|Femmes Fatales||Nov 18 2022|
Above is a photo of American actress Nancy Coleman made for her 1947 thriller Violence. She starred in the film with Michael O'Shea, but it was her vehicle all the way, as she plays a reporter out to expose a fascist group called United Defenders that uses populist and militaristic propaganda to fill its ranks with veterans. Coleman had a pretty nice career, appearing in such films as Dangerously They Live, Edge of Darkness, and Mourning Becomes Electra before making the usual transition into television roles. We'll probably revisit the subject of Violence, so you may see Coleman here later.
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 12 2011|
Director J. Lee Thompson’s Cape Fear, for which you see a rare lobby card above, isn’t just a great film. Embedded in its tale of an ex-convict terrorizing a family is an examination of American attitudes toward civil liberties. And if we contrast Cape Fear with modern thrillers like Edge of Darkness or Taken, what we begin to ask is whether America has crested the hill of its own belief in high principles and is now steadily rolling down the other side. Where Cape Fear presents the legal concept of due process as inviolable, and builds tension by asking if star Gregory Peck will resort to vigilantism to protect his family from a murderous Robert Mitchum, in Liam Neeson’s Taken, the hero intentionally shoots his friend’s wife in the arm with no more worry than stepping on a bug, and zero moral hesitation at making an innocent woman collateral damage in his holy war against the villains. Of course, movies are not real life. But they can be a reflection of it, and Cape Fear shows just how much attitudes toward legal protections may have changed in America in the last fifty years. We strongly recommend this film—as both entertainment and a historical study. It opened in the U.S. today in 1962.