Twelve Shorts for the Shortest Month #2: Lure (2010)

US / 23 minutes / color / Aegis, Brothers Young Dir & Scr: Byron Conrad Erwin Cine: Tom Pritchard Cast: Jared Young, Josh Ford, Travis Young, Peter Kown, Brent Brooks, Brenda Norbeck, Jason Grant Davis, Carlette Jennings, Maura Perrin, Karli G. Brooks, Julia Butler, Mary Jac Beavers, Bob Young, Diana Young, Matthew Young, Ian George

A young man, Paul (Jared Young) is chronically depressed because, he thinks, of accumulated guilt over the fact that, every time he sees an attractive young woman, he harbors lustfully explicit thoughts about her. While this latter might seem a pretty normal state of affairs for most young (and, hm, even not so young) men, for Paul it’s an offense against his deeply held Christian principles.

Although shrink Eric Neil (Ford), equally Christian, pushes him away from such ideas, Paul fantasizes about suicide, which he sees as the only way out of his dilemma. However, Continue reading

The Face of Fear (1971 TVM)

US / 74 minutes / color / QM, CBS Dir: George McCowan Pr: Adrian Samish, Arthur Fellows Scr: Edward Hume Story: Sally (1967) by E.V. Cunningham Cine: Ben Colman Cast: Ricardo Montalban, Jack Warden, Elizabeth Ashley, Dane Clark, Roy Poole, Charles Dierkop, Burr DeBenning, Regis Cordic, Fred Sadoff, Brooke Mills, Dallas Mitchell, Shirley O’Hara, Joel Lawrence, John Yates.

Elizabeth Ashley as Sally.

Based on a novel by Howard Fast (under his E.V. Cunningham pseudonym), this is a riff on a theme that I traced in my Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir back to a German movie called Der MANN, DER SEINEN MÖRDER SUCHT (1931; vt The Man who Searched for his Own Murder; vt Jim, der Mann mit der Narbe; vt Jim, the Man with the Scar). The premise is that someone, rather than commit suicide, hires a hitman to do away with them—usually for insurance reasons—and then discovers a reason why life is worth living after all. But then the hitman proves impossible to find. Somewhere, out there, he lurks, ready to strike at any moment . . .

Other movies I found that used the premise were Continue reading

Blind Alibi (1938)

US / 62 minutes / bw / RKO Dir: Lew Landers Pr: Cliff Reid Scr: Lionel Houser, Harry Segall, Ron Ferguson Story: William Joyce Cowan Cine: Nicholas Musuraca Cast: Richard Dix, Whitney Bourne, Eduardo Ciannelli, Frances Mercer, Paul Guilfoyle, Richard Lane, Jack Arnold, Walter Miller, Frank M. Thomas, Solly Ward, George Irving, George Davis, Georges Renavent, Regis Toomey, Ace the Wonder Dog.

Blind Alibi - 2 our first sight of Ace the Wonder Dog

Ace the Wonder Dog was supposedly going to be RKO’s rival to Warner’s Rin Tin Tin; this was his debut outing.

Paul Dover (Dix) is a small-time US sculptor working in Paris. One day his sister Ellen “Ellie” (Mercer), now married to an official in the French government, René (uncredited), tells him that she’s being blackmailed. Back in her college days she was madly, wildly in love with a fellow-student named Marlow (uncredited), and wrote him some unwise letters. He’s now threatening to Continue reading