Saturday, April 25, 2015
Miami Blues on Blu-Ray
Charles Willeford. Willeford may be best known now for the book Cockfighter, filmed by Monte Hellman, but he was a fine crime writer whose work dates back to the glory days of vintage David Goodis and Jim Thompson. 1955's Pick-up, in particular, is an amazing early read by him, a rare novel that forces you to completely reevaluate everything that has gone before in the final sentence, which gives the novel (enjoyable enough before that sentence) a provocative political heft and depth, making it seem much more than it had been up to that point (sorry, but I can't spoil it; if you like bleak hardboiled writing as a vehicle for criticizing America, just read it, trust me). Later in his career, Willeford also wrote the Hoke Moseley series of police thrillers, of which Miami Blues is the first; I haven't read any of those, however, so I can't say exactly what of the film his his, and what is Armitage's.
Anyhow, fun film. Haven't much else to say about it, but it would make a great double bill with Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. (And if a certain video store guy happens to read this - you're right, Ward totally channels Warren Oates). There's an entertaining and much more detailed read from a fellow blogger on the film, here, if you want more (he has clearly read much more Willeford than I). Check this film out, folks - it's great.