I watched pintsized Mickey Rooney get himself into a right pickle last night, in the 1950 film Quicksand. An excellent recommend from tip top Todd over on the Cinema Monolith film blog. You gotta read his knowledgeable and very funny notes on what makes the perfect film noir over on his article Ten Rules Of Film Noir, it hits the genre spot on and above all, it’s very entertaining. So I have put this film up against the Todd test, let’s see how it fairs.
Tagline – A guy who yields to temptation just once…… ….and finds it’s once too often!
First a quick rundown of the plot. Motor mechanic Dan (Mickey Rooney) confidently bats above his league when he asks out Vera (Jeanne Cagney) on a date. He aims to impress until he checks his wallet! Damn not a penny. Fishing for favours and chasing friends who owe him money, he eventually realises he’s stuffed. How can he turn up with no cash to flash? Besides he only needs 20 dollars and pay day is just around the corner. It wouldn’t hurt to borrow it from the cash register? he can replace it tomorrow, no one will ever know. What’s the worst that could happen?
Here’s my answers and thoughts on Todd’s Ten.
1) 1950 fitted in with the noir period nicely.
2) Black and white is the medium used here as you would expect. Dimly lit, dark and dingy and when they hit the real black stuff in the shadows, the torches come out. Nothing sums up noir than light being beamed through dark shadows or a spot light shone on some dodgy doofus dashing down an alleyway.
3) It’s got a nice square ratio and a perfect fast paced runtime of 1 hr and 19 mins. Great film to squeeze in when it’s getting a bit late, you know you gotta get up at some stupid hour for work but you are desperate for that daily film fix.
4) This one is filmed and set in Santa Monica, California, USA
5) Yep sir this hits the title of number 5 running, guns, murder, muggings, punches, robbery, stealing and car jacking. Hey it sure fits a lot in!
6) Mickey lets us know what on his mind as the crazy keeps attracting itself to him like a honey coated magnet. Certainly a double-cross or two gets thrown in the mix but Mickey is saved from flashbacks at this time!
7) Well Mickey is well and truly an innocent schmuck having his life ruined in all kind of ways and the lady of his desire sure doesn’t help his plight.
8) Mickey gets to chug away in his 1933 Chevrolet Master if only he can just get the bleeding thing started.
9) The dark shadows serve us aplenty here, even with a stroll around a fun fair at night. If you got something dodgy to do, you gotta wait for the cover of darkness, don’t you!
10) The moody shocking ending, that no friels, bleak, quick ending that cuts quick and dark, leaving the smiles and warm hearts sobbing on the cold asphalt. Is it featured here?
Quicksand might not be the greatest film in the world but it sure does hit the noir drama genre running. It’s thrilling and entertaining, with little tough Mickey Rooney showing off his likable pocket rocket character. It’s well worth checking out and if you fancy a proper review of the film, then pop on over to Todd’s Quicksand Review rundown on the action. Incidentally before I had read his review I went for a strong 7/10 rating and I see we thought the same.
Thanks for popping on over and having a read. Happy viewing, Mikey The Wolf.