DRAGNET
1954, Universal, 88 min, USA, Dir: Jack Webb

This feature-length expansion of the hit TV series has taciturn Sgt. Joe Friday (Webb) and Officer Frank Smith (Ben Alexander) investigating the murder of an organized-crime bookie. Webb gets tougher-than-TV in his often brutal pursuit, backstopped by Capt. James Hamilton (Richard Boone) and undercover policewoman Grace Downey (Ann Robinson). A no-holds-barred version of the famed TV series, this is a rarely screened melding of mid-20th-century American history and vintage pop culture.


ARMORED CAR ROBBERY
1950, Warner Bros., 67 min, USA, Dir: Richard Fleischer

The ultimate B-movie caper, helmed by the late, great friend of the American Cinematheque, Richard Fleischer (THE NARROW MARGIN). The toughest mug in noir, Charles McGraw, plays the prototypical L.A. robbery-homicide dick matched against goggle-eyed heavy William Talman in the film noir equivalent of King Kong vs. Godzilla! With sultry Adele Jergens as a duplicitous burlesque queen, strutting her stuff through gritty downtown L.A. locations.


DARK CITY (1950)
1950, Paramount, 98 min, USA, Dir: William Dieterle

The murder of a fellow grifter following a fixed poker game leads a small-time gambler (Charlton Heston, in his feature debut) to track down a psychopathic killer bent on revenge. The complex tale, ranging from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, is evocatively directed by William Dieterle (PORTRAIT OF JENNIE, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME) and features film noir’s favorite throaty thrush, lovely Lizabeth Scott. Co-starring Viveca Lindfors, Dean Jagger, Don Defore, Ed Begley and Harry Morgan.


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