NOIR CITY 8: THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE / HE RAN ALL THE WAY
THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE
(1946, MGM. 113 min. Scr. Niven Busch, Harry Ruskin. Dir. Tay Garnett)
"Their Love Was a Flame That Destroyed!" James M. Cain's 1934 novel -- essentially the blueprint for noir -- was so hot, and so wrong, it took MGM 12 years to figure out how to put it on the screen, heat intact. It helped to have Lana Turner and John Garfield playing the sex-starved, ill-fated lovers who plot murder. A huge hit in 1946, it remains one of the most revered films in the genre, and the progenitor of a thousand "erotic thrillers" to follow.
HE RAN ALL THE WAY
(1951, United Artists. 77 min. Scr. Dalton Trumbo (uncredited). Dir. John Berry)
Garfield gives perhaps his most desperate, impassioned performance in this, his final film. Facing nothing but a dead-end life, small-time hood Nick Robey (Garfield) pulls a simple stick-up . . . but when he shoots a cop, his life spins out of control. Hiding out, he meets a neighborhood girl (Shelley Winters) who brings him home to meet the family . . . whom he holds hostage while plotting his escape. A bitter, blistering film created by a cadre of talents all on the verge of losing their Hollywood careers to the blacklist. Not on DVD!
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