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Black Magic (1944)
Chan stalks a fiendish murderer!
Filmmaker(s): Phil Rosen

Chinese detective Charlie Chan solves a murder linked to the occult. This movie had an alternative title: Meeting at Midnight.

Spooked The original intent of the Chan series, I suppose, was to introduce the “oriental” mind to the mystery genre. As with the equally strange notion of Belgian logic with Poirot, we would be charmed by novel synaptic paths. By the time of this film, indeed...

Published January 17, 2024
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Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
She Passed Out On Cary! No Wonder . . . She's just discovered his favorite aunts have poisoned their 13th gentleman friend!
Filmmaker(s): Frank Capra

Mortimer Brewster, a newspaper drama critic, playwright, and author known for his diatribes against marriage, suddenly falls in love and gets married; but when he makes a quick trip home to tell his two maiden aunts, he finds out his aunts' hobby - killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar!

Playing with Plays Adapted for the screen by the same folks who next did “Casablanca,” incidentally with Lorre. Filmed by someone known for his light touch. I’m not of a fan of Capra’s, as he values the little quirky hooks in the story and dialog and depends...

Published May 16, 2023
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Double Indemnity (1944)
It's love and murder at first sight!
Filmmaker(s): Billy Wilder

A rich woman and a calculating insurance agent plot to kill her unsuspecting husband after he signs a double indemnity policy. Against a backdrop of distinctly Californian settings, the partners in crime plan the perfect murder to collect the insurance, which pays double if the death is accidental.

The Match is Out Filmviewing is like most things in life: there are a few predefined roles among which it is convenient to pick. Once you define who you are in the world of cinema, it determines a lot of what you think about what you...

Published September 20, 2022
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