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.


THE UNTOUCHABLES
1987, Paramount, 119 min, USA, Dir: Brian De Palma

Director Brian De Palma and screenwriter David Mamet turn the raw material of 1960s television and American crime history into the stuff of glorious cinematic mythology in this literate, visually arresting gangster epic. Kevin Costner is treasury agent Eliot Ness, Robert De Niro is his nemesis Al Capone, and Sean Connery is the grizzled cop who does things "the Chicago way."


HARRY IN YOUR POCKET
1973, MGM Repertory, 103 min, USA, Dir: Bruce Geller

Ray (Michael Sarrazin) is a pickpocket working the Seattle train station when he’s caught red-handed by Sandy (Trish Van Devere), but as she confronts this second-rate thief, someone else makes off with her cash. When Ray agrees to help his would-be mark, the two fall in with Harry (James Coburn) and his mentor, Casey (Walter Pidgeon), a pair of expert pickpockets, or “cannons.” Learning from the best, Ray and Sandy become an integral part of the team - but Ray’s ambitions, Harry’s attraction to Sandy, and Casey’s taste for cocaine threaten to derail the entire operation. Featuring a score by Lalo Schifrin, HARRY IN YOUR POCKET revels in the law and lingo of larceny, and has a touch of the same gleeful mischief that made THE STING such a hit.


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