A decade long recount of the highs and lows of a raucous era, following it all through the eyes of the archetypal young man entering adulthood in James Cagney’s portrayal. It follows him from coming home from a war to the inability to get work and how that transition often led to organized crime formulating. Especially in a time of prohibition. Cagney is fantastic, showing a real emotional side not normally associated with mobsters, and how one coped with the viscosity of the roaring twenties. Priscilla Lane and Humprhey Bogart are also great in smaller roles, as they add higher stakes to the explosive lifestyle of the 20s. The dynamics between these characters brings out the radicalism in one … More The Roaring Twenties (1939) a perfect summation of how the 1930s perceived the decade
The frighteningly real experience of William Wyler’s noir-thriller, The Desperate Hours, pins a family with everything to lose against a trio of runaway felons with nothing to lose. The elongated hostage situation is a boiler of nervous energy and the longer the situation gets extended, the less nerve the characters get, making for a volatile situation. It’s an extremely tight narrative structure, a streamline of intensity from the opening moments to the tragic conclusion.
… More The Desperation Felt in William Wyler’s The Desperate Hours (1955) is Palpable