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28 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

"....some people are more interested in classifying a film  than actually watching and enjoying it."

C'mon, can't we allow a little snobbery?

 

. .  .and I'm really looking forward to tonight's movie!

 

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Btw, and to answer Thompson's earlier question here:

3 hours ago, Thompson said:

Is The Lost Weekend considered a film noir?

Yes, the general rule of thumb here would be that ANY black & white movie which features a scene in which you see a bat killing and eating a mouse, could be called a "film noir". 

Well, this is of course unless the movie might've starred Bela Lugosi. And THEN we're talkin' the genre of "horror" of course.

But THEN, any movie that features the aforementioned "bat killing and eating a mouse" in Technicolor, could of course ONLY be called a "NEO-noir".

(...but once again ONLY if it didn't star Bela Lugosi, and who thankfully I don't recall making all that many movies in Technicolor and so which would then make all this even MORE confusing than it already is!) 

;)

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On 5/28/2021 at 11:54 AM, jamesjazzguitar said:

Speaking of Richard Conte,   last night on MOVIES-TV I watched what I believe was Conte's best film noir;  the late in the cycle (1955),  The Big Combo.

This is a solid film with a fine cast of actors like Brian Donlevy as an aging Gangster replaced by Conte,  Helen Walker as Conte's wife,   gay henchmen Lee Van Clef and Earl Holliman,   Robert Middleton as a police captain,  John Hoyt as a ship captain with a secret on Conte,  Ted de Corsia as a member of the ship's crew,  and Jean Wallace as Conte's girl.       The other male co-star Cornel Wilde is also very effective,  giving one of his best performances  (well,  without having to do a lot of running!).   

The photography is excellent with many first rate noir visuals.     The ending scene with Wallace,  Conte,  and Wilde with Wallace directing a spot light on Conte to assist Wilde,  is one for the ages.     The film is also very open sexually with Conte having  a  mean and kinky streak.    Noir fans;  this is a must-see!

 

Somebody here posted about The Big Combo a while back.   I scrolled back a few pages to try and find it, but then realized it would take me more time than I was willing to put into the search.  (Sorry to whoever that was who posted about the film a while ago.)

I first saw The Big Combo years ago, it was part of a collection on a probably sketchy DVD boxed set called "Mob Noirs" or some such title.  I can't even remember the other movies; The Big Combo was most definitely the best of the lot.

I really like this movie, and am not sure why it isn't more well-known.   (Anyone know if Eddie's ever shown it on Noir Alley?  I have a feeling he hasn't, but I could be wrong.)   Agreed,  Richard Conte is outstanding in it - but then, he always is.  The Brian Donlevy character is really interesting; there's an uncomfortable scene in which Conte's character openly mocks him, kind of using him as a demonstration of a loser who couldn't hang on to his power.   I think Conte says something like 

"first is first and second is nothing."    Actually, it seems to be his motto, he says that line a few times throughout the film.

Cornel Wilde was a prolific actor, appearing in a great many films throughout the '40s and '50s, although off-hand the only other noir I can remember him in is Road House.  For some reason I often get him mixed up with Victor Mature.

I'm not crazy about the female lead  in The Big Combo,  Jean Wallace.  It's funny how these things are so subjective, but to me, she's neither fascinating as a character, nor all that beautiful as the much sought-after woman both Conte and Wilde are obsessed with.    I thought perhaps Howard Hughes had had a hand in this movie, since at one time he and Jean Wallace were an "item"  (not sure how long it lasted, though);  Hughes was notorious for insisting whatever woman he was involved with at the moment be the star of whatever film he was currently producting.  However,  I could find no connection between Hughes and The Big Combo.

It's just...because I don't think Miss Wallace is particularly impressive, I at first wondered if she'd been cast because of Howard Hughes.  But apparently not.

Other interesting cast members include Helen Walker  (from Nightmare Alley  !), whose character is both mysterious and kind of sad,  and Ted de Corsia as Conte's boss  (I think...it's been a while since I last saw the film)  in a flashback.

