NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH
1940, 20th Century Fox, 90 min, UK, Dir: Carol Reed

Director Carol Reed (THE THIRD MAN, ODD MAN OUT) was no stranger to superb, edge-of-your-seat entertainments, and he supplies all the elements here in one of his earliest, comparatively lesser-known outings. British agent Rex Harrison tries to spirit a refugee Czech scientist back to England after the Nazis kidnap him as well as his newly arrived daughter (Margaret Lockwood). With Paul Henried, Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford.


THE CAT O’NINE TAILS
IL GATTO A NOVE CODE
1971, AGFA, 112 min, Italy/France/West Germany, Dir: Dario Argento

This second entry in Dario Argento’s “Animal Trilogy” found the young talent further refining his distinctive style and cementing his reputation as master of the giallo. When a break-in occurs at a secretive genetics institute, a blind puzzle-maker (Karl Malden) overhears an attempt to blackmail an institute scientist shortly before the robbery; he teams up with intrepid reporter Carlo (James Franciscus) to crack the case. Soon the bodies pile up, and the two amateur sleuths find their own lives at risk. Worse still, the puzzle-maker’s niece (Cinzia De Carolis) is in the killer’s sights. Featuring another nerve-jangling score by the great Ennio Morricone, THE CAT O’ NINE TAILS remains one of Argento’s most suspenseful and underrated films.


THE LAW OF DESIRE
LA LEY DEL DESEO
1987, Sony Pictures Classics, 100 min, Dir: Pedro Almodóvar

Almodóvar’s dizzying, polysexual melodrama stars Carmen Maura as a boy-turned-girl with a muy complicated sex life (incest, transvestitism and so on) – until she’s kidnapped by the murderously good-looking lover (heartthrob Antonio Banderas) of her gay pornographer brother (Euse bio Poncela). Banderas’ smoldering presence – and his first man-on-man screen kiss – made him a gay icon worldwide.


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