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Showing posts from June, 2006

Zero Bull, Fist in Face: Two Anthony Mann White-Knucklers

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Turner Classic Movies is further cementing their rep in this neck of the woods as the best station on cable with a month-long retrospective of films by Anthony Mann , one of the best journeyman directors to work in the '40's and '50's. Today, Mann is best known for a clutch of superb westerns, most in vivid color and featuring James Stewart ( Winchester 73 and Bend of the River are two of the best and most famous). But before those oaters, the director slugged it out with lower budgets in the crime and film noir genres. If (like me) all you've seen are his westerns, Mann's journeys into the darker underbellies of pulp cinema are one hell of an eye-opener. The veteran helmsman's conflicted western heroes make even more sense once you see 1948's Raw Deal and 1950's Border Incident : his cowboys were noir archetypes seeking redemption and justice, too (only from a worn saddle instead of the inside of a getaway vehicle). Raw Deal (no relation to