The Chase (1946) [Film Noir]



The Chase (1946) is an American film noir, shot in black and white, directed by Arthur Ripley. The screenplay (adapted by Philip Yordan) is based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.

This dream-like film noir is about Chuck Scott (Robert Cummings), a World War II vet now a penniless drifter tormented by bizarre dreams, who takes a job as driver to Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran), a vicious gangster. Roman tests his new driver, Scott, by assuming control of his car from the back seat. Unbeknownst to Scott, Roman has an accelerator installed in the rear passenger compartment so that he can “take over” the vehicle whenever he wants. This bizarre trick not only unnerves his new driver but also Roman’s right-hand man, Gino (Peter Lorre).

Scott passes the test and gets the job. But things get tough for Scott when he falls in love with the gangster’s wife, Lorna (Michele Morgan), who has attempted to kill herself because life has become unbearable with her sadistic husband. The two run off together to Cuba and a bizarre chase begins wherein Scott is framed for a murder and must therefore avoid both Roman and the police. Finally, at a point when Scott is able to clear his name, he is thrown back into the nightmare in a surprising twist.

Directed by Arthur Ripley, produced by Seymour Nebenzal, screenplay by Philip Yordan, story by Cornell Woolrich (novel “The Black Path of Fear”), starring Robert Cummings, Michèle Morgan, Steve Cochran.

Source: “The Chase (1946 film)” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 21 June 2012. Web. 7 July 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chase_(1946_film).

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Jungle Book



Jungle Book is an American color action-adventure film from 1942 based on the famous Rudyard Kipling book. The film was directed by the Hungarian Zoltán Korda based on a screenplay adaptation by Laurence Stallings. The cinematography was by Lee Garmes and W. Howard Greene and music by Miklós Rózsa. The film starred Sabu Dastagir as Mowgli. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards including “Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration”, “Color” for the director’s brother, Vincent Korda and creative partner Julia Heron.
 This film was the first one in history with a separate released soundtrack on vinyl.

Teenaged Mowgli, who was raised by wolves, appears in a village in India and is adopted by Messua. During this time Mowgli learns human language and some human ways quickly, though keeping jungle ideas and experiences. The influential merchant Buldeo is bigoted against “beasts” including Mowgli; not so Buldeo’s pretty daughter, whom Mowgli takes on a jungle tour where they find a treasure, setting the evil of human greed in motion.

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Sherlock Holmes | The Woman In Green (1945) [Thriller]



The Woman in Green is a 1945 American Sherlock Holmes film starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson, with Hillary Brooke as the woman of the title and Henry Daniell as Professor Moriarty. The film is not credited as an adaptation of any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes tales, but several of its scenes are taken from “The Final Problem” and “The Adventure of the Empty House.”

When several women are murdered and their forefingers severed, Holmes and Watson are called into action, but Holmes is baffled by the crimes at the start. Widower Sir George Fenwick (Paul Cavanagh), after a romantic night alone with his girlfriend Lydia Marlowe (Hillary Brooke), is hypnotized into believing that he is responsible for the crimes. He is certain that he is guilty after he awakes from a stupor and finds a woman’s forefinger in his pocket. His daughter comes to Holmes and Watson without realizing that Moriarty’s henchman is following her. She tells Holmes and Watson that she found her father burying a forefinger under a pile of soil. She has dug up the forefinger and shows it to them.

Fenwick is then found dead, obviously murdered by someone to keep him from talking. Holmes theorizes that Moriarty, who was supposed to have been hanged in Montevideo, is alive and responsible for the crimes. Watson is then called to help a woman who fell over while feeding her pet bird. He leaves, and minutes later, Moriarty appears and explains that he faked the phone call so he could talk to Holmes. He then leans one of the chairs back, obviously signaling someone. Holmes sees an open window in an empty house. When Moriarty leaves, Watson arrives. Holmes explains what Moriarty did, notices that a window shade that was shut in the empty house is now open, and tells Watson to investigate.

Inside the empty house Watson, looking through the window, believes that he sees a sniper shoot Holmes in his apartment. Holmes then appears at the house and explains that he put a bust of Julius Caesar there because of the bust’s resemblance to his own face (Holmes realized that as soon as he sat there, Moriarty would have him killed). Inspector Gregson takes the sniper, a hypnotized ex-soldier, away, but the sniper is later killed on Holmes’s doorstep.

Holmes now realizes that Moriarty’s plan involves: 1) killing women and cutting off their forefingers, 2) making rich, single men believe they have committed the crime, 3) using this fake information to blackmail them, and 4) counting on the victims being too terrified to expose the scheme.

He befriends Lydia, whom he had seen with Sir George at a restaurant, suspecting that is she in cahoots with Moriarty. She takes him to her house, where he is apparently hypnotized. Moriarty enters and has one of his men cut Holmes with a knife to verify that he is hypnotized. He then tells Holmes to write a suicide note (which he does), walk out of Lydia’s apartment onto the ledge, and jump to his death.