But special mention has to be made of Lee Van Cleef (always good)  and Earl Holliman as Conte's right-hand thugs.  The special mention is because this has to be one of the first Hollywood made films to overtly depict a gay couple.  It's quite clear that Van Cleef and Holliman's characters  (Fante and Mingo) are lovers !  They appear to live together, sharing a room  ( and not just to save on rent),  they call each other names like "honey" , and in many ways are devoted to each other.  SPOILER ALERT:  this is especially apparent when  SPOILER ALERT AGAIN  one of them is killed and the other one takes him in his arms and weeps over him,  just like a lover would weep over the death of his beloved.

This is very unusual and novel for a movie made in 1955, even a B  movie, which The Big Combo more or less is.  (But some of the best noirs ever are "B" movies.)

Anyway,  I agree with james,  The Big Combo is a "must-see" for noir fans.  If Eddie hasn't shown it already, I hope it's coming up sometime soon.

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54 minutes ago, Dargo said:

For some reason I've never been particularly impressed with either Rio Bravo or what is pretty much its remake El Dorado, Tom.

Rio Bravo - Aveleyman.com | Best supporting actor, Actors, Character actor

"Never can please you!"

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5 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Anyway,  I agree with james,  The Big Combo is a "must-see" for noir fans.  If Eddie hasn't shown it already, I hope it's coming up sometime soon.

I also wondered if Eddie has ever shown The Big Combo on Noir Alley.      The film is an Allied Artist Picture so maybe Eddie hasn't been able to convince management to pony-up and lease the film.        I wasn't going to watch the film due to the commercial interruptions but once I started watching it,   I stayed with it,,,, commercials and all.   

Note that Ted de Corsia wasn't Conte's boss but instead a member of the boat crew.   Conte's boss is Grazzi who is like the Sean Regan character in The Big Sleep;  mentioned a lot and is murdered,  but is never seen.   

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40 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I also wondered if Eddie has ever shown The Big Combo on Noir Alley.      The film is an Allied Artist Picture so maybe Eddie hasn't been able to convince management to pony-up and lease the film.        I wasn't going to watch the film due to the commercial interruptions but once I started watching it,   I stayed with it,,,, commercials and all.   

Note that Ted de Corsia wasn't Conte's boss but instead a member of the boat crew.   Conte's boss is Grazzi who is like the Sean Regan character in The Big Sleep;  mentioned a lot and is murdered,  but is never seen.   

Thanks for setting me straight re.  the Ted de Corsia character.  As I did admit, although I've seen The Big Combo several times,  even the most recent time was a while ago, and I couldn't remember for sure what role de Corsia played, I just knew he was in it. 

I did want to mention a scene in the film that's always stayed with me;  it's when Diamond,  Cornel Wilde's character,  finds Bettini,  a former gang member who's now hiding out.  As I recall, when Diamond calls on Bettini, the old guy's making spaghetti  (?)  and also, thinks Diamond is one of Conte's  men come to kill him.  The quiet resignation with which Bettini greets Diamond,  and the sad relief he shows when he realizes Diamond is not a hit man, are somehow quite moving.

 

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Thanks for setting me straight re.  the Ted de Corsia character.  As I did admit, although I've seen The Big Combo several times,  even the most recent time was a while ago, and I couldn't remember for sure what role de Corsia played, I just knew he was in it. 

I did want to mention a scene in the film that's always stayed with me;  it's when Diamond,  Cornel Wilde's character,  finds Bettini,  a former gang member who's now hiding out.  As I recall, when Diamond calls on Bettini, the old guy's making spaghetti  (?)  and also, thinks Diamond is one of Conte's  men come to kill him.  The quiet resignation with which Bettini greets Diamond,  and the sad relief he shows when he realizes Diamond is not a hit man, are somehow quite moving.

 

Ted de Corsia was playing the Bettini character.     Yes,  the scene you mention where Bettini is clearly hiding in fear is just another small but solid one in this film.    Another one is with John Hoyt the captain of the boat in which Bettini was a crew member.    The banter between Diamond and Hoyt is just really "cool"  (yea,  I don't really like this term but I feel it fits here);   Diamond makes it clear Hoyt is the next guy Brown (Conte)  will have to take out and you can see the wheels turning in Hoyt head;  should he take the deal of ratting out Brown for protection by Diamond?       The way each approach this very delicate negotiation,  with what is at stake,   is cleaver and well acted.    Of course Hoyt turns down the offer ,,,, exits stage right,,,  there are gun shots,,,,,  and that scene is over.

