Sunday, January 30, 2022

You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939)

Director:  Lewis Seiler

Writers:  Robert Buckner, Don Ryan, Kenneth Gamet, Lewis E. Lawes, Jonathan Finn

Composer:  Heinz Roemheld

Starring:  Humphrey Bogart, Gale Page, Billy Halop, John Litel, Henry Travers, Harvey Stephens, Harold Huber, Joe Sawyer, Joe Downing, George E. Stone, Joe King, Joseph Crehan

More info:  IMDb

Tagline:  AMERICA'S TWO-FISTER ANSWER to the Gun-Mad Rats Who Rule the Underworld!

Plot:  Youthful tough Johnnie Stone has fallen under the influence of petty crook Frank Wilson, who involves him and robbery and murder using his sister's boyfriend's stolen gun.

My rating:   6/10

Will I watch it again?   Nah.

The Bogart of THE MALTESE FALCON (1941) (and beyond) is the Bogart I love.  A lot of what he did prior to that, mostly his really early stuff, he was stiff and the stuff caricatures are made of.  But here he is just two years away from being memorialized as Sam Spade that he's not just a cookie cutter bad guy and not just some other run of the mill actor walking the walk and talking the talk like any low rent stiff could do.  He, as Frank Wilson, does a great job manipulating Johnnie (Billy Halop) and he keeps on doing it until he's physically unable to, and by that time the damage is done.  I liked the film but it was painful watching Halop play the anguishing Johnnie.  The kid, as an actor, was trying too hard which meant his acting chops weren't up to the task of filling the role.  It doesn't help him that he's got a lot of screen time.  Besides, Johnnie was pissing me off to almost getting Fred killed by the electric chair.  All he had to do was tell the truth.  I suppose that was a big part of building suspense.  It just frustrated me and I was glad when it was finally over and Johnnie was finished.  It was a pleasant surprise hearing and then seeing Eddie "Rochester" Anderson pop up as a convict.  I love that guy.  It's an OK flick where you have to take the bad with the good.

No comments:

Post a Comment