Watson and the police then appear and grab the criminals. Holmes then reveals he was never really hypnotized, but secretly ingested a drug to make him appear as if he had been hypnotized and also insensitive to pain. Moriarty then escapes from the hold of a policeman and jumps from the top of Lydia’s house to another building. However, he hangs onto a pipe which becomes loose from the building, causing him to fall to his death.

This is the third Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film in which Moriarty dies. In all three films, he falls to his death. He is always presumed dead until he turns up in the next film.

Directed and produced by Roy William Neill, written by Bertram Millhauser, based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, music by Mark Levant.

Source: “The Woman in Green” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 22 June 2012. Web. 1 July 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Woman_in_Green.

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Sherlock Holmes | Dressed to Kill (1946) [Thriller]



Dressed to Kill (also known as Prelude to Murder or Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Code in the UK), is the last of fourteen films starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. Though not directly based on any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories, the film features several references to “A Scandal in Bohemia”, with Holmes and Watson discussing the recent publication of the story in The Strand Magazine, and the villain of the film using the same trick on Watson that Holmes uses on Irene Adler in the story. The plot also bears some resemblance to “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”.

Three cheap musical boxes (each one playing a subtly different version of “The Swagman”), manufactured in Dartmoor Prison, are sold at a local auction house. However, a criminal gang is determined to steal and recover all three, even if it means committing murder. Sherlock Holmes tries to recover the music boxes and crack the secret code contained in the tune before the gang can get what they want.

Directed and produced by Roy William Neill, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (story), Frank Gruber and Leonard Lee, starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce and Patricia Morison, music by Jack Brooks.

Source: “Dressed to Kill (1946 film)” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 21 June 2012. Web. 1 July 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dressed_to_Kill_(1946_film).

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Sherlock Holmes and The Secret Weapon (1943) [Thriller]



Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943) is the fourth in the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce series of Sherlock Holmes films.

Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) pretends to be a Nazi spy to aid scientist Dr. Franz Tobel (William Post Jr.) and his new invention, a bombsight, in escaping a Gestapo trap in Switzerland. Holmes and Franz fly to London, where Holmes places him under the protection of his friend, Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce). The scientist slips away against Holmes’ instructions for a secret reunion with his fiancee, Charlotte Eberli (Kaaren Verne), and gives her an envelope containing a coded message. He tells Charlotte to give it to Holmes if anything should happen to him. Leaving Charlotte’s apartment, an attempt to abduct him by German spies is foiled by a passing London bobby.

Tobel successfully demonstrates the bombsight for Sir Reginald Bailey (Holmes Herbert) and observers from Bomber Command. Tobel, now under the protection of Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey) and Scotland Yard, tells Sir Reginald that, although willing to provide the British with his bombsight, only he will know its secret and has a complex plan for its manufacture to keep the secret safe. He separates his invention into four parts and gives one to each of four Swiss scientists, known only to him, to construct separately. Soon after, Holmes receives a call from Lestrade telling him that Tobel has disappeared. Holmes goes to Charlotte’s apartment, where he receives the Tobel’s envelope. Rather than the coded message, the message inside is from Holmes’ nemesis, master criminal Professor Moriarty (Lionel Atwill).

Disguising himself as Ram Singh, one of Moriarty’s old henchmen, Holmes searches the Soho district for information. He encounters two henchmen, but is captured by Moriarty. Holmes is put into the false bottom of a sea chest, but is rescued when Watson and Lestrade observe the henchmen struggling with its unusual weight. Holmes returns to Charlotte’s apartment to search for clues to the message’s contents. He finds impressions of the message left on a notepad page by immersing it in “fluorescent salts… and then photograph(ing) it by ultraviolet light.” Holmes breaks the first three lines of a cunningly modified alphabet substitution code, which are the identities and locations of three of the scientists, but unable to break the fourth line, which has been altered as an added precaution, soon learns that Moriarty has murdered all three and stolen their parts. Meanwhile, Moriarty, also unable to break the fourth line, tortures Tobel for the name of the fourth scientist. Holmes deduces the change in the code and breaks the fourth line, identifying the scientist as Professor Frederick Hoffner (Henry Victor).

Moriarty accidentally deciphers the code. He sends agents to abduct Hoffner, who has the brilliance to put the four parts together should Tobel not recover from torture. The German agents bring the scientist, who is actually Holmes in disguise again, to Moriarty’s seemingly undetectable stronghold. Unknown to Moriarty, Holmes had the real Hoffner attach an apparatus to their car that drips luminous paint (which Watson helped prepare) at regular intervals. Holmes uses Moriarty’s vanity and pride to trick him into slowly bleeding Holmes to death “drop by drop”, to stall for time. Holmes is saved at the last minute, however, by Watson and Lestrade, who with Hoffner’s help, successfully followed the drops. Scotland Yard apprehends the spies, but Moriarty escapes. When he attempts to complete his escape through a secret passageway, he falls sixty feet to his death; Holmes has discovered the criminal’s hidden trap door and left it open.

