Stranger on the Third Floor(1940)
Newspaper reporter John McGuire plunges into a nightmare of guilt, fearing that his "evidence" has sentenced the wrong man to death. A stunning example of cinematic expressionism, cited by many as the first studio film shot in a completely noir style. Peter Lorre virtually reprises the eerily convincing persona he created in Fritz Lang's M, adding an emotion-wringing melancholia to his performance as a paranoid, lost soul. Featuring the astounding art direction of Van Nest Polglase and the brilliant cinematography of Nicholas Musuraca, as well as reportedly uncredited script work by Nathanael West (The Day of the Locust)!