The Great Flamarion
Dir. Anthony Mann. 1945, 78 mins. 35mm print from the UCLA Film and Television Archive. With Erich Von Stroheim, Mary Beth Hughes, Dan Duryea. In this perversely compelling film noir that anticipates Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street, a pompous music hall sharpshooter played by Erich von Stroheim is gullible enough to believe that his beautiful assistant is madly in love with him. Made while Mann was paying his dues at Republic Pictures, Flamarion features two of the director’s most complex characters from his 1940s films, with Stroheim deftly balancing arrogance and vulnerability and Hughes brilliantly navigating the role of sexy sociopath. The opening tracking shot down the aisle of a Mexico City vaudeville theater is stunning.
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