This truly is a undiscovered gem. Great all-star cast all on top of their game. This is a film that lays open part of the criminal underworld of boston, not sensationalistic but subdued and low-key. Everything happens in a methodical matter of fact way. You not only see the characters exploits but get insight into their personal lives.
This is one of the better Peter Yates films. He himself admits it is one of his favorites that he has directed.
Robert Mitchum is mesmerizing in the title role like he was born to play it. He fits into a character undoubtly but meek in appearance. Who is really a larger than life character, Who always has a job or scheme going down while appearing slow. It truly shows his talent and makes me miss actors of his kind all the more.
Steven Keats in his first role really makes a impression as a live wire gun dealer. Who believes he has everything under control and is smart enough to know every angle. As the film progresses you can feel the noose tighten on all the characters and the narrative until it ends, not with a scream but with a whimper.
The ending is a sucker punch to the gut. You think you know everything there is to know and that you need to until the final scene truly reveals all. You think that all this will be some sort of damage, But you witness as life just goes on like nothing really happened.
The reason to enjoy the film is it is stylish with no style that doesn’t call attention to itself. This is truly a film of it’s time as the studios don’t make films like this anymore. If it was made today it would be more flashy and sensationalistic. It would make the characters have a deep core of goodness. This film staying low-key and making no difference between the roles assigned as good or bad both are corrupt in some way. Makes the film feel more real.