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Hollywood Film Noir in Leavey Library (DVDs): Titles A-B

Titles A-B

Ace in the Hole
"An early look at the impact of mass media in the public arena, featuring the story of a cynical and manipulative journalist."

Act of Violence
"Ex-World War II pilot Frank Enley is a respected contractor and family man. Then his troubled, gimp-legged bombardier shows up with a gun and a score to settle. Perhaps neither man is what he seems to be."

Armored Car Robbery
"Richard Fleischer directs this brute-force milestone about a deadly heist and the battle of wits and firepower between a fugitive gangster and his stripper moll  and a bulldog cop, out to avenge his partner's death, who uses hidden microphones, lab work and his own well-honed instincts to close the net."

The Asphalt Jungle
"An aging criminal is released from prison and decides to assemble the old gang to go on one last heist."

Bad For Each Other
"There is no way to write a 'spoiler'---is there actually somebody somewhere who, ten minutes into this 1950's film, wouldn't know where it is going and will end up---since it is a strictly written-by-the-numbers corruption and redemption meller that finds: number 1, a doctor returns from the Korean War to his Pennsylvania mining hometown, (and 2) must choose between dedicating himself to treating the suffering poor (or 3) build himself a swank office and get rich by flattering wealthy women with imaginary ailments. Throw in elements no. 5, Lizabeth Scott as a rich, spoiled, twice-divorced woman with a lip stiffer than his, and number 6, Dianne Foster as a nurse bent on helping all mankind, and there are no surprises left, especially if one take note of the name of Irving Wallace among the writers, the title and Scott billed above Foster. The only surprise here is that this film wasn't from Universal-International and directed by Douglas Sirk." - Les Adams

The Beast of the City
"Police captain Jim Fitzpatrick is shipped out to the suburbs by crime boss Sam Belmonte. Now rid of the do-gooder, Belmonte's stranglehold on the city tightens and crime is on the rise. Not to be thwarted, Fitzpatrick sets out to clean up the streets as well as the corruption within the department. When his brother Ed takes up with the gangster's moll, Fitzpatrick finds the war against crime hitting too close to home. Convinced that the legal system does not work, Fitzpatrick takes matters into his own hands."

Berlin Express
"Filmed amid the actual bombed out ruins of Frankfurt and Berlin after World War II, this film recounts the dangerous attempts to unify Germany as four post-war heroes from Britain, France, Russia and the U.S. battle die-hard Nazis to rescue an anti-fascist German statesman."

The Big Combo
"Discouraged by his superior officers, but helped by a ganster's former girl friend, a dedicated detective lieutenant doggedly continues his investigation to obtain evidence that would convict the head gangster of a crime syndicate."

The Big Heat
"A policeman is driven by grief to wage a relentless vendetta against a mobster."

The Big Sleep
"L.A. private eye Philip Marlowe takes on a blackmail case and follows a trail peopled with murderers, pornographers, nightclub rogues and the spoiled rich."

The Big Steal
"Jane and Duke (alias Capt. Blake) accidently meet in Vera Cruz while chasing flim-flam man Fiske. Soon the local Inspector General (El Gato) is involved. Fiske races across Mexico, pursued by Jane and Duke, trailed by the real Capt. Blake. The crafty Inspector General is waiting for them in Tihuacan but they all give him the slip."

Blast of Silence
"Frankie Bono is an orphan who has learned to make a profitable living as a contract killer. Traveling from Cleveland to New York during the Christmas season, he is charged with taking out mid-level Harlem numbers and drug kingpin Troiano. Stalking his prey as he goes about his daily routine, Bono is distracted by an unexpected encounter with a childhood friend whose sister sees him as a lonely man, not the barely human shell he has become. Acutely aware of his own mortality, Bono sees everything as a facade, the pretty Christmas lights mere glitzy decorations covering the festering rot of existence, and his own personal hell."

Blood Simple
"A jealous husband hires a detective to murder his wife and her lover."

The Blue Gardenia
"Norah Larkin is a working girl who wakes up a murderess after passing out in the apartment of brutish playboy Harry Prebble. Branded "The Blue Gardenia" by a sensational columnist, Norah dodges dragnets, informants and the cruel hand of fate as she struggles to conceal her involvement with Prebble, and to remember the details of her ill-fated night. As her hopes for justice fade, she decides to gamble her future on the journalist who transformed her into such a notorious figure."

Body and Soul
"Charley has become the middleweight champion of the world by winning a 'fixed' fight. In his devious climb to the top, Charley has become hard and arrogant, and has estranged both his mother and the girl he loves."

Border Incident
"The Mexico-California border is the power-keg setting for a tale of government agents versus greed and murder."

Born to Kill
"A classic film noir featuring a cold-hearted killer named Sam Wild who kills two innocent people and actively pursues the woman who finds the bodies, all while being married to the woman's half-sister."

"A young scientist is vindictively persecuted by a wealthy industrialist after he has become involved with the industrialist's wife. A spiral from romance to crime typical of film noir is given an additional charge by a narrative which establishes disturbing associations as the scientist a seemingly innocent bystander is ultimately driven deep into psychosis."

The Bribe
"An incorruptible federal cop. And a woman who could make any man change his mind"

Brothers Rico
"Eddie Rico, a former accountant for crime-boss Sid Kubic, has gone straight, with the blessings of Kubic who owed his life to Rico's mother when she stopped a bullet meant for him. Eddie and his wife, Alice, are looking to adopt a baby when Eddie learns that the syndicate is looking for his brother, so they can get him out of the country before the police can find and question him. Eddie finds him, but the mobsters double-cross him and kill his brother just as they had killed another brother of Eddie's. Eddie decides to go to the police but Kubic puts out the word to get him also." - Les Adams

Brute Force
"Joe Collins, along with his fellow inmates, live under the heavy thumb of the sadistic, power-tripping guard Captain Munsey. Only Collins's dreams of escape keep him going, but how can he possibly bust out of Munsey's chains."