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.


SHARKY’S MACHINE
1981, Warner Bros., 122 min, USA, Dir: Burt Reynolds

This noir-esque adaptation of the William Diehl novel stars Burt Reynolds as Tom Sharky, an Atlanta vice cop who falls in love with a hooker (Rachel Ward) while trying to bring down an underworld kingpin (Vittorio Gassman). “Burt Reynolds establishes himself as yet another movie star who is as valuable behind the camera as he is in front of it. Mr. Reynolds's third and best directorial effort ... is an unexpectedly accomplished cop thriller.” - Janet Maslin, The New York Times.


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