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JOHN CASSAVETES IN 'DEVIL'S ANGELS' & 'CRIME IN THE STREETS'

Year: 1956 Rating: *1/2
CRIME IN THE STREETS: If REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE met WEST SIDE STORY at a carnival where all the rides were broken... 

No, sadly, not even a young "introducing" John Cassavetes, as a street savvy teenage gang member, at odds with a rival group of boy-thugs and pestered by the usual Film Noir (though this is hardly that despite its place in a Noir box set) pestering cop James Whitmore... And the fact it's directed by Don Siegel and co-stars future director Mark Rydell... None of this could save, or even preserve, this corny "urban" dud. Sal Mineo, naive as ever, plays the youngest member of the gang, a fact that alone dooms him from the start.

Year: 1967 Rating: **1/2
DEVIL'S ANGELS: Sixties' biker flicks are usually the same: Noisy hog-riders roll into a small quiet town making a mess of things. One of the bikers takes things too far and a "freak verses pig" battle ensues. That's it in a nutshell here... 

The adventure doesn't venture far from the single peaceful town where, after crashing an afternoon carnival, The Skulls are (falsely) accused of raping a local girl stupid enough to party with them. 

Leo Gordon, as the understanding Sheriff, adds essential realism and John Cassavetes, as the thinking-man's gang leader, while embodying his usual askew charm, seems more like an acting teacher than a ruffian (this often occurred during the early sixties, before films caught up with method acting); more attributes of "Franco", his scruffy, scene-stealing character in "The Dirty Dozen", were needed. But no matter, this Roger Corman-produced biker-outing delivers the goods just-good enough, and is exactly as entertaining as it should be. It's a biker flick, after all.  

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