ESCAPE IN THE FOG
1945, Sony Repertory, 65 min, USA, Dir: Budd Boetticher

An army nurse (Nina Foch) is terrified by a fog-shrouded dream in which she witnesses a trio of men committing murder on the Golden Gate Bridge. Good thing it’s all a dream … until the victim asks her out on a date! Settle in with some popcorn for lots of old-time B-movie skullduggery. Director Boetticher, who’d go on to direct some of the greatest Westerns ever, rides briskly over plot holes, camouflages lapses in logic with loads of atmosphere, and makes the most of Nina Foch’s distinctive appeal.


LADY ON A TRAIN
1945, Universal, 94 min, USA, Dir: Charles David

Nikki Collins (Deanna Durbin) witnesses a murder while waiting for a train, but can’t get the police to believe her when no body is discovered. While they dismiss her as daft, she enlists the help of a mystery writer to sleuth out the culprits on her own. Based on a story by veteran mystery scribe Leslie Charteris (The Saint), this is a wildly entertaining mix of comedy, musical and suspense, rendered in evocative noir style by cameraman Woody Bredell (PHANTOM LADY, CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, THE KILLERS), and featuring a superb cast of sinister and suspicious supporting players (including noir fave Dan Duryea) who swirl ominously around “America’s Sweetheart.”


MINISTRY OF FEAR
1944, Universal, 86 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Ray Milland plays a Londoner traumatized by his wife’s murder who’s released after two years in an asylum - and walks straight into a network of Nazi spies trying to undermine the British war effort. But who’ll believe the warnings of a crazy person? Taking full advantage of the brilliant artifice of the Paramount art department, Lang spins a dizzying tale of alienation and espionage that’s more fun than any wartime thriller has a right to be. Based on the novel by Graham Greene, and featuring delicious supporting turns from Hillary Brooke and Dan Duryea.


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