Deadly Is the Female

  • Directors: Joseph H Lewis
  • Producers: Frank King, Maurice King
  • Writers: Story, MacKinlay Kantor, Screenplay, Dalton Trumbo, MacKinlay Kantor
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
  • Actors: Peggy Cummins, John Dall

Bart Tare (John Dall) is an ex-Army man who has a lifelong fixation with guns–they make him feel good inside. The drama opens with Tare, age 14, being grilled by a judge because he had been arrested for breaking and entering and stealing a gun. In flashbacks his friends say that while its true that Tare loves guns, he would never kill anything. They tell the judge the number of times he’s refused to kill animals. Nevertheless the judge sends him to reform school.

The next time we see Tare he’s grown up back in town. He’s also left military service behind. He reunites with his childhood friends and they decide to go to a carnival.

There he meets a kindred spirit in sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) and goes to work at the carnival. They are attracted to one another and after upsetting the carnival owner who lusts after Starr, they both get fired. Soon, on Starr’s behest, they embark on a crime spree for cash. Subjects of a manhunt, they are tracked by police in the hills Tare enjoyed as a boy….

Rope

  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Bernstein
  • Writers: Play, Patrick Hamilton, Adaptation, Hume Cronyn, Screenplay, Arthur Laurents, Ben Hecht
  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Cedric Hardwicke, Constance Collier

On a late afternoon, two brilliant young aesthetes, Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger) murder a former classmate, David Kentley (Dick Hogan), in their apartment.

After hiding the body in a large antique wooden chest, Brandon and Phillip host a dinner party at the apartment which has a beautiful panoramic view of the city skyline (in what appears to be Manhattan). The guests, unaware of what has happened, include the victim’s father (Cedric Hardwicke) and aunt (Constance Collier) (his mother is not able to attend), as well as his fiancee, Janet Walker (Joan Chandler) and her former lover Kenneth Lawrence (Douglas Dick), who was once a close friend of David’s. In a subtle move, Brandon uses the chest containing the body as a buffet for the food, just before their maid, Mrs. Wilson (Edith Evanson) arrives to help with the party. “Now the fun begins,” Brandon says when the first of the guests arrives.

Brandon’s and Phillip’s idea for the murder was inspired years earlier by conversations with their erstwhile prep-school housemaster, publisher Rupert Cadell (James Stewart). While at school, Rupert had discussed with them, in an apparently approving way, the intellectual concepts of the Гњbermensch and the art of murder, a means of showing one’s superiority over others. He too is among the guests at the party since Brandon in particular feels that he would very likely approve of their so-called work of art.

As the sky outside the apartment darkens into night, the sirens of police cars can be heard heading their way.