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Laughing Gravy
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The Big Steal (1949) Dir. Don Siegel
RKO Radio Pictures
71 min. / B&W / 1.37:1


Robert Mitchum is chasing Patric Knowles across Mexico; William Bendix is chasing Mitchum; Jane Greer is chasing Knowles, too, but for a different reason than Mitchum is; and police inspector Ramon Navarro is chasing everybody. Oh, and nobody (especially us out here in viewer land) seems to be quite sure why anybody is chasing anybody, particularly because suitcases that are supposed to be full of money or contraband end up being empty.

This is one screwy noir (part of the new Warners boxed set) but I enjoyed it. Don Siegel directed, which is why the whole thing holds together so well even though the movie careens along explaining nothing as it goes. Iíd call it a comedy, except itís so darn violent. Itís too light-hearted to be a true noir, though.

Whatever it is, I sure liked it, and isn't it nice to see the Mexican people treated with such respect in a movie?

Million-dollar Dialog:
"Look out for the cow!"

(Well, anyway, that's something you don't hear in a lot of noirs, now, do you, eh? Do you?)

There's a five-min. featurette on the making of the film (basically, it was a quickie to get Mitchum working after his pot bust, and Lizabeth Scott dropped out in fear it would hurt her career, so Miss Greer, who worked so well with Bob in Out of the Past, was a last-second replacement) plus commentary but alas, no cartoon.
Edited by Laughing Gravy, Jan 2 2018, 08:01 PM.
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