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    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Miscellaneous: Local Color

    Here’s an inspired idea: Seattle’s Big Picture has arranged benefit screenings of THE BIG EASY, with all proceeds going to Hurricane Katrina victims. I’d love to see similar shows in other cities.

    Emerald City readers still have time to take in the Isamu Noguchi sculptures on display at the Seattle Art Museum. As striking as the pieces are, they’re matched by the evocative settings created by artist and theater director Robert Wilson. The exhibit closes on Monday.

    Movie: Cry Danger (1951)

    “Occasionally, I always drink too much.”

    There’s nothing like a meaty revenge drama. Unless it’s a meaty revenge drama that veers off in unexpected directions.

    Dick Powell gets sprung from jail when a missing witness comes forward to back up his claim that he didn’t commit a robbery. Powell sets out to nail the guilty parties and comfort his still-incarcerated friend’s wife (my latest retro crush Rhonda Fleming).

    But the plot goes screwy in the first five minutes, when we learn that the injured war hero providing Powell’s alibi has never clapped eyes on the man before. He’s a one-legged Marine stewing in whiskey and proto-hipster cynicism who realized that he fit the description of Powell’s savior. Now he’s going along with the gag in the hopes that Powell actually did pull the job and will feel like sharing the wealth.

    Character actor Richard Erdman plays the role with a sleepy little boy delivery that is riveting. It helps that he’s been given some corkers like the line up top courtesy of veteran screenwriter William Bowers. The result is a sharply-etched portrait of a disaffected veteran, dropped right in the middle of a dandy crime story.

    Miscellaneous: Link

    On the day that A SOUND OF THUNDER skulks into theaters (yeah, I didn’t know, either), Slate tries to reclaim Ray Bradbury as a pulp god.


    Nice to see someone else besides yours truly who enjoys Cry Danger (1951), which features William Conrad ("The Man of a Thousand Voice") as a kingpin. Plus, there's this choice bit of dialogue that I used as an e-mail .sig for a year or so:

    Darlene (Jean Porter): "You drinking that stuff this early?"

    Delong (Richard Erdman): "Listen, darling--when you drink as much as I do, you gotta start early."


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