Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Big Steal: Screwball Noir?

Film Historian Richard B. Jewell has called The Big Steal "'A Screwball Noir". I don't know if I'd go that far, but this 1949 film directed by Don Siegel is a fast paced chase
film that's a lot of fun.
Films like the the Big Steal work best when you know as little as possible going in(I call it going in cold) just letting the film happen. Don Siegal wants you to pay attention from the first scene on, and let's you try to figure out wants going on.
What I'll tell you is William Bendix is after Robert Mitchum, Mitchem and Jane Greer are after Patric Knowles, and Ramon Norvarro sit's back and watches.
This film was shot on location in Mexico, and has some classic car chases. The screenplay by Geoferey Homes, & Gerald Drayson Adams is witty, and fast paced. Think Cary and Roz in His Girl Friday.
Mitchum and Greer make it look so easy(it's not)
Jane was not the first choice for this film. Elizabeth Scott was signed to do the part . But because this film was going in to production after "Bob's Weed Problem", Liz like most other actress's in Hollywood at the time did not want any thing to do with Mitchum. Jane was an old friend after making Out Of The Past,and when asked said "Why not". I'm glad she did .I can see no one but Jane in this part.
So Is this A Screwball Noir? Watch the film and then we'll talk.
Click picture to view movie trailer.


  1. Paul, I will look for this movie, and get back with you. Awesome review!!

  2. Dawn , please do not watch it on You Tube it's cut to shreds. Get the DVD or wait for it on TCM.

  3. Paul, I will add this to my collection of DVDs. Iam a huge fan of both Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer.

  4. Dawn, then you will love this film. Trust me on this.

  5. This movie sounds awesome. Sounds right up my alley of movies I would enjoy.

  6. DP , I think you'll love this flim.

  7. When u say "Bob's Weed Problem," do you mean Robert Mitchum was smoking marijuana when this movie was made?

  8. Cagney fan, He was busted for having a few joints on him , and he did serve time. Many people think the bust was a "set up' at the time. He does talk about it on the old Dick Cavett show that TCM does run from time to time.


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