PS:  Agree with your comments about Jean Wallace.     She comes across as one of those cardboard blondes.     I found Helene Stanton as Diamond's burlesque dancer girlfriend Rita,   to more attractive and interesting than gangster moll with regrets,  Wallace.  

  

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

LOL

You mean like maybe ones which might feature Dino singing a duet with Ricky Nelson?  

But that's my favorite part of RIO BRAVO!

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3 hours ago, Moe Howard said:

It's broken into good/bad western. Most "bad" have Dean Martin in them. 

I do this with musicals.

The bad ones always have Jose Iturbi.

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Well, this is of course unless the movie might've starred Bela Lugosi. And THEN we're talkin' the genre of "horror" of course.

Since you are  mentioning Lugosi this gives me an opening to ask everyone something related to The Kinks song Celluloid Heroes:   all the actors mentioned have a dark side (to some degree):   Garbo leaving movies because she wanted to be alone,   Bette Davis and her lonely life,   Monroe,  George Sanders (who committed suicide),  Valentino who died at 31,   and Lugosi (ok,  not so dark,   but his last film being Plan 9,,,  well that could be considered a bummer way to go out).      

So my question is related to Mickey Rooney - why did Ray Davies include him?;   The line is "If you danced on Mickey Rooney he would still comeback and smile",  is a happy line.  The theme of the song being: success goes hand and hand with failure (in life) on Hollywood Boulevard:     so what was dark about Rooney's life;   The multiple marriages?     

Was Ray not aware who Rooney was married to?   Ava Gardner and Martha Vickers!   (and other beauties).      What is sad or unsuccessful about the life of Rooney?        

 

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

For some reason I've never been particularly impressed with either Rio Bravo or what is pretty much its remake El Dorado, Tom. But yes, Dino is actually pretty good playing the drunkard in the former, and in fact might even be a little better than Mitchum was in virtually the same role in the latter.

El Dorado has Michele Carey in it, which makes it a great movie - at least for her 15 minutes of screen time.

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33 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Since you are  mentioning Lugosi this gives me an opening to ask everyone something related to The Kinks song Celluloid Heroes:   all the actors mentioned have a dark side (to some degree):   Garbo leaving movies because she wanted to be alone,   Bette Davis and her lonely life,   Monroe,  George Sanders (who committed suicide),  Valentino who died at 31,   and Lugosi (ok,  not so dark,   but his last film being Plan 9,,,  well that could be considered a bummer way to go out).      

So my question is related to Mickey Rooney - why did Ray Davies include him?;   The line is "If you danced on Mickey Rooney he would still comeback and smile",  is a happy line.  The theme of the song being: success goes hand and hand with failure (in life) on Hollywood Boulevard:     so what was dark about Rooney's life;   The multiple marriages?     

Was Ray not aware who Rooney was married to?   Ava Gardner and Martha Vickers!   (and other beauties).      What is sad or unsuccessful about the life of Rooney?        

 

As you may be aware, I love the Kinks and know their music well  (well, all their music that counts.)   Shirley anyone who's heard the song "Celluloid Heroes" must be moved by it, especially anyone who's a classic movie fan.

"That said",  I've never really considered that all the stars Davies mentions in the song had sad lives, or experienced loneliness, or came to a tragic end, etc.  I suppose you're right.  Still,  I think maybe he just mentioned Mickey Rooney because it scanned well, or maybe when he was a kid he watched an Andy Hardy movie  (although tv watching in Britain in the 1950s was pretty limited, so maybe not...)  Anyway,  although the other actors listed in "Celluloid Heroes" did encounter sadness (or worse) one way or another at some point in their lives,  and yes, the song has a certain melancholy quality to it,  I suspect there's no particular meaning in the inclusion of Mickey Rooney's name.

...Actually,  I just looked up the lyrics and the line is  "if you stamped on Mickey Rooney, he would still turn round and smile".. There you go.  Mickey Rooney was definitely one of the smiliest stars in Hollywood,  like him or not,  he did seem to grin a lot.  I think that's all there is to it.  (plus, "smile" rhymes with "style", which of course George Sanders had,  even if someone had covered him with garbage.)

