Movie Diary 1/25/2018

outrageRashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950). It remains formidable. And then our class on Westerns watched…

The Outrage (Martin Ritt, 1964). I had never seen this Hollywood remake of Rashomon, adapted from a play by Martin and Fay Kanin (and, obviously, the Kurosawa movie). Its reputation is woeful, but the movie’s interesting to look at as an artifact of 60s style (James Wong Howe’s widescreen B&W photography is frequently dreamy, with a few downright arty touches). Paul Newman, in one of his worst performances, plays a Mexican bandit; Claire Bloom is the wife and Laurence Harvey is the uptight husband (here a class-conscious former Confederate officer and high-bred son of the South). Bloom has some impressive moments. The trio in the framing story consists of William Shatner, Howard Da Silva, and a fine-fettle Edward G. Robinson. There’s a lurch in the final “testimony” toward a particular kind of 60s absurdist comedy – an indicator of the movie’s general all-over-the-place-ness. But, again, interesting to watch.