|Karkoff or Karkov?|
2. Little Fugitive (1953) - A six-year-old boy, believing that he has shot and killed his older brother, runs away to Coney Island. This independent feature boasts no major stars, but features an incredibly natural performance from Richard Brewster as little Lennie. This sweet, wholesome film plays like a home movie from the 1950s--you can almost taste the boardwalk hotdogs. It pops up occasionally on television, so it's less obscure than others on this list. I highly recommend it.
3. Outlaw Blues (1977) - Peter Fonda plays a ex-con who writes a catchy country song that's stolen by a famous singer. When he confronts the singer, the latter is accidentally shot and Fonda becomes an outlaw. Outlaw Blues reminds me of one of those entertaining drive-in pics that eventually made Burt Reynolds a star (e.g., W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings). Fonda and Susan Saint James make an appealing pair. The title tune was written by John Oates of Hall & Oates.
|Judy as the white Mewsette.|
5. Love That Brute (1950) - Paul Douglas stars a lovable gangster that falls for a charming governess (Jean Peters). He tells her that he is a widower with a son--which means he has to find a son! I'm a fan of comedies in which a simple lie (is there such a thing?) cascades into an elaborate deception that's certain to come crumbling down. Given the popularity of Peters and Douglas, you'd think this would be shown much more often than it is. It's supposed to be a remake of Tall, Dark and Handsome (1940), which I have not seen.
|That's Dr. Lauren Bacall!|
7. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956). Director Fritz Lang's last U.S. film (and one of the last of his career) stars Dana Andrews as a novelist who frames himself in order to make a statement on capital punishment. Neither Lang nor Andrews are in top form here, but Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is an absorbing "B" picture with a twist that genuinely surprised me when I saw it as a teenager.