Saturday, October 16, 2010

THE BIG HEAT (1953)

The man who made one of the most expensive silent masterpiece and Hitler’s favorite film ‘Metropolis’ and introduced the first chilling face of serial killer to screen in ‘M’, made another brilliant crime drama in film noir format. This is my third Fritz Lang flick and he keeps on impressing me this time too. It begins with a suicide shot of cop. The investigation is lead by cop named Bannion who confirmed the medical reports and widow’s statement that it was suicide but than a strange woman’s call stated that it’s not. As soon as he approached the woman, she got killed. It’s a challenging case for Bannion, who is an obsessed cop to find straight facts no matter it cost him what. This is just a beginning of thrill ride which continue to involve you in the case and drama with murder, scheming, blackmail and revenge.

Lang told crime story straight with tight editing, avoiding any unnecessary distractions. His penchant for investigation and surveillance highlighted in ‘M’ is more personal and individual one in form of cop’s struggle inside and outside the law in a city which is strangled by gun and money power of baddies like Lagana and Vince who kept even the system of Police department in their pockets to keep their syndicate running.

As Sgt. Dave Bannion, Glenn Ford retained complete charge of main lead; surely a reference material for De Palma’s ‘The Untouchables’ to portray Kevin Costner as cop who jeopardize his family with his reluctance to solve the case even when his above officers told him to shut the file and even suspended him for being unexpectedly blunt and adamant on his mission. Gloria Grahame as Debby is impressive and memorable for that splash of hot coffee on face. She’s being the perfect woman for smart Bannion to get things done his way costing many lives including herself. Lang’s expressionism is visible with sets, shadows that reflect character’s personality traits. The only less convincing part is the typical routine ending unlike stimulant one in ‘M’.

Worth watching for all film noir classic fans.

Ratings-8/10

2 comments:

prabhat said...

well it is the forth movie of fritz lang that i saw, beyond a resonable doubt, lady in the window and while the citi sleeps, i liked all of them. he has acertain style of telling a story that i adore. please recomend any other movie of this maker worth watching

HIREN DAVE said...

I haven't seen the other three films mentioned by you but there's two masterpieces of Lang that you must watch- METROPOLIS, a silent but the most expensive sci-fi of its time, worth watching by all means ans the other is M, starring chilling Peter Lorre as the first serial killer on the screen. Lang is German filmmaker. later he joined Hollywood and made some of the classic film noirs.

checkout my reviews of M and METROPOLIS by search option.