Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Big Heat (1953): review: 5/10

A police detective investigates the unlikely suicide of a colleague, to find himself under atack from a consortium of well-placed ne'r-do-wells.

The film lacks the sense of delight needed to animate it's darkness. The women aren't alluring poison flowers, the hero is one-dimensional, and the photography lacks the adventurousness of Lang's other films. The sets look cheap too.

Nor has it that necessary sense of threat, of pressure: everything shunts along rather formulaically (if one can ignore the many odd decisons taken by the hero, such as his decision to leave bis wife and child at home immediately after recieving a threatening phone call there) and though the film is certainly watchable, it isn't one of the great noirs.

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