Sunset Blvd. was released on this day in 1950!
Personally, Veda’s convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young.
Mildred Pierce (1945), Michael Curtiz
New Orleans Noir in Panic in the Streets (1950)
“The thugs Mingo and Fante, two models of historicized latency at the edge of representation and beyond, are as fascinating as they are plausibly iconic. Mingo and Fante arguably have the strongest romantic relationship in The Big Combo. They are openly devoted to each other, share a bedroom, and are almost always in the same shot. In their ‘hideaway,’ Mingo longingly expresses his feelings to Fante when he declares, ‘Let’s never come back,’ and suggests they run off together. Fante, the more solidly ‘butch’ of the two partners, proves his fidelity to Mingo when he presses McClure to pay not only him but Mingo as well for the pleasure of beating Lieutenant Diamond before Brown arrives.
"They will kill, torture, and even die together, although Mingo outlasts Fante when the bomb left by Brown to dispose of them after they serve their function explodes. In a morgue-like setting, when Lieutenant Diamond begins to press Mingo for information, the policeman reveals Fante’s mutilated, dynamited body, literally, what is left of Fante’s head and face, to a severely wounded Mingo, who cries and becomes almost hysterical. This is the one true expression of love and loss in the film…
“Director Lewis’s linkage of Mingo and Fante’s personal pleasure at a show of violence, although the product of a corporate decision, generates some expression of revenge against a system that would label them as sexual subversives… [Rose] Capp adds that Lewis correlated man’s violent and sexual obsessions in The Big Combo: ‘Lewis makes clear that The Big Combo is as much concerned with the dynamics of power, money and sexuality, as with the nexus between business, crime and forces of law and order.’ Fante and Mingo offer a paradoxical parallel that laces Lewis’s film with a radical political statement about homosexuality and gender politics in premodern Hollywood cinema: two gay men can experience a healthy relationship.”
– Gary D. Rhodes on The Big Combo (1955)
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Spanish Poster for Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)