suspense

Movie Picks | Black Widow (1954) | Why you shouldn’t invite random houseguests over when your wife is away…

blackwidow

When Broadway producer Peter Denver (Van Heflin) meets young, aspiring writer Nancy Ordway (Peggy Ann Garner) at a party, he has no idea how the chance meeting will impact his life. (more…)

Bookshelf | Dare Me by Megan Abbott (2012) | The dark side of cheerleading…

dare-me

As captain and lieutenant of the varsity cheerleading squad, sassy BFFs Beth and Addy are at the peak of their high-school careers. When “perfect” new cheer coach Colette French arrives on the scene, she quickly wins the respect of Addy and everyone else on the squad—except Beth, who finds her queen-bee status threatened by everyone’s idolization of Coach. When a suicide prompts a police investigation into the lives of Coach and the girls, the plot takes a dark turn. This peek into the world of cheerleaderdom is full of secrets, lies, and twisted stunts.

Movie Picks | Dial M for Murder (1954) | He thought he had planned the perfect crime…

dial_m_for_murder

Secretly aware of the fact his wealthy wife Margot (Grace Kelly) has been having an affair with mystery writer Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings), ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) concocts a seemingly airtight scheme to have Margot murdered. Of course, things don’t go as planned…

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay by Frederick Knot (based on his 1952 stage play Dial M for Murder)
Produced by Alfred Hitchcock
Released by Warner Bros.

Bookshelf | The Partner by John Grisham (1997) | How to run away from your problems

the partner

When attorney Patrick Lanigan discovers his fellow partners at his law firm are involved in a fraudulent scheme from which they stand to gain millions, Patrick fakes his own car-accident death and successfully steals $90 million dollars from the firm’s off-shore bank account.

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Movie Picks | Strait-Jacket (1964) | Once an axe-murderer, always an axe-murderer?

Strait-Jacket

After spending twenty years in a psychiatric hospital for the axe-murder of her cheating husband, Lucy Harbin (Joan Crawford) is anxious about re-entering society.

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Movie Picks | Rear Window (1954) | A view to (watch someone) kill

rear-window-poster (2)

Immobilized by a broken leg, photographer L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) finds himself with nothing to do but look out the window of his New York City apartment.

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Movie Picks | Dead Ringer (1964) | A dark tale of un-sisterly love

Classic Movie Pick: Dead Ringer (1964)

When unmarried, down-on-her-luck Edith (Bette Davis) discovers her identical twin sister Maggie (also Bette Davis) has enjoyed a life of luxury with the man Edith used to love, Edith kills Maggie and takes her place. After committing the act, Edith struggles to keep her true identity a secret.

Directed by Paul Henreid
Screenplay by Oscar Millard and Albert Beich (based on the story La Otra by Rian James)
Produced by William H. Wright
Released by Warner Bros. Pictures

Movie Picks | Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) | Where was caller ID when she needed it?

Classic Movie Pick: Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

While home alone one night, rich Leona Stevenson (Barbara Stanwyck) dials a number and overhears two men plotting the murder of an unidentified woman. After piecing together some evidence, she begins to suspect she might be the target.

Directed by Anatole Litvak
Screenplay by Lucille Fletcher (based on her 1943 radio play Sorry, Wrong Number)
Produced by Anatole Litvak and Hal B. Wallis
Released by Paramount Pictures

Bookshelf | This Sweet Sickness by Patricia Highsmith (1961) | The Ex from H-E-Double-Hockey Sticks

Book Recommendation: This Sweet Sickness by Patricia Highsmith (1961)

Psychopathic loner David Kelsey has resolved to rekindle his relationship with his beloved Annabelle and make her his wife.  In David’s eyes, the fact that Annabelle is now married to someone else presents only a small obstacle…

In true Highsmith fashion, in David Kelsey, she has masterfully created a layered character who is absolutely detestable yet for whom the reader can sympathize. This novel is thick with psychological suspense and a darkly entertaining read.

Bookshelf Favorite!

Bookshelf | The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955) | How not to go about transforming yourself

Book Recommendation: The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

When self-hating Tom Ripley meets handsome, carefree Dickie Greenleaf in Italy, Tom begins to obsess over Dickie and his enviable lifestyle–to the point of madness.

My favorite thing about this novel is Highsmith’s characterization of Tom Ripley. She masterfully creates a layered character the reader both despises and sympathizes for. While Tom Ripley is a despicable person, he represents some of humankind’s deepest longings and darkest urges, and he struggles with one of the most difficult emotions one can experience in life: unrequited love.

Bookshelf Favorite!