Introduction to Hammer Noir
Man Bait (1952) stars George Brent as a bookstore owner accused of killing a scheming blonde (Diana Dors) and rescued by his loyal secretary (Marguerite Chapman). In Blackout (1954), based on the Helen Nielsen novel Gold Coast Nocturne, Dane Clark plays a war veteran who is set up as the fall guy in a murder plot. Stolen Face (1952), which foreshadows Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo in some ways, has Paul Henreid as a brilliant plastic surgeon who loses the love of his life (Lizabeth Scott) and transforms another woman into her image. The Unholy Four (1954), from a novel by Leigh Brackett, stars Paulette Goddard as a woman whose husband (William Sylvester) returns home unexpectedly after suffering amnesia, only to be suspected of murder.