Watched Jul 02, 2012
Callan Bond’s review:
Cold, detached heist-noir from Stanley Kubrick early on in his career. It features a fairly detailed and interesting heist, and some of the noir-elements provide a nice flavor to the movie. While it doesn't excel in any one area, it establishes some genre tropes that are used often in later heist movies
There aren't really any characters to invest in here, other than the lead (played by Sterling Hayden), and even the details around him are very minimal. His attention to detail and the professional way he treats those he involves paint a positive light; a portion of this I think rubbed off on Fred Zimmeman's portrayal of the Jackal in 1973's "Day of the Jackal."
The narrative bounces back-and-forth in the timeline each day, but there is no real payoff to this style. There aren't any revelations in earlier scenes that provides added context or punch to later events, and in some cases it simply rehashes events with a slightly different perspective.
All of that said, we see the elements of the heist clearly planned out, if not an overall picture painted, and like all great heist movies in doing so allows tension to build as we know what *should* happen, versus what is actually happening. There's an interesting mix of characters involved, and it's a shame there wasn't more time given to allowing them to play off of each other. Performances are pretty good for a movie from this era with one or two exceptions, and although most major movies of the time were colour, the black-and-white looks good and is a great fit with the noir style.