Review: Violent Saturday / Cert: 12 / Director: Richard Fleischer / Screenplay: Sydney Boehm / Starring: Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Stephen McNally, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine / Release Date: 28th April
Fleischer’s 1955 effort is a tangled web of wonder with a bank heist at its centre. Set in the small mining town of Bradenville, Violent Saturday is often played up as a heist movie, although there’s a whole lot more going on. Just as important as the three criminals who turn up with the intention of looting the town’s only bank, there’s a quiet clerk who spends his night as a peeping tom, there’s an alcoholic in a troubled marriage, there’s a prim and proper librarian who becomes a thief, there’s an Amish father who’s having to face up to the very real threat of violence, and there’s a father who’s looking to reinstate his son’s faith in him. All of these plot points intertwine to deliver a film that is quite the impressive piece of work.
Given that it’s often cited by Quentin Tarantino as a direct influence on Reservoir Dogs, some may expect this to be full of blood, bad language and even badder attitudes. Remember, this film was made in 1955. There are most definitely some bad attitudes at play in this movie, but don’t expect much in terms of gore and vulgarity, although the violence, when it comes, often catches you unaware. Violent Saturdayis just as much a dramatic soap opera as it is a noir heist movie. With cutting dialogue and some wonderful performances holding it together, combined with some lavishly elegant camera work, it’s often a joy to watch.
For the full review, head over to Starburst Magazine.