KNOCK ON ANY DOOR
1949, Sony Repertory, 100 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Ray’s second picture was produced by star Humphrey Bogart’s Santana Productions and it reflects the gutsy social realism both men favored in their storytelling. Delinquent John Derek and his gutter-rat chums have shot a cop during a robbery. Bogart’s character, a successful attorney who extricated himself from the ghetto, feels obligated to defend Derek. Ray poses eternal questions about character versus environment and which is more responsible for rampant urban crime. NOT AVAILABLE ON DVD!


THE DARK CORNER
1946, 20th Century Fox, 99 min, USA, Dir: Henry Hathaway

In this classic private-eye noir, wrongly convicted shamus Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens) is sprung from prison, but bad luck sticks to his gummed shoes: Who’s the mystery man in the white suit and why won’t he leave Galt alone? What’s his connection to the big-money boys on the Upper East Side? Galt’s no Marlowe - without his loyal gal Friday (a spunky and sexy Lucille Ball), he wouldn’t make it out from behind the 8-ball alive. "I’m backed up in a dark corner," he grouses, "and I don’t know who’s hitting me." Co-starring Clifton Webb and William Bendix.


WHITE HEAT
1949, Warner Bros., 114 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" Demon-speed direction by Raoul Walsh makes this one of the most electrifying crime thrillers ever made. Mama's boy Cody Jarrett is the quintessential James Cagney performance, an invigorating example of a star's titanic personality merging with the fiction to create an unforgettable character. Even when Cagney’s portrayal is seen in the wake of Al Pacino’s Tony Montana in SCARFACE, it remains perhaps the most chillingly convincing profile of an outlaw sociopath ever to come out of Hollywood. The stellar supporting cast includes Virginia Mayo as Cody’s two-timing moll, Edmond O'Brien as undercover G-man Fallon, Steve Cochran as Cody’s dapper rival within the gang and Margaret Wycherly as Ma. If you've never seen the explosive climax on the big screen, here's your chance!


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