Sunday, May 20, 2012

ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950) -
Richard Fleischer

Am I going out on a limb to guess that Michael Mann MUST have screened this classic noir heist pic before directing Heat? It opens with a fantastic armored car heist (no surprise given the title), but with gas masks instead of hockey masks. It ends with an airport gundown. Lead baddie William Tallman's signature "No loose ends" line also seems suspiciously similar to DeNiro's heat-around-the-corner credo. The only thing missing from ACR is a Henry Rollins cameo.

The difference here is epic sweep. Fleischer's brutally efficient noir takes a lesson from its villain and gets its dirty work done in a lean 67 minutes as opposed to Heat's leisurely 170. If you feel like revisiting the '95 classic, have only an hour to spare and aren't in the mood for Pacino's vamping ("You can get killed walking your doggie!"), watch this, its black and white template, instead.

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