Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cry of the City (dir. Robert Siodmak, 1948).

Based on Henry Martin Helseth's The Chair for Martin Rome, Cry of the City features wounded killer Richard Conte doggedly pursued by police lieutenant Victor Mature. Shelley Winters and Debra Paget costar; Robert Siodmak (The Spiral Staircase) directs.

Monday, January 25, 2016

New edition, Judith Lee stories.

Valancourt Books has issued a new edition of Richard Marsh's Judith Lee stories (1912–16), edited by Edge Hill University's Minna Vuohelainen. As I mentioned in this blog post, Lee is an early female detective with capabilities in ju-jitsu and lip-reading. Marsh (aka Richard Bernard Hellmann, 1857–1915) is best known for The Beetle (1897), and his mysteries, horror works, and ghost stories have been reprinted by Valancourt.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fatal Lady (1936).

Scene from Fatal Lady, 1936.
(John Halliday, center)
In Fatal Lady a trail of murder dogs an opera star. Featured are Mary Ellis, Walter Pidgeon, John Halliday, Alan Mowbray,  Edgar Kennedy, and Ward Bond. One of the writers is Horace McCoy (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?; Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye; etc.).

Monday, January 18, 2016

Philby, Greene, and Our Man in Havana.

Ad for Our Man in Havana
(dir. Carol Reed, 1959)
Over at Lapham's Quarterly, Lawrence Osborne discusses the genesis of Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana, including Greene's time in MI6 and his relationship with Kim Philby of the Cambridge spy ring. There's a reference to Greene traveling with "an equally youthful Claud Cockburn"—that's the lefty father of mystery author Sarah Caudwell.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917).

Poster for Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917)
with George M. Cohan & Hedda Hopper
Based on a 1913 novel by Earl Derr Biggers (the creator of Charlie Chan), this silent film stars theater legend George M. Cohan (who adapted it for the stage) as a writer struggling to finish a novel in an inn where mysterious things are occurring. Actress (later gossip columnist) Hedda Hopper co-stars. (Other versions include a 1935 film with Gene Raymond, Eric Blore, and Walter Brennan.)

Monday, January 11, 2016

California and woman jurors, 1917.

Reporter Winifred Black.
Library of Congress,
Prints & Photographs Div.
Although Los Angeles had an all-female jury in 1911, San Francisco Examiner reporter Winifred Black celebrated California's decision to impanel women for juries in July 1917. (Link to article)

More on woman jurors:
• "Women on Juries: How the Experiment Failed in Washington," Sacramento Daily Union 5 Sept. 1896: 6 ("The lawyers . . . said that the trouble was the lack of the logical faculty in the female mind.")

• Cynthia Harrison, rev of The U.S. Women Jury Movements and Strategic Adaptation: A More Just Verdict, by Holly J. McCammon.

Winifred Black, The Washington Times 31 Jul 1917: 16

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Red Nightmare (1962).

Robert Conrad in Red Nightmare
This heavy-handed Warner Brothers film produced for the Defense Department to illustrate the dangers of communism features Jack Webb, Jack Kelly, Robert Conrad, Peter Breck, and Andrew Duggan.

Monday, January 04, 2016

New CD: Film Noir at Paramount.

Intrada has recently released Double Indemnity: Film Noir at Paramount, which includes selections from Miklos Rozsa's score for Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity; Hugo Friedhofer's score for Wilder's Ace in the Hole; Franz Waxman's music for Anatole Litvak's Sorry, Wrong Number; Victor Young's music for Byron Haskins's I Walk Alone; Gail Kubik's score for William Wyler's The Desperate Hours; Leith Stevens's music from Michael Curtiz's The Scarlet Hour; and Heinz Roemheld's music from Rudolph Mate's Union Station. (thanks to Film Score Monthly)