Act of Violence (1948)

Spanish Cine Club Channel DVD edition



Text below written 2019-05-19


A very fine film noir crime-thriller from Fred "High Noon" Zinneman and with fine acting from the always Über Great Robert Ryan, Van Heflin and from
a young and gorgeous Janet Leigh. Aaaah, Janet, somehow she managed to take part in some of my favourite movies of all time, as "Touch of Evil" by
Orson Welles, "Psycho" by Hitchcock and "The Manchurian Candidate" by John Frankenheimer, and the trash jewel The Vikings by Richard Fleischer.
Yes, i love her and in this film, one of her earlier one's, she gets to put in some fine acting as the wife whose world shatters to pieces when she hears
the truth about her husband. Van Heflin is good to as a man full of self-contempt and Robert Ryan is .... Robert Ryan, always a powerhouse of an actor.

Janet Leigh and Robert Ryan

In the intro of the film, a dark and gloomy NY, we see a limping man carrying a gun jumping on a Greyhound bus on his way to California, a long ride.
A very long ride, but the man, Joe Parkson (Ryan) is determined and he's on a mission, on the trail for his victim.
Next scene: Sunny Santa Lisa, California and Meet the Enley's. Captain Frank Enley (Heflin) has made a nice career for him, after duty in WW2, and he's
a real estate man with a prosperous future in front of him, and with a beautiful young wife, Edith Enley (Leigh) and a small kid at home.

Van Heflin and Janet

On a fishing trip Frank sees a tall and grim looking man following him, and he knows who that man is and why he's following him.
"He's someone i don't want to see" Frank explains for his worried wife, and the Enley's world of happiness is about to explode into smithereens.
Janet Leigh actually has the meatiest role, with her portrayal of a woman who worries over her Captain husband, and at first is worried, then shocked
and finally also disgusted. She's the strong one in the family.

The film has a night chase scene through the shadier parts of (LA?) and Mary Astor can be seen as Pat, the bar woman, and Berry Kroeger as criminal.
Great acting from all though and a dark noirish atmosphere of gloom and despair. A very fine Noir by a craftsman and recommended.

The Spanish DVD edition is presented in original 4:3 fullscreen ratio 1.37:1, black & white, and with an english audio 2.0

 

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