THE KILLERS (1946)
1946, Universal, 103 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

The CITIZEN KANE of film noir that begins with the ending - "I did something wrong ... once" - and moves backward through interweaving flashbacks to reveal the layer of double crosses that led to the opening scene. The script by Anthony Veiller (with an uncredited assist from John Huston) takes the first 10 minutes from Hemingway's short story and then spirals into the noir netherworld that Robert Siodmak depicted better than any other director. The smoldering sexuality between Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner catapulted both to super-stardom. With Edmond O’Brien and Jeff Corey.


THE ROARING TWENTIES
1939, Warner Bros., 106 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

Raoul Walsh burst onto the screen in his first Warner Bros. directorial outing with this sensational gangster tale starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart as World War I vets who return to an unwelcoming American society and head straight for the criminal life in a world of bootlegging and shady nightclubs. With a script from crackerjack Warner Bros. writing team Jerry Wald and Richard Macauley, and produced by the incorrigible erstwhile journalist Mark Hellinger, this picture bristles with suspense, smart-aleck humor and Walsh's great comic and dramatic timing. The triple threat of Cagney, Bogey and Walsh make for nonstop action and fun. A terrific round-up and look-back at the great Warner Bros. gangster yarns of the 1930s, this film says it all about how the studio kept in touch with the hard-knock life of the times. Also starring the inimitable Gladys George as Cagney's saloon-owning friend and Pricilla Lane as the woman who just can't love Cagney the way he wants. A blast of energy that is pure Walsh!


BRUTE FORCE
1947, Universal [Upcoast Film Consultants], 98 min, USA, Dir: Jules Dassin

Intense, violent and nihilistic in the extreme, this Mark Hellinger-produced prison drama may well be the bleakest, most despairing film noir of them all. Burt Lancaster plots a breakout for the inmates of Cell R-17 so they can escape the sadism of fascistic bully Hume Cronyn. The climactic bust-out remains a shocker, as the escape erupts into full-throttle warfare. Still the most unforgettable men-behind-bars movie ever made! “Men caged on the inside… Driven by the thought of their women on the loose!”


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