Stage Fright, written by Whitfield Cook, Alma Reville, James Bridie and Ranald MacDougall, based on a novel by Selwyn Jepson, starring Jane Wyman (Eve Gill), Marlene Dietrich (Charlotte Inwood), Michael Wilding (“Ordinary” Smith), Richard Todd (Jonathan Cooper), Alastair Sim (Commodore Gill), Sybil Thorndike (Mrs. Gill) and Kay Walsh (Nellie Goode) (1950): One of Hitchcock’s lesser-known efforts is enjoyable but a bit overlong and draggy. Jane Wyman tries to save ex-boyfriend Richard Todd from being arrested for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Shenanigans ensue. The cast — especially Marlene Dietrich and Alastair “Scrooge” Sim — is topnotch. Lightly recommended.
White Heat, written by Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts and Virginia Kellogg, directed by Raoul Walsh, starring James Cagney (Cody Jarrett), Virginia Mayo (Verna Jarrett), Edmond O’Brien (Hank Fallon) and Margaret Wycherly (Ma Jarrett) (1949): Classic gangster flick pits undercover cop O’Brien against crazy con James Cagney. And boy, does Cagney’s character have mother issues! Some scenes play out like CSI: 1949, as the FBI uses the latest in high-tech tracking devices and crime-solving techniques to find the criminals before they pull off their next big heist. A lot of fun, with great performances by Cagney, O’Brien and Virginia Mayo. Look, Ma, top of the world! Highly recommended.