An out-of-work pianist tries hitchhiking to Los Angeles for love, but ends up as the driver of a car with a dead body in the trunk and one of the fiercest femme fatales in cinema. A constant battle between power and morals (or some may say sanity) ensues, the pianist knows there’s only one way for this trip to truly end. This is film noir at its most gritty, exciting, and bleak. (dir. Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945, US, 70 min)
“This movie from Hollywood’s poverty row, shot in six days, should have faded from sight soon after it was released in 1945. And yet it lives on, haunting and creepy, an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir. No one who has seen it has easily forgotten it.” – Roger Ebert
Lisa Schwarzbaum: An American film critic. She joined Entertainment Weekly as a senior writer in 1991, working as a film critic for the magazine alongside Owen Gleiberman from 1995 to 2013. Lisa Schwarzbaum’s writing career began with reviewing classical music for The Real Paper and The Boston Globe.She has also written for The New York Times, Time, Slate, The New Statesman, and The Baltimore Sun. She is a past president of the New York Film Critics Circle, and has served a five-year term on the New York Film Festival’s selection committee. Schwarzbaum served as a guest co-host for an episode of Season 14 of Roger Ebert & the Movies. Schwarzbaum is featured in the 2009 documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism describing the importance and impact of two women critics, Molly Haskell and Janet Maslin.