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1944, MGM/Park Circus, 107 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Gotham College professor Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson) becomes obsessed with a woman’s portrait in the window near his men’s club. While admiring the painting, he meets the flesh-and-blood subject (Joan Bennett) and is willingly lured up to her apartment for some Champagne. The woman’s boyfriend bursts in, gets the wrong idea, a lethal scuffle ensues, and before you can say “poor sap,” Wanley agrees to dump the body and cover up the death. Much like in SCARLET STREET, Robinson and director Fritz Lang make a great team, with Robinson perfectly evoking the dangerous pathos of a middle-aged man tempted by youth.

1953, Sony Repertory, 90 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

One of director Fritz Lang’s best Hollywood films tells the tale of a virtuous cop (Glenn Ford) out for revenge against the gangster who killed his wife. Assisting him in his one-man crusade against the city’s corrupt power base is a kooky, sexy dame (Gloria Grahame, in perhaps her signature role) who’s out for a little vengeance of her own. Featuring an all-time thuggish turn by a young Lee Marvin. As compact and compelling as any crime film ever made.

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