Sunday, October 18, 2009

Heartbreak & Vine Film Festival

Day 3

Thieves Highway, or Thieves Market, is one of Bezzerides' finest novels. Here is the trailer for the film, directed by Dassin in 1949 with a script by Bezzerides.



Next: Elisha Cook Jr., the greatest and most recognizable of all film noir character actors. This is the weird and famous jazz band scene from Siodmak's 1944 Phantom Lady, adapted from Cornell Woolrich's novel.

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4 comments :

Anonymous said...

THieves Highway was directed by Jules Dassin not Kazan.

I think Bezzerides wrote only three novels so saying Thieves is "one of his best" is not much to go on.

Elisha Cook as the 'greatest' noir character actor seems highly questionable. He was good no doubt but in a very minor range. The 'greatest' noir character actors were those who could range across a wider spectrum of the noir world, play good or bad, vicious or victims, and strong enough character actors to play leads when the chance came--Peter Lorre, Dan Duryea, Marc Lawrence, Charles McGraw, a few more....

Woody Haut said...

Dear Anonymous,
Of course, I stand corrected on Dassin. The rest of your comments border on the pedantic, but, okay, points taken. On the other hand, Thieves Market is one of Buzz's best novels. As is They Drive By Night. There is a Happy Land is not, though I still like it. As for Elisha Cook, I should have said "one of the greatest," but, really, it's all subjective- O'Brien and Duryea and Decker and all the rest are also great, maybe better, maybe worse, but, come on, cut me a bit of slack here.

Woody Haut said...

I meant McGraw, not O'Brien. And, of course, Lawrence. Though I wouldn't exactly classify Lorre as a character actor.

Anonymous said...

"Borders on the pedantic"? Hey, we're discussing The Films of A.I. Bezzerides here...I think it's a given we've all crossed that 'border'...but point taken

Speaking of which...They Drive By Night was the 'movie tie-in" reprint title...the book's title is The Long Haul.