The Big Clock (1948)

The Big Clock (1948)

In this underrated crime thriller Ray Milland plays George Stroud, a hardworking magazine editor who after seven hard years laboring under media mogul Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton) is starting to feel a bit resentful. The night before his vacation with his...
Ride the Pink Horse (1947)

Ride the Pink Horse (1947)

An incredibly understated, border-town noir film that is surprisingly compelling despite serious drawbacks. In its favor: breathtaking cinematography, a perfectly spare score, beautiful production design, genuinely creepy crime – and a fabulous actress. Those...
Thief (1981)

Thief (1981)

My favorite Michael Mann film – so far. James Caan stars as Frank – a brisk, extremely cloistered high-end jewel thief who rather suddenly stumbles on an idea for a better life. Only in his thirties – but with almost a third of his life spent behind...
Cutter’s Way (1981)

Cutter’s Way (1981)

A somewhat self-involved bit of noir drama, this film a principle charm that surprised me: John Heard. The “That Guy” actor nails it – absolutely NAILS it – in the eponymous role of Alex Cutter, a troubled-but-brilliant alcoholic Vietnam War...
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

I don’t know why this film isn’t more roundly praised. It is, for the genre it embodies, note-perfect. I kicked off my week with this one as part of a self-imposed “80s action noir” bender – and I couldn’t help observing how each of...