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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Frankenstein's monster gets his name in the title, but Lon Chaney's Wolfman and Bela Lugosi's Dracula are here, too. As the trailer notes, the laughs are MONSTERous! (PG)

None stars

The Big Clock (1948)

Near-perfect murder mystery, from a novel by the poet Kenneth Fearing, about a Big Town crime reporter, overdue for vacation, following a killer's trail that seems to lead straight to himself. Classically compressed in time and space (two of the three "unities"), and the action (the third) is ushered along ... (NR)

5.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Drunken Angel (1948)

Repetitious duel of wills between an alcoholic doctor (Takashi Shimura) and a tubercular thug (a very young and very histrionic Toshiro Mifune), mired together in a sort of urban swamp. The element of realism, in the postwar manner, does not conceal for a moment that the whole thing is allegoric. ... (PG-13)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Fallen Idol (1948)

Carol Reed film, with a screenplay by Graham Greene, about an unobtrusive servant (a beautifully nuanced Ralph Richardson) in the French embassy in London, who has a special bond with the ambassador's mischievous little boy and a hush-hush extramarital link with a French typist (the too glamorous Michèle Morgan) and ... (NR)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Fallen Idol (1948)

Carol Reed film, with a screenplay by Graham Greene, about an unobtrusive servant (a beautifully nuanced Ralph Richardson) in the French embassy in London, who has a special bond with the ambassador's mischievous little boy and a hush-hush extramarital link with a French typist (the too glamorous Michèle Morgan) and ... (NR)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Force of Evil (1948)

The only film Abraham Polonsky was able to direct before he fell afoul of McCarthyite witch hunters (the only one until Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, two decades later), a morality play against a background of the numbers racket. The tough-guy language and ambience have rich veins of poetry ... (PG)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Key Largo (1948)

With rain and wind rapping at the windows of a tacky hotel off the Florida tip, a heavyweight and hammy cast runs through a succession of stagy formations in John Huston's postwar message-melodrama, dripping with tropical glamour and gloom. Edward G. Robinson is the big bully, and Humphrey Bogart, Lauren ... (NR)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Lady from Shanghai (1948)

Orson Welles takes a nose-holding leap toward Low Camp with a pulp thriller (narrated, first-person, in Welles's unctuous Irish brogue) about a gullible, ham-fisted sailor who is sucked into a murder scheme, making him the patsy. The cast of characters is peopled by twisted, obscene predators -- Rita Hayworth in ... (NR)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Macbeth (1948)

Orson Welles's first screen treatment — and a rather harsh one — of Shakespeare, shot in three weeks on tacky Western sets at Republic Studios. The visuals, moody and blustery, are interesting at times, monotonous at length. They, and the very approximate Scottish burrs, pretty thoroughly obscure the verbals. But ... (NR)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Red Shoes (1948)

One of many edification exercises by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger: the world of ballet, on stage and back of it. Enough canny showmanship intervenes to make it not too painful; even, in the art direction and cinematography (Jack Cardiff), quite pleasurable. And in "The Red Shoes ... (NR)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Rope (1948)

Hitchcock's celebrated experiment in single-takes, joined together so as to create a unity-of-time effect, is a bit less rigorous than legend had cracked it up to be: the cuts between reels (three of them, in all) are not disguised in the least, and the cuts within the reels (four of ... (PG)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

The actors adopt exaggerated masks — Bogart with shifty eyes and unshaven stubble, Walter Huston with a penetrating squint and Old Codger whiskers, Tim Holt with a babyfaced pout, and a Mexican bandido with roughly sixty-four teeth — which plainly declare their positions in this primer on Human Greed. They ... (NR)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd