Film Noir Friday: The Most Dangerous Game [1932]

Poster-Most-Dangerous-Game-The_01

 Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, isn’t a film noir but it is a fascinating film starring Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks, and Robert Armstrong. The premise calls to mind real life serial killer Richard Hansen who, from 1973-1983, abducted women (prostitutes, topless dancers, etc.) turned them loose in the Alaskan wilderness and then hunted them down with his rifle. It is estimated that he murdered between 17 and 21 women.

TCM says:

While sailing through treacherous shark-infested channels, the yacht carrying Bob Rainsford, a noted big game hunter, strikes a coral reef and sinks. Bob swims to the shore of a tiny island, the only survivor of the wreck, and locates a mysterious fortress, which is owned by the Russian Count Zaroff. A gracious if intense host, Zaroff introduces Bob to Eve Trowbridge and her brother Martin, who are also recent shipwreck survivors. Zaroff, finding Bob a kindred spirit, reveals his obsessive passion for hunting and refers obtusely to his favorite island pastime, the pursuit of “the most dangerous game.” As the evening progresses, Martin becomes more intoxicated, while his sister tries to warn Bob to be wary of Zaroff. Later that night, Zaroff invites Martin to his “trophy room,” which boasts several mounted human heads, and informs him that his head will soon be joining the others on the wall.

https://youtu.be/iC_OvUS8TJo

Film Noir Friday: Caught [1949]

caught_1949_poster+01Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature is CAUGHT [1949] starring James Mason (in his first American motion picture), Barbara Bel Geddes, and Robert Ryan.

Enjoy the film!

 TCM says:

Leonora Eames, a young woman from Denver, and her roommate Maxine, a gold-digging model, share a modest Los Angeles apartment and the determination to move up in the world. To that end, Leonora, who works as a carhop, has enrolled in Dorothy Dale’s charm school. After graduating from the school, Leonora gets a well-paying job modeling fur coats at a department store. One day, while modeling a coat, a man named Franzi Kartos introduces himself to Leonora and invites her to a party aboard millionaire Smith Ohlrig’s yacht. Leonora rejects the invitation because she does not approve of rich men sending scouts to find pretty young women to attend their parties. Maxine, however, convinces Leonora to attend the party, calling it an “investment” in her future.

https://youtu.be/XWYuEf2loOs

Film Noir Friday — Sunday Matinee: Michael Shayne, Private Detective [1941]

michael-shayne-posterWelcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open for a Sunday matinee. Your faithful proprietor was otherwise engaged this past Friday night at ’53 Fest at the Los Angeles Police Museum! The special event featured James Ellroy and Glynn Martin reading from the museum’s new book “LAPD 53″.  Also on the bill was Nathan Marsak, architectural historian and all around swell guy. Nathan introduced and discussed a film from the museum’s archives, narrated by none other than Chief William H. Parker, about the Police Administration Building which would later bear his name. Yours truly introduced and discussed a crime scene walk-through film on the “Croquet Mallet Murder”, also from the archives. The film was originally shown to jurors at the trial of Edward Richard Fredericks–the case is featured in “LAPD ’53”.

Now it’s time to grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat. Today’s feature is MICHAEL SHAYNE, PRIVATE DETECTIVE based on the novels by Brett Halliday. The film was directed by Eugene Forde and starred Lloyd Nolan, Marjorie Weaver, Joan Valerie and Elizabeth Patterson.

As the movie poster suggested: “Laugh and thrill with fiction’s favorite new sleuth.”

Enjoy the movie!

TCM says:

Hiram Brighton, the racing commissioner, hires detective Michael Shayne to watch his daughter Phyllis, a compulsive gambler, while he is away in New York. Shayne is also offered a job by Larry Kincaid to collect money from Harry Grange, a gambling racketeer who welched on a bet, but Shayne declines his offer. Soon afterward, Shayne comes face to face with Grange when he finds him feeding Phyllis money to play the roulette wheel.

https://youtu.be/3zTYxAt7mcM

Film Noir Friday: Frenzy [1972]

FRENZY2Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature is FRENZY, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Jon Finch, Alec McCowen, and Barry Foster — it also features Billie Whitelaw, Anna Massey, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Bernard Cribbins and Vivien Merchant.

Enjoy the movie!

Rotten Tomatoes says:

After several years of uneven efforts like Torn Curtain and Topaz, Alfred Hitchcock was back in form with 1972’s Frenzy. The plot concerns a rapist-murderer terrorizing London. The audience is unknowingly introduced to the killer early on, though suspicions are redirected to a more “obvious” suspect. Once viewers know which is which, the suspense lies in the fact that the police continue to suspect the wrong man.

 

https://youtu.be/xWEFDkIcQb4

Film Noir Friday: The Lady Confesses [1945]

lady_confesses_poster_01

Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature is THE LADY CONFESSES, starring Mary Beth Hughes and Hugh Beaumont.

Enjoy the movie!

