Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#383: Brute Force

(Jules Dassin, 1947)

Dassin is an underrated American director with a unique perspective on cinema, one of the great noir directors that unfairly got pushed into the background during the blacklist era. Brute Force isn't the classic that, say, Rififi is, but it's a dark and, in its own way, epic take on the prison system, social power dynamics, and the human condition (no wonder this guy was blacklisted). Think Oz but a 40s noir movie where all the prisoners aren't such bad guys once you get to know them.

Yeah, there is a bit of melodrama here that I don't particularly need in my dark prison drama. But by the end, when the whole place is on fire, you have to think this isn't your average picture. Good stuff.

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