As far as revenge flicks go, this one is pretty by-the-numbers. However, the buddy-criminal team of Oliver Reed and Ian McShane elevates the film to genre greatness. Our amoral avenger Harry is 200lbs of primal menace. He doesn’t speak much, but his concrete scowl and barrel-chest could punch a hole through a steel wall. How tough is he? He does pushups on the ceiling of his jail cell. On the flip side, Birdy has a silver tongue that more than makes up for Harry’s tight lips . The muscle and the mouth compliment each other nicely.
This one comes recommended by Brian Saur of the mighty Rupert Pupkin Speaks – a fantastic film blog for people who simply adore cinema. He consistently shows love to a lot of underrated films from every era, which is how The Mask of Dimitrios came across my radar. This 1944 wartime noir from Romanian director Jean Negulesco reunites Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet (the little man and the fat man, as they’re referred to in the trailer), and sorta reverses the characters they played in The Maltese Falcon. One’s the blackmailer, the other a sophisticated man of letters – together they’re out to trace the final years of globetrotting scoundrel Dimitrios Makropoulos!