Starring: Frank Silvera, Irene Kane, Jamie Smith
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Written By: Stanley Kubrick
Rating: NR (US) Running Time: 1 hr 7 min
Like Kubrick’s first film this has striking photography, and is well-edited and shot. It also suffers from bad acting and bad sound. The music is irritating and the foley is very loud and distracting, especially when it’s louder than the main dialogue! The dubbing isn’t well synchronized either, making it difficult to tell when the main character is narrating or talking in the scene. Maybe my copy was slightly out of sync but it was pretty bad and shrill.
However, the New York backdrop adds a nice grainy element and the black and white cinematography is well done with a good amount of moving and hand-held camera. The alleyways and rooftops are very evocative and eerily deserted. The boxing scene near the beginning is well realized and almost filmed as a documentary. The story of a washed up boxer falling for a down on her luck dancer and having to deal with her infatuated crime boss is interesting enough and it does lead to a fairly decent clash of horns at the end.
It was written, edited, shot, produced and directed by Mr Kubrick, and it shows increased confidence and mastery of the medium. It just would have helped having better actors and a fresher scenario. It’s atmospheric, but ends up feeling drawn out. Considering there’s boxing, a mafia connection, and a love triangle going on in only one whole hour, that’s not a good thing!
Stanley Kubrick’s second film, and a reasonable Film Noir. Die hard film fans only need sit down for this one.
Any TV due to it’s 4:3, mono and black and white format.
Best moment for me: << spoiler >>
The last battle in a warehouse full of creepy mannequins is very well done and the fight using axes and various plastic body parts looks suitably violent and realistic.