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.


THE FALLEN IDOL
1948, Rialto Pictures, 95 min, UK, Dir: Carol Reed

Carol Reed, one of England’s most celebrated directors, probes the complexity and callousness of human relationships in this Oscar-nominated adaptation of a story by Graham Greene. Told through the naive eyes of an upper-class boy, the film centers on his idealization of his father’s butler, Baines, who entertains him with extravagant (and fictional) accounts of heroic adventures. Contrasting this is the reality of Baines’s unhappy, loveless marriage and his dreams of escaping his lot in life. Top-shelf performances from Ralph Richardson, Michèle Morgan, and young Bobby Henrey fuel this suspenseful, exceptionally written story of loyalty, betrayal, and everything in between.


THE LOST WEEKEND
1945, Universal, 101 min, USA, Dir: Billy Wilder

Director Billy Wilder’s experiences working with Raymond Chandler on DOUBLE INDEMNITY reportedly drew him to this hard-hitting portrait of an alcoholic on a downward spiral. Ray Milland stars as New York writer Don Birnam, whose battle with the bottle takes him from bars to pawnshops to a psychiatric ward as he hits rock bottom. Co-starring Jane Wyman and Howard Da Silva, the film won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay (by Wilder and producer Charles Brackett).


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