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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gunman In The Streets (1950)

Set in France, an American army deserter (Dane Clark) turned petty crook escapes from the van transporting him to a court date. He contacts his girl (Simone Signoret) to help him get out of the country. Will the police catch him before he escapes? This gangster thriller was filmed in France with a French crew but with an American director, Frank Tuttle (THIS GUN FOR HIRE), at the helm. Clearly influenced by the Warners gangster movies of the 30s and 40s, it was filmed in two versions, one in English by Tuttle and one in French with Borys Lewin directing the French version. It's a highly atmospheric noir-ish piece with a generous touch of the French fatalism of such films as LE BETE HUMAINE and LE JOUR SE LEVE. Clark is properly thuggish and Signoret already has the potent screen presence that would make her one of the major French actresses of the decade. The only negative is the awful Joe Hajos underscore. With Fernand Gravey, Michel Andre and Robert Duke whose American journalist is a bit too good to be true.

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