Film Review: Bugsy

Bugsy

Director: Barry Levinson

1991

Based on the life of legendary gangster Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel (not to be confused with ‘Bugs’ Moran), Bugsy tells the story of Siegel’s ambitious plans to create an oasis in the desert – the city that eventually became Las Vegas – as well as the mafia’s key role in funding and developing that dream, alongside showing the beginning and tragic end of his infamous relationship with Hollywood actress Virginia Hill.   Continue reading

Book Review – A German Requiem

A German Requiem

Philip Kerr

1991

The third and (initially) final book in Philip Kerr’s Berlin Noir series of novels involving German PI Bernie Gunther, A German Requiem is a harsh, stark and intricate detective novel set around the decaying ruins of post-WW2 Europe.

Taking a leap from the pre-War era of the previous two novels (set in 1936 and 1938 respectively), A German Requiem picks Gunther’s story up in post-War 1947 Germany. Gunther hasn’t had an easy ride since the last novel – he was conscripted into the SS, sent to the Eastern front and ended up in a Soviet POW camp which he managed a narrow escape from with the help of a moving train.

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Film Review – Touch of Evil

Touch of Evil

1958

Director: Orson Welles

Usually credited as being one of the final entries in the original era of film noir, Touch of Evil stands out as being one the darkest and most sinister noirs of them all. Co-written, co-starring and directed by Orson Welles (known for other noirs including The Third Man and The Lady from Shanghai, as well as a little-known filled called Citizen Kane…), it is a story into corruption and the abuse of power set amongst a Cold-War era backdrop of racial tension and suspicion set in a small town on the Mexican border.

The law protects the guilty as well as the innocent…a policeman’s job is only easy in a police state, that’s the whole point, Captain – who’s the boss, the cop or the law?” Continue reading

The Continental Op – Dashiell Hammett

The Continental Op

Dashiell Hammett

Compiled: 1974

Close to a decade before writing the pioneering work that is The Maltese Falcon, like many fellow authors of his time Dashiell Hammett cut his literary teeth writing short stories for pulp magazines for the majority of the 1920s. As a former Pinkerton detective himself, he had no shortage of colourful experiences to draw upon and use to craft a range of story ideas. Continue reading