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Re: RUTHLESS 1948 Opinions?
My thoughts are that the film should get screened a good bit more often, particularly in the context of "social outcry" noir--not so much because it takes up a cause or an overt political issue, but as a bookend for the corruption that comes from the extremes of capitalism as it affects individuals (an early manifestation of the "greed is good" formulation). RUTHLESS is an examination and indictment of that impulse, and works it through very well, though over time it simply got lost in the shadow of a film like CITIZEN KANE. It also suffered from being too "respectable" a work for the long timestretch in which Edgar Ulmer was typecast as a "disreputable" maker of B-noir.
In his NC DC lineup next month, Eddie is going to show FORCE OF EVIL four times. It would be more interesting to have alternated that great film with RUTHLESS, so that a more complete picture of the "social noir" cluster that emerged in the 1947-51 time frame could be provided to the audience. RUTHLESS is another side of that coin, with plenty of melodramatic intrigue and, as Gord notes, a stellar cast (also including Diana Lynn, who gives us our first glimpse at a side of her screen presence that strongly resembles noir's pin-up girl for sexual perversity, Gloria Grahame).