Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, and Natalie Wood star, George Seaton directs

The original ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ on Disney+

Is there a more warmhearted celebration of Christmas cheer amid the urban reality of modern America than the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947)? It’s a Wonderful Life may be the cult film of the Christmas season, a holiday noir that slips into nightmare before pulling out its happy ending. But the idealized small town […]

’99 River Street’ – Bare knuckle noir on Amazon Prime Video

Phil Karlson is, to my mind, to toughest of the film noir directors. Films like Kansas City Confidential and Phenix City Story give us heroes who get knocked around by life and come up for more. 99 River Street (1953), arguably Karlson’s greatest film and certainly his most beautifully brutal, is a film driven by […]

‘Slightly Scarlet’ – Film rouge on Amazon Prime Video

Slightly Scarlet (1956) isn’t well known to even many film buffs but it’s an interesting film noir in lurid Technicolor (call it a film rouge) from veteran director Allan Dwan, who began making films in the early 1910s and directed everything from Douglas Fairbanks action epics to Shirley Temple dramas to comedies to westerns in […]

Phil Karlson directs John Payne, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef, and Jack Elam in this B-movie film noir classic.

‘Kansas City Confidential’ free on Kanopy

Kansas City Confidential (1952), the first of three collaborations between Phil Karlson, a director who graduated from B-movies with a strong storytelling punch and a tough, two-fisted sensibility, and John Payne, a former light romantic lead and bland song-and-dance man of Fox musicals, was a career changer for both of them. Payne was already reinventing […]