I’m looking at all these films as examples of our present predicament, and as such, Caught and Ruthless have characters that cut too close to the bone of our present reality of having an unbalanced existential menace too close to the reins of power. They aren’t screened as often as those in the noir pantheon, but certainly should be. I’ve been following the discussion here and it ranges from social problem noir (hence my inclusion of the instability of the deluded slob public as a relevant theme), to Muller, to “resistance”, now to the corruption found inside our institutions.
With all this jumping back and forth, I need a scorecard to keep track of what’s happening on the field.
As long as the discussion is kept to institutional corruption, and away from present day "resistance", libertarianism and the joys of “freedom” (as long as the other’s guy’s “freedom” doesn’t interfere from mine) we will be more focused and on sturdier ground.
Btw, I believe you are 3 years more senior than me, not the other way around, but why quibble? As for your last paragraph, you are preaching to the choir. We can form our own Amen Corner. I’m fully aware that at least since the end of WWII there has been a power struggle between two huge international gang of criminals whose quest is to carve up the world. Now China wants their piece. Ought to prove interesting. Most of us won’t be around to see how the movie turns out.