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Sunday, July 20, 2008

THE BIG STEAL (1949)



Don Siegel, of all people, helmed this fast & funny romantic comedy/picaresque caper which stars Robert Mitchum & Jane Greer, of all people. Bob’s down in Mexico, on the run from William Bendix who’s trying to recover $300,000 in army payroll money. But Mitchum doesn’t have it, he’s chasing Greer’s slick fiancé to recover the loot & his reputation. Watching these mad Gringos is Ramon Novarro, the great silent film star, delightful in his first Hollywood pic since the mid-‘30s. He’s the town’s police chief who knows what going on, but lets matters run their course. The Mexican background (people & places) are used to wonderful advantage and at a brisk 71 minutes, no one has to start acting stupid to keep the plot running. Between Siegel, Mitchum, Bendix & Greer, there’s enough noir trimmings to season the stew and this modest film is a twisty delight. Enjoy!

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