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Come With Me Now, On A Journey Through Time And Space

July 20th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

Yes, 50 years back we go to San Francisco.

Now, I’ve been reeling from Christopher Nolan’s incredible end to his Batman trilogy (yes, it is better than 2008’s “Dark Knight,” and anyone caring to argue in opposition I will be ready and willing to defend my stance), though 50 years ago another man drenched himself in darkness.

Granted, he’s the villain, not the hero. But he’s still drenched in darkness! You can feel the inky blackness!

In classic form, the killer/extortionist’s face is hidden and slowly revealed over the course of the film. But the open and pleasant face of leading man Glenn Ford inspires the trust and confidence of all in the film (and you as the viewer!). Not the brooding, revenge-obsessed cop taking the law into his owns hands of “The Big Heat,” this “G” man plays his role as an FBI agent with precision. The film is part thriller/part police procedural, and reminds me of some of Fincher’s best thrillers.

Another parallel that couldn’t be helped for me is “Magnum Force.” Crook versus cop in a San Francisco sports stadium? But this was first, and no comparisons are meant to slight any of the aforementioned films as “Experiment did it first,” hell this film came nearly thirty years after Hitchcock was mastering the suspense/thriller in “The 39 Steps” and “The Lady Vanishes.” However, the atmosphere of sexual danger is still a bit shocking in this film, made before the end of the Hays Code and the New Hollywood. There is a lot to look at here that was groundbreaking for its time, if still fully-obsessed with Hitchcock and the noir police and criminal dramas that influenced the film to its very core.

Now, this film can’t match the thrill ride of Nolan’s modern masterpiece, but it is still a beautiful homage to noir while stylistically predicting the future of thrillers. And as Nolan is one of today’s noir masters, perhaps you can sneak this film in this week, just at the GI.

—yes that was a Boosh reference, dan

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