“When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life.”
-- John Kennedy Toole, from A Confederacy of Dunces
The Outfit bridges the gap between 70s grit and 40s Noir. The leads are new New Hollywood faces: Robert Duvall, Karen Black and Joe Don Baker. But for the supporting roles, the filmmakers make a deliberate reach-back for Noir Hall of Famers Robert Ryan, Jane Greer, Timothy Carey and Elisha Cook Jr. The result is like those Old-Timers' Days that Major League clubs would have back in the 70s when I was growing up. You’d have a chance to see…
Steve McQueen, Jim Thompson, Walter Hill, Sam Peckinpah and Lucien Ballard. What a murder’s row.
The Getaway is a masterpiece of Newton’s 1st Law in action. Steve and Ally are pure bodies in motion until acted by other forces: quid pro quo obligations to some hard guys that got him out of jail, their own romantic complications (on- and off-screen), and a seriously wacky 3-way subplot featuring Gloria Stivic, Howard Sprague and a Mexican bandito.
Peckinpah is a genre-subversion tricker.…
About 40 minutes into Psycho, Norman removes a print hanging on his wall of “Susannah and the Elders,” a story from the Book of Daniel of two men spying on a naked bathing woman. Norman then spies through a peephole at Marion undressing to bathe. There’s an extreme close-up of his eye in the darkness lit by a beam of light from the peephole. Here we have the ultimate metaphor for moviegoing, the audience-as-voyeur, sitting in the dark spying on…
This is the most complex relationship between two leads in an Hitchcock picture: spy and handler, misconceptions and magnatisms, delusions of morally superiority, manipulations and guilt, jealousies hidden and barbed.
Cary Grant is a basically saying to Ingrid: please sleep with Claude Rains so you can spy on him for us. If you do I promise to love you. She’s saying to him: if you love me you'll tell me not to do it. Grant finds himself falling in love…