Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Two O'Clock Courage
|07.06.06||Internet|| So a lot of times when people first think about film noir, they think the stark black and white photography. lots of shadows, lots ofdepth of field, interesting camera angles, wet city streets. There were a handful of guys that shot like that very well but I think the most exagerrated and stylish of all was John Alton. He even wrote a book on cinematography called Painting with Light and that's really what he does. Every set-up shows just what needs to be seen and nothing more... you get the idea while watching movies he worked on that every stroke of white against the black is there on purpose. The result is very striking and really defines the genre for a lot of people. This movie, I think, defines a lot of that style.|
The story is about a couple of treasury agents going undercover to weed out a major counterfeit ring. Typical undercover-cop things ensue and there's some good suspense built up before the movie ends. It's really notable more for the photography though. Even within the realm of low-key lighting, comparing to all the other great photographers of the day, Alton's work really stands apart. I only wish this was a better transfer... I know AFS showed a print of this like 10 years ago... I really wish they'd do it again. I'd kill to see this or The Big Combo on the big screen.
But at least I've finally seen it. Looking on amazon, I guess it got re-released on DVD (it was in a double pack with Raw Deal (another Anthony Mann noir I've really wanted to see for a long time) but that's long out of print) as part of a set but the word is the transfers are horrible and not worth owning. Maybe someday someone will clean it up and give it a decent release. until then, though... at least I have a copy.