A quartet of international crooks – Peterson, O’Hara, Ross and Ravello – is stranded in Italy while their steamer is being repaired. With them are the Dannreuthers. The six are headed for Africa, presumably to sell vacuum cleaners but actually to buy land supposedly loaded with uranium. They are joined by others who apparently have similar designs. —IMDb
Adventure in many forms is the theme of many of John Huston’s films. His characters are constantly searching for “the stuff that dreams are made of” (the famous closing-line of his debut film The Maltese Falcon). Huston glorified this chase despite its frequent disillusionment and false promise, since it represented a flight from the complacent virtues of ordinary life. Like Ernest Hemingway and Joseph Conrad, Huston regarded civilization as a false surface which thinly veiled a hostile nature. Only those who lived at the edge, on the margins of society were regarded by Huston as fellow travellers. In films as diverse as The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle and Under the Volcano, Huston celebrated men who circled the abyss; characters who are driven to plunge head first into the void.
The son of the great theatre and film actor Walter Huston (who would win an Oscar under his son’s direction for his role in The Treasure of Sierra Madre) and crime journalist Rhea Gore… read more
What were they smoking when they made this movie?! Supposedly a 'camp classic', it actually fits no neat genre seeming disordered in intention and casual in execution. It leaves me bewildered each time I see it!
Go into this film with no expectations and you'll have a great ride. All the characters are stereotypes, with each actor's over-the-top performance based on roles they'd already played in previous films. I can't imagine how theater audiences in the fifties reacted to this movie. Or is it only 50 years later that we realize just how "postmodern" this film really is? Did Huston and his gang of writers know as well?
The Carl Theodor Dreyer retrospective at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley has been going on since the beginning of the month and runs
De ce que j’ai vu à l’heure actuelle de John Huston, je suis loin d’avoir été impressionné par son Moby Dick, totalement vieux jeu et démodé, ou par Le faucon maltais, pourtant si renommé. Ce n’est… read review