Brute Force (1947) – Episode 93

Brute Force (1947)

 

Today’s movie is the film noir Brute Force (1947). It tells the tale of a group of prisoners that tell their story using a pin-up picture in their cell. It is noted that the inspiration and violence in this movie is in direct response to the Battle of Alcatraz, May 2-4, 1946[1]. At the federal prisoner in San Francisco Bay, the prisoner fought until their deaths even though their situation was hopeless. Ironically, Burt Lancaster, playing the role of Robert Stroud in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), helped to end the Alcatraz escape attempt. Of course, this part of the movie is not based on historical fact.

The movie is social commentary on the rise of fascism and Nazism. The pin-up picture of the woman used in the film is said to be a composite of actresses Yvonne De Carlo, Ann Blyth, and Ella Raines, by painter John Decker[2]. I don’t see it.

Actors

This prison movie had a rather large cast included 10 actors … Continue reading

Of Mice and Men (1939) – Episode 5

Of Mice and Men Lon Chaney Jr. and Burgess Meredith

I am starting a new line today based on Burgess Meredith from In Harm’s Way (1965). Today’s movie is Of Mice and Men (1939).

The original story was written by John Steinbeck and was set during the Great Depression. One of the interesting things about this movie is that it is not carried by a major star. Many of the actors had fine and long careers but they were not the blockbuster leading types.

The title of the movie comes from a Robert Burns’ poem titled “To a Mouse” and states – “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (Or as translated “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.”

The Great Depression kicked off in the United States on October 29, 1929, when the stock market crashed and is now as Black Tuesday. I can’t remember the name of the play but one line states that paraphrase – “he was part of gentle rain of stock … Continue reading