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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Drive a Crooked Road" (1954)

The late Mickey Rooney is firmly ensconced in the public's mind as either the "hey let's put on a show!" pal of Judy Garland or the execrable Mr. Yunioshi from "Breakfast at Tiffany's". This small somber noir is evidence he deserves a reassessment. He's a lonely, friendless auto mechanic with pipe dreams of becoming a bigtime race car driver, but ends up the patsy to a suave gang of bank robbers who need him to drive their getaway car. They use their sultry moll, Dianne Foster as bait. Rooney gives a very fine performance, maybe his best. Heartbreaking and downbeat...but isn't that what noir is all about?

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