Please Murder Me (B&W, 1956): "In 55 minutes I will be dead... murdered." Attorney Craig Carlson, sitting in the shadows of his dark office, solemnly dictates this stunning announcement into a tape recorder. Carlson has fallen in love with Myra, the wife of his best friend, Joe Leeds. Joe is found dead and Myra is arrested for murder. Carlson defends her at the trial. Things are not always as they seem and there are no happy endings for the doomed participants of this tragic triangle. One year before his Perry Mason show, Raymond Burr plays a similar role in this dark, low-budget film noir. A young Angela Lansbury plays the femme fatale, and Dick Foran, veteran of B Westerns and Universal horror movies plays the murder victim Joe Leeds.
A Life at Stake (B&W, 1954): An architect embroiled in an adulterous affair suspects that he is marked for murder. Building designer Edward Shaw has been making time with Doris, his business partner's wife. After being pressured by the couple to take out a hefty life insurance policy, he narrowly escapes death in a strange, nearly fatal accident. Doris's own sister, Madge, divulges that Doris' first husband had died under mysterious circumstances, and Shaw even tells the police of his suspicions. Torn between his fear of death and his lust for Doris, Shaw nonetheless agrees to meet his lover in a mountaintop cabin. When her cuckolded husband finally appears at the door, hard-drinking Doris brings a gun into the picture, and death arrives shortly thereafter.