Simply awesome take on the hard boiled crime genre as it casts the insurance industry into a less dry light. Who knew members of the property and casualty coverage profession are as tough as nails with steel jaws and a hunger for justice whether by the bench or by the street. Seriously though, Edmond O’Brien and Burt Lancaster were fantastic as was Ava Gardner’s portrayal of a woman willing to double cross anyone just to rise above her past. Great film and highly recommended.
Bette Davis’ character, Leslie Crosbie, was about as cold as a person could get. Sure, she said that she truly loved the man that she killed but I had a hard time believing her just for the fact that she came off as the DSM-IV definition of exhibiting sociopathic tendencies. Gripping look into how her husband and lawyer get sucked down the drain as she wriggles and worms her way to a not guilty conviction.
All this time I envisioned Hume Cronyn as the kindly old man from Cocoon and *batteries not included who was married to Jessica Tandy for some half a century. I was wrong. That man could beat the snot out of you with a piece of rubber tubing like nobody’s business. Anyway, great and depressing prison escape movie with Burt Lancaster doing anything he can to break out of Westgate as it falls into the hands of power mad Captain Munsey.
This was my first time watching the film and I fell in love immediately. Lushly shot, artfully paced, and beautifully acted I can understand why so many people refer to it as a masterpiece. As someone with little to no attention span for movies I was surprised that I was glued to the TV during the three and one half hours it took for the story to unfold and conclude. This is a film I would buy on DVD to have in my collection, it is just that good.
The Magnificent Seven
I wanted to really like this film, and I did on some levels, but there was one glaring issue for me and that was the character Chico. Drawing from Seven Samurai the writers made the character into a hybrid of Kikuchiyo and Katsushirō Okamoto which lent a very annoying schizophrenic feel to the film when he was on screen. He was either a clown or a hopeless, wet-behind-the-ears romantic and the film would have been better served following more closely to the source material and developing two characters for Chico.