Robert Ryan

Friday Noir #146: ‘The Racket’ ratchets up strong tension between Mitchum and Ryan

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 Set-Up’ stands tall in both Robert Ryan’s and Robert Wise’s oeuvres

Director Wise was, in many ways, the Steven Soderbergh of his day. He could navigate virtually any film genre and produce a terrific final movie, one that understands the nooks and crannies of said genre’s tropes whilst clearly putting incredibly artistic stamps on them. Drama, crime thriller, sport (as in the case of the present film), science fiction, action, he could do it all, and do it with panache, deft and sensitivity.

New on Video: ‘Caught’

Max Ophüls’ third feature in America, “Caught,” from 1949, is an evocative amalgam of a domesticated melodramatic tragedy and a dynamic film noir sensibility.

New on Video: ‘Men in War’

“‘Men in War,’ from 1957, contains much of what makes Anthony Mann a distinct filmmaker, and reveals much of what makes the war film its own unique form of motion picture.”

Scroll to Top