1. Talaash (Reema Kagti, 2012)
2. Siesta (Mary Lambert, 1987) (re-watch)
3. Hero and the Terror (William Tannen, 1988)
4. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (Cathy Yan, 2020) (cinema)
5. Ride the Pink Horse (Robert Montgomery, 1947) (re-watch)
6. Baazi / High Stakes (Guru Dutt, 1951)
7. Talvar / Guilty (Meghna Gulzar, 2015)
8. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Episode 2 - "The Dying Detective" (Sarah Hellings, 1994)
9. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Episode 3 - "The Golden Pince-Nez" (Peter Hammond, 1994)
10. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Episode 4 - "The Red Circle" (Sarah Hellings, 1994)
11. Blue Steel (Kathryn Bigelow, 1990) (re-watch)
12. Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970)
13. The Black Windmill (Don Siegel, 1974)
14. Jealousy (Gustav Machatý, 1945)
15. Andhadhum / The Blind Melody (Sriram Raghavan, 2018)
16. Street Corner (Muriel Box, 1953)
17. Eyewitness (Muriel Box, 1956)
18. Mi vida loca (Allison Anders, 1993)
19. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Episode 5 - "The Mazarin Stone" (Peter Hammond, 1994)
20. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - Episode 6 - "The Cardboard Box" (Sarah Hellings, 1994)
21. The Third Secret (Charles Crichton, 1964)
22. Subway in the Sky (Muriel Box, 1959)
23. Confessions of an Opium Eater (Albert Zugsmith, 1962) (re-watch)
24. Torchy Blane in Panama
(William Clemens, 1938)
5th in the series, and one of the two in which protagonist newshound Torchy is not played by Glenda Farrell; here the role goes to the rather irritating Lola Lane (apparently not irritating to everybody - Superman's girlfriend's name was supposedly inspired by the actress). Anyway while I liked Farrell more in the one other film from this run that I've seen, I didn't like that film any more than this, so I doubt I'll be making an effort to see them all. These are basically 60-minute B crime-comedies with Torchy getting herself in trouble every time because she won't play by the rules (and underlying this I suppose is the notion that she's doing a "man's job" and should stay home and be a housewife, though it's not that explicit). Here it's bank robbers who escape to Panama - of course it's all done on cheap sets and there's no feeling of foreignness whatsoever. Tom Kennedy as the comically bumbling cop Gahagan is the only actor I recognized apart from Lane, and he's kind of fun, but this felt too long ever at an hour.
25. Ascenseur pour l'échafaud / Elevator to the Gallows
(Louis Malle, 1958) (re-watch)
TCM. It hasn't been deliberate exactly, but I seem to be slowly re-watching a lot of the films I saw when I first got seriously interest in film noir, 15 years ago or so, and in particular a lot of the ones that I liked, but didn't love. And most of them are improving dramatically -- certainly the genre/style tropes are more familiar now, but in some cases I think it's also helping that I have a better way to see them, and that I seem to be seeing a lot of them in the morning on TCM with coffee rather than at night with whisky. Maybe this is a good time to stop drinking? Anyway, I'm not sure why I didn't love this originally but it sure knocked me out this time. No need to go into details much for this very familiar film but I think that apart from the justly praised music by Miles Davis and star-making performance by Jeanne Moreau, what impresses me the most is how Malle juggles all of his characters and plots to bring them to that amazing photographic evidence conclusion. We really get to know a bit about all of these people, and understand to some extent how and why they're all going to face a life-changing or life-ending experience just because one woman and one man wanted to get rid of her husband. I also love the realism of the photography, the mid-century suburban motel on the highway... this is a Paris I still haven't seen much in this period, and I suspect that's part of the impact as well, just before the dawning of the New Wave.
