films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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The Big Combo

1955 / 87m - USA
Crime, Thriller
The Big Combo poster

There's no lack of film-noir films, and the more I watch, the more they start to look alike. That is no doubt a blessing for fans of the genre, not so much for someone like me, who doesn't really care for classic cinema and isn't too taken with the US crime genre. In other words, The Big Combo was fighting an uphill battle.

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The story is basic noir fare, about a police detective trailing Mr Brown, a crime boss. When he fails to get close to him, his next bet is to go after the boss' girlfriend Susan. Meanwhile, Mr Brown suspects Susan of wanting to leave him, so he asks two of his trusted companions to keep an eye on her.

The Big Combo is true genre fodder. Men in raincoats and hats yapping away for half the runtime, a dame messing things up, and a gritty crime setting, so we can have some pistols in there too. It's just way too focused on characters and narrative for me, too slow and too uneventful. Not my cup of tea.

Gun Crazy

1950 / 87m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Gun Crazy poster

A pretty bland noir classic. After watching Detour last week my hope for the genre was slightly restored, the poster for Gun Crazy looked pretty inviting too, sadly the film is a big bore from start to finish. What you get is a cheesy and cheap prelude to Bonnie and Clyde, a film that didn't really do it for me either.

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Annie is a gun artist performing at a carnival, Bart a wandering young man who instantly falls for the charms of Annie. It doesn't take long before the two hook up, but when they're both fired from the carnival things take a turn for the worse. Under Annie's influence they become criminals, with the law on their tail.

Peggy Cummins' performance is decent, John Dall on the other hand is a terrible stiff. There's really no chemistry between the two, which sucks as it's really all about them. The plot is pretty bare bones, the action is bland and apart from one or two scenes (the ending in the fog was nice) it's completely without atmosphere. A poor film.