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The Killer is Loose (1956);
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

August 6, 2012 - 7:30 pm
Julie Adams.

The Killer is Loose (1956)

Directed by Budd Boetticher

This gritty noir inverts and interrogates the essential set up of Boetticher’s Ranown Westerns. Here, the solitary figure seeking vengeance is a straight psychopath, a veteran-turned-bank-thief whose wife was killed in a raid lead by Joseph Cotten’s detective. Cotten’s hand-wringing persona underscores the film’s post-war gender anxieties while Boetticher’s camera punches through the facade of suburban California to expose the simmering resentment and violence underneath.

United Artists. Producer: Robert L. Jacks. Screenwriter: Harold Medford. Based on the novelette by John and Ward Hawkins. Cinematographer: Lucien Ballard. Editor: George Gittens. Cast: Joseph Cotten, Rhonda Fleming, Wendell Corey, Alan Hale, Michael Pate.

35mm, b/w, 73 min.

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

Directed by Budd Boetticher

Boetticher’s last film before beginning production on the fateful Arruza finds him working in broader registers than his previous films. The rise of Prohibition-era mobster Legs Diamond plays like a spoof of gangster cool: Diamond woos a woman, wins a dance contest and pulls a jewel heist all on a single day. It’s a narcissistic come on that makes this smooth operator’s crash all the more shocking, a ruthless individualist left twisting in the wind.

Warner Bros. Producer: Milton Sperling. Screenwriter: Joseph Landon. Cinematographer: Lucien Ballard. Editor: Folmar Blangsted. Cast: Ray Danton, Karen Steele, Elaine Stewart, Jesse White, Simon Oakland.

16mm, b/w, 103 min.