And that isn’t even an apt symbolic position for him to finish in — he is the lonely, quiet guy who remains in his seat while his lunching mechanic buddies whoop and howl at the girls who pass by their garage; the loser who picks sorry-looking flowers from the front yard of his boarding house to brighten up his evenings spent lying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling and dreaming he was somebody else. He is so much better than I expected him to be, and even when you can see the plot mechanics start to twist and turn, you find yourself hoping and praying that somehow this won’t go bad for Eddie. Watching this unlikely main character navigate the crooked road of the noir genre is what kept me watching. It opens well, with Eddie and Steve tensely waiting for the third member of their gang to rob the bank, but sputters out a bit when Eddie gets on the titular crooked road. The dirt track mountain getaway was much better in High Sierra, but…. and takes his time developing Eddie’s lonely life. That said, the rest of the third act is aces. That he’ll get a happy ending. seduce Eddie Shannon into becoming their wheelman. The guy’s so pathetic that his new gal pal starts to have second thoughts. Drive a Crooked Road is a 1954 American crime film noir directed by Richard Quine and starring Mickey Rooney and Dianne Foster. Four vets attending college on the GI Bill and a cabaret singer try to rob a Reno Casino and pull off the perfect crime. Mickey Rooney (don't give up reading yet!) They are good people in a terrible situation, and the tragedy of the ending is powerful. The criminals that rope him in to their bank robbery, use a beautiful woman and an elevated house on the beach in Malibu. This forces him to participate in the criminal underworld. Yes, in the world of noir, he’s the right type. The Criterion Channel: Films That Have Streamed in Past Limited Engagements, The Most Obscure Movie Recommendations List Ever, 1,000 Noir Films: They Shot Dark Pictures, Didn’t They? A work in progress, with many films still to add. An upright car mechanic falls in love with the girlfriend of a gangster. When a super hot woman takes an interest in him, he's easily hooked. Eddie is a slightly disfigured mechanic who dreams of winning the big car races in Europe. At times its low-budget is a hindrance – with an endlessly repeated musical motif and a pathetic opening set-piece dominated by lousy back-projection – while Jack Kelly's part as McCarthy's wisecracking heavy is basically just annoying, but Blake Edwards' story is genuinely affecting, there's some quietly iconic imagery and breathless action (the climactic drive is heart-in-mouth stuff, despite its overall vagueness and process shots), and Rooney is enormously touching as the lonely, unloved dupe whose…. She doesn’t want to see Eddie hurt. Barbara and Eddie could confess certain things, then say all the worst stuff was Steve, right? Because the truth is that tough guys are a rare commodity in this world, and yet, disproportionately, they fill our most popular movies and books. But Eddie? The secretary of an affably suave radio mystery host mysteriously commits suicide after his wealthy young niece disappears. STARRING: Mickey Rooney, Dianne Foster, Kevin McCarthy . “You don’t think much of yourself, do you?” his new gal pal asks. Rooney is terrific here, too, the film digging deeper into his sadsack desperation than is usually reserved for the hapless schmuck in such films. And watching Barbara struggle with how to address this impossible situation is quite engaging. Richard Quine keeps everything in nice balance and by its downer of an ending, Drive a Crooked Road turns out to be quietly affecting. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? The job is pulled off and, following a wild getaway, Eddie learns that Barbara was just using him and that Steve and Harold have plans to kill him. There are no interesting angles, no real near-misses and no moment where you feel like anything can happen. This FAQ is empty. This film’s tonal shifts are simply perfectly handled, the comedy is assured, the romance stirringly moving and the noirish tropes give the film just enough venom to make it sting even more. Paris police detective Cassin has a well needed vacation at a rural inn, where the owners' adult daughter shows interest in him but she has a jealous boyfriend. His hopes, dreams and kindness. He’s the right type.”. Gritty retribution is just around the corner. Spoilers: not a ton of driving, and the crooked road of the title only appears near the end. And while the noirish plot unravels as expected, what's really interesting about the film is the stuff in between. This forces him to participate in the criminal underworld. In Drive a Crooked Road (1954) Mickey Rooney plays one of film noir’s greatest weaklings, and does so with one of film noir’s great performances. And before you know it, Steve had Eddie driving his getaway car from a bank robbery… they have to get 20 miles in 18 minutes… and to pull it off, Eddie has to drive a crooked road. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. First, Quine could have just kept the camera inside the car the entire race, a’la Hitchcock in “Family Plot.” Or he could have better established the map and landscape of the desert road prior to the chase so the audience knows which will be the most dangerous portions. At the very least he’d be helping his kindly old landlady with the washing up. We’ve already seen him steal a handkerchief from her car, and then pull it out of his pocket to sniff in his darkened room, as the camera mercifully fades to black before we can see what sordid use he finds for it next. It all works fairly well and shows how an innocent person is lured into doing something he would never ordinarily do with the bait being implied sex. Dumb guy meets femme fatale, falls for her and then falls into criminal scheme that seems to get pulled off… but then goes ass up just before anyone can get a happy ending. USA. A mechanic gets caught up with the mob when he falls for a gangster's girlfriend. Maybe I'm at a double advantage though. And the one group of people who should have some sympathy for the putz — the audience — well, we don’t think all that much of him either. And we know things are going to end badly; no spoiler alert needed here. Firstly, it builds from a very granular, human scale. Holy shit! Instead of an out-of-luck PI or a hard boiled cop, Drive a Crooked Road focuses on a lonely man. Heist movies like “The Asphalt Jungle” or “Rififi” always utilize the robbery itself as the film’s centerpiece, and though “Drive a Crooked Road’s” escapades come a little later in the running time than the aforementioned films, it is obviously the sequence the filmmakers spent the most effort on. (Nor in noir, in general, of course.)

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