ByAugust 24, 2010
In a photograph of Josef von Sternberg from 1937, he looks like a character from one of his . . . Read more »
Josef von Sternberg’s riveting breakthrough is widely considered the film that launched the American gangster genre as we know it. George Bancroft plays heavy Bull Weed, a criminal kingpin whose jealous devotion to his moll, Feathers (Evelyn Brent), gets him into hot water with a rival hood and, ultimately, the authorities. Further complicating matters is the attraction that blossoms between Feathers and an alcoholic former lawyer (Clive Brook). With its supple, endlessly expressive camera work and tightly wound screenplay based on a story by legendary scribe Ben Hecht (who won an Oscar for it the first year the awards were given),Underworld solidified von Sternberg’s place as one of Hollywood’s most exciting new talents.
August 23, 2010