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1961, Universal, 77 min, USA, Dir: Allen Baron

This engrossing independent production from late in the classic noir era, shot entirely in New York, tracks a stoic hitman (played by director Allen Baron himself, who also wrote the script) returning to his home turf for what’s meant to be a quick, efficient assignment. Fate, guilt and double crosses intervene. Like Kubrick’s THE KILLING and Wendkos’ THE BURGLAR, this film represents the transition from studio noir to independently produced “neo-noir.”

M (1951)
1951, Superior Pictures, 91 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Losey

The Hollywood version of Lang’s 1931 classic, about a child murderer simultaneously hunted by police and criminals, trades Berlin’s streets for those of L.A.’s Bunker Hill circa 1950. David Wayne gives a heart-rending performance as the killer, supported by a veritable character actor’s Hall of Fame: Howard Da Silva, Luther Adler, Steve Brodie, Raymond Burr, Norman Lloyd, Walter Burke and Jim Backus. Featuring a nerve-wracking and brilliantly filmed climax inside the famed Bradbury Building!

1969, MGM Repertory, 113 min, USA, Dir: John Schlesinger

A shocking, poignant study of being down and out in the Big Apple. Jon Voight as hustler Joe Buck and Dustin Hoffman as Ratso Rizzo give touchstone performances of the New Hollywood era. Winner of three Oscars, including Best Picture.

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