ON DANGEROUS GROUND
1951, Warner Bros., 82 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Violent, embittered metro cop Jim Wilson (Robert Ryan) gets sent upstate to cool off and investigate a small-town murder probe. The search leads him to a fateful confrontation with local blind woman Mary (Ida Lupino, magnificent) and his own black heart. Sterling contributions all around: writer A.I. Bezzerides’ savvy script, Ray’s vigorous direction and location shooting, Bernard Herrmann’s alternately brassy and soft score and Ryan’s ferocious performance make this one of the genre’s most affecting statements about anger and alienation in the big city.


HIGH SIERRA
1941, Warner Bros., 100 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

Script by John Huston and W.R. Burnett, from Burnett’s novel. The quintessential gangster romance, from the pen of one of America’s most important crime writers. Humphrey Bogart plays Mad Dog Earle, an outlaw looking for one last score, sidetracked by love, hounded by inescapable fate. With the incomparable Ida Lupino and Joan Leslie, both taking excellently to Walsh’s rugged and fast-paced direction. Remade twice, as COLORADO TERRITORY and I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES.


JUNIOR BONNER
1927, Walt Disney Co., 100 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

Steve McQueen is Junior Bonner, a restless rodeo star trying to deal with his drifter-con man dad (Robert Preston) and outspoken, responsible mom (Ida Lupino), as well as girlfriend Barbara Leigh - when he’s not getting his head busted on bucking broncos. A sometimes funny, sometimes melancholy meditation on Americans who’ve forsaken the 9-to-5 strait jacket to thrive in a much more rugged lifestyle. With Ben Johnson and Joe Don Baker.


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