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Friday, May 8, 2015

"Side Street" (1949)

All the classic elements of noir reshuffled into a tight must-see delight. A little Everyman (mailman Farley Granger) is haplessly drawn deeper and deeper into a world of crime because of a two bit theft he knows he shouldn't have committed. All he wants is to squirrel away a little cash to take care of his pregnant wife (Cathy O'Donnell). But it's too late, he steals from the wrong bad guys. They want their money back and him dead. Oh, and the cops are hot on his trail too. Director Anthony Mann keeps the whole piece white knuckle taut and tense. It's like you're watching a poor mouse running for his life in a dangerous urban maze. The finale car chase literally takes a God's eye view of New York City, with all the players in a high speed chase through the steal and cement canyons. The soulless landscape is swallowing up humanity whole. Depressing? Yes. Superb movie watching? You bet.

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