films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Angel Face

1952 / 91m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Angel Face poster

Another very basic noir. The courtroom scenes at the beginning of the final third kept things alive, but I'm not really a fan of courtroom drama as it doesn't make for very riveting cinema, so that's how plain the rest of the film was. I guess the film's better if you like classic actors like Simmons and Mitchum.

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Frank is a simple chauffeur for a wealthy and respected woman. He is secretly in love with her stepdaughter, a spoiled brat who loves to manipulate the people around her. She can't stand her stepmother and plans to kill her. The trap is successful, but poor Frank turns into a scapegoat.

A classic crime plot dressed up with endless dialogues and a bit of forced romance. The film's not much to look at, the performances are overwrought and the dramatic tension is insufficient. It's a good thing the film is pretty short and it helps that the final third isn't a complete slog, but other than that, extremely forgettable.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

1950 / 95m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Where the Sidewalk Ends poster

I tend to complain that noirs are way too dialogue-heavy, but then I remember the crummy action scenes often featured in them and I begin to understand why directors did what they did. There are a few of those here too, and once again they don't really make the film any better.

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Mark Dixon is a cop who doesn't like to play to the rules. His bosses think of him as a pain in the ass, and things get worse when he inadvertently kills a suspect. Trying to cover his tracks, Dixon does his best to pin the death on a hustler he despises, but his plan isn't as watertight as he'd hoped.

The performances were slightly better than the norm here, Tierney in particular put in a good effort. The rest of the film is quite straightforward though. Noir films will no doubt love it, if you're not that taken with the genre there isn't much here for you. Not the worst noir I've seen though.

Anatomy of a Murder

1959 / 160m - USA
Crime, Mystery
Anatomy of a Murder poster

The Man with the Golden Arm

1955 / 119m - USA
Crime, Romance
The Man with the Golden Arm poster

A disappointing Sinatra film, but not too surprising since was directed by Preminger. The crime elements are ruined by badly executed drama, severely limiting the appeal of the film. I tend to struggle with classic drama, which is always very loud and in your face, and The Man with the Golden Arm is no exception.

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After six months in rehab, Frankie returns from prison to pick up the pieces of his old life. His wife is delighted to see him and Frankie promises to better his life, taking up a job as a drummer. When some of his old pals find their way back into Frankie's life, he struggles to stay on the right path.

Sinatra struggles with his role, especially when he relapses. Still, he's by far the best actor of the bunch. The rest is way more expressive still. The cinematography and score are forgettable, the pacing is sluggish and the mix of crime and drama doesn't work. Not a good film at all.

River of No Return

1954 / 91m - USA
Adventure, Western
River of No Return poster


1944 / 88m - USA
Mystery, Thriller
Laura poster