The Thin Blue Line: A Radical Classic By Charles Musser
Inside the Pink Stable By Chuck Stephens
We highlight the art of the heist in this week’s festival of free Criterion films on Hulu. There’s something indescribably pleasurable about watching criminals plan and then (possibly) prevail—as you can see in these entertaining titles. In Koreyoshi Kurahara’s diamond-sharp thriller Intimidation, a bank manager and his timid employee, at odds with each other, are embroiled in an unpredictable plot; in Takumi Furukawa’s twisty Cruel Gun Story, Joe Shishido is a gangster just released from jail who is coerced into helping knock over an armored car full of racetrack receipts; Basil Dearden’s witty action-comedy The League of Gentlemen concerns a cadre of British war veterans persuaded to commit a major bank robbery by an ex-colonel bitter about being forced into retirement; and another group of war veterans plan to steal a stash of morphine hidden below a butcher shop, in Shohei Imamura’s dark comedy Endless Desire. But perhaps the craziest—and most colorful—movie in the series is Black Lizard, Umetsugu Inoue’s outrageous comic-musical-thriller about a female jewel thief (Ugetsu’s Machiko Kyo). Once you watch the dazzling opening credits, you’ll be hooked. See the whole film here or at Hulu. And if you sign up for Hulu Plus for a monthly fee of just $7.99, you can now see more than seven hundred other Criterion films.