REIGN OF TERROR
(aka THE BLACK BOOK)
1949, Sony Repertory, 88 min, USA, Dir: Anthony Mann

Director Anthony Mann and DP John Alton, using the full-bore noir treatment, turn the French Revolution into a crime saga dripping with greed, deceit and betrayal. With Robert Cummings as Charles D’Aubigny and Richard Basehart as Robespierre, all of the elements are here - atmospheric camerawork, taut script, a beautiful spy (Arlene Dahl, again!) and fearsome Charles McGraw (looking like the leader of a French biker gang) as Robespierre’s sadistic henchman.


STRANGE IMPERSONATION
1944, Films Around the World, 68 min, USA, Dir: Anthony Mann

This kooky and claustrophobic crime/sci-fi/soap opera hybrid crams about three movies’ worth of plot into its brief running time: chemical experiments, insurance scams, romantic triangles, plastic surgery - it’s a bizarre and berserk funhouse ride, featuring Brenda Marshall, William Gargan and sexy Hillary Brooke. One of director Mann’s more stylish, inventive (and nutty) B’s, paving the way for his ascension to A-list assignments and eventual auteur status.


T-MEN
1947, 92 min, USA, Dir: Anthony Mann

Director Anthony Mann and DP John Alton - king of chiaroscuro - pull out all the stops in relating the intensely exciting and shockingly brutal tale of Treasury agents, led by the redoubtable Dennis O’Keefe, going undercover to infiltrate a cadre of counterfeiters. Great character bits from Charles McGraw and Wallace Ford in a vivid script by crime scribe John C. Higgins. One of the most artfully arresting visual spectacles of the original film noir era!


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