💸 From 1959, this film comes at the end of the classic noir period, and combines many of the classic noir tropes with a more modern style of filmmaking. Harry Belafonte was the star and producer, and it's hard for people now to realize that he was once one of the biggest stars in the country. The blacklisted Abraham Polonsky wrote the script, and changed the ending from the book, making it far more brutal and shocking. Robert Ryan and Ed Begley give fine performances, and the director, Robert Wise, made it an edge-of-the-seat heist movie with a racial angle that is still meaningful today. There's an unusual soundtrack with the Modern Jazz Quartet, and also orchestral music. The cinematography conveys alienation and the hopelessness of these three desperate guys involved in a high-stakes robbery, not because they're hardened crooks, they just need money bad. Not to be missed.
Note added in press: Visible behind the bar, a young Cicely Tyson.