A mother (Marsha Hunt) wants her son (William Prince) to grow up to be a pianist good enough to play at Carnegie Hall but, when grown, the son prefers to play with Vaughan Monroe's ... See full summary »
Paul, a young man whose father was once lieutenant Governor of California before his untimely death, has a strange, recurring dream in which his mother falls in love with a dangerous man (... See full summary »
Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »
Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »
Whether by chance or providential design, Edgar G. Ulmer's definitive rumination on fate - otherwise known as Detour (1945) - has slowly etched itself into the minds of film lovers around the world as one as one of the quintessential b-movie noirs of its day.
Bolstered by similar musings and patched together at about the same time, Club Havana (1945) amounts to little more than a trifle. A story is concocted out of nowhere and, once over, dissipates back into nothing. But that's part of its charm. In draining a Grand Hotel (1932)-type scenario of a budget as well as a purpose, the film acquires a strong offhand flavour that legitimises the whole ordeal. Low-budget-friendly aggravations of sadness, solitude and regret hover over the set as individual stories coalesce into an abstract whole. Talking leads into music and back into talking. The top-billed Tom Neal is diluted into the narrative and what little there is of a plot through-line emerges elsewhere - and why not?
Ulmer knew how to breathe life into an obviously vacant affair and have a lot of fun in the process. Club Havana may not be Exhibit A (nor B, nor C...) of this refreshing trait, but it's certainly one to consider down the road.
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