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  • Girl in the News

    Girl in the News

    ★★★½

    Innocent nurse Margaret Lockwood is acquitted of killing her employer. Lockwood, having difficulty finding another nursing position, finally accepts one under an assumed name. Lockwood is content with her new patient in his large country home. However, her new contentment is short-lived. Her patient’s wife and lover (the butler) are planning to use Lockwood’s past as cover for their crime.

    Director Carol Reed builds a good deal of tension in this suspense drama. Lockwood is sympathetic as the falsely accused nurse, and she is supported by a strong cast including Barry K. Barnes, Emlyn Williams, Margaretta Scott, and Roger Livesey.

  • The Night Visitor

    The Night Visitor

    ★★★½

    Max von Sydow, unjustly imprisoned in an insane asylum for a murder, escapes from the prison and murders the people responsible for his imprisonment. He returns to his cell before dawn. Per Oscarsson, the actual murderer in the original killing, sees von Sydow after one of these revenge murders and reports his sighting to Police Inspector Trevor Howard. Howard investigates von Sydow at the prison, but escape from the forbidding building seems impossible. Von Sydow escapes again and commits more…

  • Champagne

    Champagne

    ★★½

    An heiress, Betty Balfour, defies her father, Gordon Harker, and runs off to Paris with her fiancee, Jean Bradin. Father Harker, believing the young man to be a fortune hunter, attempts to separate the lovers, including by convincing Balfour that they are bankrupt. The lovers are temporarily separated, but, of course, true love wins out in the end.

    Of Alfred Hitchcock’s nine silent films, only The Lodger (1925) foreshadows Hitchcock’s later concentration on suspense and intrigue. Most of Hitchcock’s silents…

  • SOS Pacific

    SOS Pacific

    ★★★½

    On a Pacific island, an assorted group of passengers board a seaplane for a short flight to another island. The plane becomes disabled and crashes into the ocean near a seemingly deserted island. Exploring the island the pilot and passengers discover that it is the site for a hydrogen bomb test, and the bomb is set to explode in five hours. With tough guy Eddie Constantine in the cast, it is certain that these people will be saved, but, before that event, the film generates a good deal of tension (and some romance).

  • Sundown

    Sundown

    ★★★

    A small British army contingent in northern Africa, led by George Sanders and Bruce Cabot, attempts to stop German army officers from supplying guns to native tribes unfriendly to the British. Gene Tierney, an Arabian trader to the tribes, aids Sanders and Cabot.

    A World War II movie meant to stir the home folks’ appreciation of the perils faced by their troops, even in the remotest fields of battle. The acting is good and the final action scene stirring. The film ends with patriotic speeches from George Sanders and Cedric Hardwicke. England will carry on bravely!

  • The Ace of Hearts

    The Ace of Hearts

    ★★★

    John Bowers, a member of a secret society, is chosen to assassinate a powerful, dangerous, and avaricious man. Bowers, newly married to Leatrice Joy, changes his mind and denounces killing as a means of aiding mankind. Bowers and Joy leave the group knowing that the remaining members will attempt to kill Bowers for his disloyalty. Lon Chaney, who also loves Joy, saves Bowers by destroying the entire group, himself included.

    This silent film features Lon Chaney in a rare sympathetic role. The film maintains the viewer’s interest, despite its slow plot development and exaggerated acting by the principals, including Chaney.

  • The Accused

    The Accused

    ★★★½

    Psychology professor Loretta Young accepts a ride home from a student, Douglas Dick. Instead of driving her home, the student drives them to an isolated site near the ocean where he assaults her. Defending herself, Young seizes a metal bar and beats him to death. Fearful of the consequences of the killing, Young tries to make his death look like an accident.

    Afterwards, Young suffers from feelings of guilt and fear. She meets the guardian of the student, Robert Cummings,…

  • Long Pants

    Long Pants

    ★★★

    Shy youngster Harry Langdon longs for romance, but is too juvenile to pursue a woman. His parents’ birthday gift of a pair of grown-up trousers catapults him into adulthood. He gets his chance to pursue a desirable woman when the car of a beautiful, but criminal, woman (Alma Bennett) is briefly disabled before his door. He shows off for the woman and, after she playfully kisses him, decides that she loves him. Harry’s parents press him to marry his childhood…

  • School for Scoundrels

    School for Scoundrels

    ★★★★

    Ian Carmichael is a loser, he is taken advantage of and browbeaten by everyone he knows or encounters, including the employees of his office, especially the head clerk, car salesmen, and people on a bus. He meets a beautiful young woman (Janette Scott) and tries to impress her, but his efforts are overshadowed by the aggressive approach of his rival Terry-Thomas.

    Carmichael enrolls in Alastair Sim’s school for success. Sim’s curriculum teaches methods of winning against every person a man…

  • Crimes at the Dark House

    Crimes at the Dark House

    ★★½

    A cheaply made version of The Woman in White (Willkie Collins, 1859) stars Tod Slaughter, whose career consisted of a string of highly melodramatic performances as dastardly villains. In this film Slaughter murders the xxxxx of xxxx in the first scene, travels to England to impersonate his victim, impregnates and murders his chamber maid, murders the woman in white and her mother, marries the innocent heroine and has her locked up in a madhouse, murders the head of the asylum, and finally dies in the fire he has started to destroy incriminating documents. All this in 69 min.

  • The Second Woman

    The Second Woman

    ★★★½

    Architect Robert Young has suffered a series of suspicious “accidents”. A favorite statue has broken, a picture is losing its colors, his horse breaks its leg, his dog dies. However, the burning of his house is definitely arson. Is Young mentally ill and forgetting his self-destructive actions, or is a malevolent enemy attacking him?

    A nice little suspense film costars Betsy Drake, John Sutton, and Henry O’Neill.

  • The Siege of Sidney Street

    The Siege of Sidney Street

    ★★★½

    In turn of the century London, a group of immigrants is determined to provide financial support to the revolution in their homeland. The method of obtaining the money is unimportant, and they rob and kill for the cause. The London police find the hideout of the group, and a gun battle results. Three heavily armed gunmen hold off dozens of police for hours.

    The plot is based on an actual incident, known as the siege of Sidney Street, that occurred…