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Hammer Noir
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suppliedTitle,The Unholy Four

Introduction to Hammer Noir

The British production company Hammer Films, best known for its Gothic horror movies, also produced sci-fi films, thrillers, comedies and films noir. Here, in their TCM premieres, are four entries from the latter genre, produced by Hammer in the 1950s and featuring stars known for their work in American noir. All four were directed by Terence Fisher, famous for his handling of Hammer horrors featuring Dracula, the Frankenstein monster and other monstrosities.

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.

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