The Enemy Below (1957) Dick Powell

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The Enemy Below (1957)
Directed by Dick Powell
Produced by Dick Powell
Screenplay by Wendell Mayes, based on a novel by Commander D.A. (Denys) Rayner
Cinematography by Harold Rosson
Edited by Stuart Gilmore
Music by Leigh Harline
20th Century Fox
(color; Cinemascope; 1:38)

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The crew members of the Navy destroyer escort U.S.S. Haynes are a bit nervous. They’re patrolling the South Atlantic during World War II with a new commander, Captain Murrell (Robert Mitchum) who has confined himself to his cabin since coming aboard. Several of the sailors wager that the new captain’s seasick. Or maybe just yellow.

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Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) John Huston

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Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
Directed by John Huston
Produced by Buddy Alder, Eugene Frenke
Screenplay by John Lee Mahin, John Huston
Cinematography by Oswald Morris
Edited by Russell Lloyd
Music by Georges Auric
20th Century Fox
(color; 1:46)

The first seven minutes of John Huston’s Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison show an exhausted, haggard Robert Mitchum, bobbing up and down on a rubber raft, headed toward an island in the South Pacific in 1944. Upon reaching the shore, his physical turmoil might be over, but emotionally he’s in store for a real workout.

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River of No Return (1954) Otto Preminger

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River of No Return (1954)
Directed by Otto Preminger (and Jean Negulesco, uncredited)
Produced by Stanley Rubin
Screenplay by Frank Fenton from a story by Louis Lantz
Cinematography by Joseph LaShelle
Edited by Louis R. Loeffler
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
20th Century Fox
(color; 1:31)

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Last year I picked up The Robert Mitchum Film Collection from a Fox Connect Black Friday sale for the absolutely insane price of $3.98. That’s right, a 10-movie set that retails for $48.98. It must’ve been a mistake, but I jumped on it and was charged $3.98.

I’m just now getting around to watching them, starting with the first film in the collection, River of No Return (1954) directed by Otto Preminger, a film whose Frank Fenton screenplay is based on a short story by Louis Lantz, who based his story on the 1948 Italian neorealist classic film Bicycle Thieves. River of No Return is similar to the Vittorio De Sica film only in that a farmer named Matt Calder (Mitchum) struggles to care for his son after his horse has been stolen. Aside from that, there’s very little to connect the two films.

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The Locket (1946) John Brahm

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The Locket (1946) John Brahm
(1:26)
RKO Pictures
Warner Archive DVD

John Willis (Gene Raymond) is all set to marry Nancy (Laraine Day), the woman of his dreams, until he’s approached by a man named Harry Blair (Brian Aherne). Blair, claiming to be Nancy’s former husband, warns Willis that he’s about to marry a thief, a liar, and quite possibly a murderer, all in one. Thus begins one of the most complicated uses of flashback in all of film noir – a flashback within a flashback within a flashback.

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