‘The Glass Key,’ directed by Stuart Heisler

Movie, 1942 A somewhat curious political film noir, in which we start by closely examining and exploring the oafish movements of Paul Madvig and his support of a candidate in a city’s mayoral election, before switching to the sharper, smarter exploits of his assistant, Ed Beaumont. The change in gear is a little unsettling, as is quite a lengthy section involving Beaumont’s incarceration at the … Continue reading ‘The Glass Key,’ directed by Stuart Heisler

“Night Moves”, directed by Arthur Penn

Movie, 1975 A blend looking back and referencing Chandler and Hammett, and placing an everyman character on a hunt for truth and justice spiraling out from a missing daughter case given to him by a fading Hollywood actress. A really great down at heel atmosphere, which seems to grind into rather than comment on and reflect any romantic associations of Marlowe. The styles, excesses and … Continue reading “Night Moves”, directed by Arthur Penn

"The Narrow Margin," directed by Richard Fleischer

Movie, 1952 Thrilled set on a train, as a tough Chicagoan cop escorts a gangster’s widow to stand testimony in Los Angeles. Solid noir with some really pleasing and tricksy visual effects and a hard edge which eschews title music for the grating, alienating noise of trains and machinery. While visually a treat, the characters include a none-too convincing pastiche here and there – a … Continue reading "The Narrow Margin," directed by Richard Fleischer

"Quicksand," directed Irving Pichel

Movie, 1950 Serviceable, worthy film noir, concerning a series of crimes, committed in a chain reaction – an initial minor peccadillo leading into a series of more desperate measures. A semi-cautionary tale with some B-movie pacing which tumbles at a hurried end as if the whole thing had been played as a comedy after all. The femme fatale is pretty lightweight, reflecting an overall lack … Continue reading "Quicksand," directed Irving Pichel