Angel Face

  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Producers: Otto Preminger
  • Writers: Story, Chester Erskine, Screenplay, Ben Hecht, Oscar Millard, Frank S Nugent
  • Genres: Drama, Film-Noir, Crime
  • Actors: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman, Herbert Marshall

One night, Beverly Hills ambulance driver Frank Jessup and his partner Bill are called to the cliffside estate of Charles and Catherine Tremayne. By the time they arrive, Catherine has already been treated for gas inhalation, which the police believe occurred accidentally, but which the wealthy Catherine suspects was deliberate. As he is leaving the house, Frank notices Catherine’s beautiful English stepdaughter Diane playing a melancholy piano piece and assures her that her stepmother will be fine. When Diane becomes hysterical, Frank slaps her face to calm her. Confused, she slaps him back, then apologizes. Later, after getting off work, Frank goes to a nearby diner, unaware that Diane is following him in her sports car. In the diner, Frank tries to call his girl friend, Mary Wilton, a hospital receptionist, but gets no answer. Diane then comes in and strikes up a flirtatious conversation with him. When Mary finally calls him, Frank turns down her dinner invitation, claiming that he is too tired. Frank takes Diane out, and over dinner, she tells him that her father is a well-respected novelist but has not finished a book since her mother’s death during the war. Diane then asks Frank, a former race car driver who dreams of owning his own garage, about Mary, and he reveals that Mary has been saving her money to help him. The next day, Diane invites Mary to lunch and, while pretending that she wants to contribute to Frank’s garage fund, lets her know that he spent the evening with her. Seeing through Diane’s tactics, Mary rejects her offer but admits that her faith in Frank is shaken. That night, Mary is about to go out with Frank when he lies again about his date with Diane.

To help Diane, Vance hires Fred Barrett, a renowned defense lawyer. Just before the trial is to start, Fred convinces Frank and Diane to marry so that he can propose that Diane’s suitcase was in Frank’s room because they were planning to elope. During the trial, Barrett skillfully deflates expert testimony regarding the car’s transmission and steering mechanism, which appears to have been tampered with, and paints Frank and Diane as innocent lovebirds. Frank and Diane are acquitted, but once back at the estate, Frank tells Diane he is divorcing her. Diane finally talks about the jealousy and loneliness she felt when her father married Catherine and the grief she suffered upon seeing their crushed bodies. Despite Diane’s remorse, Frank insists he is returning to Mary. After Diane bets Frank her sports car that Mary will not take him back, Frank goes to Mary, who rejects him in favor of Bill. Diane, meanwhile, visits Barrett’s office and insists on confessing to the murders, detailing how she asked an unsuspecting Frank to explain the car’s transmission. Reminding Diane about the double jeopardy rule, Barrett tears up the confession. Upon returning home, Diane finds Frank packing for Mexico and asks if she can go, too. Frank says no, but agrees to let her drive him to the bus station. After Frank gets in, Diane shifts into reverse, jams her foot on the gas pedal and sends the car over the cliff.

Laura

  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Producers: Otto Preminger
  • Writers: Novel, Vera Caspary, Screenplay, Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Elizabeth Reinhardt
  • Genres: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson

New York police detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the murder of a beautiful advertising director named Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney). He interviews acerbic newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), who relates how he met Laura. Lydecker became her mentor and used his considerable influence and fame to advance her career. McPherson also questions Laura’s fiancГ©, Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price), her wealthy aunt, Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson), and Laura’s loyal housekeeper, Bessie Clary (Dorothy Adams).

Through the testimony of her friends and the reading of her letters, McPherson comes to know Laura and slowly falls in love with her. He becomes obsessed — using the excuse of trying to solve the murder, he hangs around her apartment and is at one point accused by Lydecker of falling in love with a dead woman.

One night, he falls asleep under her portrait. He is awakened by the sound of someone entering the apartment. It is Laura. After recovering from the shock, McPherson determines that the murder victim was actually Diane Redfern, a model brought there by Carpenter while Laura was away in the country.

McPherson is pleased to discover that Laura is as lovable as he had imagined. Now it becomes even more urgent to unmask the murderer. He suspects that Lydecker is also in love with her and that he fatally mistook Redfern for her in his determination to keep her to himself. McPherson warns Laura not to let anybody in after he leaves, but Lydecker gets in anyway. Lydecker is about to kill Laura when McPherson returns just in time.

Anatomy of a Murder

  • Directors: Otto Preminger
  • Producers: Otto Preminger
  • Writers: Story, John D Voelker, Screenplay, Wendell Mayes
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery
  • Actors: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O Connell, George C Scott

In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, small-town lawyer Paul Biegler (James Stewart), a prosecuting attorney who lost his re-election bid, takes the case of loutish Army Lieutenant Frederic Manion (Ben Gazzara), charged with first degree murder for shooting a barkeeper who allegedly raped Manion’s flirtatious wife, Laura (Lee Remick). Matched against a high-powered big city prosecutor (George C. Scott) sent by the Governor to help out the local D.A. (Brooks West), Biegler and his alcoholic colleague Parnell McCarthy (Arthur O’Connell) and sardonic secretary Maida Rutledge (Eve Arden) try to win Manion’s freedom with a defense of irresistible impulse — a claimed part of an insanity defense. Biegler’s folksy speech and laid-back demeanor hide a sharp legal mind and a propensity for courtroom theatrics that have the visiting judge (real life lawyer Joseph N. Welch, of Army-McCarthy hearings fame, in his only film role — he took it only after Preminger agreed to let Welch’s wife be on the jury)[4] busy keeping things under control.

The original murder that inspired this occurred at Big Bay Point Light at a time when it was being used to house Army personnel; but in the book and screenplay takes place in a ‘Yooper’ bar.