THE BIG COMBO
1955, 87 min, USA, Dir: Joseph H. Lewis

One of the essential noirs pits malevolent crime kingpin Mr. Brown (Richard Conte) against a crusading copper (Cornel Wilde) in a battle for alluring Jean Wallace. The memorable noir palaver (purportedly by Philip Yordan) is accentuated by the cinematography of the legendary John Alton and a jazzy score by David Raksin. Featuring the unusual hit-man team of Lee Van Cleef and Earl Holliman amid a stand-out supporting cast: Brian Donlevy, Robert Middleton, Helen Walker, Jay Adler, John Hoyt, Ted de Corsia and Helene Stanton.


SO DARK THE NIGHT
1948, Sony Repertory, 71 min, USA, Dir: Joseph H. Lewis

Parisian detective Henri Cassin (Stephen Geray) takes a much-needed vacation to the French countryside after his doctor recommends he take some time off work. The only problem: a pair of young lovers who disappear and force Cassin into action. Another film noir gem from director Joseph H. Lewis. NOT ON DVD!


UNDERCOVER MAN
1949, Sony Repertory, 85 min, USA, Dir: Joseph H. Lewis

Film noir master Joseph H. Lewis (GUN CRAZY) directs a stellar cast that includes Glenn Ford, Nina Foch and James Whitmore (in his movie debut). The story, loosely based on the exploits of Al Capone, follows a mob kingpin being hunted by feds looking to convict him on tax-evasion charges.


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