KISS ME DEADLY
1955, Park Circus/UA, 105 min, USA, Dir: Robert Aldrich

Some critics see it as the apotheosis of noir style and the definitive statement on American paranoia in the Atomic Age. Others see it as screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides’ smirking send-up of author Mickey Spillane’s popular 1950s macho fantasies. Decide for yourself as hard-headed private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) va-va-vooms his way through sunny and sinister Los Angeles in search of “the Great Whatsit.”


THE BLUE DAHLIA
1946, Universal, 96 min, USA, Dir: George Marshall

Hard-luck WWII vet Alan Ladd returns to Los Angeles only to become the prime suspect in the murder of his two-timing wife (Doris Dowling). Fortunately, plucky Veronica Lake is around to help him navigate the twists and turns of Raymond Chandler’s Oscar-nominated screenplay. Ladd is accompanied by his faithful dogface pal William Bendix and a pre-Ward Cleaver Hugh Beaumont. An exquisite time capsule of 1940s L.A. hardboiled style, featuring the impeccable wardrobe stylings of Edith Head. Script by Raymond Chandler.


WHITE LIGHTNING
1973, Park Circus/MGM, 101 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Sargent

In prison for running bootleg liquor, Gator McKlusky (Burt Reynolds) is offered a deal by the feds - freedom in exchange for his assistance capturing key figures in the moonshine operation. Since suspected ring leader Sheriff J.C. Connors (Reynolds’ DELIVERANCE costar Ned Beatty) is also the man who killed Gator's little brother, Gator agrees to help and get revenge. With a solid cast (including Bo Hopkins, Diane Ladd and an uncredited Laura Dern) and a terrific climactic car chase, this is one of the best Southern-set action films of the 1970s.


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