Raoul Walsh – High Sierra (1941)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Review (Time Out Film Guide)
A momentous gangster movie which took the genre out of its urban surroundings into the bleak sierras, and in so doing marked its transition into film noir. It isn’t just that Bogart’s Mad Dog Earle is a man ‘rushing towards death’, infallibly doomed and knowing it, from the moment he is paroled and through the half-hearted hold-up to his last stand on the mountainside. He also in a sense wills his own destruction, his dark despair fuelled by the betrayal of an innocent, clubfooted country girl whose operation he pays for, and who casually abandons him as soon as she can ‘have fun’. Terrific performances, terrific camerawork (Tony Gaudio), terrific dialogue (John Huston and WR Burnett from the latter’s novel), with Walsh – who in fact reworked the material as Colorado Territory eight years later – giving it something of the memorable melancholy of a Peckinpah Western. Continue reading

Billy Wilder – Double Indemnity (1944)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In 1938, Walter Neff, an experienced salesman of the Pacific All Risk Insurance Co., meets the seductive wife of one of his clients, Phyllis Dietrichson, and they have an affair. Phyllis proposes to kill her husband to receive the proceeds of an accident insurance policy and Walter devises a scheme to receive twice the amount based on a double indemnity clause. When Mr. Dietrichson is found dead on a train-track, the police accept the determination of accidental death. However, the insurance analyst and Walter’s best friend Barton Keyes does not buy the story and suspects that Phyllis has murdered her husband with the help of another man. Continue reading

Peter Yates – The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Throughout Peter Yates’ masterful The Friends of Eddie Coyle, crooks, thieves and the occasional police officer use terms of complacent endearment — friend, nice guy, good man — but the words never seem to carry any meaning. All of them tend to agree that Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum), a career criminal at 51, is a nice guy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to put him in the dirt if it makes their lives easier. Coyle can’t really blame them for it; he knows the way of the world.

As its title points out, Friends has a very marginal interest in Eddie himself. In his first scene, Coyle goes about telling a gun dealer (Steven Keats) about how some associates of other associates slammed his fingers after a deal went sour. A low-level hood since God-knows-when, Eddie speaks about the situation congenially before telling the dealer that he needs 30 guns. Coyle has been supplying guns to a pack of bank robbers, the head of which is played by Alex Rocco. The money he’s making is to support his wife and kids before he reports for a two-year stint in a New Hampshire prison; he doesn’t feel his family should be scraping by on welfare. Continue reading

Howard Hawks & Richard Rosson – Scarface (1932)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot Synopsis [AMG]
Completed in mid-1930, Scarface, based on Armitage Trail’s novel of the same name, might have been the first of the great talkie gangster flicks, but it was held up for release until after that honor was jointly usurped by Little Caesar and Public Enemy. Paul Muni stars as prohibition-era mobster Tony Camonte, a character obviously patterned on Al Capone (whose nickname was “Scarface”). The homicidal Camonte ruthlessly wrests control of the bootlegging racket from his boss, Johnny Lovo (Osgood Perkins), and claims Lovo’s mistress, Poppy (Karen Morley), in the bargain. But while Poppy satisfies him sexually, Tony has a soft spot in his heart only for his sister Cesca (Ann Dvorak). The film’s finale is one of the longest and bloodiest of the 1930s, maintaining suspense and concern for the characters involved even though Muni has deliberately done nothing to make Tony likeable to audience. Continue reading

Ozan Aciktan – Silsile AKA Consequences (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Cenk has just arrived back to Istanbul from the United States. Suppressed love slowly begins to resurface after he encounters Ece, a woman whom he had a romantic relationship with in the past. Suddenly, there is a robbery attempt in a quiet and gloomy house, which results in a crime being committed. Ece flees the scene of the crime and in comes Faruk, Cenk’s best friend and Ece’s fiancé. The two best friends struggle to keep their secrets hidden from one another. Intertwining chain of events follow as these three urban lives are put to the ultimate test; their sufferings and disappointments being exposed to the surface for all to see. Continue reading

Christian Petzold – Polizeiruf 110: Kreise (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

German review by T. Groh:

Quote:
[…] Ein Meta-Fernsehkrimi. Für dieses Vorhaben bietet der BR-“Polizeiruf” um Kommissar von Meuffels einem etablierten Auteur wie Christian Petzold das ideale Experimentierlabor: Schon die Initialzündung im Jahr 2011 (Dominik Grafs “Cassandras Warnung”) setzte einen deutlichen Akzent, der sich im weiteren Verlauf der Reihe bestätigte: Der Münchner “Polizeiruf” (mit weiteren Beiträgen u.a. von Hans Steinbichler, Leander Haußmann, Hendrik Handloegten, Jan Bonny, nochmal Graf) ist im Wesentlichen ein Regieformat, das Reibeflächen zwischen Formatvorgabe und individueller Handschrift nicht nur zulässt, sondern offen sucht. In verlässlicher Regelmäßigkeit entstanden hier die besten oder wenigstens interessantesten Fernsehkrimis der vergangenen Jahre. Und mit dem von Matthias Brandt kongenial verkörperten Kommissar von Meuffels etablierte sich eine der spannendsten, trotz gedämpftem Spiel facettenreichsten Ermittlerfiguren. […] Continue reading