Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: drinkanddestroy on July 29, 2015, 10:56:24 PM

Title: The Gangster (1947)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 29, 2015, 10:56:24 PM
The Gangster (1947)

Saw this noir as part of TCM's Summer of Darkness. This movie is discussed a little here (page 31 of Eddie Muller's "Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir")

What a weird, absolutely ludicrous, Poverty Row movie, which, despite its best efforts, somehow manages to be, in its own shitty way, enjoyable - you can even enjoy how ridiculous it is! I mean, this is a VERY unique movie.

Parts of it sort of feel like a play, with long scenes taking place in a soda/ice cream store, lots of ramblings of characters that don't seem to play any function except extend the screen time. At the end, most of them sort of seem to tie together loosely, but till you get to that point there are lots of ramblings that seem to be going nowhere.

Harry Morgan is a soda jerk who thinks he's a player, he's hilariously pathetic, or pathetically hilarious. (I'll stop with the adverbs. Now.)

There is one EXCRUCIATING scene between Barry Sullivan and his wannabe-actress girlfriend in a theater dressing room - that girl is an awful actress (not just in the movie but in real life, as well). John Ireland plays a degenerate gambler desperate for money who spends his days in the ice cream shop thinking of ways to convince people to lend him money for one big bet on the ponies that is gonna finally pull him out of debt.

the story (yeah, I'm getting to it) is about 'the gangster,' played by Barry Sullivan, an insecure dude who a syndicate of characters is trying to push out of the rackets.

There are many Westerns (perhaps starting with The Gunfighter with Gregory Peck) that look into the psychology of the gunslinger and the downside, how it's not really glamorous and they know their lives are miserable, etc. Well since many people, like Jean-Pierre Melville, like to compare the gangster to the Western hero this is sort of a similar theme; to my knowledge, this is the first gangster movie that explores the gangster character in that way.

A rambling movie that has no idea where it's going deserves a rambling post that has no idea where it's going. Unlike this post, however, the movie somehow manages to be enjoyable at least partly cuz of how silly it is.

After all this shit, it would be really sad if I actually gave this movie a 7/10. If you prefer the objective rating (how 'good' is the movie as a work of art), you may consider this crappy; if you prefer the 'subjective rating' i.e., it's not about how 'good' it is but how much did enjoyment did I have while watching it, for whatever reason perhaps that rating is appropriate.

If you are a noir fan and haven't yet seen this, catch it next time Eddie Muller brings it to TCM  ;)
Title: Re: The Gangster (1947)
Post by: cigar joe on July 30, 2015, 06:28:31 PM
The book was even more depressing, but to give you all some background info on Fuch's  "Low Company", Shubunka ran a string of whorehouse operations in the Neptune Ave. neighborhood of Coney Island, Jammy actually owned the physical properties, there is the barest allusion to this during the conversation where Jammy tells Shubunka that there was 125 dollars or so damage done to one house. Karty had a bigger role in the novel, even to the point of committing murder to get a role of money to bet on the horses.