Side Street | Chicago Reader

Side Street

The stars of Nicholas Ray's They Live by Night, Cathy O'Donnell and Farley Granger, reunited for a 1950 film noir by Anthony Mann. The plot is almost archetypally pure: messenger boy Granger impulsively steals an envelope of cash to buy a present for his pregnant wife. The cash turns out to belong to a blackmail ring, and he immediately finds himself on the run from both the police and the underworld, plunging deeper and deeper into the noir world of back alleys and smoky nightclubs. But Mann gives the story a surprisingly naturalistic treatment, moving away from the wild visuals and hysterical dramatics of his 40s films and toward the refined expressionism of his mature 50s work. With James Craig and Paul Kelly. 83 min.

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