The Film Noir That Got Away

Maggie Smith and George Nader in the film noir, Nowhere to Go (1958)

Maggie Smith and George Nader in the film noir, Nowhere to Go (1958)

Ealing Studios. The name conjures up memories of the great British comedies such as The Man in the White Suit, The Ladykillers, The Lavender Hill Mob and Kind Hearts and Coronets.  Film noir, however, is not the genre that usually comes to mind although Ealing rubbed shoulders with it occasionally in It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) and Pool of London (1951). Oddly enough, one of the studio’s final releases, Nowhere to Go (1958) was pure, unadulterated noir and a stylish, terse little thriller to boot. Sadly, it has been overlooked and unappreciated for years even though it marks the feature film debut of director Seth Holt and gave actress Maggie Smith her first major screen role.  Continue reading

Dancing Queen

Helen (aka Helen Jairag Richardson Khan) is a Bollywood musical legend

Helen (aka Helen Jairag Richardson Khan) is a Bollywood musical legend

The title of the 31 minute documentary Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls (1973) is a homage to the Indian superstar Helen, who may possibly hold the title of the most famous and beloved of all Bollywood film legends. A nautch girl in India is one who specializes in demonstrating a wide variety of popular dances and Helen had few rivals at this as demonstrated by the remarkable range of her talent in a head-spinning array of film clips from her long career. Continue reading