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. Today’s feature is I WAS A SHOPLIFTER! starring Scott Brady, Mona Freeman, Anthony Curtis (yep, Tony Curtis), and Rock Hudson.
Shoplifting seems hardly to raise an eyebrow these days, but in 1950 it appears to have been a gateway crime. Today, shoplifting, tomorrow, who knows?
I’ve never seen this one before either, so I’ll be watching with you.
Enjoy the movie!
In a large California department store, detectives spot attractive young kleptomaniac Faye Burton. Jeff Andrews, another shopper, warns Faye that she is being watched, but she pretends not to understand him and continues her thefts. Shortly afterward, she is apprehended by the detectives, and moments later, Jeff is also taken into custody for shoplifting. Faye, who is a judge’s daughter, swears that she will not steal again, and is released after she signs a confession. Before she leaves, the officials warn her that she will go to prison if she is caught stealing again.
Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crime theater is open! Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat. Tonight’s feature is UNDERTOW starring Scott Brady, John Russell, Dorothy Hart, and Peggy Dow.
After buying a half-interest in a small lodge near Reno, Tony Reagan, a recently discharged veteran, runs into Danny Morgan, an old friend from Chicago. Danny, who operates a Reno casino owned by Chicago racketeer Big Jim Lee, offers Tony a job, but Tony declines, stating that he gave up the “business” long ago. Tony shows Danny the engagement ring he plans to give Sally Lee, Big Jim’s niece and ward, and Danny, in turn, shows off the ring he has bought for his girl. Confident and carefree, Tony then helps novice gambler Ann McKnight win at the craps table.
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 HE WALKED BY NIGHT starring Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, and Jack Webb. It was during the making of this film that Jack Webb got the idea for DRAGNET.
As of a few months ago I have a personal connection to this movie. I was given the blue steel revolver that belonged to the screenwriter, John C. Higgins — it was a gift from his nephew, Eric, and I’m honored to own it. Higgins wrote the screenplays for T-MEN and RAW DEAL, two terrific films.
Enjoy the movie!
Inspired by the true story of Erwin Walker, a WWII hero who turned to crime and terrorized Los Angeles in 1946, He Walked By Night (1948) is a remarkable low budget, film noir thriller that is often overlooked in film studies of this genre. Besides Richard Basehart’s chilling performance as a meticulous thief of electronics equipment who becomes a wanted cop killer, the film glistens with the stylized black and white cinematography of John Alton whose use of light has been compared to the lighting in Rembrandt paintings. The film could well serve as a primer on how to shoot a film noir since it incorporates all of the familiar elements of the genre so masterfully into the visual design of the film: splintered shadows from Venetian blinds that transform a cozy bedroom into a prison, street lights over patches of wet pavement, a brief pinpoint of light from a hastily lit match in a dark room. Most memorable of all is the chiaroscuro camerawork in the final sequence as Davis Morgan – Richard Basehart’s character – is pursued through the huge drainage canals underneath Los Angeles by the police. This was the first time this unusual locale was used in a film and it would later serve as an equally disturbing setting – the lair of giant mutant ants – for the science fiction thriller, Them! (1954).