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Friday, January 23, 2009


Stanley Kubrick kept his earliest work out of circulation, but he may have had a bit of affection toward this little noir which he lensed, wrote & megged. It’s a modest thriller, made for a pittance, about a mid-weight boxer who misses his shot at the bigtime, but finds love. No kidding! Kubrick! Love! The film is mostly a technical exercise, and he stumbles a bit shooting & editing some of the action stuff, but the use of both famous and out-of-the-way NYC locations is fabulous, obviously the work of a natural. What an eye! And what a shame that he ended up cocooning himself in studio-bound work in his late works. The big climax, an extended (all right, over-extended) fight to the finish in a mannequin warehouse, shows a surprisingly strong influence from Orson Welles (THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI/’48 and (double surprise) Vincente Minnelli (THE BANDWAGON/’53). Whodda thunk?

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