Dead Reckoning (1947)

Humphrey Bogart plays recently returned war vet Rip Murdock. He’s searching for the truth behind the death of Johnny, his best friend from the service. Rip knows that Johnny was a damn good paratrooper and he deserves his Congressional Medal of Honor, even if it has to be awarded posthumously. That’s not so much to ask for a guy who gave everything he had to kick the Ratzis in their Teutonic nads, is it? Continue reading “Dead Reckoning (1947)”

The Spiral Staircase (1946)

Do you remember when Snoopy used to sit on top of his dog house and type a story that started “it was a dark and stormy night?” If that dog ever buckled down and got beyond that first phrase, this would have been the movie based on his story. At least it would have been if his dark and stormy night involved a serial killer who was bumping off women with various physical deformities. Continue reading “The Spiral Staircase (1946)”

Double Indemnity (1944)

You don’t have to go any further than the opening credits of this one to know that it’s one of the titans of film noir. Based on a novel written by James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice), the film was directed by Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard) with a screenplay by Wilder and Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep). The only thing you may wonder about is that it stars Fred MacMurray. If you only remember Fred from his days inventing Flubber and advising My Three Sons what to do about their gender confusion, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that Fred makes a very convincing murderer, schemer, and dude who was a little too smart for his own good. Continue reading “Double Indemnity (1944)”

D.O.A. (1950)

D.O.A. takes on its subject matter with a stark straightforwardness that literally shows the protagonist as a walking dead man. Frank Bigelow gets poisoned by some slow acting stuff that allows him to run around California for a week before croaking, all in an effort to find out who was behind his impending death. Is there a better metaphor for the futility of life than that? Continue reading “D.O.A. (1950)”