26. Domingo de carnaval / Carnival Sunday
(Edgar Neville, 1945)
I saw Neville's best-known film, the previous year's La torre de los siete jorobados
, not that long ago and was pretty knocked out by it's mixture of horror, surrealism, and generally outre imagery and narrative; this is alas much more prosaic and ordinary, though it's still a pretty decent film. In the years around WWI, an old woman is killed in Madrid, and we watch as a variety of suspects are presented and the police uncover more clues, which combine to show us a mean and grasping pawnbroker who had a great many enemies, and a missing valuable necklace that may be the key to the whole crime, which will climax - where else? - at the carnival. The mystery-crime elements are fairly well handled but there's a fair bit of humor also, in the personages of some of the suspects but also the dandyish inspector in charge of the case, which largely fell flat to me; perhaps a cultural issue in this case? Anyway, worth seeing but not terribly memorable.
27. Murder, Inc
(Burt Balaban/Stuart Rosenberg, 1960)
Fox Movie Channel. If you read up a bit on this Cinemascope late noir, you'll find that original director Rosenberg was fired from the picture partway through and the inexperienced Balaban brought in, and this is mentioned as the reason (or one of the reasons) for the unevenness of the finished picture. I don't know, maybe - it strikes me that the film is pretty terrific right up almost exactly to the halfway point, when the narration begins (this is a weird thing - no narration at all at the beginning) and the POV largely shifts to the cops rather than the criminals. This is based on real criminals in what was known as the Murder Inc racket in New York in the 30s and early 40s, with Peter Falk (awesome) in what amounts to the lead as a completely amoral hitman who rises in the ranks of Lepke Buchaltar's orginization, only to see it all unravelled by a poorly judged hit by somebody else. Nominal main characters Stuart Whitman and May Britt are rather dull and bring this down a bit, but it's really the shift in focus to the less interesting investigation and away from Falk's psychotic scuzziness that makes the second half much less interesting to me.
28. The Boston Strangler
(Richard Fleischer, 1968)
FMC again - this channel has really become worth paying attention to lately. Another true-crime story, this was done just a few years after the real-life events. It's interesting in that stars Henry Fonda (as the lead investigator of the case, put in charge against his will by the MA state attorney general) doesn't show up for almost half an hour into the two-hour running time, and the strangler himself (Tony Curtis, giving one of his best performances for sure) until about an hour in. Lots of this is familiar stuff if you've seen many serial-killer films - in 1962-3 in various communities in the Boston area, the strangler goes through a dozen or so victims, starting out only with old ladies who live alone and then eventually hitting younger women, before enough clues and small mistakes on his part pile up. But there are some interesting elements both visually - lots of split or multiple screen sequences, including a couple of picture-in-picture which I'm not sure I've ever seen in a narrative feature made this early - and narratively, as the criminal is nabbed almost by accident. I guess this plays out pretty differently from the real-life story, and the schizophrenic or multiple personality element in particular was amped up for the film, but it works pretty well for me, and the last scenes in particular are very powerful, with a very progressive (for the time, especially) attitude about mental health and the need for society to pay attention to these people who fall through the cracks, mentally and emotionally, before it's too late.
(James Neilson, 1969)
Not sure why this isn't listed as crime on IMDb - I'm sending a correction - but it most definitely belongs; psycho Luke Askew in the first scene in the film blows away one of Raquel Welch's friends out in broad daylight at a Vegas hotel by the pool, and Welch spends the rest of the film running from him, eventually going to L.A., as he continues to murder everybody in his path, with the cops always a step behind. So it's a police procedural - spree killer-thriller, with naturally some romance elements as Raquel gets involved with a handsome stranger the instant she pulls into the parking lot of the club (she's a go-go dancer, of course) she's going to work at in L.A. I watched this because it was featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself
and I'm slowly going through the whole LIST
of films mentioned, and I'd have to say that sadly that's about the only reason to watch it. Of course Raquel is nice to look at, but she was never a great actress and this isn't an interesting role, and Askew's psycho in particular is about as one-dimensional as you could imagine, as are pretty much all the other characters. It does have a nice feel for the seedier side of L.A. (and Vegas) in that period, and I did really like seeing all the business signs on the busy streets, which reminded me of plenty of older areas that I'm familiar with in Chicago and other cities in the midwest, though most of this 50s-60s iconography is gone now and was already disappearing when my memories start in the mid-70s. Anyway, all of that does not add up to enough reason to see this IMO, though I've certainly seen plenty of worse time-wasters.