LARCENY
1948, Universal, 89 min, USA, Dir: George Sherman

Here’s one of Dan Duryea’s most obscure titles, also notable for being the first foray into film noir for crooner John Payne (of 99 RIVER STREET and KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL fame). The two slicks play hustlers trying to bilk a war widow (Joan Caulfield) out of her money. Things really heat up when pistol-packing Shelley Winters, who has a thing for both men, hits town. Wisecracking scriptwriter Bill Bowers has a field day with all the slang-spewing sass.


BIG JAKE
1971, National General, 110 min, USA, Dir: George Sherman

John Wayne is Jacob McCandles, a former gunfighter summoned by his estranged family when his grandson (played by Wayne’s son Ethan) is kidnapped. Ruthless outlaw Richard Boone holds the boy hostage in Mexico, demanding a fortune in ransom; Big Jake rides in for a shootout rather than a pay-off. With music by Elmer Bernstein and plenty of bloody action (writers Harry and Rita Fink also penned DIRTY HARRY), this is one of the Duke’s best latter-day Westerns. Co-starring Maureen O'Hara.


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