Seminal Image #109


On Dangerous Ground
(Nicholas Ray; 1950)

7 comments:

Ivan G. said...

"Why do you make me do it? You know you’re gonna talk…I’m gonna make you talk! I always make you punks talk—-why do you do it? Why? WHY?!!!"

If Robert Ryan had ever discovered that there are decaffinated brands that are just as tasty as the real thing, I would be in a world of hurt.

swac said...

Once again, great minds think alike. I was going to post a seminal image from Odds Against Tomorrow, only I couldn't find a high quality image I wanted to use. There was one with Ryan and Shelley Winters that was okay, but I was holding out for Gloria Grahame.

Ryan is one of those guys I keep discovering in films over and over again. Everytime I think I find a definitive performance (like On Dangerous Ground, a film that is great on so many levels...love that Herrmann score), I get one-upped by something else, like Odds Against Tomorrow, which I finally got around to seeing this week.

The fact that there are still plenty of Ryan (and Mitchum too, for that matter) films out there I haven't seen gives me a reason to live...

Tom Sutpen said...

Stephen wrote:

Ryan is one of those guys I keep discovering in films over and over again. Everytime I think I find a definitive performance (like On Dangerous Ground, a film that is great on so many levels...love that Herrmann score), I get one-upped by something else, like Odds Against Tomorrow, which I finally got around to seeing this week.

*****
Herrman was once quoted as saying he thought his score for "On Dangerous Ground" was his best. And listening to the CD of it, absent the images, leads me to think he was not too far away from being right.

Speaking of scores, I love John Lewis's score for "Odds Against Tomorrow" almost as much as the somewhat stripped down MJQ album of it from that year. The film itself was a beautiful sign that, even after making bigger and bigger films in the 1950s, Robert Wise was still capable of turning out tight, small-scale narratives in the manner of his earlier "Born to Kill" and "The Captive City"

As for Robert Ryan? There'd be a small, undefinable hole in American screen acting had he never practiced it. The closest thing to a definitive performance from him, to my sensibilities, was his last as Larry Slade in Frankenheimer's 1973 "The Iceman Cometh". I don't know to what extent he knew he was dying when he made that film, but the specter of death, not the Movie kind, suffuses his work in that film. Resigned, desperate and immensely powerful, he wipes Lee Marvin's meaty-if-wrongheaded performace as Hickey right off the screen.

If you haven't seen that film, Stephen (and I'd recommend the 4-hour director's cut), you should.

Everyone should.

Ivan G. said...

I definitely need to see The Iceman Cometh, a title that has eluded me over these many years. If I ever reactivate my Netflix subscription, it will be the first movie I check out.

swac said...

And on the topic of Nicholas Ray, one of the more underserved directors in the realm of DVD, has anyone seen the new disc of Bitter Victory? Is it the print that was cut by 20 minutes or a restored full-length version? I've held off watching this one on TV, and if this is the best I'm going to get, I might as well take the plunge.

Tom Sutpen said...

Stephen wrote:

And on the topic of Nicholas Ray, one of the more underserved directors in the realm of DVD, has anyone seen the new disc of Bitter Victory? Is it the print that was cut by 20 minutes or a restored full-length version? I've held off watching this one on TV, and if this is the best I'm going to get, I might as well take the plunge.

*****
Take the plunge, my friend, because you're in luck. It's the full-length 102 min. cut. If it turns out to be a disappointment, then we'll both be up a creek because I ordered it a few days ago.

Now . . . where's "Wind Across the Everglades", "Lightning Over Water", "The Savage Innocents" . . .

swac said...

Actually, I think there might be a disc of Lightning Over Water out there.

But then there's Party Girl, Bigger Than Life, Born to Be Bad, Run for Cover...

And hey, I have the same birthday as Nick! Cool.