NOIR CITY 8: HUMAN DESIRE / ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW
(1954, Columbia. 91 min. Scr. Alfred Hayes. Dir. Fritz Lang)
You can't really call this a redo of The Postman Always Rings Twice because it's based on Emile Zola's 1890 novel La Bete Humaine. But then, tales of tortured lovers tempted to commit murder are timeless, aren't they? Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame rekindle their flame from Lang's 1953 smash The Big Heat, and Broderick Crawford plays the loutish cuckold they want to be rid of. Do we need to note that things don't go according to plan? Burnett Guffey supplies the wonderfully atmospheric cinematography. NOT ON DVD!
ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW
(1959, United Artists. 96 min. Scr. Abraham Polonsky (uncredited). Dir. Robert Wise)
Legendary actor-musician-humanitarian Harry Belafonte starred in and produced this incendiary crime classic. He plays jazz musician Johnny Ingram, whose gambling debts lead him to take part in a bank job with surly racist Earle Slater (Robert Ryan, in a performance both ferocious and sad). The film also features a landmark score by jazz greats John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet, bolstering the tight and tense direction of the great Robert Wise.
The film will be preceded by a videotaped introduction by the great Harry Belafonte!
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