Don SiegelUSA80 minutes1954B&WEnglish
Private Hell 36 was one of the last feature productions mounted by Lupino and her ex-husband Collier Young under the banner of their independent production company The Filmakers; director Don Siegel — who had been hired when Lupino, who was also starring opposite her current husband Howard Duff, decided to not direct the film herself — later recalled having numerous battles with his married co-stars, who were fuelling both their performances and their tempestuous relationship with plenty of alcohol. Lupino plays Lilli, a lounge singer at a second-rate L.A. night spot who attracts the attention of two LAPD detectives (Duff and Steve Cochran) after a counterfeit bill she passes turns up as evidence in a murder. When one of the cops falls for Lilli, he tries to convince his straight-laced partner to join him in a plan to skim $100,000 off of a cache of marked bills they recovered from the counterfeiter. "One of that special brand of B noir that just revels in the claustrophobic tawdriness of its characters" (Megan Abbott).
Print courtesy of the BFI National Archive.