Film Review: Bugsy


Director: Barry Levinson


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


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

Theatre Review – Father Brown and the Curse of the Invisible Man

Father Brown and the Curse of the Invisible Man

Nottingham Theatre Royal

Tuesday 9 August – Saturday 13 August 2016

In a change of pace from the usual topics of posting – on Friday night my partner and I were tempted to pay the Nottingham Theatre Royal a visit for their annual ‘Classic Thriller’ season. Attending on the third week, they were performing ‘Father Brown and the Curse of the Invisible Man’ – a bespoke play which has been doing the rounds for the past year or so, which is developed from some of G.K. Chesterton’s original Father Brown stories.


Continue reading

Film Review – The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties


Director: Raoul Walsh

One of the last of the ‘classic’ era of gangster films to be released, The Roaring Twenties serves as a kind of footnote to 1930s crime cinema – a headstrong act of defiance in a changing world, honouring the films that, at the turn of the decade, had served to reflect the problems of the world they were created in.

The Roaring Twenties stars James Cagney (of The Public Enemy fame) in the role of Eddie Bartlett – a sincere and honest American who, in the aftermath of World War 1, is forced to enter the bootlegging business as a pure and simple means of survival. Continue reading

Film Review – The Night of the Hunter

The Night of the Hunter


Director: Charles Laughton

Set in an indeterminate date (but which appears to be during the Great Depression), The Night of the Hunter tells the story of a devilish, rouge preacher named Harry Powell (played by Out of the Past star Robert Mitchum) who spends his time stalking his way across America finding, courting and eventually murdering rich widows. All ostensibly in the name of the Lord, of course… Continue reading

Upcoming Movie: The Irishman

For a few years now, there have been rumours going around (mainly thanks to Wikipedia) of a new Martin Scorsese/Robert De Niro collaboration. A film titled The Irishman, based on Charles Brandts’ I Heard You Paint Houses (a book which, I must confess, has thus far escaped my radar), which tells the tale of a man’s disappearance from the eyes of a dying mob boss, it is set to reunite Scorsese and De Niro, whilst also bringing in crime film stalwarts Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.


(Image courtesy of

Details are vague at this time (some more detailed articles can be found here and here), but if it comes to pass (and I hope to heavens it will), it will be the first De Niro/Scorsese collaboration since 1995’s masterful Casino. It will also mark the first time Scorsese directs Pacino, and it will (hopefully) make for a true Pacino/De Niro pairing which we’ve longed for since  1995’s Heat. Bringing Joe Pesci back out of retirement (where he’s been pretty much hidden for the better part of 20 years) is just the icing on the cake.

It sounds like production is still in the early stages, but by all accounts it is now actively moving forward. For the sake of all Godfather and Goodfellas fans who’ve been starved of a true operatic crime film for too long, we hope it is sooner rather than later.

More updates to follow as they are announced.

In the meantime, here are a few reminders of past glories:


Al and Rob