Witness in the City

Witness in the City ★★★★

Fantastic, gritty noir starring a mesmerizingly taciturn Lino Ventura. Starts off with a spectacularly shocking murder within the very first few minutes, like the ending of a whole other movie that might have preceded this one. Then it unfolds a brutal and surprisingly touching aftermath for the next hour and a half, even becoming, for a short time, a lovely fairytale of working class love, before spiraling into a haunting manhunt. On top of it all, edited with a ferocious taste for smash cuts; to me, a clear predecessor to Thelma Schoonmaker’s indelible editing on “The Departed.”

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