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This film deserves its reputation as an important early police procedural and precursor to the television series "Dragnet," but does not deserve to be viewed reductively--as only that. Anthony Mann's un-credited direction was among his best. He coaxed strong performances out of actors given few lines, and made every shot count. Cinematographer John Alton brought the darker sides of Los Angeles to life, and Alfred DeGaetano made brilliant editing choices to overcome limited sets, a bare-bones script, and the lack of big-name stars.  Their combined efforts produced an oft-imitated 79-minute B-masterpiece, and demonstrated how much talent was to be found in the poverty row studios. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2006_06_15_HWN_copy_1.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 2:23 AM
Comments[1]

  • I like this movie but for no particular reason. There\'s just something about the aesthetics that work. I think the point about editing in police procedurals is a fine one. the editing style always tends to point to the severity of the environment, the violent movement between two states of being, the sparsity of composure and reflection. With regard to your comments about psychotic characters only emerging later on, what about Robert Ryan in On Deadly Ground or the killer cop in I Wake Up Screaming? Maybe the difference is just that they\'re on \'right side of the fence\'. How about something on Force of Evil - one of the purest and most definitive noirs? Can\'t wait to hear the cast on The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. That\'s always seemed to me like a noir Written on the Wind. thanks guys.

    posted by: Paolo Cabrelli on 2007-01-24 17:13:00

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