MURDER MY SWEET & Joseph H. Lewis' GUN CRAZY
MURDER MY SWEET (NR, 1944, 95 min)
Dick Powell stars as Raymond Chandler's hard-bitten, world-weary private detective, Philip Marlow, in this classic film noir adaptation of Chandler's novel "Farewell, My Lovely". Marlowe takes a job looking for Moose Malloy's (Mike Mazurki) girlfriend Velma. Malloy's a petty criminal just released after a seven-year prison sentence, and Velma has not been seen for six years. But a simple missing-person case becomes much more twisted than Marlowe ever anticipated as initially promising clues lead to a complex web of deceit, bribery, perjury and theft, in which no one's motivation is clear...least of all Marlowe's. Also starring Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, and Otto Kruger.
Joseph H. Lewis' GUN CRAZY (1950, 87 min)
One of the most vital of all film noir pictures, Gun Crazy has more cinematic gusto and sexual heat than almost any movie of its time. It's a variation on the Bonnie and Clyde story, but with a bizarre set-up: firearms enthusiasts John Dall and Peggy Cummins meet as sharpshooters in a carnival, and then turn to crime. The direction, by Joseph H. Lewis, is like a spray of hot lead from a gun barrel, capped by an amazing sequence---shot in one long take---of a bank robbery seen from the backseat of the getaway car. (Billy Wilder himself called up Lewis to find out how he did it.) If most film noirs trace the anxieties of postwar America, Gun Crazy goes directly to sheer madness.
Friday, March 30