Thursday, January 31, 2008

Brute Force

Raakaa voimaa / Läpi harmaan kiven (tv 1972) / Med våldets rätt. US (c) 1947 Universal Pictures, [on print: (c) 1947 G.G. Gottlieb]. P: Mark Hellinger. D: Jules Dassin. SC: Richard Brooks - based on a story by Robert Patterson. DP: William H. Daniels. M: Miklos Rosza; Wagner: Tannhäuser Overture. Starring: Burt Lancaster (Joe Collins), Hume Cronyn (Captain Munsey), Charles Bickford (Gallagher). 98 min. A good 35mm print. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 30 Jan 2008. A prison mutiny masterpiece revisited after 35 years: (1) the final showdown still terrific, (2) Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn still excellent, (3) supporting cast is first-rate, (4) William Daniels, who started with Stroheim, does great with film noir imagery, (5) Miklos Rozsa's music is melodramatic and inflammatory, (6) Jules Dassin is great with actors and mise-en-scene, (7) the choreography of the mass movements is exciting, (8) Mark Hellinger, Jules Dassin, and Richard Brooks may have channelled their feelings about the Holocaust in this film, (9) Warden Munsey beats the prisoners to the rhythm of Wagner, (10) there is a profound sense of doom, of "no escape".

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