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March 26, 2006

Richard Fleischer 1916-2006


I've been planning to pair up The Fantastic Voyage with The Vikings. I still will do so when The Fantastic Voyage gets out of its "Long Wait" status. I've seen about ten of Fleischer's films, although only a handful in theatrical situations.

What stands out for me are not whole films, but some random images from Fleischer's films. What I remember most about Soylent Green that illustrates that the idea that "the future isn't what it use to be" is the game Chuck Connors plays that is similar to Pong. The Jazz Singer belongs in the category of "What were they thinking?", yet I will never forget hammy Laurence Olivier tearing his shirt sleeve or the punk version of "Love on the Rocks". I also wonder what if there was any sense of conflict with the son of Max Fleischer making 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for arch-rival Walt Disney?

The Self-Styled Siren wrote about The Narrow Margin last month. Where Fleischer was consistently good was with his crime films during the early Fifties. While The Narrow Margin is available on DVD, the hope is for Violent Saturday and Armored Car Robbery to follow. The two heist films are similar with economical budgets and running times, as well as detailing extemely planned out crimes undone by unpredictable elements.

There has been little serious writing about Richard Fleischer, but a good place to start is with The Film Journal.

Posted by peter at March 26, 2006 11:23 AM