THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF
1951, 81 min, USA, Dir: Felix Feist

A veteran San Francisco homicide cop (Lee J. Cobb) spirals into a moral morass when his married socialite lover (Jane Wyatt, in a rare fatale role) “accidentally” bumps off her husband. Instead of playing it by the book (would that be noir?), he covers up the crime, only to have his younger brother (John Dall) - himself a fledgling homicide dick - start putting together the pieces. This James M. Cain-inspired thriller gets maximum impact out of its San Francisco locations, including a memorable climax at Fort Point.


MR. & MRS. SMITH (1941)
1941, Warner Bros., 91 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Yes, there is a screwball comedy among the Hitchcock oeuvre, and a highly amusing one at that. When Robert Montgomery tells wife Carole Lombard that he wouldn’t marry her again, he soon regrets the joke - it turns out that, due to a technicality, their marriage was never valid, and that friend Gene Raymond has a thing for the suddenly available Lombard.


MY FAVORITE WIFE
1940, Warner Bros., 88 min, USA, Dir: Garson Kanin

Seven years after his wife was lost in a shipwreck, Nick (Cary Grant) has her declared dead so that he can remarry. Unfortunately, the missing spouse (Irene Dunne) resurfaces just as Nick heads off to honeymoon with his new bride. That’s only one of the complications in this frothy romantic comedy, which earned three Oscar nominations. With Randolph Scott.


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