Archive for December 16th, 2008


by Allan Fish

(USA 1949 87m) DVD1

Aka. Deadly is the Female

Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside

p  Maurice King, Frank King  d  Joseph H.Lewis  w  Dalton Trumbo  story  Mackinlay Kantor, based on his story in the “Saturday Evening Post”  ph  Russell Harlan  ed  Harry Gerstad  m  Victor Young  art  Gordon Wiles

John Dall (Bart Tare), Peggy Cummins (Annie Laurie Starr), Annabel Shaw (Ruby Tare), Morris Carnovsky (Judge Willoughby), Russ Tamblyn (Young Bart), Barry Kroeger (Packett), Harry Lewis (Clayde Boston), Nedrick Young,

Nope, that isn’t a song sung by the Joker, but rather Shaw’s Ruby Tare in Joe Lewis’ seminal ‘B’ movie from 1949.  Influenced by Lang’s You Only Live Once and Ray’s They Live by Night and influential to everything from Bonnie and Clyde and Badlands to Natural Born Killers, this is the ‘lovers on the run’ flick to end them all, a true dime-a-dozen masterpiece from the master of such pulp cinema.  (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(USA 2008 116m)

Get off my lawn!

p  Clint Eastwood, Bill Gerber, Robert Lorenz  d  Clint Eastwood  w  Nick Schenk  story  Nick Schenk, Dave Johansson  ph  Tom Stern  ed  Joel Cox, Gary Roach  m  Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens  art  James Murakami 

Clint Eastwood (Walt Kowalski), Christopher Carley (Father Janovic), Bee Vang (Thao Vang Lor), Ahney Her (Sue Lor), Brian Haley (Mitch Kowalski), Geraldine Hughes (Karen Kowalski), John Carroll Lynch (Barber Martin),

It’s a helluva thing, killin’ a man” Clint told us in Unforgiven.  Safe to say his message in that respect hasn’t changed much in 16 years.  In Gran Torino, his latest offering, Clint returns in front of the camera for the first time since the award-laden but depressingly so Million Dollar Baby.  Here’s a man who, 77 when he made the film, still has the charisma, presence and sheer iconic stature to bestride a movie screen like a colossus.  To these eyes, his praised efforts of the new millennium, though none of them without merit, none really approach greatness.  Gran Torino at least comes within a relativly close proximity. 

Walt Kowalski is first glimpsed at the funeral of his much beloved, faithfully devout wife.  He’s visibly sickened by the callous attitude of his children and, especially, his stereotypical solar – ie. thinking the world revolves around them – grandchildren.  He’s angry about a lot of things, from his experiences over 50 years earlier in the Korean War to his son’s trying to get him into a home so he and his wife can make cash from the old family nest to their all eyeing up Walt’s pride and joy, his 1972 Gran Torino.  In addition, if that wasn’t enough to get this old curmudgeon cussing into his beers, he’s surrounded by non WASP immigrant Asians, the youngest brother and sister of whom are trying to break the mould of the gang warfare of their no good cousins.  (more…)

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