BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA
1992, Sony Repertory, 128 min, USA, Dir: Francis Ford Coppola

Gary Oldman turns in an iconic performance as the legendary Count Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's horror classic, which tells the vampire's story as a love triangle involving the count, young lawyer Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) and Harker's fiancée, Mina (Winona Ryder). Anthony Hopkins co-stars as vampire hunter Van Helsing.


MILDRED PIERCE
1945, Warner Bros., 111 min, USA, Dir: Michael Curtiz

"Mildred had more to offer in a glance than most woman give in a lifetime."

Joan Crawford gives her signature performance (an Oscar winner) as James M. Cain's ultimate maternal martyr, in thrall to her own femme fatale daughter, Veda (a deliciously venal Ann Blyth). After Mildred divorces her cheating husband, she turns her pie baking skills into what ultimately becomes a successful restaurant chain – all the while, working to give her demanding, selfish daughter the best of everything - but even that isn’t enough for Veda! The twisted combination of high-strung soap opera and hard-edged pulp produced what may be the greatest Hollywood melodrama of all time.

"Loving her was like shaking hands with the devil."


ON DANGEROUS GROUND
1951, Warner Bros., 82 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Violent, embittered metro cop Jim Wilson (Robert Ryan) gets sent upstate to cool off and investigate a small-town murder probe. The search leads him to a fateful confrontation with local blind woman Mary (Ida Lupino, magnificent) and his own black heart. Sterling contributions all around: writer A.I. Bezzerides’ savvy script, Ray’s vigorous direction and location shooting, Bernard Herrmann’s alternately brassy and soft score and Ryan’s ferocious performance make this one of the genre’s most affecting statements about anger and alienation in the big city.


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