Thursday, July 20, 2006

Noir Way Out

UCLA has a great film series coming up, the 13th Festival of Film Preservation (read about it in my new local paper the Los Angeles Times this morning) and one of the featured films will be The Big Combo a tasty, brutal film noir that's a B-film putting on its A-game. Since it's a B-movie, I figure it can count as a grace note moment on the larger history of cinema. You want a truly nasy bad guy? Richard Conte's your man, offering up torture via hearing aid and the classic line, "First is first, second is nobody." You want gorgeous black and white cinematography of non-gorgeous things? Ace d.p. John Alton gives you that, in a film that's truly BLACK & white and striking all over.


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