A KISS BEFORE DYING
1956, Park Circus/MGM, 104 min, USA, Dir: Gerd Oswald

Social-climbing college student Bud Corliss (Robert Wagner) is determined to marry into money – but his girlfriend’s pregnancy could derail his plans. That’s when Bud truly becomes a ladykiller. This rare Cinemascope color noir, based on the Edgar-winning novel by Ira Levin, reveals the psychosis lurking beneath the American affluence of the Eisenhower era. Filmed on location in Tucson, Arizona, and co-starring Jeffrey Hunter, Virginia Leith, Joanne Woodward and Mary Astor.


THE MIDNIGHT STORY
1957, Universal, 89 min, USA, Dir: Joe Pevney

A San Francisco motorcycle cop (Tony Curtis) becomes obsessed with solving the murder of his mentor, a popular North Beach priest. Not allowed to follow his suspicions, he chucks his badge and becomes an undercover vigilante. The prime suspect, a popular Italian patriarch (Gilbert Roland), ends up loving him like his own son. But is he guilty of murder? The San Francisco locations are accentuated by atmospheric black-and-white Cinemascope.


I WANT TO LIVE!
1958, Park Circus/UA, 120 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

This harrowing indictment of capital punishment recounts the true-life story of Barbara Graham, a “loose” woman who ran with the wrong crowd and paid the ultimate price. Susan Hayward gives a high-octane, Oscar-winning performance as the good-time girl gone bad. The film’s inexorable last reel shows Wise’s directorial and editing skill at their heart-pounding peak. With Simon Oakland, Theodore Bikel and Virginia Vincent.


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