The Cinema Cafe

Serving Cinema's Tastiest Treasures

Hidden Gems #8



Hidden Gem #80: Rogue Cop (1954, U.S.A.)

Director: Roy Rowland


From the same writers who brought us 1953's The Big Heat (Sidney Boehm adapting William P. McGivern's source material) comes this far lesser known but just as potent film noir that replaces Glenn Ford's vengeful but clean cop Dave Bannion with Robert Taylor's conflicted but dirty cop Christopher Kelvaney.   






Hidden Gem #79: Hunger a.k.a. Sult (1966, Denmark/Norway/Sweden)

Director: Henning Carlsen

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The director, highly impressed with Nobel Prize winner Knut Hamsun's novel 'Sult', has provided this penetrating and emotionally consuming adaptation that delivers an equally unwavering performance from lead actor Per Oscarsson.







Hidden Gem #78: Between Time and Timbuktu (1972, U.S.A.)

Director: Fred Barzyk


This TV movie is a wildly creative sampling of writer Kurt Vonnegut's various literary works and deserves far more exposer and recognition than it has so far received.








Hidden Gem #77: Série noire (1979, France)

Director: Alain Corneau


An eccentric door-to-door salesman (a stunning performance from Patrick Dewaere) becomes progressively unhinged after encountering a teenager turned prostitute (pimped out by her money grubbing aunt) in Georges Perec and Alain Corneau’s bizarre but energised adaptation of noir writer Jim Thompson's novel.






Hidden Gem #76: He Was Her Man (1934, U.S.A.)

Director: Lloyd Bacon

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A little gem that once again pairs stars James Cagney and Joan Blondell, may have less of the snappy banter between them we've come to expect, but their romantic feelings for one another run deeper, and really hit home after witnessing the shocking finale, a conclusion only made possible during the film's pre-code time period. 






Hidden Gem #75: Adam at Six A.M. (1970, U.S.A.)

Director: Robert Scheerer


Adam at Six A.M. is a finely etched and subtle "coming of age" film with Michael Douglas in the starring role that was overshadowed by the same year's similarly themed and more dramatic Five Easy Pieces; still, this hidden gem deserves more attention especially for the remarkable character portrayal provided by Joe Don Baker.






Hidden Gem #74: If I Had a Million (1932, U.S.A.)

Directors: James Cruze ("Death Cell")
                 H. Bruce Humberstone ("The Forger")
                 Ernst Lubitsch ("The Clerk")
                 Norman Z. McLeod ("China Shop", "Road Hogs")
                 Lothar Mendes (unknown contribution)
                 Stephen Roberts ("Violet", "Grandma")
                 William A. Seiter ("The Three Marines")
                 Norman Taurog ("Prologue", "Epilogue") 


Eight different episodes concerning the surprised recipients of one million dollars comprise this delightful and enchanting pre-code gem with a stellar cast of rising stars.








Hidden Gem #73: Apartment Zero (1988, U.K.)

Director: Martin Donovan


This unique and compelling relationship/mystery-thriller has the admirable distinction of investing, rather than ignoring as many similarly themed films do, a well substantiated emotional centre in its main characters which not only heightens our engagement when the conflicts get out of hand, but provides impetus for pondering the events long after they occur.    





Hidden Gem #72: The Lost One a.k.a. Der Verlorene (1951, Germany)

Director: Peter Lorre


The celebrated actor returned to his native Germany to make his one directorial effort: a shockingly bold, deeply analytical and expressionistic character study about a research scientist living under the Nazi regime compelled to commit murder and its devastating aftereffects on his tortured soul.  





Hidden Gem #71: The Sea a.k.a. Il Mare (1963, Italy)

Director: Giuseppe Patroni Griffi


The director here, better known for his work in opera, emulates Antonioni in the way he captures, develops and exposes the nature of his three principal subjects' emotional dependencies in this little known Italian masterwork. 





Hidden Gems # 1 - 8 begin here.