a Londoner traumatized by his wife’s murder who’s released after two years in an asylum - and walks straight into a network of Nazi spies trying to undermine the British war effort. But who’ll believe the warnings of a crazy person? Taking full advantage of the brilliant artifice of the Paramount art department, Lang spins a dizzying tale of alienation and espionage that’s more fun than any wartime thriller has a right to be. Based on the novel by Graham Greene, and featuring delicious supporting turns from Hillary Brooke and Dan Duryea.


THE BLACK PIRATE
1926, 88 min, USA, Dir: Albert Parker

Shot in two-strip Technicolor, THE BLACK PIRATE stars Douglas Fairbanks in the title role as a nobleman who vows revenge on the brigands who killed his father, and joins their crew to exact it. Damsel in distress Billie Dove might distract him from his mission, but Fairbanks is in his element as a buccaneer – the sequence in which he singlehandedly captures a ship will leave you in awe.


THE GUILTY
1947, Monogram Pictures, 71 min, USA, Dir: John Reinhardt

Two war buddies (Don Castle and Wally Cassel) fall for twin sisters (both played by Bonita Granville). When one sister turns up dead, the boys are dogged by a suspicious police inspector (Regis Toomey). Working with only three sets and virtually no budget, director Reinhardt and DP Henry Sharp evoke the dreadful, dead-of-night ambiance that was the domain of prolific noir scribe Cornell Woolrich. NOT ON DVD.


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