1957, Beta Film, 97 min, West Germany, Dir: Robert Siodmak

The greatest practitioner of Hollywood noir (PHANTOM LADY, THE KILLERS, CRISS CROSS, et al), returned to Germany in the 1950s to finish his career; this powerful film was his payback to the Nazis who chased him from his homeland. Based on the true story of murderer Bruno Lüdke, it’s a tense policier that also explores how those who did not flee the Reich struggled to maintain their integrity and morality in the face of overwhelming corruption and evil.

1942, Universal, 74 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Don’t miss this little-seen gem, one of the first Hollywood efforts of noir maestro Robert Siodmak. Shifting with Hitchcockian aplomb between suggestive light comedy and thickly shadowed suspense, Siodmak stuffs two features’ worth of stylish set pieces into a sprightly running time, making this as good as wartime B picture as anything produced in the era. Richard Carlson’s and Nancy Kelly’s romance-on-the-run chemistry, laced with witty innuendo (and plenty of Kelly’s fine gams) is reminiscent of Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll in THE 39 STEPS. Great fun, and surprisingly sexy for its time.

1960, Janus Films, 109 min, South Korea, Dir: Kim Ki-young

See the classic that inspired Bong Joon Ho’s PARASITE! The Kims, a hardworking middle-class family, move into a bigger home and need help with the chores. A love letter from one of Mr. Kim’s students leads to a fateful decision - hiring Myung-sook (Lee Eun-shim), a young woman whose provocative behavior turns their drab domestic life into a nightmare of repressed desires, unleashed. Relentless, claustrophobic, and unpredictable; a wicked combination of soap opera, noir, and horror - as amusing as it is shocking. Considered one of the greatest Korean films ever, THE HOUSEMAID was forgotten for more than forty years, until rediscovered through the efforts of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project and the Korean Film Archive.

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