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The Big Combo (1955)

Cast: Cornel Wilde, Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, more...
Director: Joseph H. Lewis, Joseph H. Lewis
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Film Noir, Vintage Noir, Cops, Gangsters
Running Time: 88 min.
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This title is currently out of print.

Recently Rented By jackpantalones


Synopsis
Police Lt. Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) is criticized by his superior Capt. Peterson (Robert Middleton) for his obsessive but fruitless investigation of organized crime boss Mr. Brown (Richard Conte). Peterson calls it a waste of the taxpayers' money motivated by Diamond's love for Brown's girlfriend Susan Lowell (Jean Wallace). Watched at all times by henchmen Mingo (Earl Holliman) and Fante (Lee Van Cleef), and masochistically drawn to Brown, Susan is unable to walk away from him. She overdoses on pills in a suicide attempt and, in her delirium, utters the name "Alicia." Diamond follows up on that new lead, and as he gets closer to defeating his adversary, the arrogant and sadistic Brown retaliates by capturing and torturing Diamond. Meanwhile Brown's former boss but now humiliated underling, Joe McClure (Brian Donlevy), believing that Brown has gone too far in his personal vendetta against Diamond, tries to enlist Mingo and Fante in overthrowing him. However, they remain loyal, and, in a chillingly silent scene visually punctuated by flashes of gunfire, they shoot the deaf McClure after Brown removes his hearing aid. Though superficially a story of good vs. evil, Joseph H. Lewis's film noir presents a complex world, visually captured by John Alton's stark photography, in which the lines between good/evil and love/hate are not always clear. ~ Steve Press, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Life in the Dark City by eifert June 17, 2004 - 8:03 PM PDT
12345678910
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
This a a film-noir flick made on the cheap. The poor sets and low budget is made up for with great shadows and lighting. There isn't a scene without a dark shadow hiding something.
But the real reason to see the film is the dialog. Some great noir lines. "I treated her like a pair of gloves. When I was cold, I called her up." Great stuff.
The film also cleverly sneaks in an apparently homosexual pair of thugs and a baddy that appears to go down on his girl.




GreenCine Member Rating
12345678910

(Average 7.26)
53 Votes
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Noir Themes & Sinister Schemes
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Dark themed films of murder, scams, cons, gangsters, femme fatales and nefarious deeds.
DGood
Great Film Noir one liners
12345678910
This will hit you like a cold, hard slap in the face.
eifert

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