This is the second Basil Rathbone “Sherlock Holmes” film in which Moriarty dies. He is thrown to his death from the top of the Tower of London by Holmes in 1939’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. During the course of the adventure, Holmes adopts the disguises of an elderly German bookseller (taken from the Arthur Conan Doyle story The Adventure of the Empty House), the lascar sailor Ram Singh, and the Swiss scientist Professor Hoffner. His disguise as the bookseller was parodied in the film The Pink Panther. The film is a loose adaptation of The Adventure of the Dancing Men; while credited as an adaptation, the only content which bears similarity is the “dancing men” code.

Directed by Roy William Neil, produced by Howard Benedict, written by W. Scott Darling, based on “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson, Lionel Atwill as Professor Moriarty, music by Frank Skinner.

Source: “Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 21 June 2012. Web. 1 July 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes_and_the_Secret_Weapon.

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Sherlock Holmes | Terror By Night (1946) [Thriller]



Terror by Night is a 1946 Sherlock Holmes mystery film. It was directed by Roy William Neill, and stars Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson.

In London, a young woman named Vivian Vedder (Renee Godfrey) verifies that a carpenter has completed a coffin for her recently deceased mother’s body, which she is transporting to Scotland by train. She boards the train that evening, as do Lady Margaret Carstairs (Mary Forbes), who owns and is transporting the famous Star of Rhodesia diamond; Lady Margaret’s son Roland (Geoffrey Steele); Holmes, whom Roland has hired to protect the diamond; Inspector Lestrade (Dennis Hoey), who is also worried about the diamond’s safety; and Watson and his friend Major Duncan-Bleek (Alan Mowbray). Holmes briefly examines the diamond.

Shortly afterward, Roland is murdered and the diamond is stolen. Lestrade, Holmes, and Watson learn nothing conclusive in questioning the other passengers, and Holmes is pushed out of the train, nearly to his death, but he climbs back inside and discovers a secret compartment in the coffin carrying Miss Vedder’s mother. He suspects that one of the people on the train is the notorious jewel thief Colonel Sebastian Moran. Upon further questioning, Miss Vedder admits that a man paid her to transport the coffin. As Watson and Duncan-Bleek join the group, Holmes reveals that he swapped the diamond with an imitation while examining it. Lestrade takes possession of the real diamond.

In the luggage compartment, Holmes and Watson find a train guard murdered with a poisoned dart. Meanwhile, a street criminal named Sands (Skelton Knaggs) incapacitates the conductor. Sands was hidden inside the coffin, and is in cahoots with Duncan-Bleek, who is in fact Colonel Moran. Sands and Moran go to Lestrade’s room, where Sands knocks him unconscious and steals the diamond from him, but Moran double-crosses Sands, shooting him dead with the same dart gun he used to kill Roland and the guard.

The train makes an unexpected stop to pick up several Scottish policemen led by Inspector McDonald (Boyd Davis). Holmes informs McDonald that Duncan-Bleek is really Moran, and McDonald arrests Moran and finds the diamond in his vest, but Moran seizes a policeman’s gun and pulls the emergency cord to stop the train. During a scuffle in which the lights are turned off, Holmes subdues and handcuffs Moran, then secretly hides him under a table. When the lights are turned on again, the officers leave the train with Lestrade, his coat covering his face, believing he is Moran. As the train departs, Lestrade captures the thieves in the train station, and Holmes reveals to Watson and Moran that he recognized McDonald as an impostor and recovered the diamond from him during the fight.

Directed and produced by Roy William Neill, written by Frank Gruber, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, music by Hans Salter.

Source: “Terror by Night” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 21 June 2012. Web. 1 July 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terror_by_Night.

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They Made Me a Killer (1946) BARARA BRITTON



Stars: Robert Lowery, Barbara Britton, Lola Lane
Director: William C. Thomas
Writers: Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay), Winston Miller (screenplay)

A young girl tries to prove a man innocent of robbery and murder charges.

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Dick Barton At Bay (1950)



Dick Barton (Don Stannard) and Snowey are forced into action once more when an undercover agent (Patrick Macnee) is murdered while passing on a coded message. A chilling new invention capable of producing a “death ray” has been stolen by the Russians. Barton is forced to fake his own death in a race against time to recover the device from enemy hands…

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C-Man (1949) DEAN JAGGER



Stars: Dean Jagger, John Carradine and Lottie Elwen
Director: Joseph Lerner
Writer: Berne Giler (screenplay)

A Treasury Department agent is murdered. His best friend, a fellow agent, investigates and stumbles into a scheme involving smuggling and murder.

For more THRILLING, CRIME MYSTERIES checkout the FILM NOIR playlist exclusively at PizzaFlix: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmHgXUJMN1TVTzvLmibFsFsBHF_cf5bjE

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