KISS ME DEADLY
1955, Park Circus/UA, 105 min, USA, Dir: Robert Aldrich

Some critics see it as the apotheosis of noir style and the definitive statement on American paranoia in the Atomic Age. Others see it as screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides’ smirking send-up of author Mickey Spillane’s popular 1950s macho fantasies. Decide for yourself as hard-headed private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) va-va-vooms his way through sunny and sinister Los Angeles in search of “the Great Whatsit.”


WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?
1962, Warner Bros., 134 min, USA, Dir: Robert Aldrich

Forget about its reputation as a camp classic; this first-rate study of the most dysfunctional siblings in cinema history is a classic, period. Bette Davis is unforgettable as a washed-up child star who passes the time by torturing her invalid sister Joan Crawford, and Robert Aldrich's direction crosses horror with film noir to create one of the most chilling yet darkly comic masterpieces of all time. With the great, underrated Victor Buono in probably his most memorable role (he was Oscar-nominated as supporting actor, as was Davis, for actress).


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