So, a friend of mine mentioned how much he liked a film on Turner’s schedule that I didn’t recommend (THE BIG CLOCK.) There are simply too many good movies on the Turner schedule to cover them all. And yet I persevere.
This week’s schedule is filled with films from independent studios or the big studio’s B units. And most of them are good. FOLLOW ME QUIETLY, a film that follows the exploits of a serial killer called “The Judge”, gets it’s business finished in just about an hour and without the benefit of any major stars. ARMORED CAR ROBBERY is nearly as good. D.O.A. lets our poisoned protagonist solve his own murder (very cool, except for the comic sound effects – you’ll know them when you hear them.) It’s one of Edmund O’Brien’s best film noirs, the other being THE HITCH-HIKER, also on the schedule, which is the best noir directed by a woman (the great Ida Lupino.) THE BLUE DAHLIA and RAW DEAL are also worth your time (the first for Alan Ladd, the second for its great, moody photography – John Alton again.)
The best movie of the whole day is KISS ME DEADLY, probably the best adaptation of a Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer novel ever. Directed by Robert Aldrich (who went on to make WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE and a dozen other famous films) gives us more sex and violence than I had thought possible in a film from 1955. The film features an iconic image that Quentin Tarantino swiped for PULP FICTION. This movie will make your jaw drop. And it features the first appearance anywhere of Cloris Leachman!
The only film I haven’t seen this time around is DESTINATION MURDER. MY DVR is waiting.