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.


CALCUTTA
1947, Universal, 83 min, USA, Dir: John Farrow

Returned to the screen for the first time in decades, this long-lost noir stars real-life pals Alan Ladd and William Bendix as cargo pilots who seek revenge when their best buddy dies under suspicious circumstances. Gorgeous Gail Russell plays the dead man’s fiancée - but is she also the linchpin of an Asian smuggling ring? The sensational cinematography of John F. Seitz enhances the fantastic studio-bound exotica. One of the long-missing titles on the noir résumé of the great John Farrow (THE BIG CLOCK, ALIAS NICK BEAL).


MINISTRY OF FEAR
1944, Universal, 86 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Ray Milland plays a Londoner traumatized by his wife’s murder who’s released after two years in an asylum - and walks straight into a network of Nazi spies trying to undermine the British war effort. But who’ll believe the warnings of a crazy person? Taking full advantage of the brilliant artifice of the Paramount art department, Lang spins a dizzying tale of alienation and espionage that’s more fun than any wartime thriller has a right to be. Based on the novel by Graham Greene, and featuring delicious supporting turns from Hillary Brooke and Dan Duryea.


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