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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

THE STREET WITH NO NAME (1948)

These shot-on-location noir tinged police procedurals, begun at Fox by "March of Time" producer Louis de Rochemont, were the CSI shows of their day. Directors like Elia Kazan & Henry Hathaway did well with the form, but here, Wm Keighley, just demobbed from Warners, can’t find much drama in the form until the smashing last act of this early mob vs FBI story. Dull Mark Stevens in the lead doesn’t help, but Richard Widmark, fresh from his legendary psychotic debut in KISS OF DEATH, is still full of sass & threat. And Joseph MacDonald’s ultra-inky lensing makes it all look a tasty treat. So, hang in there. (MacDonald also shot the CinemaScope color remake for Sam Fuller, HOUSE OF BAMBOO.)

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