What distinguishes De Toth -- who at his strongest is arguably THE great peripatetic non-studio-contracted Hollywood workman director -- is his ability to make efficient, streamlined movies that though understated positively pop w/ dynamism. What he excels at are human characters, human milieus, and the marriage of the two. CRIME WAVE has the distinction of featuring Sterling Hayden at his absolute all-time best.
'54 Noir that stands out from the pack - raw and vibrant. Cinematography, sound, direction - all the details perfect and no dumb mood/incidental music or anything superfluous, just cinema stripped down to its bare bones, something very unusual for Hollywood. Great L.A. location shots and creative, dynamic camera angles. Starring Sterling Hayden, with Charles Bronson and the inimitable Tim Carey.
WEEEELLLL, I'd like to push that toothpick down your throat. Hayden plays quite a convincing art-imitates-life kinda coppa in need of a good boppin'. Did Gene Nelson die and return as William H. Macy? Bronson is a babe. One never sees enough of Hank Worden on the screen, quite possibly because Hank Worden is rarely there.
One of the best noir/crime films of its time. Sterling Hayden should be as big as Bogart or Mitchum, dammit. Nice early turns by Charles Bronson and Timothy Carey. Criminals in crime films didn't seem to look like real criminals except films from the 40s or small films from the 50s like this. This one really holds up.
In the hands of a less talented director, Crime Wave would be little more than a formulaic, by-the-books film noir. André de Toth is an unsung titan of film noir. He made only two full-blown noirs, but both are true masterpieces. It is his skill that elevates Crime Wave to something better than a common police procedural.