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ERROL23

I Walk Alone(1948)

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Frankie Madison(Burt Lancaster)is out of the pen after doing twenty years.Hes met by an old friend Dave(Wendell Corey)a bookeeper for mobster,Noll Dink Turner(Kirk Douglas)Frankie and Noll were partners during Prohibition and he believes Noll and he are still partners in a club the gangster owns.Noll has no intention of having anything more to do with Frankie.Frankie comes to the club that night and shifty,twofaced Noll welcomes him.Noll introduces Frankie to Kay Lawrence(Lizebeth Scott)the clubs star singer and they both fall in love.

 

 

Trouble starts when Frankie is told hes got no part of the club.Frankie reminds Noll of their partnership and the time he did.Noll laughs it off.

 

 

Frankie gets a small gang together led by Nick Polestro(Marc Lawrence)an Ex bootlegger,with plans to take over the club,but it gets them nowhere.Frankie is beten badly by Nolls henchman,Dan(Mike Mazurki)Sicken by it all,Dave reminds Noll of a Bset of books the gangster has.Angry,Noll has Dave killed by Skinner(Mickey Knox)a cheap gunman and the blame is put on Frankie.

 

 

Great Noir and Gangster Film.

 

 

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This movie has been discussed a lot on another thread. While I enjoy the film, to me it has a few major flaws that prevent it from being an 'A' picture.

 

One is the acting of Lancaster and Scott. Lancaster overacts. Yea, he is angry and I get that but to me the acting looks like the type one gets in a acting training school: "Burt, now act really angry and upset"; Just too much like James Dean in my view. Scott is just weak.

 

I do think Douglas is wonderful in this movie. The only other thing I think is flawed is the ending. The entire plot is built on the fact that Douglas has grown up. He doesn't need violence to be a crook. He is now what we call a corporate gangster. (a fact Lancaster is never able to understand).

 

But after Douglas is about to be exposed by his accountant he turn back to the type of guy he was many years ago. I just don't see Douglas doing that after he has changed so much. So to me a better noir ending would of been Douglas having a set of clean books where the accountant couldn't pin anything on him and than Lancaster, the guy that only understands violence, killing Douglas, and going to the death house. The happy ending was just too sappy and un-noir like.

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Good observation , JJG. Burt was still "learning his craft" while Kirk had the edge in acting experience at this time. Burt had to rely on his director a lot I'm sure. And yet Burt got the early big break (his role in *The Killers* ) while Kirk had to wait awhile for a real starring role. Its still fun watching Burt and Kirk "spar" and its an indication of their future joint efforts.

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To ensure I'm not misunderstood I think Lancaster was a quick learner and he was a very natural actor even when he played over the top characters (e.g. Rainmaker), later in his career. But in this early effort his lack of experience shows. I also think Scott didn't help. For example, look at Kirk's first movie; Martha Ivers. I'm sure having a female co-star like Stanwyck has to help a novice actor.

 

 

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I really liked this one too and have very little criticism on it. I actually could understand Burt's character being fuming mad for doing time and not getting what's coming to him in the end. I love Liz Scott, but I must say I prefer when she's playing a tough femme fatale. This was not one of her compelling roles. Kirk is always good. Isn't it incredible that he's still with us in 2018?!

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29 minutes ago, decojoe67 said:

I really liked this one too and have very little criticism on it. I actually could understand Burt's character being fuming mad for doing time and not getting what's coming to him in the end. I love Liz Scott, but I must say I prefer when she's playing a tough femme fatale. This was not one of her compelling roles. Kirk is always good. Isn't it incredible that he's still with us in 2018?!

Here is what I said about this film 6 years ago:

The only other thing I think is flawed is the ending. The entire plot is built on the fact that Douglas has grown up. He doesn't need violence to be a crook. He is now what we call a corporate gangster. (a fact Lancaster is never able to understand).

But after Douglas is about to be exposed by his accountant he turn back to the type of guy he was many years ago. I just don't see Douglas doing that after he has changed so much. So to me a better noir ending would of been Douglas having a set of clean books where the accountant couldn't pin anything on him and than Lancaster, the guy that only understands violence, killing Douglas, and going to the death house. The happy ending was just too sappy and un-noir like.

****  new comments ***

I really like the corporate gangster verses traditional one theme in noirs.   We see this in the Mitchum \ Ryan \ Scott film,   The Racket.   Ryan wants to play it the old way but the 'man' wants to use the new techniques of accountants, lawyers and politicians more than hoods and violence.  

Hey, there is still a lot to like about I Walk Alone,   but I wish the film had stuck to the theme it started out with. 

Also,  another noir where Scott is a 'good' girl.   While she is clearly an iconic noir actress she plays more of these type of roles than the femme fatale (Dead Reckoning,  Too Late for Tears).

 

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