Monday, November 28, 2005

Suggested Mystery Movies

For those looking for possible gifts for the mystery lover on their holiday shopping list, here are some suggested mystery movies that are available on DVD:
  • The Spiral Staircase, dir. Robert Siodmak (1946). In 1915, a serial killer menaces a New England town, a mute Dorothy McGuire, and a bedridden Ethel Barrymore. The film is based on Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White, who also wrote The Lady Vanishes.
  • Force of Evil, dir. Abraham Polonsky, perf. John Garfield (1948). A shady attorney involved in the numbers racket struggles to save his brother from ruin and Mob retribution.
  • D.O.A., dir. Rudolph Maté, perf. Edmond O’Brien (1950). An accountant discovers that he has been given a slow-acting poison and races against time to find his killer.
  • Dead Again, dir. Kenneth Branagh (1991). Branagh makes an interesting attempt to marry a Hitchcockian-style film to a modern thriller in this tale of a past murder that echoes in the present. Memorable performances include Andy Garcia as a scruffy reporter and Robin Williams as an oddball psychiatrist turned grocery clerk.
  • Shattered, dir. Wolfgang Petersen (1991). A wealthy man, played by Tom Berenger, wakes up after a car accident with no memory as to who he is and the uneasy feeling that what he is told about himself is not the truth. Look for Bob Hoskins as a rumpled private investigator.
And look for these that are not available on DVD but perhaps may be on the late-night film fest near you:
  • On Dangerous Ground, dir. Nicholas Ray (1952). Disillusioned detective Robert Ryan on the trail of a killer falls in love with the killer's blind sister (played by Ida Lupino).
  • Twenty-Three Paces to Baker Street, dir. Henry Hathaway (1956). Van Johnson in a surprisingly adept turn as a blind playwright who overhears a kidnapping plot. From the novel by Philip MacDonald.

1 comment:

Bill said...

D. O. A. is even in the dollar bins.