Talk about escaping with a movie! Try time-traveling to the world of early French film noir – with Elevator to the Gallows. A trio of attractions includes: femme fatale Jeanne Moreau, who’d go on to become an acting legend; Louis Malle, making his first film, would likewise go on to become a directing legend; and a soundtrack by Miles Davis that became legendary in itself. The other star is 1950s Paris, in a tense drama brimming with sensuality and allure. Available online on Hulu; disc only from Netflix.
Our ongoing discoveries in the genre of international crime series comes by way of Copenhagen. The award-winning Danish TV series The Eagle: A Crime Odyssey has all the addictive elements: an appealing lead detective, nicknamed “The Eagle”; a super-smart, eclectic group of investigators; and the fact that it ranges across Europe cinematically in its three seasons: from Denmark on to Norway, Sweden, Russia, Germany, even Iceland. The Eagle is the nickname for Halgrim Hallgrimsson, a half-Icelandic, half-Danish police officer who gets in trouble with women almost as often as he tangles with terrorists, fraudsters and the KGB in the task force he has assembled to combat international crime. His charm in the romantic department is that he barely seems to try, and things, well, just happen. The series, which is available on Netflix, debuted in 2004 and ran for three seasons, winning an International Emmy for best non-American TV drama in 2005.