Saturday, December 24, 2005

Born to Kill

Yesterday I watched Born to Kill, a noir by Robert Wise from '47. Wise directed Sound of Music, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and the classic Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It was an acceptible little crime drama.

Lawrence Tierney, whom we all know and love as Joe Cabot from Reservoir Dogs ("Why am I Mr. Pink?" asketh Steve Busk-am-I, to which Tierney replies "Cos you're a faggot, all right?"), is a budding young temperamental sociopath. One night while shooting craps, he sees his girlfriend hanging out with another guy, so naturally he sneaks into her house, hides in her kitchen, bludgeons the young fellow to death. When the girlfriend catches him in the act, he whacks her too for good measure.

Then Tierney boards a train to San Francisco (which makes its distinctive presence known in the film by a single shot of the Golden Gate bridge), where he meets Claire Trevor. They flirt oddly. Tierney is much younger here than he was during Reservoir Dogs, but he still looks as if there's a budding black hole in the bridge of his nose, sucking his face into a nasty scowl.

Shenanigans ensue, and lots of people end up dead. Tierney acts as an homme fatal for the film, as Trevor's involvement with him brings her life down until she's killed.

The movie's based on a novel called Deadlier than the Male, and the film's UK title is "Lady of Deceit." While Trevor's somewhat cold and a tad conniving, she atones for these assuredly venal sins before she's shot to death. It's hard to see the film as being about anything other than the crazy man Tierney.

And on a side note, I woke up this morning and entertained myself with a fantasized job interview that left me feeling completely unemployable in the legal profession and did little other than to make me think of how rotten the whole business seems to me. Ugh. I continue to find the law interesting, but this institution does such a wonderful job of sucking the life out of a subject and making you feel real fucking small in the process. Which is just my way of saying Merry Chr-oh, fuck it.

No comments: