Saturday, January 28, 2017

Jason goes to Noir City--Day 6

I skipped Tuesday to be at the Cinequest media launch, but I was back at it on Wednesday for a couple of Alain Delon flicks.

ONCE A THIEF (1965): Delon, in his first English language role, plays Eddie Pedak, an ex-con who is now living straight with his loving wife (Ann-Margret) and their daughter. But a Chinatown store was robbed with his m.o.--the same model car, same sheepskin jacket, even the same gun that he shot a cop with way back when (allegedly, the case was dropped for lack of evidence.) So that same cop, Mike Vido (Van Heflin) busts him. But then Eddie walks when the witness doesn't identify him. Seems like a frame job. And sure enough, enter Eddie's big brother Walt (Jack freakin' Palance!) and a couple of his no-good friends. They want Eddie to help them with a job. Specifically, a job to rob the warehouse where he works as a truck driver (or worked...he was let go after Vido arrested him in front of his boss.) So Eddie's trapped between his brother and the cops. And like they say, once a thief, always a thief. Ann-Margeret is always lovely, but not given much more to do than be the hysterical wife, especially when their daughter is in danger. Oh yeah, and it's all shot in San Francisco, which just makes it extra cool.

THE SICILIAN CLAN (1969): Hey, one of the nice things about Noir City drifting into the 60s and 70s is you can start to see some nudity in these films. And Delon seduces his way through a number of fine ladies. He's Roger Sartet, a young mobster who is taken in by the titular Sicilian clan, in an opening escape caper that was brilliant and humorously executed. Lino Ventura plays the policeman chasing him. And that chase goes from Paris, to Rome, to New York. But he's got the mob looking out for him, so the cops never really get close. Meanwhile, they plan an elaborate jewel heist, culminating in the hijacking of a transcontinental airliner. And (as is the noticeable pattern in these heist films) they pull it off. They get away with it. Except for one little error. See, I said that Sartet likes the ladies. Well, if one of those ladies is the mob patriarch's wife.... Sartet soon finds himself in New York with no backup, and has to return to Sicily... At just over 2 hours, this is a movie that takes its time in between tense and explosive scenes.

Total Running Time: 229 minutes
My Total Minutes; 414,662

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