Week four of Noirvember and it's time to get outside and rough up some clowns because we're shooting on location. If you're interested in the odds, the ratings work like this:
Sister, I’ve Known Some Pretty Hard Cases in My Time; You Make ‘em All Look Like Putty. = ***
You've Probably Had Your Bread Buttered on Both Sides Since the Day You Were Born. = **
I Wouldn't Give You the Skin Off a Grape = *
Time to pound the pavement, suckers.
THIEVES' HIGHWAY - It's a noir about apples. Yes, it's directed by the maestro Jules Dassin but it is still a movie about apples. *
CAUGHT - A trio of great performances orchestrated by director Max Olphüs but none so juicy as that of Robert Ryan's sadistic, paranoid heavy (and it's tough to out do the prince of f**king darkness). **
THE BREAKING POINT - Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) shines up the toxic masculinity of Ernst Hemingway's short story to give us the tragic downward spiral of John Garfield's sap of a hero. **
PANIC IN THE STREETS - It's a movie about a disease that threatens to wipe out an entire city, possibly all of America. How's that for prescience? On top of that you have Elia Kazan directing terrific performances by Richard Widmark, Zero Mostel, and Jack Palance (that's him in the picture). Wow! ***
HE RAN ALL THE WAY - John Garfield and Shelly Winters are undeniably winning in John Berry's final film before being blacklisted by HUAC, but the real star here is cinematographer James Wong Howe. Every angle, every composition, let's you know that the photography is in reliable hands.
This week it's easy to declare PANIC IN THE STREETS the heavyweight in the room. See ya next time.