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At least now we know where the opening image of the Noir Alley introduction comes from.  Here's Robert Ryan limping along at the beginning of Act of Violence:

evEmkRF.jpg

 

A talented person at TCM turned it into this:

3LLWmjH.jpg

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On 5/29/2021 at 8:43 PM, misswonderly3 said:

As you may be aware, I love the Kinks and know their music well  (well, all their music that counts.)   Shirley anyone who's heard the song "Celluloid Heroes" must be moved by it, especially anyone who's a classic movie fan.

"That said",  I've never really considered that all the stars Davies mentions in the song had sad lives, or experienced loneliness, or came to a tragic end, etc.  I suppose you're right.  Still,  I think maybe he just mentioned Mickey Rooney because it scanned well, or maybe when he was a kid he watched an Andy Hardy movie  (although tv watching in Britain in the 1950s was pretty limited, so maybe not...)  Anyway,  although the other actors listed in "Celluloid Heroes" did encounter sadness (or worse) one way or another at some point in their lives,  and yes, the song has a certain melancholy quality to it,  I suspect there's no particular meaning in the inclusion of Mickey Rooney's name.

...Actually,  I just looked up the lyrics and the line is  "if you stamped on Mickey Rooney, he would still turn round and smile".. There you go.  Mickey Rooney was definitely one of the smiliest stars in Hollywood,  like him or not,  he did seem to grin a lot.  I think that's all there is to it.  (plus, "smile" rhymes with "style", which of course George Sanders had,  even if someone had covered him with garbage.)

To me it also looks like Davies added Rooney for no particular meaning \ reason.      So maybe the reason is a simple as trying to find something that rhymed with style and Davies couldn't find an actor known for their smile that had some degree of sadness in their life (e.g.  Judy Garland would have been a great   "fit" for the vibe of the song,  don't you think?).     Or,  maybe Davies wanted to add a bright "note" to the song to keep it from being too melancholy-one-note. 

But likely there is no reason and I'm overthinking it.    

     

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

To me it also looks like Davies added Rooney for no particular meaning \ reason.      So maybe the reason is a simple as trying to find something that rhymed with style and Davies couldn't find an actor known for their smile that had some degree of sadness in their lives (e.g.  Judy Garland would have been a great   "fit" for the vibe of the song,  don't you think?).     Or,  maybe Davies wanted to add a bright "note" to the song to keep it from being too melancholy-one-note. 

But likely there is no reason and I'm overthinking it.    

     

Judy Garland would have been perfect.  Maybe he couldn't think of anything to rhyme with "Judy".  Or "Garland". 

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Act of Violence - Fantastic film - 82 minutes of being inside of something that is a work of art.  Would love to see this one on the big screen.  Can’t say enough about the acting, and as misswonderly pointed out maybe it’s the chemistry between actors that makes the difference.  I couldn’t find one false move (Eddie said that but I didn’t steal it) from any actor in any scene.  This is a first rate film noir, I’m very glad to have been able to watch it.

I had to smile - Fred asks Frank when they are at the fishing lake bar, “Aren’t you going to finish your beer?”  (Thompson won’t like it if you don’t finish your beer) - but Frank at least took a healthy pull before he put it down.

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I've always been impressed by Janet Leigh's emotional maturity on screen at such a young age; i.e. HOLIDAY AFFAIR, ACT OF VIOLENCE.   

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Big Disclaimer -- I adore Mary Astor -- she is one of my favorite actresses -- a tremendous talent in everything I've ever seen her in, so what I am about to say might be shocking -- but I'm not  particularly fond of Astor's role (the part itself, not her performance) in ACT OF VIOLENCE.  While Mary never gives less than her best, I'm aware of...I don't know...the part being deliberately "colorful" if that makes any sense.   I appreciate how she tries to conceal that distinctively rich, cultured, throaty voice by upping the vocal register for a more "girlish" sound, (much like Bette Davis does in MR. SKEFFINGTON) and also dropping her "g's" to suggest a, shall we say, less than socially prominent background....

Please don't come at me, lol.

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One more tidbit - Frank is in Pat’s apartment and she’s anxious to get out, tells Frank to wake up and sober up, brings his checkbook over to sign the $100 check she figures she’s earned and also gives him the crumpled 8 dollars that’s left of his money.  Frank swipes the checkbook onto to the floor and barges out of the apartment.  How does he get money to move around?  Same with Joe, where did his moving around money come from.  Minor details of course.  I’m interested now in this acting system that Van Heflin belonged to, a mathematical system that links emotions with gestures, body language, and facial expressions.  Eddie said it was before the method acting craze.

