The Racket tackles on a subject matter that can be rather confounding for unsuspecting viewers hoping to relish in a good old fashioned yarn about two tough guys having a blistering tête-à-tête from start to finish. Make no mistake, the battle between the film’s chief protagonist and antagonist does transpire, and the scenes in which both actors face off against each other explode with tension, only that director James Cromwell and the duo of screenwriters painstakingly depict nearly every aspect of municipal corruption they see fit in order to properly, if in somewhat convoluted fashion, present the facts of the case to the audience.
The Strange Lives of Martha Ivers might feel familiar in many ways, but it succeeds in carving its own special place in noir lore. Starring a bevy of actors that made names for themselves in the lauded film movement, Milestone’s picture embraces the melodrama inherent in the script, tapping into the core of the quartet of central characters. Martha’s love is indeed strange, but the word that comes to mind to describe her movie is ‘great’.
Williame Dieterle’s Dark City’s standing in film noir lore is generally viewed as mixed at best. It is cited as having a mediocre script but, on the other hand, serving as a welcome introduction for Charlton Heston, who gets his first ever starring role in a motion picture. True enough, the overall plot to Dieterle’s film, conjured by the screenwriting duo of John Meredyth and Larry Marcus, stretches things out a bit too far and for a bit too long, yet there is nonetheless a fair amount to relish in this truly seedy and at times dastardly twisted thriller about a con man with little to no scruples essentially trying to save his own skin and not much else.
For decades no studio saw fit to lend the Bryan Haskin’s endeavor a proper cleanup for either theatrical or home video presentation. True enough, the film was and still is in the public domain, but other films, such Orson Welles’ The Stranger, have benefited from top quality standard and high-definition disc releases despite no person or company directly owning distribution rights. It was only in January of 2014 that the UCLA film & Television Archive and the Film Noir Foundation presented a clean 35 print of the picture to the public,
Perception plays a spectacularly large role in how people behave and process information. Everything one does or chooses to do is at least partly a function of one’s perceived reality. Sometimes one believes to be doing the right thing whereas in reality they are doing the wrong thing and vice versa.