i love film noir. it is up there on my list of favorite film genres, more than german shit porn and abstract expressionism combined!
just to break movie guy character for a moment and mention that when i was typing this, an important looking guy asked for help with something. i really really hope he didnt see 'german shit porn' one of the only phrases typed out at that point in my writing.
ok back to blog
and when it comes to film noir, there are a few masters of the genre--fritz lang, sam fuller, robert siodmak, and IMO the great jules dassin. folks only familiar with rififi (a masterpiece btw) would think that dassin was an established french director in the vein of jean pierre melville. well...no. he was a jew from new york (like me!) whose american career was destroyed by mccarthyism. he then went to europe and made extraordinary films (never on sunday, topkapi, the aforementioned rififi). but before we kicked him out he made a set of unforgettable intense film noirs in brute force, thieves highway (arguably the best made on the subject of...apple smugglers!?), and the naked city.
night and the city was the last of his 'great' films that i had yet to see which is suprising given my love of high pants wearing fast talking film noirs (click on that last link...its a great family guy clip). so, it stars gene tierney who i would stab my wife in the throat to have an evening with (sorry cath) and the late great richard widmark who would stab my wife in the throat just because.
widmark might be the best crazy film noir intense guy ever! his wild eyes and sharply curved brings an aire of intensity normally reserved for djimon hounsou (sp?).
the story was straight up; low rank swindler tries to get rich using underhanded swindling and things dont go so well but the way it was filmed and the acting make this standard story a great crime movie! definetely up there as one of dassin's best