Search This Blog

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Informer (1935)

In 1922 Dublin as the Irish Republican Army fights the British backed authorities, a coarse brute of a man (Victor McLaglen) has fallen on hard times after being kicked out of the IRA for letting a Black And Tan (Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve) free instead of executing him. In desperation and out of love for a street prostitute (Margot Grahame), he betrays an IRA friend (Wallace Ford) for the reward money. Like Judas' betrayal of Christ, the money will not assuage his conscience. Based on the novel by Liam O'Flaherty and directed by John Ford, the film is rather primitive in its execution but there's no denying its effectiveness. McLaglen was never the most restrained actor in the best of circumstances and his Irish "me darlin' " mugging in his later films with Ford and others usually has me cringing. I certainly wouldn't call his performance here subtle but McLaglen's larger than life crudeness works here. His Gypo is all brawn with very little intellectual capabilities. The IRA trial scene is the highlight of the film though McLaglen's thunder is stolen by Donald Meek of all people. Remade by Jules Dassin in 1968 as a blaxploitation film called UPTIGHT. With Preston Foster, Heather Angel, Una O'Connor, Joe Sawyer and J.M. Kerrigan. 

No comments:

Post a Comment