Thursday, February 25, 2010

Larceny (1948)

Dir: George Sherman
SIFF Theater

A fast paced film about con men that are trying to swindle a war widow out of money by building a phony war memorial. It features a top notch cast lead by John Payne, Dan Duryea doing his best at being Dan Duryea, and Shelley Winters in one of her best performances ever as Duryea's girlfriend that is secretly with Payne. The story is incredibly tight even if it's slightly predictable. Working with a script by Bowers, Sherman has very little to do to make this one a home run, but helps it along by making a quickly paced picture. Like many other noir leads, John Payne came from a song and dance background which helps him to be a sympathetic bad guy. Fun fact: Payne was apparently the first person to buy the rights to James Bond novel and planned on playing him, obviously this wasn't to come to fruition. A travesty that this, along with most of the others at the festival, is not available on DVD.
Another great print and presentation to end the first double feature, and I had a better seat since some of the audience left.


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