snapshot: Crack in the Mirror (1960)

US / 97 minutes / bw / Darryl F. Zanuck Productions, TCF Dir: Richard Fleischer Pr: Darryl F. Zanuck Scr: Jules Dassin, ghostwriting (because blacklisted) for Mark Canfield (i.e., Darryl F. Zanuck) Story: Drame dans un Miroir (1958) by Marcel Haedrich Cine: William Mellor Cast: Orson Welles, Juliette Gréco, Bradford Dillman, Alexander Knox, Catherine Lacey, William Lucas, Maurice Teynac, Austin Willis, Cec Linder, Eugene Deckers, Vivian Matalon, Yves Brainville, Jacques Marin, Martine Alexis, Marc Doelnitz.

Orson Welles aa Émile Hagolin.

We know from the outset that all is not well in the relationship between hard-drinking construction boss Émile Hagolin (Welles) and his mistress, Éponine Mercadier (Gréco). When she brings him his packed lunch on his latest building site, we get this:

Émile: “You’re late. Every day. I’m dying of hunger.”
Éponine: “Die.”

She has eyes only for his studly crane-driver, Robert Larnier (Dillman), who seems much enamored of her and happy enough to tolerate her two small daughters from some unspecified former relationship. The lovers murder the brutish Émile, but Continue reading

Gang’s All Here, The (1941)

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Mantan Moreland at his hilarious best in a two-fisted saga of battling truckers!

vt In the Night
US / 61 minutes / bw / Monogram Dir: Jean Yarbrough Pr: Lindsley Parsons Scr: Edmond Kelso Cine: Mack Stengler Cast: Frankie Darro, Marcia Mae Jones, Jackie Moran, Keye Luke, Mantan Moreland, Robert Homans, Irving Mitchell, Ed Cassidy, Pat Gleason, Jack Kenney, Jack Ingraham, Laurence Criner.

The Gang's All Here - 0 opener

A gang is hijacking the trucks of the Overland Transport Co., very often at the expense of the drivers’ lives. The case is in the hands of insurance officer R.A. Saunders (Mitchell), but we very soon discover that he’s in fact at the heart of the criminal conspiracy, the other two linchpins being Pop Wallace (Homans), manager of Overland, and Jack Norton (Cassidy) of the rival Tri-State Truck Lines. It seems that Wallace is Continue reading

Blood (2012)

UK / 92 minutes / color / Momentum, BBC, BFI, IM Global, Quickfire, Lipsync, Neal Street/Red Dir: Nick Murphy Pr: Pippa Harris, Nicola Shindler, Nick Laws Scr: Bill Gallagher Story: Conviction (2004; TV serial) by Bill Gallagher Cine: George Richmond Cast: Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham, Brian Cox, Mark Strong, Ben Crompton, Naomi Battrick, Zoë Tapper, Natasha Little, Sandra Voe, Jasper Britton, Adrian Edmondson, Danny McEvoy, Elizabeth Lowe, Patrick Hurd-Wood, Stuart McQuarrie, Claire Harris.

Blood - 0 use as opening scene-setter

In a northern English town (unnamed, but in fact West Kirby, Wirral) Lenny Fairburn (Cox) used to run the local police force, and with a fist of iron. Even though he retired long ago, his senile dementia still brings him occasionally into the “office” where he puzzles as to why his desk is now occupied by his replacement, Daniel Telphen (Britton), and brags about the old days when he and his fellows beat confessions out of suspects—or, better, took them out the local islands (Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island, all reachable by causeway at low tide) and so terrified them that “they’d confess to shagging their own mothers”.

Blood - 5 Lenny (Cox) struggling with his dementia

Lenny (Brian Cox), struggling with his dementia.

Lenny’s two unalike sons, Joe (Bettany) and Chrissie (Graham), are still on the force, and show little nostalgia for the time when they were working under their dad.

When 12-year-old Angela Drinkle is found dead of multiple stab wounds in a local playground, tensions immediately run high at the police station; everyone, most especially Joe, recalls how, years ago, a rapist had to be released from custody because Joe botched some evidence, and that rapist promptly murdered a woman.

Blood - 1 the murder scene

The original crime scene.

Soon the cops have an ideal suspect for Angela’s murder Continue reading