NOIR CITY 7: THE HARDER THEY FALL / JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON
THE HARDER THEY FALL
(1956, Columbia, 109 min., scr. Philip Yordan, dir. Mark Robson)
In his final film, Humphrey Bogart gives one of his most affecting performances as a sportswriter turned PR flak who regrets helping a gangster (Rod Steiger) create the next heavyweight champ. Novelist Budd Schulberg based his narrative on the true story of circus-freak-turned-fighter Primo Carnera. An angry attack on boxing in the 1950s that is, paradoxically, one of the best boxing movies ever made.
JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON
(1949, Universal, 76 min., dir. William Castle)
Originally titled Cocaine, this is one of the first Hollywood films to focus on the drug smuggling trade. Agent Howard Duff uses paroled gangster Dan Duryea to infiltrate the dope racket -- but can he trust him? Especially when they're both making a play for sexy Shelley Winters? Rambunctious fun that zips all over the West Coast, including a scenic stop-off in "Frisco." NOT ON DVD!
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