Friday, August 12, 2011
Badfellas Who's nastier: Jimmy Cagney or Joe Pesci?
Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta in a still from the film Goodfellas. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive
Ed here: David Thomson lists his ten favorite gangster movies in this Guardian (UK) piece from June 2009. Here's one of his selections:
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Delinquency in the 50s was often teenage territory - think of Rebel Without a Cause. But Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly is grown-up and very sick. On the surface, it's a story about Mickey Spillane's pulp hero, Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker), who picks up a girl one night on the Pacific coast highway and gets into a heap of trouble. But the case that develops is a confrontation with a crime organisation that has its hands on the ultimate deterrent: a box that holds nothing less than nuclear heat. The gangsters Hammer meets along the way are weird and effete (Jack Elam, Paul Stewart, Albert Dekker). But Hammer himself makes up for their defects and lives up to his name. He's a private eye (if you dare to hire him), a smug womaniser and a fascist who walks like Mussolini on his day off. The women are all mad in some way. Los Angeles is a hell on earth, and gangsters have taken over the whole operation. Still a shattering film. Meeker's strut is the stuff of nightmares.
for the rest go here:
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Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but if you're genre-casting movies, KISS ME DEADLY would be PI rather than gangster . . . Hawks' amazing SCARFACE is miles better than diPalma's remake . . . and where are the French, English, Japanese, and Chinese/Hong Kong entries, not to mention POINT BLANK and JOHNNY COOL?
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