Mineshaft Gap

It's a screening log, no more no less. Maybe I'll have something interesting to say one of these days...

Now I get it.

I never understood Godard's pronouncement, "Nicholas Ray is cinema." I liked Rebel without a Cause all right, but that was my only experience with him and it didn't inspire me to look more. But after watching On Dangerous Ground, it clicked.

A great noir/potboiler/character piece with wonderful use of location shooting, Ray's film is a testament on sadness and loneliness. It is a textbook case for the use of doubling and reversals for dramatic effect. The camerawork is moody and atmospheric, easily conveying the melancholy tone. Robert Ryan and Ida Lupino both deliver superb performances.

In the modernity of this film, in both the tale and the telling, I see what the French critics of Cahiers felt Ray was a model for the cinema's future. Looking at it now, I wish that half of the current filmmakers could be this deep and daring. It even manages to earn its sentimental ending. A wonderful film.

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