1949, Warner Bros., 94 min, USA, Dir: Roy Rowland

Van Johnson plays a dogged flatfoot determined to solve the murder of his partner, who may have been taking payoffs from local bookies. Nice noir touches enliven this early police procedural, and Norman Lloyd and Gloria De Haven are sensational in supporting turns. Charles Schnee’s script offers plenty of juicy bit parts for a cast of noir favorites, including costar Arlene Dahl. Directed by Roy Rowland. NOT ON DVD

1942, Universal, 108 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock transfers the successful formula of his British films to Hollywood by telling yet another story of a falsely accused man on the run. This time it’s Robert Cummings as Barry Kane, an aircraft worker who is blamed for an explosion at his factory. As Kane hunts down the real saboteurs, Hitchcock uses his familiar chase structure to justify slyly satirical musings on patriotism and its flipside, paranoid ideas that culminate in the wonderful climax set on top of the Statue of Liberty. Norman Lloyd co-stars as one of the most wickedly engaging villains in the Hitchcock oeuvre.

Syndicate content