Directed by Nathan Juran
Starring Kerwin Mathews, Kathryn Grant, and Torin Thatcher
This is fact: all special effects will eventually look like shit. No matter how good they appear in the moment to audiences of the time, or how cutting edge they may have been, they will all come to look janky, threadbare, and horribly laughable. The only unknown is the amount of time it takes, and the size of the laugh they get. For The Scorpion King, that turn happened instantly, literally the moment the images left the computer. For 2001: A Space Odyssey and Zodiac, it hasn’t happened yet. And maybe in that juxtaposition we can learn a valuable truth: the best VFX are those that don’t reach beyond their capabilities, while the worst try to live out there just beyond the cutting edge. Continue reading
Directed by Mervyn Leroy
Screenplay by Francis Edward Faragoh and Robert N. Lee, based upon the novel of the same name by W. R. Burnett
Starring Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Rico (Edward G. Robinson) is a criminal with ambition. Too bad he’s small-timing it out in the sticks, making ends meet robbing gas stations with his partner, Joe (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). But a man with his ambition won’t be small-time for long and within the space of the transition from one scene to another, Rico is joining one of the top criminal outfits in Chicago. His partner Joe comes to the city too, but he puts aside his criminal dreams for dancing shoes. Because he’s ambitious, and ruthless, Rico rises quickly through the organization, eventually installing himself as boss. Unfortunately, to rise that quickly you have to step on a lot of toes, which doesn’t end well for the man doing the stepping.