Dark City par Bosley Crowther

Dark City par Bosley Crowther

19 octobre 1950. Le passant cinéphile aime découvrir de nouveaux talents au cinéma. Et en ce mois d’octobre, la presse n’a d’yeux que pour l’un d’eux, Charlton Heston, jeune acteur qui donne la réplique à Lizabeth Scott dans Dark City.

Critique d’époque :

« A new star named Charlton Heston – a tall, tweedy, rough-hewn sort of chap who looks like a triple-threat halfback on a midwestern college football team – is given an unfortunate send-off on the low and lurid level of crime in Hal Wallis’ thriller, Dark City, which came to the Paramount yesterday.

Apparently Mr. Heston, who has worked for the stage and video, has something more than appearance to recommend him to dramatic roles. He has a quiet but assertive magnetism, a youthful dignity and a plainly potential sense of timing that is the good actor’s sine qua non. But in this « clutching hand » chiller, he is called upon to play nothing more complex or demanding than a crooked gambler marked for doom.

As a right-guy-gone-wrong who « cleans » a « sucker » in a back-room poker game and then has to dodge a brother’s vengeance when the « sucker » commits suicide, Mr. Heston carries off the sheer mechanics of looking apprehensive but possessed, of talking tough and acting gentle, in a perfectly acceptable way. He even behaves with some politeness towards a frighteningly grotesque Lizabeth Scott, who is supposed to represent a cabaret singer. And that is self-discipline, indeed.

But beyond that the role requires nothing. The central figure in this cat-and-rat « chase » is merely the focal point for melodramatic suspense. And this is professionally provided by a standard-equipment script, taut direction by William Dieterle and a cast well experienced in crime. Ed Begley is garish as a gambler who is killed while in terror’s horrid clutch, Jack Webb is noxious as a low coward and Dean Jagger is casual as a cop. Viveca Lindfors is dragged in for a little anomolous romance.It looks as though Mr. Heston has been hopefully headed down the course of Alan Ladd« . Par Bosley Crowther pour le New York Times.

Une critique ni bonne ni mauvaise. Bosley Crowther a trouvé Dark City ni bon ni mauvais. Une interprétation professionnelle au service d’une réalisation honnête. Il trouve Lizabeth Scott ridicule mais devine toutes les qualités de Charlton Heston qu’il trouve ici sous-exploité.

Retrouvez ma critique de La Main qui Venge (Dark City) ici.

Découvrez ce film directement chez Sidonis Calysta en dvd ici.


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6 réflexions sur « Dark City par Bosley Crowther »

  1. By Jim Patterson from the group All Films Noir : « Francis Bosley Crowther Jr. (July 13, 1905 – March 7, 1981) was an American journalist, writer, and film critic for The New York Times for 27 years. His work helped shape the careers of many actors, directors and screenwriters, … » Hardly sounds like « one of the worst film critics » like you say. I have read a lot of Crother’s reviews since he was writing film reviews all through the golden age of films noir. I did not always agree with him, but did not think he was a bad critic.

  2. By Oliver Hazan from the group CLASSIC FILM NOIR (1940 -1958) : « The movie is manipulative and a bit icky but Heston looks like he’s carved in marble, inhumanly handsome ».

  3. By Kirk Shaudys from the group The World of Noir : « Gordon Cummings, not much and not kind. He seems quite taken with Heston though. Bosley was a curmudgeon ».

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