Tag Archives: Brian Donlevy

Joseph Kane – Hoodlum Empire (1952)

Plot:
WWII veteran and ex-gangster, Joe Gray (John Russell) is subpoenaed to testify against his uncle and current mob boss, Nick Mancini (Luther Adler). Nick must restrain Charley Pignatalli (Forrest Tucker), his violent second-in-command, from killing Joe before he his court appearance. Read More »

Stuart Heisler – The Glass Key (1942)

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Quote:
This is a solid remake of the 1935 film of the same name about big-city political corruption, and it starred Edward Arnold as the corrupt political boss and George Raft as his loyal lieutenant. Stuart Heisler directs this film noir in a workmanlike manner (though, the changed hard-edged ending from the novel is a copout). It is similar themed but less effective than The Maltese Falcon, which was also based on a Dashiell Hammet novel. The Glass Key was supposedly the inspiration for Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. The title refers to the political boss backing a candidate based on the expectation of being rewarded with the key to the governor’s house if all goes according to plan, but is breakable if there’s a betrayal. For Paramount this was a big box-office film because of the star team of Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd, who sparkled as lovers with opposite personalities. Read More »

King Vidor – An American Romance (1944)

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Plot:
Brian Donlevy goes from rags to riches in King Vidor’s ambitious Technicolor ode to hard work, family and the American Dream. Arriving penniless in the United States, Czech immigrant Steve Dangos (Donlevy) soon realizes America truly is the land of opportunity. Starting out in the iron mines of Minnesota, Dangos heads to the steel mills of Chicago, a decision that will earn him wealth and power beyond his wildest dreams – and put him at odds with his workers when they try to unionize. Produced over a two-year period at the then-enormous sum of $3 million, An American Romance is a bold and gripping saga in the Vidor tradition. “No other American director ever matched Vidor’s sense of personal struggle, or the muscular poetry he found to express it” (Tony Rayns, Time Out Film Guide). From Warner Brothers! Read More »