Post war (ww2), intricately plotted film noir __ 8/10
Jeff Bailey: I sell gasoline, I make a small profit. With that I buy groceries. The grocer makes a profit. We call it earning a living. You may have heard of it somewhere.
Through the 1940s, before the Hollywood studio system folded itself into the social conformity of the 1950s, several well-written and superbly plotted stories made it to the silver screen. In the category of film noir, Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum—one of the more individualistic, risk-taking actors (even into the 1950s)—is one such gem.
The above statement from Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) occurs early in the movie as we find him in a small California town trying to lead a normal life. We even see him out fishing (!), with his local honey Ann (Virginia Huston), and looking every bit like the guy who wants to settle down, buy a house, raise a passel of kids in the country. Not! Bailey’s contemplation of the idyllic life is interrupted when another big man—menacing, obviously from a past Bailey wants to leave that way—finds Bailey, and gives him an appointment he cannot refuse. Continue reading →
Exciting old-style action-adventure movie with a lingering message (9/10)
As I was growing up in middle class America in the 1950s and 1960s, I got to see plenty of movies. We lived in Overland Park, Kansas, a post-WW2 suburb of the Kansas City metro area. The little town was something out of a Norman Rockwell painting or a Jean Shepherd—author behind the movie, A Christmas Story—reminiscence.
The small downtown included TG&Y (dime store), two drug stores (a Rexall outlet and locally owned “McDaniels”), A&P Groceries, a Sears catalog-order store, an A&W Root Beer franchise, a couple of restaurants, etc… and the Overland Park Theater. When we were just kids, Mom and Pop would shuttle my brother and me to the matinees on Saturday.
I suppose then they went shopping or something—wink, wink—but we never thought to ask. When you’re a child of nine or even nineteen: the universe revolves around you and your parents do not have lives apart from seeing to your every need or whim. Anyway, sorry to get off track. Continue reading →