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Monday, April 25th, 2005

The Film Noir continues with LARCENY & JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON

Yes I fed my noir addiction yet again! 

JOHNNY STOOL PIGEON (1949)
This low budget noir directed by William Castle features Dan Duryea as a criminal who gets sprung from the big house in order to help crack a heroin smuggling ring that is taking over a western restort town.  Naturally there are complications…many of them as it turns out.  The films co-stars Howard Duff and Shelly Winters who was still in her sexy bombshell phase.  This film was fun and entertaining but it wasn’t one of the more memorable noirs. 

LARCENY (1948)
Dan Duryea once again plays a shady character, this time he’s a hustler out to bilk a grieving war widow (Joan Caufield) out of her money.  This is film was everything a noir should be!  It had an evil femme fatale (a lusty Shelly Winters packing a pistol), snappy dialogue, and a rotten to the core scheme.  The plan becomes complicated when Duryea starts to make the war widow believe he’s in love with her.  Seeing her character with such trust and vulnerability set against such bad intentions makes for a great story and an excellent noir. 

Dan Duryea was never a giant star like Cary Grant or Clark Gable, but he could always be counted on to give a rock solid performance.  Many low budget noirs were made far greater by his acting.  He always delivered and brought a great deal of talent to the table.  He was like the John C. Reilly of the 1940s and 50s.

Written by Karie (site owner) on 04/25 at 01:26 AM

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