52 Pick-Up

52 Pick-Up ★★★½

Harry Mitchell is a wealthy manufacturer and his wife Barbara is running for LA City Council. When violent blackmailers threaten to reveal his affair with a young model, Harry refuses their demands and comes up with a scheme of his own.

The ingredients for a great neo-noir thriller are here: it's directed by consummate genre pro John Frankenheimer, the screenplay is by Elmore Leonard adapting his novel with plenty of choice Leonard dialogue, the villains are memorable (John Glover is a remarkably chatty sociopath and Clarence Williams III is the taciturn personification of pure menace), and it has a truly sleazy atmosphere. There's an air of pure misogyny about the whole thing, though; all the women in speaking roles are treated in decidedly vicious ways. Misogyny is often a feature of noir cinema, but it's underscored to an off-putting extreme here.

Some aspects of this movie felt truly great, some aspects felt completely unpalatable.

Block or Report

UniversalLeader liked these reviews