1947 (520)

Jeff Bailey, small-town gas pumper, has his mysterious past catch up with him one day when he's ordered to meet with gambler Whit Sterling. En route to the meeting, he tells girlfriend Ann his story. Flashback: Once, Jeff was a private eye hired by Sterling to find his mistress Kathie who shot Whit and absconded with $40,000. He traces her to Acapulco...where the delectable Kathie makes Jeff forget all about Sterling... Back in the present, Whit's new job for Jeff is clearly a trap, but Jeff's precautions only leave him more tightly enmeshed...

IMDB Rating: 8.1

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At the Macy's Department Store Thanksgiving Day parade, the actor playing Santa is discovered to be drunk by a whiskered old man. Doris Walker, the no nonsense special events director, persuades the old man to take his place. The old man proves to be a sensation and is quickly recruited to be the store Santa at the main Macy's outlet. While he is successful, Ms. Walker learns that he calls himself Kris Kringle and he claims to be the actual Santa Claus. Despite reassurances by Kringle's doctor that he is harmless, Doris still has misgivings, especially when she has cynically trained herself, and especially her daughter, Susan, to reject all notions of belief and fantasy. And yet, people, especially Susan, begin to notice there is something special about Kris and his determination to advance the true spirit of Christmas amidst the rampant commercialism around him and succeeding in improbable ways. When a raucous conflict with the store's cruelly incompetent psychologist erupts, Kris finds himself held at Bellevue where, in despair, he deliberately fails a mental examination to ensure his commitment. All seems lost until Doris' friend, Fred Gaily, reassures Kris of his worth and agrees to represent him in the fight to secure his release. To achieve that, Fred arranges a formal hearing in which he argues that Kris is sane because he is in fact Santa Claus. What ensues is a bizarre hearing in which people's beliefs are reexamined and put to the test, but even so, it's going to take a miracle for Kris to win.

IMDB Rating: 7.9

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Michael O'Hara, against his better judgement, hires on as a crew member of Arthur Bannister's yacht, sailing to San Francisco. They pick up Grisby, Bannister's law partner, en route. Bannister has a wife, Rosalie, who seems to like Michael much better than she likes her husband. After they dock in Sausalito, Michael goes along with Grisby's weird plan to fake his (Grisby's) murder so he can disappear untailed. He wants the $5000 Grisby has offered, so he can run off with Rosalie. But Grisby turns up actually murdered, and Michael gets blamed for it. Somebody set him up, but it is not clear who or how. Bannister (the actual murderer?) defends Michael in court.

IMDB Rating: 7.7

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Sister Clodagh, currently posted at the Convent of the Order of the Servants of Mary in Calcutta, has just been appointed the Sister Superior of the St. Faith convent, making her the youngest sister superior in the order. The appointment is despite the reservations of the Reverend Mother who believes Sister Clodagh not ready for such an assignment, especially because of its isolated location. The convent will be a new one located in the mountainside Palace of Mopu in the Himalayas, and is only possible through the donation by General Todo Rai of Mopu - "The Old General" - of the palace, where the Old General's father formerly kept his concubines. On the Old General's directive, the convent is to provide schooling to the children and young women, and general dispensary services to all native residents who live in the valley below the palace. Accompanying Sister Clodagh will be four of the other nuns, each chosen for a specific reason: Sister Briony for her strength, Sister Phillipa who is to tend to the garden for food, Sister Blanche - more commonly referred to as Sister Honey - for her general ability to spread happiness, and troubled Sister Ruth, who the Reverend Mother believes will truly find her faith from the change in locale. The palace comes with an elderly female caretaker, slightly off kilter Angu Ayah, and a holy man who meditates in solitude and silence outside the palace grounds night and day, he who is not to be disturbed. The General also provides a young boy, six year old Joseph Anthony, the General's cook's son, who will live at the convent to provide translation services. But the sisters' primary liaison to the General and the outside world is his agent, native Brit Mr. Dean, which may prove to be problematic in his gender and doing any work around the convent. Sister Clodagh faces early challenges in feeling the need to accept two people to the convent: seventeen year old Kanchi, who is pushing the boundaries of her sexuality; and the Old General's son, the "Young General", who wants the same educational opportunities, if not better, than that offered to his female counterparts. Beyond these issues, each of the sisters is challenged by this posting, from the cultural differences, to the isolation, to the general openness of their environment. Sister Clodagh, as the leader, feels that she has no one to turn to in her confusion, her thoughts turning back to her time in Ireland before joining the order and her love for a young man named Con that was partly the reason for her decision to devote her life to God. But it is Sister Ruth whose issues may be the most problematic as she is becoming unhinged in her growing romantic obsession with Mr. Dean, especially as jealousy emerges in she also believing that Sister Clodagh is falling in love with him as well, which may or may not be the case.

IMDB Rating: 8

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Bogart plays a man convicted of murdering his wife who escapes from prison in order to prove his innocence. Bogart finds that his features are too well known, and is forced to seek some illicit backroom plastic surgery. The entire pre-knife part of the film is shot from a Bogart's-eye-view, with us seeing the fugitive for the first time as he starts to recuperate from the operation in the apartment of a sympathetic young artist (played by Bacall) for whom he soon finds affection. But what he's really after is revenge.

IMDB Rating: 7.6

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