Frank Tuttle’s GUNMAN IN THE STREETS is scheduled to air on TCM Wednesday night, 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Here’s what I wrote about this relatively obscure 1950 crime noir a few years ago in MYSTERY SCENE:
“Filmed by U.S. and British producers in France, the movie begins impressively with a gritty shootout and an almost documentary-style chase through the streets of Paris as racketeer Eddy Robeck (Dane Clark) escapes police custody and enlists the help of his girlfriend Denise (Simone Signoret) to reach the Belgian border.
“The film breaks no new noir ground, playing a bit like Tuttle’s better-known THIS GUN FOR HIRE, minus Alan Ladd and with Clark and Signoret delivering Bogie- and Bacall-style performances, but the direction is crisp, the black-and-white photography handsomely moody. Fans of ’50 pulp magazines may be tickled to see MANHUNT magazine regular Henry Kane credited as one of the writers who provided ‘additional dialogue’ for the film.”
The occasion of the MYSTERY SCENE review was the release of GUNMAN IN THE STREETS on DVD, in a sharp, restored print, by David Kalat’s All Day Entertainment label. The DVD is out of print, but copies are available from Amazon and other online sources. I have a hunch that TCM will air the All Day Entertainment print.
Some related trivia:
I had forgotten (or maybe never knew) that Dane Clark had a long career into the 1980s, including guest roles on series like THE NEW MIKE HAMMER, SIMON & SIMON, and MATT HOUSTON.
Tuttle’s other great classic film noir was the 1935 version of THE GLASS KEY, starring George Raft and Edward Arnold. Tuttle’s version has been overshadowed by the 1942 remake directed by Stuart Heisler, even to the point that the Heisler version is available on commercial DVD, while Tuttle’s is not, although you can find DVD-R copies on the gray market with a quick Google search. Tuttle’s version has its own charms, particularly for Raft fans. Neither film fully captures the bleak, brittle tone of the Hammett novel, each movie offering its own happy ending for protagonist Ned Beaumont.