Little Caesar (1931)

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Little Caesar was the first of the “trinity” of early genre-setting and for the lead actors, career-making gangster movies (the other two being Public Enemy and Scarface). Continue reading “Little Caesar (1931)”

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The Frightened City (1961)

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This is a good 1961 British gangster movie that relies on basic and predictable but solid formulas and conventions and is worth watching mainly because of the presence of two greats, Herbert Lom and Sean Connery. Continue reading “The Frightened City (1961)”

The Unsuspected (1947)

From each writer of source novels adapted to film, you get a signature and recognizable style, even when their material is reshaped by Hollywood. From W.B. Burnett (Little Caesar, High Sierra, Asphalt Jungle) you get rugged and realistic hardened criminals, gritty underworld settings and machine gun dialogue. From Raymond Chandler you find the creeps often live in the most opulent mansions. From Charlotte Armstrong, whom some called Queen of suspensers, you get unseen horrors hidden beneath a highly dusted and waxed veneer of domestic life, a juicy hot evil center baked right into the familiar conventions of a regular women’s novel of the time, something writer Ariel Swartley nicely describes as being trapped in a Doris Day movie gone bad. Continue reading “The Unsuspected (1947)”