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1 hour ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Big Disclaimer -- I adore Mary Astor -- she is one of my favorite actresses -- a tremendous talent in everything I've ever seen her in, so what I am about to say might be shocking -- but I'm not  particularly fond of Astor's role (the part itself, not her performance) in ACT OF VIOLENCE.  While Mary never gives less than her best, I'm aware of...I don't know...the part being deliberately "colorful" if that makes any sense.   I appreciate how she tries to conceal that distinctively rich, cultured, throaty voice by upping the vocal register for a more "girlish" sound, (much like Bette Davis does in MR. SKEFFINGTON) and also dropping her "g's" to suggest a, shall we say, less than socially prominent background....

Please don't come at me, lol.

Mary Astor's role in this is very interesting...I think I heard somewhere  (Eddie?  can't remember)  that Astor was happy to play a character so different from all the respectable "mother" roles she'd been given recently.

That whole scenario...Frank running wildly away from Joe,  swirling deeper and deeper into the shadows of the city, until he arrives at some kind of underworld,  that sketchyy bar where Mary Astor calls him "handsome"  (is she trying to get some business?  Is she really a "woman of the night" ?  Probably, but I like it that it's left  vague),  and then Mary's apartment, complete with the naked lightbulb swinging depressingly overhead--  I love all that, I love the way Frank just randomly runs into her and her shady friends (or maybe acquaintances...Mary doesn't seem too fond of them herself.)

I did notice that she dropped her "g's", I guess to distance herself even more from the type of woman she usually played.  I just enjoy the whole thing,  the way she keeps talking about "getting some kicks",  her introducing Frank to the amoral lawyer ,  the "Johnny" character  (so effectively played by Barry Kroeger), Frank's passivity, maybe lying to himself again  ( as he did at the prisoner-of-war camp)  that he wasn't agreeing to a deal to kill Joe -- that whole final third of the movie is like some bizarre underworld, and Mary Astor is the weary ineffectual queen of it.  

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One more comment and I’ll slink away — The ending — thought for sure Frank would be rushed to the hospital and survive and all that.  No way.  Great ending.

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22 hours ago, Thompson said:

One more comment and I’ll slink away — The ending — thought for sure Frank would be rushed to the hospital and survive and all that.  No way.  Great ending.

Of course it had to end that way.  While yes,  there are noirs (quite a few, actually) with happy endings,  sometimes feeling a bit stuck-on  (for example,  would Victor Mature's character really survive getting shot at close range by Tommy Udo in Kiss of Death ?)  many noirs - and for that matter, many films of the day (late 1940s)  had a sort of rough justice to them. Frank had to die because,  well,  he'd done something wrong, something that couldn't be papered over,  and he had to pay for it.

In a way, it was the only thing that could have happened;  one has to wonder if Frank would ever have been truly happy, if he ever would have forgiven himself for what he did in the prisoner-of-war camp.  His angst wasn't just about Joe's relentless pursuit of him and his fear of Joe's revenge; after a while that seems almost incidental to the real demon stalking Frank:  his own conscience.  

I realize it sounds harsh to say "Frank did something wrong and had to pay for it with his life",  especially given how sympathetic a character he is.  That's one of the things about Act of Violence that makes it so good;  Frank  seems like he is a completely decent, "good" person, but we find out he had a dark side.  He is a "good" person, but he also did something in his past that was terrible.  Like all of us, he's both "good" and  "bad".  As is Joe  (Robert Ryan's character), a mixture of both.  At first we think he's  the "bad" guy,  he's seen relentlessly stalking with a gun  this nice family man, he has an unnerving limp  (like a  monster in a horror movie),  he's clearly a threat to the nice man and his sweet wife and child.  Yet as the story unfolds, we see that he too is basically a "decent" person who's been damaged by trauma and hate.  

I love that switch Act of Violence pulls on us:  the "hero" turns out to have a very big skeleton in his closet, while the menacing scary person turns out to have justification for his hatred and need for revenge.  And he's very much "humanized" when his girl, Ann, shows up and tries to dissuade him from his quest. Neither character is all good or all bad - just like real life, and just like all of us.

