Monday, January 27, 2014

The Phenix City Story / Desperate / Murder by Contract

The Phenix City Story -solid film noir- a mix of cinema vertie - the opening documentary with Clete Roberts interviewing the local yokels about the shocking vice industry in a small border town in 50s America. was a charming but slow speed-bump- then we get into the meet of the story- basically- the town is a nice town- except for 14th street with it's gambling,violence and whores,Richard Kiley is the son of the respected town lawyer- back from the war- he decides to take action.The story has been told before and since- but the execution- along with a swinging score and some great casting make this well worth Netflixxing if you enjoy classic crime movies.  A+



Desperate- we follow an innocent truck driver as he tries to hustle his expecting bride away from danger.This Anthony Mann picture looks excellent - but is hamstrung by a doltish hero that beyond all logic digs his hole deeper and deeper with the law while being chased by a gang led by Raymond Burr.The lead movie on the fifth compilation of noir movies from Warner Brothers - the DVD has no extras-a bad surprise considering every movie on the fourth compilation had a commentary track.Not a top tier noir movie- but a solid investment in time if you love the genre.

Murder By Contract -solid 50s noir about a hitman.Vince Edwards is superb as the gun for hire- add in a great score,classic dialog and a tight script and you have a B-movie classic. Well worth a Netflix slot if you like film noir. B+

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