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"Naked City" (1948) and "Brute Force" (1947)


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These two great Jules Dassin movies are being shown today as part of the tribute to the great director - and for genre fans, they're definitely worth catching:

 

*Naked City* (1948) 2pm ET

A step-by-step look at a murder investigation on the streets of New York.

Cast: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor Dir: Jules Dassin BW-96 mins, TV-14

 

*Brute Force* (1947) 6:15pm ET

Tough, disgruntled prisoners plan a daring, possibly bloody escape while on a drain pipe detail.

Cast: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo Dir: Jules Dassin BW-98 mins, TV-14

 

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Finally got around to seeing "Brute Force." What a stylish noir. Loved the crane shots from the tower, the use of violence, the whole pacing of the film. Dassin is really a sure stylist. The only Dassin film I'd seen was "Topkapi," very good in a different manner. The early 60s loved caper films the way the 40s loved noir.

 

Yes, it was fascinating to see Bickford as Garbo's suitor in "Anna Christie" and then as the aging prisoner here.

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Dassin's movies from the 40s are definitely very different from those he made in the 60s, and in fact all of his post-Hollywood films. (As you may know, his career in Hollywood ended after being reported to and subpoenaed by HUAC and he left for Europe around 1952).

 

It's interesting to wonder what his later movies might have been if he hadn't become a victim of McCarthyism and had stayed in Hollywood.

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Not sure if "Brute Force" fits all definitions of noir. However, it has stylish black & white photography and a dark, brooding view of the universe; it has stunning moments of violence; most of the main characters end up dead; and there are two femme fatales in the flashbacks. And it's a 40s film. That covers some of the bases.

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> {quote:title=mrroberts wrote:}{quote}

> How about "Night and the City" with Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney?

 

 

That's a great one, one of the best noirs of all time. I think Widmark gives perhaps his most nuanced performance in any noir, and the entire supporting cast is terrific (although Gene Tierney, as great as she is to look at, seems a bit miscast). In addition, Dassin uses the London backdrop to great effect, as well as any director ever used any American city. I highly recommend this one.

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The remake with DeNiro and Jessica Lange isn't bad, just not up to the original. I think this was Dassin's first film he did after leaving the U.S. for Europe following the HUAC problem.Widmark was such a fine actor in many roles but he was so good in Noir....

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