We're down to the bone as I watch the last few movies in my DVD collection. This week I've been watching films from a film noir anthology. Here's what I watched:
February 4: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) - Kirk Douglas made his film debut here, immediately announcing himself as a star and a force to be reckoned with. Barbara Stanwyck takes the role of the eponymous Martha Ivers, an heiress who goes to great lengths to get what she wants. What she wants is Van Heflin, but what she wants even more is to ensure that he doesn't reveal what she thinks he knows about the true circumstances of her aunt's death.
February 5: He Walked By Night (1948) - A police procedural about the search for a cop killer. The film is, unfortunately, aggressively uncinematic, favoring the minutiae of police detective work over things like characterization and narrative tension.
February 7: Quicksand (1950) - Mickey Rooney stars as a garage mechanic who quickly descends into crime as a result of trying to impress the new femme fatale in town. The film isn't without its strengths, but it also features a shocking degree of narrative laziness, most notably when, for the sake of plot convenience, it has the femme fatale give up everything to the police as if she's been interrogated, even though the police have barely asked her any questions at all.
February 8: The Big Bluff (1955) - An inelegantly directed film about a conman who marries a dying heiress and then decides to speed up her demise so that he can ride off into the sunset with his mistress and his wife's money. The conman's final act comeuppance almost makes the film worth seeing, but not quite.