Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Written by / 2/06/2020 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

JOHN WAYNE & KIRK DOUGLAS IN PREMINGER'S 'IN HARM'S WAY'

Kirk Douglas with Jill Haworth and John Wayne in the poster for IN HARM'S WAY Year: 1965
In 1965, the same year stylistic and artistic director Otto Preminger would provide a stylistically artistic comeback with the B&W mystery BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING, he directed an anti-war film starring John Wayne and the recently-departed Kirk Douglas, which is one of the few movies not a John Wayne or Kirk Douglas Picture but a Preminger Film they happened to star in...

Very different for The Duke in that, set in Pearl Harbor, beginning with the last jazz-soaked night of oblivious peace, when the wife of yet unseen Kirk Douglas and her lover (a sexy Barbara Bouchet and Air Force stud Hugh O'Brien) are frolicking at the beach, IN HARM'S WAY is not gung-ho or overly patriotic but more cerebral and cautious in tone, which fits Douglas's forte after PATHS OF GLORY late in the previous decade...
Hugh O'Brien and Barbara Bouchet in IN HARM'S WAY
The camera glides around a slew of characters in various scenes where eventually Wayne, who was blamed for attacking a Japanese sub after the attack, later has a chance for a comeback — despite the fact he did nothing wrong in the first place...

Meanwhile, during the attack are random scenes on the harbor, and while bombs splash the surrounding sea, we never do see, only hear, the attacking planes. Making this one of the more low budget war pictures featuring The Duke, and Douglas.
Burgess Meredith, Kirk Douglas, Dana Andrews, John Wayne in IN HARM'S WAY
Preminger's former leading man from Film Noir classics LAURA, FALLEN ANGEL, DAISY KENYON and WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, Dana Andrews, plays the token idiotic Admiral, and he's mentioned more than actually seen, a contrary persona to Wayne's diamond in the rough...

What Andrews's Broderick fails at, Wayne makes right... with the sporadic help of his flawed and cocky sidekick, Douglas, seeming a tad more free-spirited 1960's than 1940's (and resembling his LUST FOR LIFE Vincent Van Gogh at one point): He winds up raping a grownup but still young, flirtatious Jill Haworth, who Preminger directed in the horrible EXODUS...
Jill Haworth right before the beach rape by Kirk Douglas in IN HARM'S WAY
Providing Douglas the kind of flawed character he preferred to play (like in his personal favorite role, LONELY ARE THE BRAVE); while Wayne showcases a thoughtful, slowburn style, painfully dealing with the fact his bitter and one-dimensional, long-lost son is in cahoots with Andrews and political patsy Patrick O'Neal...

Everyone other than the "good guys", also including Burgess Meredith, are basically buffoons, making it too easy for the overly obvious heroes to be capable without proving it through action or dialogue: basically, they are who they are (Wayne, Douglas, Meredith) because they aren't who they aren't (Andrews and O'Neal).
Dana Andrews and Otto Preminger's Fallen Angel actor Bruce Cabot in IN HARM'S WAY
What works in IN HARM'S WAY is almost everything except the war/battle scenes, thrown together via archive footage, not visually gelling with the otherwise beautiful B&W cinematography that Preminger revels in...

And, as is his style, during each moment of every conversation, the camera moves like a slow dance among the characters... Making this one of his most creatively filmed films, which is surprising given such an otherwise mainstream genre and leading man...
Stuntman/actor and future director Hal Needham w/ Kirk Douglas, In Harm's Way
And while the war scenes, especially during the rushed climax, are extremely cheated and phony looking, what Preminger does well... showing people being people... is visually sublime..

Providing John Wayne and love interest Patricia Neal... as a nurse providing a big sister for Haworth and a kind of motherly yet romantic figure for Wayne... natural, easygoing performances, like they've known each other forever and simply have to remind themselves of their place in life...
John Wayne starring in Otto Preminger's IN HARM'S WAY
So even more than a war film it's a hang-out flick the likes of ANATOMY OF A MURDER and even LAURA; and this is Preminger's last decent picture...

In the horrific counter-culture psychedelic comedy misfire SKIDOO, footage of IN HARM'S WAY is used in a kind of satirical, sarcastic, those-days-are-behind-us fashion, proving he was done being taken seriously since the emerging baby boomers had no time for the prior generation's severely intense outlook on both life, and art.
Hugh O'Brien and Barbara Bouchet in Otto Preminger's IN HARM'S WAY
John Wayne and Patricia Neal make a mellow pair in IN HARM'S WAY
Burgess Meredith, Kirk Douglas, Dana Andrews, John Wayne in IN HARM'S WAY
Dana Andrews sadly underused in Otto Preminger's IN HARM'S WAY
Dana Andrews and Patrick O'Neal in Otto Preminger's IN HARM'S WAY
Kirk Douglas and John Wayne with Dana Andrews in IN HARM'S WAY Rates: ***1/2
Dana Andrews and Patrick O'Neal in Otto Preminger's IN HARM'S WAY
John Wayne and George Kennedy in IN HARM'S WAY
Hugh O'Brien and Barbara Bouchet in IN HARM'S WAY

Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

KRISTY SWASON IN WES CRAVEN'S SCIENCE-HORROR 'DEADLY FRIEND'

Blu Ray Cover Artwork for DEADLY FRIEND Year Released: 1986 Rating: **** A year before giving her class the lowdown about FERRIS BEULLER'...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP KEN HUTCHISON MONTH

RIP KEN HUTCHISON MONTH
Reviews with the late Scottish tough guy actor

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "You don't say Hitler in an airport." Harley Morensteinm from TUSK

CRIME/FILM NOIR/NEO NOIR


Gritty Exploitation Cinema of Charles Bronson

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)THE FEARMAKERS 3)HOT CARS 4)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 5)CANYON PASSAGE 6)THE CROWDED SKY 7)JUNGLE STREET 8)VIOLENT SATURDAY 9)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 10)HELL IS A CITY 11))THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)HARDCORE 15)FRENZY 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)THE SERGEANT 19)AL CAPONE 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)ASH WEDNESDAY 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)THE HIJACKERS 24)KILLER FISH 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY 30)WHERE THE SIDEWALK ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)JACK NICHOLSON 5)STANLEY BAKER DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

CINEMA INCUBO SPAVENTATA

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

PEAKING IN THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE