Comedy · Gangster

Claire Trevor’s 3-Pronged Attack in the War on Drugs

Before Claire Trevor is sent to infiltrate a Mexican drug ring in the 1950 crime comedy, Borderline, she is asked a question many women recognize: “Do you think you can handle this?” Aww, isn’t that cute? Trevor’s character, a smart and experienced member of the Los Angeles Police Department, is asked if she can handle this. To her credit, she refrains from… Continue reading Claire Trevor’s 3-Pronged Attack in the War on Drugs

Drama · Gangster

Saying Goodbye to the 1930s Gangster

*Spoiler Alert* Who doesn’t love that great dialogue from 1930s gangster flicks? These films treated us to such gems as: “Listen, you crummy, flat-footed copper. I’ll show you whether I’ve lost my nerve…!” – and – “Why, that dirty, no-good, yellow-bellied stool.” From these movies we learn what a “mug” is, how to “take a powder”, and when a… Continue reading Saying Goodbye to the 1930s Gangster

Comedy · Gangster

The Amazing Edward G. Robinson: Is He or Isn’t He?

Sometimes movies pose tantalizing questions, such as: Is the main character off his rocker? Hamlet is a famous example of a character with ambiguous mental health; so is another lesser-known figure, Dr.  Clitterhouse. The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938) is a black comedy about a successful medical doctor (Edward G. Robinson) who becomes fascinated by what he calls “the… Continue reading The Amazing Edward G. Robinson: Is He or Isn’t He?

Gangster

Memo to MGM: Tread Loudly in Gangster-land

Crime was big business in the 1930s. Okay, crime is always big business but during the early 1930s, movie audiences couldn’t get enough of sneering criminals. Perhaps it was an emotional purging – it was the Depression after all. Warner Bros. were the Kings of the Gangster Pictures, and they certainly knew how it was done. A good gangster… Continue reading Memo to MGM: Tread Loudly in Gangster-land