Killer thrillers

Fava beans and chi­anti will never taste the same

Irish Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY CHRIS HUNNEYSETT Mir­ror Film Critic

THEY are edge-of-the-seat view­ing. Nail-bit­ing and hair-rais­ing. Sus­pense­laden thrillers have been a favourite of films fans since the early days of cin­ema. To mark a new sea­son of the genre at the BFI this au­tumn, we look at the best thrillers of all time...

Dou­ble In­dem­nity - 1944

A glo­ri­ous tale of greed, lust and be­trayal, this fiendish film noir set the tem­plate for decades ahead. Di­rected by the leg­endary Billy Wilder, it was a box of­fice smash and nom­i­nated for seven Os­cars. Bar­bara Stan­wyck, as the femme fa­tale, se­duces Fred Mac­mur­ray’s in­sur­ance sales­man, pic­tured, into killing her hus­band. With Ed­ward G Robin­son, the three were paid a third of the film’s £500,000 bud­get.

No­to­ri­ous - 1946

A debonair Bri­tish ac­tor play­ing a spy, a gor­geous girl, an ex­otic lo­ca­tion and the deadly pur­suit for a cache of ura­nium... Al­fred Hitch­cock’s clas­sic was a huge in­flu­ence on the James Bond se­ries. A tick­ing clock of post-war nu­clear para­noia, spook Cary Grant se­duces In­grid Bergman, above, to foil a Nazi plot.

The Asphalt Jun­gle - 1950

Di­rected by John Hus­ton, this tale of back­stab­bing thieves is a pulse­quick­en­ing look at moral cor­rup­tion. Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, at 24, shim­mies through a brief ap­pear­ance on her way to mega-star­dom as the moll to a lawyer who fi­nances a jew­ellery store heist. A big plus is the act­ing of Ster­ling Hay­den, above.

Night of the Hunter - 1955

Loathed by crit­ics, ig­nored by au­di­ences and the Brit di­rec­tor Charles Laughton never made an­other movie. But in the years since, this south­ern gothic night­mare has been re-eval­u­ated and is now hailed as a mas­ter­piece. An at­tack on re­li­gious hypocrisy, Robert Mitchum, pic­tured, is an evil, money ob­sessed preacher pur­su­ing Shel­ley Win­ters’ kids.

Point Blank - 1967

A counter-cul­ture cri­tique of the rat race where huge fi­nan­cial re­wards are al­ways one pro­mo­tion away and crime has gone cor­po­rate. Angie Dick­in­son, be­low, stars with Lee Marvin at his hard­boiled best as an ex-con chas­ing $93k from the mob.

All the Pres­i­dent’s Men - 1976

The fall of Pres­i­dent Nixon and the break­down of trust in the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem was the cat­a­lyst for Hol­ly­wood to create a se­ries of in­tel­li­gent, grip­ping, so­cially aware, crit­i­cally lauded thrillers. This is the third in­stal­ment of di­rec­tor Alan J Pakula’s “para­noia tril­ogy”. Dustin Hoff­man and Robert Red­ford, above, star as the Water­gate jour­nal­ists.

Body Heat - 1981

Kathleen Turner was thrust from TV soap star to sul­try big-screen siren in this erotic thriller, purring the line: “You aren’t too smart, are you? I like that in a man.” In this update of Dou­ble In­dem­nity, Turner is the tro­phy wife who se­duces Wil­liam Hurt, above, into mur­der­ing her hus­band.

The Si­lence of the Lambs - 1991

Graphic ten­den­cies also in­fected hor­ror films, which were given a big bud­get nip and tuck with this all-con­sum­ing mon­ster suc­cess. Op­po­site FBI agent Jodie Foster, above, An­thony Hop­kins, left, was cat­a­pulted into the big time for his por­trayal of can­ni­bal­is­tic se­rial killer Dr Han­ni­bal Lecter. Fava beans and chi­anti will never taste the same any more.

Ba­sic In­stinct - 1992

Over a decade of raunchy fare fol­lowed Body Heat – with films such as Fa­tal At­trac­tion – reach­ing a crotch-flash­ing cli­max here. Star­ring Michael Dou­glas, Sharon Stone, above, and the ap­pro­pri­ately named Jeanne Trip­ple­horn, it is con­tro­ver­sial due to its rape scene and ex­ploita­tive treat­ment of les­bian char­ac­ters.

Get Out - 2017

This year’s minibud­get break­out hit is a sharp story of a mixed race cou­ple caught up in a miss­ing per­sons mur­der mys­tery. Star­ring Brit Daniel Kalu­uya and Al­li­son Wil­liams, above, it of­fers an hon­est and un­com­fort­able view of the world. BFI Thriller, runs from Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 20 to Sun­day, De­cem­ber 10 at BFI South­bank, online on BFI Player, and at se­lected UK venues. chris.hunneysett@mir­ror.co.uk

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