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.
- 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.