PLAYGIRL
1954, Universal, 85 min, Dir: Joseph Pevney

A New York chanteuse (Shelley Winters) tries to wise up her corn-fed friend (Coleen Miller) to the realities of city life but matters quickly spiral out of control. Shelley’s neighbor (Gregg Palmer) works for a scandal rag and her playboy friend (Richard Long) is little more than a pimp. Meanwhile, Winters warbles on the bandstand between trysts with her married boyfriend (Barry Sullivan). This lurid Joe Pevney-helmed melodrama has been vaulted for over half a century. Don’t miss its coming-out party!


MEET DANNY WILSON
1952, Universal, 86 min, Dir: Joseph Pevney

Frank Sinatra stars as a hot-tempered singer (imagine that!) who is kept afloat by his buddy-pianist (Alex Nicol) and a heart-of-gold chanteuse (Shelley Winters). Complications ensue when gangster Raymond Burr enters the picture with an eye for both Shelley and Sinatra’s salary. Produced after Frank’s bobby-soxer era fame faded and prior to his mega-stardom in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), this noir-stained musical is one of “Ol’ Blue Eyes’” most overlooked and underappreciated movies. A NOIR CITY nod to Sinatra’s centenary.


FEMALE ON THE BEACH
1955, Universal, 100 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Pevney

Joan gets wet! Moving into her late husband’s Balboa beach house after the previous tenant committed suicide, Joan Crawford finds her neighbors incredibly accommodating - especially the hunky beachcomber who becomes her lover (Jeff Chandler in his USDA prime). Sexual obsession, blackmail and murder are folded into a froth of suspicious neighbors (Jan Sterling!), hurled martini glasses, secret diaries and plenty of crashing surf. Perhaps the most perverse film of Crawford’s 1950s diva phase; certainly one of the best! “He was the kind of man that her kind of woman can’t leave alone!” Not on DVD!


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