Wednesday, January 2, 2013

THE THIEF (1952)

How about watching a tense filled noir without a single line of dialogue in its entire running time that unravels the plot of cold war spy thriller. Russel Rouse’ ‘The Thief’ is unique, unusual and unparalleled noir made without a single spoken dialogue. An award winning Nuclear Physics scientist- Dr. Allen Fields is a rat passing the top secret  documents of US Atomic Energy to Russians. The routine set up was disturbed and ruined by a chance accident that makes FBI sniffing after him.

It’s an extraordinary achievement. Without a dialogue, Rouse managed to keep the engaging action with limited players, repeated action, cat and mouse chase, psychological tension, claustrophobic set up and brilliant use of mise en scene. The background score and camera work is indeed things for eyes and ears. One has to watch Ray Milland here and he’s pitch perfect in a paranoiac role like this. Along with his award winning ‘Lost Weekend’, this is another film which stays in memory for long. Climax on the top of Enpire State Building is highlight of the film. 


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