Ernest Hemingway’s short story – a man calmly waits in a small town for two gunmen to come and kill him – inspired two classic movies: an archetypal film noir from 1946 directed by Robert Siodmak, and this one by Don Siegel (Dirty Harry).
Both set out to explain the victim’s passivity and both work exceptionally well. Siodmak has Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner but Siegel just pips him with his two gunmen: Lee Marvin at his wintry best, and Clu Gulager as his twisted sidekick.
Made for TV, but you wouldn’t know it.
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