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I Walk Alone
Noir, Favorite

1948 | FULLSCREEN | B&W | Quality: Excellent

Burt Lancaster

Kirk Douglas

Lizabeth Scott



Frankie Madison (Burt Lancaster) and Noll "Dink" Turner (Kirk Douglas) had a good operation going during prohibition - that is, until Frankie is caught with the goods he is bringing to their speakeasy in Manhattan. Madison serves fourteen years for the crime, but keeps quiet and does his time knowing that Dink has promised him a 50/50 split in their venture which he's promised to continue. When Madison is released from prison, he is amazed when he sees that Dink has built their tiny speakeasy up into a posh nightclub. It is not only posh, but caters to a high class crowd and makes a lot of loot! Madison soon learns that Dink has no intention of honoring their former arrangement, and tempers get red hot as Madison tries to challenge Dink with old style mob tactics and also horns in on his romance with club singer Kay Lawrence (Lizabeth Scott).

"I Walk Alone" marks the first time Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas appeared together and their chemistry was so great that they went on to co-star in a number of films over the next two decades. Lizabeth Scott does some of the best acting of her career as the conflicted glamour girl, and Douglas does a great job as the slimy, smooth-talking criminal mastermind - he is so smug and self-assured, you can't wait to see him get what's coming. Lancaster has a more violent, less sympathetic character, but has fun playing a brute who's forced to actually think for the first time in his life when it becomes painfully obvious that the old strong-arm tactics of the prohibition era no longer work. In a great scene, Lancaster gathers some henchmen and bursts in on Douglas to demand his portion of the loot, only to falter because he can't understand the deliberately circumlocutious structure of Douglas' organization. Condescending Kirk Douglas and Wendell Corey explain it to him point by point, stocks, shareholders, investments, different corporations running different parts of the nightclub, ultimately humiliating Lancaster and gaining the upper hand. You feel bad for him but you can't help laughing, as the future of the nation is staring you back in the face; Corporate crime and plausible deniability. It's a great little scene that is representative of a great little movie!

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