TCM says:

After she is paid a surprise visit by a woman claiming to be her fiancé Larry Craig’s long-lost wife Norma, Vicki McGuire makes a desperate call to Larry at the Club 7-11. Larry shows up at the club a few minutes after Vicki’s call, roaring drunk, and has a drink in club owner Lucky Brandon’s office. Larry then is cajoled into lying down on singer Lucille Compton’s dressing room couch and soon passes out. Two hours later, Larry is roused to answer a second call from Vicki, and on his way to the phone, he sees Lucky, a notorious playboy, slipping in through the back door. Despite the late hour, an anxious Vicki meets Larry to discuss Norma, who had disappeared almost seven years before, on the day that her divorce from Larry was to become final. After Larry assures Vicki that Norma’s threat to refuse him a divorce is merely a jealous whim, they drive to the house where Norma now is living. They find the house swarming with policemen and are told by homicide detective Capt. Brown that, earlier that evening, Norma was strangled to death.

https://youtu.be/wkninRN-Ky0

BOOK COMING FALL 2015!

aggie_bad dame

Aggie interviews a bad dame at Lincoln Heights Jail.
Photo courtesy CSUN

Novelists from Raymond Chandler to James Ellroy  have consistently turned to the corrupt history of Los Angeles for inspiration, and there is good reason. The wicked in Los Angeles have had few peers, and their stories have been so outlandish that they demanded to be told by people who were up to the task.

One of the reporters who proved  time and again to be the match for any wayward youth, homicidal wife, or monstrous child killer was Evening Herald and Express reporter, Agness “Aggie” Underwood.

Read about some of the most unhinged stories Aggie ever covered.

DERANGED L.A. CRIMES FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF AGGIE UNDERWOOD

COMING FALL 2015!

 

 

Film Noir Friday (on Saturday) Behind Locked Doors [1948]

behind-locked-doors

Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature is BEHIND LOCKED DOORS, starring Richard Carlson and Lucille Bremer.

Enjoy the movie!

IMDB says:

Newspaper reporter Kathy Lawrence (Lucille Bremer) is hot on the trail of judge-turned-wanted-fugitive Finlay Drake (Herbert Heyes). Lawrence believes Drake is hiding out in a mental institution and avoiding arrest by pretending to be insane. To prove her theory, Lawrence hires private investigator Ross Stewart (Richard Carlson) to infiltrate the asylum. But Drake soon catches on and, before long, Stewart finds that his life is in the hands of the very man he is there to capture.

https://youtu.be/JvPIV0mfig8

The Street With No Name [1948]

STREET_WITH_NO_NAME

Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature is THE STREET WITH NO NAME, starring Richard Widmark, Lloyd Nolan, and Barbara Lawrence.

Enjoy the movie!

TCM says:

After two gang-related killings in “Center City,” a suspect (who was framed) is arrested, released on bail…and murdered. Inspector Briggs of the FBI recruits a young agent, Gene Cordell, to go undercover in the shadowy Skid Row area (alias George Manly) as a potential victim of the same racket. Soon, Gene meets Alec Stiles, neurotic mastermind who’s “building an organization along scientific lines.” Stiles recruits Cordell, whose job becomes a lot more dangerous…

Film Noir Friday: Destination Murder [1950]

Destination_Murder- Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature is DESTINATION MURDER [1950], directed by Edward L. Cahn and starring Joyce MacKenzie, Stanley Clements and Hurd Hatfield.

Enjoy the movie!

TCM says:

During a five-minute intermission between shows, Jackie Wales slips away from his date at a Los Angeles movie theater and climbs into a waiting car. As he rides with a man named Armitage to a nearby house, Jackie changes into a messenger boy outfit, then shoots and kills well-to-do businessman Arthur Mansfield as he stands in his doorway. Jackie’s sprint back to the car is witnessed by Mansfield’s daughter Laura, who later picks Jackie out of a police lineup. Although Laura is unable to positively identify Jackie, she complains when police lieutenant Brewster releases him. Convinced that Brewster is not doing enough to find her father’s killer, Laura undertakes to investigate Jackie herself.

Film Noir Friday: Saboteur [1942]

saboteur_1942

Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature is SABOTEUR [1942], directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, Norman Lloyd and Otto Kruger. This is a fantastic WWII era thriller by the master of suspense.

Enjoy the movie!

TCM says:

Munitions worker Barry Kane is falsely accused of setting fire to the Stuarts Aircraft Factory in Los Angeles, a fire that caused the death of his best friend, Ken Mason. Barry realizes that the real saboteur is Frank Fry, the man who handed him a fire extinguisher, which turned out to be full of gasoline. Remembering that Fry had an envelope addressed to him from the Deep Springs Ranch in Springfield, California, Barry goes there to find the killer, but the ranch’s owner, Charles Tobin, tells him that he does not know Fry. Tobin’s granddaughter, however, hands Barry a telegram addressed to Tobin from Fry stating that Fry is going to Soda City. Although Tobin has Barry arrested, Barry manages to escape from the police by jumping off a bridge.

http://youtu.be/NiD11N9dWJY