Monday, July 23, 2007

711 Ocean Drive

Ed here: Turner Classic Movies now lists thei forthcoming cult films. This is a heads-up for one of my favorite minor noirs. Nobody played desperate better than Edmond O'Brien and in this movie he's got plenty to be desperate about. Make a note of the date and time. You'll have some fun.

Saturday, September 8,2007 8:00 AM
711 Ocean Drive
Synopsis: Mal Granger is a telephone company lineman with a penchant for gambling. When Granger’s bookie, Chippie Evans, talks him into working for Vince Walters’ racing wire service, his experience with electronics makes him a valuable asset. Not only does Granger like the increased cash flow, he immediately eyes Walters’ assistant Trudy. Walters’ sudden death at the hands of a bookie leaves Granger in charge of the wire service, only to attract the attention of the mob. Granger soon finds himself caught in a murderous web with a ruthless gangster and his attractive wife.

Despite a heavy-handed framing device, 711 Ocean Drive (1950) remains a better-than-average example of the Fifties crime film due to an effectively staged climax on Hoover Dam and an especially strong lead performance by Edmond O’Brien. Usually considered a character actor, O’Brien (1915-1985) stood out in supporting roles for such films as 1954’s The Barefoot Contessa (for which he won an Oscar®), Seven Days in May (1964) and, most memorably of all, The Wild Bunch (1969). While perhaps not as well known as his lead role in the cult noir favorite D.O.A. (1949), O’Brien’s performance here as Mal Granger is, if anything, even stronger. The likeably gruff working-class persona he establishes at the beginning of the film makes his transformation into a mobster--and murderer--credible and involving.

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