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THE SPIRITUALIST
aka THE AMAZING MR. X
1948, Sony Repertory, 78 min, USA, Dir: Bernard Vorhaus

A phony medium (Turhan Bey, in a supremely slippery performance) convinces a gullible widow (Lynn Bari) that he can communicate with her late husband. This hugely entertaining thriller (the lighter side of NIGHTMARE ALLEY) is one of the least-seen and under-appreciated of cinematographer John Alton's many noir masterworks. With Cathy O'Donnell and Richard Carlson.


IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND
EN LA PALMA DE TU MANO
1949, Televisa, 90 min, Mexico, Dir: Roberto Gavaldón

Fortune-telling astrologer Jaime Karin (Arturo de Córdova) seduces the widow of a millionaire (Leticia Palma) to bilk her out of the inheritance - only to learn she plotted to murder her late husband. A tense game of cat-and-mouse ensures - but who’s the cat? Noir is rife with charismatic charlatans (NIGHTMARE ALLEY, THE SPIRITUALIST) and IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND stands with the best of them. Director Gavaldón - the Robert Siodmak of Mexican cinema - teams with his stars and stupendous cinematographer Alex Phillips to create the greatest film noir ever made in Mexico.


THE INVISIBLE MAN
2020, Universal, 124 min, Australia/USA, Dir: Leigh Whannell

What you can’t see can hurt you. In this terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal’s classic monster character, Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) is trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Finally she escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid). But when Cecilia’s abusive ex commits suicide and leaves her a generous portion of his vast fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of eerie coincidences turns lethal, threatening the lives of those she loves, Cecilia’s sanity begins to unravel as she desperately tries to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.


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