Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Inside Story rewatch, Allan Dwan, 1948

I seriously underrated this the first time around. Some of the set-ups are a bit laborious, and it neither has the wit nor (in fact: not at all) the dynamism of the high velocity farces Dwan made just a few years earlier. But it has a lot of other values.

The unwavering, but always clearly, even loquatiously articulated commitment of everyone involved off and on screen to its rather looney central premise is kind of touching in itself, especially when it turns out that even the crooks think in terms of community values; and the decidedly pedestrian, sometimes a bit awkward acting plays into these strengths. Sometimes this almost feels like a (expertly done) community theater production, made by people who want to explain themselves and their neighbours how capitalism works. After smoking some dope the night before, probably.

It's not a masterpiece like BREWSTER'S MILLIONS, RENDEZVOUS WITH ANNIE or ANGEL IN EXILE, three films that are similar in some aspects, and completely different in others. But in its at the same time relaxed and completely dedicated rhythm it finds a cadence all of its own.
(Maybe the best comparison would be RISE AND SHINE, another - in this case completely - weird, but lovely piece of dwamericana.)

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