The Hanged Man
Robert Culp, Vera Miles, Edmond O'Brien, J. Carrol Naish, Norman Fell, Seymour Cassel, Stan Getz and Astrid Gilberto
8 out of 10 / B+
REGION CODE: 0
Region All / Free DVD-R (playable worldwide)
This 1964 TV movie was directed by Don Siegel and is a remake of the 1947 Robert Montgomery picture Ride the Pink Horse, which was adapted from a Dorothy Hughes novel. Siegel's version is tight as a drum, very exciting, and set in New Orleans at Mardi Gras time rather than a Southwest whistle-stop. It is highly energetic and almost surreal in its use of color and some very fancy editing, fancy even for a theatrical film, and almost unheard of in a TV one, of which it is an early example. The handling of the material is masterful. Robert Culp is a fine hero and Edmond O'Brien a not altogether loathsome villain. The rest of the cast,--Vera Miles, J. Carrol Naish, Pat Buttram - are likewise superb. It's one of those movies that seems almost like a throwaway genre piece that is really an intricate and beautifully crafted piece of work. The musical score is credited to Benny Carter, but more noticeable are two partial performances by Stan Getz with Astrud Gilberto (1964 was the year of "The Girl from Ipanema"). Everything gels in this great gangster noir movie.