NIGHT AND THE CITY
1950, 20th Century Fox, 96 min, UK/USA, Dir: Jules Dassin

One of the most baroque and bleak film noirs of them all, its greatness - besides Richard Widmark's devastating portrayal of the maniacal, pathetic con man and small-time promoter Harry Fabian - is its stubborn refusal to allow even the tiniest ray of light into Harry's headlong descent into hell. Featuring an unforgettable supporting rogue's gallery, including Googie Withers, Herbert Lom, Francis L. Sullivan, Mike Mazurki, Stanislaus Zbyszko - and the gorgeous Gene Tierney (LAURA). With a screenplay by Jo Eisinger from the novel by Gerald Kersh.


THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
1944, Warner Brothers, 95 min, Dir: Jules Dassin

This fantasy-comedy, adapted from Oscar Wilde’s first published short story, features one of Charles Laughton’s most delightful performances in the title role. When U.S. servicemen are stationed at the Canterville estate during WWII, one of them (Robert Young) learns he is a distant relative of the ghost that haunts the castle – and may be able to put him to rest with an act of bravery. With Margaret O'Brien.


TOPKAPI
1964, MGM Repertory, 119 min, USA, Dir: Jules Dassin

Melina Mercouri and lover Maximilian Schell, backed by a hand-picked team, find their carefully laid plans to heist emeralds from the Topkapi museum in Istanbul laid low by the bumblings of hanger-on Peter Ustinov - in an Oscar-winning performance (Supporting Actor) - then decide to go ahead anyway. Pioneer of the heist genre Dassin keeps tongue firmly in cheek but the suspense taut in this adaptation from intrigue titan Eric Ambler. The high-tech heist has been appropriated by everything from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE to WALLACE & GROMIT! "As playful and lighthearted as Dassin's RIFIFI is stark and somber, TOPKAPI demonstrates that the director could make a heist picture in any manner he chose."– Time Out New York; "Remains unsurpassed for breathless suspense in its depiction of the jewel heist to end all jewel heists." – Terrence McNally, The New York Times


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