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  • Film Noir Collection, Vol. 1

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009

    Includes:The Sniper (1952) The Big Heat (1953), MPAA Rating: NR Five Against the House (1955) The Lineup (1958) Murder by Contract (1958) The Sniper The "regeneration" of blacklisted director Edward Dmytryk was expedited when he was hired by producer Stanley Kramer to helm the location-filmed melodrama The Sniper. In the interests of political expediency, Dmytrk was required to direct Adolphe Menjou, one of the most virulent Red-baiters of the HUAC hearings. Shorn of his trademarked mustache, and with his famous expensive wardrobe replaced by a humdrum business suit, Menjou turns in one of his best performances as a world-weary San Francisco detective assigned to track down a mad sniper. From the beginning, the audience knows that the criminal is psycho Eddie Miller (Arthur Franz), who is possessed of the notion that he must kill every beautiful brunette woman who crosses his path. Some audience sympathy is elicited by Miller's pathetic attempts to rid himself of his obsession, but this never gets in the way of the film's suspense. The excellent supporting cast includes Richard Kiley as a police psychiatrist, Marie Windsor as Miller's first victim, and Mabel Paige as the sniper's snoopy landlady. An unbilled Wally Cox shows up briefly. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Big Heat Fritz Lang directed this gritty drama of gangland murder and police corruption, which was considered quite violent in its day. Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) is a scrupulously honest police detective who learns that one of his fellow officers has committed suicide. Bannion is told by the officer's wife, Bertha (Jeanette Nolan), that he was severely depressed after being told he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. But the cop's mistress, a barmaid named Lucy (Dorothy Green), has another tale to tell. She claims that he left behind a suicide note detailing a complex trail of corruption in the department, leading to mob boss Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby), and now Bertha plans to use the note to blackmail Lagana. When Lucy is found dead beside an abandoned road, with her body showing obvious signs of torture, Bannion is convinced that her story was true, and he goes after Lagana. When he threatens to expose Lagana's dealings, the gangster orders Bannion killed. But the car bomb meant to finish Bannion off instead kills his wife Katie (Jocelyn Brando). The police take Bannion off the case, but, convinced his peers are trying to cover their tracks, Bannion follows the case alone, determined to get revenge. Lee Marvin and Gloria Grahame shine in key supporting roles. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Five Against the House In this film noir, five college students laughingly devise a perfect plan for robbing a casino in Reno. At first they do it just to pass the time, but one of them is deeply in debt and becoming increasingly distraught about it. He successfully cajoles his peers into carrying through with their plans. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide The Lineup A steamship docks in San Francisco, and as one of the passengers, Philip Dressler (Raymond Bailey), is waiting for a cab after clearing customs, a baggage handler suddenly grabs one of his cases and throws it into a taxi, which takes off. In the ensuing getaway, a police officer is killed, but not before he gets off a shot that takes the fleeing cab driver's life. What Lieutenant Ben Guthrie (Warner Anderson) and Inspector Al Quine (Emile G. Meyer) can't figure out is why two men are suddenly dead within a matter of seconds, all for a seemingly inexplicable baggage snatch. The truth begins to come out when an examination reveals that a small ornamental statue in Dressler's case is loaded with half a million dollars in pure heroin. Then the bodies start turning up -- beginning with a baggage handler at the docks. Guthrie and Quine uncover a plan by a drug syndicate to use innocent, unsuspecting tourists visiting the Far East as unknowing drug couriers -- and now that the original method of retr
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    Review: MTV's 'Teen Wolf'

    Type: Post | Date: Friday, Jun 3, 2011

    Mediocre horror story has little in common with the Michael J. Fox movie beyond the name
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    A look back at 1993 and the second annual MTV Movie Awards

    Type: Post | Date: Sunday, Apr 14, 2013

    How did 'The Bodyguard' not sweep?
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    Recap: 'Survivor: Samoa' - 'Houdini Magic'

    Type: Post | Date: Thursday, Oct 29, 2009

    As Foa Foa's struggles continue, Russell contemplates a dramatic move to shake up the tribe
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    Women critics like 'The Help,' 'The Iron Lady' and 'The Whistleblower'

    Type: Post | Date: Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011

    And Melissa McCarthy gets another feather in her cap
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    'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'Because the Night'

    Type: Post | Date: Thursday, Mar 21, 2013

    Damon and Elena head to New York, but there's trouble brewing back home
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    'Project Runway' recap: 'It's Fashion Baby'

    Type: Post | Date: Friday, Sep 28, 2012

    It's a baby design challenge - complete with screaming dolls
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    Recap: 'Survivor: Caramoan' - 'Honey Badger'

    Type: Post | Date: Thursday, Feb 21, 2013

    Reynold has a bulge in his pocket and it's making people nervous
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    If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

    Type: Post | Date: Thursday, Jun 14, 2012

    The men of 'Parks and Recreation' and 'Community' dominate the first stage of our annual exercise
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    Album Review: Bright Eyes' swan song 'The People's Key'

    Type: Post | Date: Thursday, Feb 17, 2011

    Does Conor Oberst's madman metaphors kill or get killed?