THE KILLERS (1946)
1946, Universal, 103 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

The CITIZEN KANE of film noir that begins with the ending - "I did something wrong ... once" - and moves backward through interweaving flashbacks to reveal the layer of double crosses that led to the opening scene. The script by Anthony Veiller (with an uncredited assist from John Huston) takes the first 10 minutes from Hemingway's short story and then spirals into the noir netherworld that Robert Siodmak depicted better than any other director. The smoldering sexuality between Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner catapulted both to super-stardom. With Edmond O’Brien and Jeff Corey.


CITY ACROSS THE RIVER
1949, Universal, 90 min, USA, Dir: Maxwell Shane

Perhaps Hollywood's earliest treatment of urban youth gangs and juvenile delinquency, with the Amboy Dukes (a young Tony Curtis, Mickey Knox, Richard Jaeckel, Al Ramsen and Joshua Kelley) pitted against a cast-against-type Stephen McNally as a crusading community-center leader in Brooklyn. With the great Thelma Ritter, Jeff Corey, Richard Benedict and Anabel Shaw. This forerunner of better-remembered films including REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE is very rarely screened. NOT ON DVD!


IN COLD BLOOD
1967, Sony Repertory, 134 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

This starkly masterful adaptation of Truman Capote’s true-crime classic emerges as one of the finest films by director Richard Brooks (THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, THE PROFESSIONALS). Robert Blake and Scott Wilson etch startlingly vivid portrayals of killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, two small-time thieves whose bungled home invasion robbery evolved into a slaughter of the helpless Clutter family. Charles McGraw and Jeff Corey are likewise superb as Smith’s and Hickock’s fathers. With John Forsythe as doggedly methodical head investigator Alvin Dewey. Nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director and Screenplay (Brooks), Best Cinematography (Conrad Hall) and Best Music (Quincy Jones).


Syndicate content