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They killed the wrong guy at the end dude. Yes, Heflin was a bland suburban Babbitt in training

and yes he made an error in judgement thinking that the Nazis had any sense of fair play. Maybe

he wasn't in the U.S. to see all those WWII flicks to know what a bad lot the goose steppers were.

But I'd take him any day over that teeth gritting fruitcake that Ryan played. This guy was pretty close

to a Nazi himself. All that was missing was a black leather trenchoat instead of a regular cloth one. I've

seen this a few times before and I realize the nutcase walks away in the end, but I would still rather

see him get wasted at the conclusion. The visuals, direction, and acting are certainly first rate, though

there are a few things that seem a bit illogical. Did the con artist that Mary Astor introduced Van the

Man to really think that a simple hit was worth $10,000? That Van would sell his business and then

give a big part of the proceeds to these third-rate lowlifes? By the look of these guys I'm guessing that

something between $500 and $1000 would have got the job done. I also find it hard to believe that

the hitman would have traveled all the way to Santa Lisa to knock Ryan off without getting a cent from

Heflin. Sure he was likely a bit of a sadist, but not one without a keen interest in the bottom line. Even

suspension of disbelief has a limit. But those are just minor things that one notices along the way and

don't ruin the overall impact of the movie. I'd give it a B+. If someone had wacked Ryan, I'd upgrade

it to an A-. 

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

They killed the wrong guy at the end dude. Yes, Heflin was a bland suburban Babbitt in training

and yes he made an error in judgement thinking that the Nazis had any sense of fair play. Maybe

he wasn't in the U.S. to see all those WWII flicks to know what a bad lot the goose steppers were.

But I'd take him any day over that teeth gritting fruitcake that Ryan played. This guy was pretty close

to a Nazi himself. All that was missing was a black leather trenchoat instead of a regular cloth one. I've

seen this a few times before and I realize the nutcase walks away in the end, but I would still rather

see him get wasted at the conclusion. The visuals, direction, and acting are certainly first rate, though

there are a few things that seem a bit illogical. Did the con artist that Mary Astor introduced Van the

Man to really think that a simple hit was worth $10,000? That Van would sell his business and then

give a big part of the proceeds to these third-rate lowlifes? By the look of these guys I'm guessing that

something between $500 and $1000 would have got the job done. I also find it hard to believe that

the hitman would have traveled all the way to Santa Lisa to knock Ryan off without getting a cent from

Heflin. Sure he was likely a bit of a sadist, but not one without a keen interest in the bottom line. Even

suspension of disbelief has a limit. But those are just minor things that one notices along the way and

don't ruin the overall impact of the movie. I'd give it a B+. If someone had wacked Ryan, I'd upgrade

it to an A-. 

I don't agree about the Robert Ryan character.  As I said, yes, at first he does seem monstrous, obsessed , fully prepared to kill a decent man  (except he knows Frank isn't as decent as everyone else thinks he is.)

But I also think, as the film progresses,  Joe turns out to be not so evil.  I do think the  (albeit brief )  scenes he has with Ann  (sympathetically played by Phyllis Thaxter) do make Joe more sympathetic, we can understand why he's obsessed with taking revenge on Frank, and we can also understand that at one point, he did try to live a "normal " life, and forget about Frank.  (This is more implied than spelt out, but it's there....)

Something you may not have noticed, because it's easy to miss, is that , in that final scene at the railway tracks,  Ryan lowers his gun.  It's very brief, but I was watching for it this time -- whether because Ann's words had an impact on him, or whether he just decided he'd had enough of hatred and revenge, or maybe even because he didn't want to ruin the rest of his life -- whatever the reason, we clearly see Joe stare at Frank, keep on walking towards him, and then, puts his gun away.  He was not going to shoot Frank, regardless of whether "Johnny" the hit man appeared on the scene or not.

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I think it matters about how convincing Ryan's rather late change from a nutcase to a remorseful

person is. I don't find it very believable. He not only goes after Van, which is somewhat understandable,

but he terrorizes Janet Leigh for much of the picture. Of course there is ambiguity about Van's actions

in the POW camp--whether he just wanted to save those men from being killed in a futile escape or

if he really wanted to get some favors from the commandant, or if there is a mixture of those two motives.

Ryan could have reported it to the army instead of being judge and jury and getting a gun and going after Van.

I don't remember the exact position of Ryan's gun before the hitman shot Van. I'll have to look for that

next time. 

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