The Big Heat (1953)

US Columbia Pictures DVD edition

Text below written 2020-02-22


Glenn Ford
is Rock-hard as an uncorruptable crime cop in a precursor to Don Siegel's Dirty Harry .... or not, both may be no-nonsense
type of cops, but to be honest Ford's David Bannion is a bit one-dimensional and both Grahame's and Marvin's roles are much more
interesting. Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry are for sure not one-dimensional but a somewhat fucked up guy with a lot of issues, and
probably a cop like him had never been seen on film before.
This is Film Noir and David Bannion exists in a corrupted nightmarish world where the Evil rules .... yes, just as today that is.

Glenn Ford is very good as an almost biblical avenger full of rage, BUT still it's the 2 other actors you remember, Grahame and Marvin,
both giving genre defining performances for 1. The Sad Gangsta Bitch, and 2. The Psychotic Henchman.

I remember falling in love with Gloria when watching this film as a kid when it was shown on Swedish TV and that i was sad when her
Debby March, the gangster bitch with a somewhat good heart, bite the dust. OK, maybe i was a sensitive child but only a great actress
could've won my heart like that, and Lee Marvin, WOW, what a performance as the ultra-nasty coward underling Vince Stone.
Strangely enough there was a time when Swedish TV actually showed films of importance, black & white classics and even silent films.
Today (february 2020 when writing this) that would be unthinkable as no-one under the age of 50-60 will watch a black & white movie

The film starts with a suicide when a cop shoots himself, a corrupted cop on the payroll of gangster and Mayor candidate Lagana.
Crime cop David Bannion (Ford) starts investigating why his colleague shot himself and soon all traces leads to Lagana, a crime boss
that rules the city and owns the police. So, when Bannion is told to stop investigating and when his family is threatened and witnesses
are killed, then .... it's time for some good old Biblical Revenge.

Once again, Lee Marvin as Lagana's sadistic and cowardly hitman and underling Vince Stone and Gloria Grahame as his unhappy and
harassed girlfriend Debby March are both unforgettable. Grahame often gave us performances like that, as in the 1947 Crossfire.
This film is based on the great pulp fiction writer William P. McGivern's novel The Big Heat.
The film is presented in it's 4:3 fullscreen original ratio, black & white, english mono audio, english subtitles, trailers, poster art

 

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