RARA-AVIS: Glenn Ford and The Big Heat (spoiler)

From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 23 Apr 2003

I saw this over the weekend. It was good but it lacked a lot of the intensity and desperation that the book had. Bannion was scarier in the book. In the movie Bannion is going to choke the information out of the dead cop's wife. In the book he's considering shooting her and letting the information surface through her attorney. In the movie he visits his daughter a couple times and appears halfway human. In the book I don't recall any scenes between him and his daughter after his wife is murdered. The scene in the movie where he backs down the gambler isn't nearly as ominous as the book.

The movie also ignores some of the deeper waters in the book, like the religious connotations and symbols, or the redemption of Bannion's humanity through the thug's girlfriend and the help he gets from the others. The help is still there, but you don't sense that this is Bannion's salvation.

I'm about halfway through Higgins's FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. I've never seen any hardboiled with this much conversation in it. Elmore Leonard writes about Higgins's influence on him in the Introduction. This was discussed earlier.


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