Hidden Gem #50: Wake in Fright a.k.a. Outback (1971, Australia/U.S.A.)
Director: Ted Kotcheff
A school teacher from the U.K. receives the culture shock of a lifetime when a planned brief stopover in an Aussie mining town becomes a one way ticket to "self loathing hell" and for us one of the most personally involving horror stories ever filmed.
Hidden Gem #49: Special Section a.k.a. Section spéciale (1975, France/Italy/West Germany)
Less melodramatic than the director's better known Z (1969) and Missing (1982), this straightforwardly powerful account of judicial corruption is based on a true story that took place in Nazi occupied France during World War II.
Hidden Gem #48: Black Rain a.k.a. Kuroi ame (1989, Japan)
Director: Shohei Imamura
The devastating after effects of the Hiroshima bombing are handled in a subdued and subtle fashion in Imamura's most tragic and moving cinematic story.
Hidden Gem #47: The Stranger a.k.a. Lo straniero (1967, Italy/France/Algeria)
Director: Luchino Visconti
Perfectly capturing the theme of existentialism is this provocative portrayal of a lost soul accused of murder in French occupied Algeria (based on the novel by Albert Camus).
Hidden Gem #46: Smog (1962, Italy)
Director: Franco Rossi
Like 1972's The Outside Man (see Top 10: Guilty Treasures) this is a unique and absorbing outsider's view of life in Los Angeles, only instead of the French suspenseful intrigue we have this charming and quirky Italian perspective.
Hidden Gem #45: Cry Danger (1951, U.S.A.)
Director: Robert Parrish
This terrific little L.A. noir with Dick Powell at his cynical best has great heavies, sleazy locations, shady dames, and wicked dialogue to burn - plus even Powell's best friend who sprung him out of prison on a phoney alibi thinks he's guilty.
Hidden Gem #44: Ocean Men: Extreme Dive (2001, Germany)
Director: Bob Talbot
A fascinating, totally unique documentary that looks at two extreme athletes who challenge each other not only in how long they can hold their breaths but in the authenticity of the chosen methods to do so, with the director's amazing underwater photography beautifully scored by composer Cliff Eidelman.
Hidden Gem #43: Four Nights of a Dreamer a.k.a. Quatre nuits d'un rêveur (1971, France)
Director: Robert Bresson
A chance encounter in Paris between a painter and a possible suicide victim turns to dreamy, unrequited love in yet another jewel from the great french director, this one rare and practically unknown.
Hidden Gem #42: Black Tuesday (1954, U.S.A.)
Director: Hugo Fregonese
This brutally vicious prison escape thriller is one of the best of its type and contains a riveting performance by Edward G. Robinson, matched every step of the way by an equally brilliant (and surprisingly intense) turn from Peter Graves as a fellow convict, both of whom are about to be executed.
Hidden Gem #41: Le Crabe Tambour (1977, France)
Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer
A highly engrossing and intelligent film that combines adventure with historical drama and a strong sense of mystery surrounding the heroics of a former French war hero once betrayed, and now sought out, by a dying ship's captain.