Despite having made 60 films, including hits like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the Pearl Harbor drama Tora! Tora! Tora!, the Brooklyn-born filmmaker Richard Fleischer (who died in 2006) never became a household name. But recently, his works have been reappearing around town—last week, Lincoln Center screened 10 Rillington Place and Mandingo, and now Film Forum offers a fresh print of his classic mid-’50s noir Violent Saturday, a deadly tale about the residents of a Midwestern mining town whose lives are turned upside down when a gang of criminals attempts to rob the local bank. More than just a shoot-’em-up flick, Fleischer’s film also explores the depraved behavior of the townspeople—including a purse-snatching librarian, a Peeping Tom bank boss, and a wife who, with her affairs, has driven her husband to drink—for a bit of still-relevant social commentary on small-town living.
March 3-6, 2008
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 26, 2008