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Beat the Devil (1953) Directed by John Huston Like in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Humphrey Bogart is a globe-trotting fortune hunter out to plunder the developing world like a Conrad antihero who grew up playing stickball—here, he and dreamy-divine wife Gina Lollobrigida are en route to a shady uranium fortune somewhere in Africa. Like in The Maltese Falcon, he’s racing for his MacGuffin in unfriendly competition with a seedy gallery of expatriate character actors...
Remember the Night (1940) Directed by Mitchell Leisen No film epitomizes the holiday season like this Preston Sturges-penned tale of a sincere, dignified prosecutor and the light-fingered woman, full of profound charm and an unbridled capability for human understanding, he brings home for Christmas. Though the plot is far-fetched, the tender sentiment of the story and the sound performances from—and the emphatic chemistry between—stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck as two Hoosiers who unexpectedly find...
Laura (1944) Directed by Otto Preminger Leave Her to Heaven (1945) Directed by John M. Stahl Their surfaces couldn’t be more different: Laura a chilly black-and-white mystery noir, Leave Her to Heaven a lurid Technicolor domestic melodrama. And yet, place both these films next to each other, and some fascinating convergences emerge beyond featuring the same leading lady. In Preminger’s film, Gene Tierney plays the titular object of three different men’s obsessions: detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews), newspaper...
In a Lonely Place (1950) Directed by Nicholas Ray Humphrey Bogart never topped the character he played in this bleak noir, an alcoholic, vindictive writer who may or may not have murdered a girl he takes home one night. Ray’s direction consistently pulls focus onto the savage glint in the actor’s bared teeth and flop sweat, but the director also hones in on Bogie’s hangdog sadness. A subsequent, non-starter romance with Gloria Grahame presents a modernistic...

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