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Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema XII [Undertow / Outside the Wall / Hold Back Tomorrow]

Directed by William Castle, Hugo Haas, Crane Wilbur

Release: 1949
Runtime: 226
Country: U.S.
Language: English

This collection features three film noir classics. UNDERTOW (1949) – Best known for fright fare such as House on Haunted Hill, The Tingler and Let’s Kill Uncle, cult director William Castle turns his lens on guns and gangsters for the film noir gem Undertow. Scott Brady (I Was a Shoplifter) stars as Tony Reagan, a gambler just out of wartime military service. No longer interested in wagers and speculations, Reagan wants only to open up a mountain vacation lodge. Before this can take place, however, he is framed for murder and forced to go on the run from both the police and the unknown killers. Dorothy Hart (Larceny) and Peggy Dow (Shakedown) play the love interests in this serpentine tale of mob-and-moll double-crosses, with John Russell (Yellow Sky), Bruce Bennett (Mildred Pierce) and future star Rock Hudson (The Tarnished Angels) in his second film appearance. OUTSIDE THE WALL (1950) – Richard Basehart (He Walked by Night) stars as Larry Nelson, paroled from prison after serving nearly half of his thirty-year sentence. Larry is determined to not fall into the clutches of the law again and takes a quiet job at a country sanitarium. There he meets and falls for a gold-digging nurse, Charlotte Maynard (Marilyn Maxwell, Race Street), and he knows the only way to enter her web is to make a lot of fast money. So when Larry learns that the sanitarium is a front for a robbery syndicate, he soon finds himself a clay pigeon for the gang. Meanwhile, sweet-and-wholesome nurse Ann Taylor (Dorothy Hart, Undertow) does her best to help Larry out of the unpleasant situation. Also starring Swedish sensation Signe Hasso (The House on 92nd Street), Outside the Wall is a classic noir story of an ex-con’s struggle to go straight. HOLD BACK TOMORROW (1955) – What Strange Law Answered His Last Bring THIS Beautiful Woman to His Cell? Hollywood great John Agar (Sands of Iwo Jima, Shield for Murder) stars as Joe, a death row inmate with one final request before his impending hanging: to spend the night with a woman. The police bring him a down-on-her-luck former “waitress” named Dora, played by femme fatale extraordinaire Cleo Moore (On Dangerous Ground, The Other Woman). At first these two tormented souls meet with disdain, but soon gain each other’s respect. After a night of raw and unexpected passion, Joe informs Dora that, with her love, he will not be afraid to die. The nihilistic noir two-hander Hold Back Tomorrow comes written, produced and directed by Czech star and cult auteur, Hugo Haas (The Girl on the Bridge, Bait).

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Technical Info

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 | 1.37:1 | 1.85:1
  • Color: B&W

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