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Phones ring without being answered, cigarettes smolder in ashtrays and rays of light clandestinely spill out from underneath locked doors in Open Secret, an excellent independently-produced film noir social issue melodrama from the late 1940s. Paul and Nancy Lester (John Ireland and Jane Randolph) are newlyweds back in the old neighborhood to visit a good friend who has disappeared. Investigation leads them to the enter of a violent hate cult willing to murder any Jewish "outsiders" unfortunate enough to set foot on their turf. Slick expressionist lighting and fluid camera work augment this moralistic drama, as interesting for its techniques as it is for its universal message.

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ALP4362 Open Secret DVD (1948/John Ireland) $5.99