What's new

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
21,746
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
On paper, There Was A Crooked Man… has all the ingredients necessary for a shot at movie greatness: a first rate cast, a pair of screenwriters coming off a breakthrough hit, and a director with many genuinely excellent films to his credit.  And yet, despite all of the talent involved, the film never quite comes together the way it should. 



There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)



Released: 19 Sep 1970
Rated: R
Runtime: 126 min




Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Genre: Comedy, Western



Cast: Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Hume Cronyn
Writer(s): David Newman, Robert Benton



Plot: A charming but totally ruthless criminal is sent to a remote Arizona prison. He enlists the help of his cellmates in an escape attempt with the promise of sharing his hidden loot.



IMDB rating: 6.9
MetaScore: N/A...

Continue reading...


 

old mole

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Messages
67
Real Name
George
Steinberg needs to read Robert Harris' review along with the included Vincent Canby review. He totally misses the wonderful the wry irony of the film.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
55,580
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Josh,

Looks like you struck a nerve with your film opinion.;) Oh well, just call them as you see them.:)

Thanks for your review as I will be purchasing this Blu-ray in due time.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
21,746
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
As you like to point out, comedy is very subjective.

I know this film has its fans and I wanted to be one. Alas, it is what it is. Contemporary reviews from the period of the original release were all over the place. The Times liked it but that was by no means a unanimous opinion among top critics at the time.

The important thing here, I think, is that Warner Archive has done it’s usual A+ work in bringing the film to disc. I don’t know how many new fans that will create but I do believe that longtime fans of the film will be delighted with the presentation here, which is why my overall rating on the disc is higher than my rating for the film’s production.
 

Wayne Klein

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
93
I enjoyed the low key wry, ironic sense of humor of the film. Joe M’s direction should and could have been a bit sharper.
 

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
21,746
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
Joe M’s direction should and could have been a bit sharper.

There could’ve been a really great movie here. Coming out just okay (with some very wonderful moments interspersed within) seems beneath the talent involved. I wish I had liked it as much as I had wanted to.
 

Wayne Klein

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
93
My issue is that the direction makes it come across as a standard 1970’s TV movie. The tone is also inconsistent and doesn’t mesh as well as it could. I feel that JM’s injury, medication and being in a motorized wheelchair probably impacted the imagination of the direction. Then again JM was always somewhat of a pedestrian director when it came to staging a scene.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
348,724
Messages
4,854,838
Members
142,366
Latest member
mattpm
Recent bookmarks
0
Top