Disappointing Crime Film.
peterfromkanata | Kanata, Ontario Canada | 08/21/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit that I bought this disc because I was intrigued with the idea of casting Edward G. Robinson and George Raft as adversaries in the same film. Of course, these gentlemen are two of the "giants" of the crime/film noir genre. Unfortunately they are let down by a hackneyed script and mediocre production values.
The film takes place in Montreal during the "cold war", and "the other side" wants to kidnap a brilliant scientist and the details of a top-secret project he is working on. Their agent, who poses as a book-seller ( ruthless Peter Van Eyck ), hires an American gangster ( tough, no-nonsense George Raft )--exiled to Portugal--to come to Montreal, reassemble his old gang and grab the scientist. As this plan takes shape, a couple of related murders get the attention of an RCMP inspector ( a cerebral Edward G. Robinson ). Can the inspector foil the plot and save the scientist before he is whisked off somewhere behind the Iron Curtain ?
As I have indicated, this is not a very good film, but Messrs. Raft and Robinson still have a formidable presence. George Raft is perfect as a guy you really don't want to cross ! On the other hand, I agree that the great Edward G. Robinson is wasted here--this role couldn't have been much of a challenge for him, and it could have been played by any competent, journeyman actor. There is another reason to sit through this movie--Audrey Totter. As Mr. Raft's ex-girlfriend who is "recruited" to charm the scientist, Ms. Totter gives us another rivetting performance that has made her one of film noirs' best "femmes fatales".
I have yet to see a truly complete definition of "film noir" and I am certainly no expert. I suspect, however, that "A Bullet For Joey"s status as film noir could be open to debate.
The disc has a decent full-frame, black and white picture, and mono sound.
On the cover of the DVD is a terrific representation of Robinson, Raft and Totter, and all three are very watchable. However, on the back I see words like "pulls out all the stops for excitement and edge-of-your-seat suspense"--"explosive"--"breathtaking"--"pulse-pounding"--"crackling"--"rapid-fire"--"action-packed". If you swallow all this hype, I have some "Ocean-Front Property in Arizona" that you might be interested in !
Apart from the stars, this one is disappointingly routine."
Carl Tait | New York, NY USA | 07/30/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If there's ever an award for "Most Boring Film Noir Ever Made," this little stinker would be in strong contention. It is a miserable, plodding police procedural with essentially nothing to recommend it. About the best you can say is that the last 15 minutes are marginally less dull than the rest. Edward G. Robinson is squandered. Set in Montreal, the film has all the French-Canadian flavor of Frank Sinatra singing "O Canada."
Waste of time potboiler
George N. Fabian | Mountainside, USA | 08/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"what might have been a taut thriller is hampered by a meandering plot that sluggishly makes its way to a mawkish ending (Raft's calculating hood isn't such a bad guy after all). What little style and authority the film has is due to Robinson, a dynamic actor who is wasted in this film. If you are going to buy any of the MGM film noirs, get The Stranger or Woman in the Window, both with Robinson and both superior to this turkey."
Not his finest hour, but not his worst...
Rich | 08/02/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Not a great film, by any stretch of the imagination. Too stagey, creaky and obvious. But Robinson really delivers (the shot after he sends up the flare is absolutely stunning -- look at the resignation on that face!), and Audrey Totter does a nice job as the moll who turns out to be a soft touch. Those two performances turn a two star effort into a three star film."