JEOPARDY
1953, Warner Bros., 69 min, USA, Dir: John Sturges

Barbara Stanwyck and Barry Sullivan play a vacationing couple whose fishing trip to Baja turns into a nightmare when the husband is trapped under a rotting pier with the tide rising. Their only hope is a fugitive killer (Ralph Meeker), whose aid comes at a high cost for the terrified, if resourceful, wife. A suspense gem directed and played with all the stops out, especially when Stanwyck and Meeker go toe-to-toe!


THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
1960, Park Circus/MGM, 128 min, USA, Dir: John Sturges

Excellent, Americanized version of the Akira Kurosawa classic THE SEVEN SAMURAI, helmed by noted action auteur John Sturges (THE GREAT ESCAPE, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK), with charismatic Steve McQueen making his first star turn alongside Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz as gunmen hired to safeguard a Mexican farm village from marauding bandit chieftain Eli Wallach. With an instantly memorable Elmer Bernstein score, which inspired everything from future Westerns to cigarette commercials (!) for decades to come.


SIGN OF THE RAM
1948, Sony Repertory, 84 min, USA, Dir: John Sturges

This unusual film was fashioned as a vehicle for star Susan Peters, who plays a sociopathic, paraplegic matriarch bent on destroying her family. Peters, injured the year before in a tragic hunting accident, gives a remarkable performance - all the more haunting for the fact that her paralysis is real. John Sturges directs the quirky screenplay by frequent Hitchcock collaborator Charles Bennett (THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT).


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