Night Moves

Gene Hackman as Harry

Arthur Penn’s 1975 movie Night Moves sits snugly alongside two other films made about the same time – Polanski’s Chinatown (which went into production in the same month in 1973) and Altman’s The Long Goodbye, which had opened earlier that year. All three are neo-noirs recalling the era of Raymond Chandler, Sam Spade and Humphrey Bogart. Of the bunch only Chinatown was a proper box office and critical hit, and even then some critics were a bit sniffy (the New York Times didn’t go a bundle). Since then, The Long Goodbye has been rerated upwards to join Chinatown in the pantheon, and now it looks as Night Moves is also in the process … Read more

Mickey One

Mickey on stage

Old Hollywood meets new in Mickey One, a neglected thriller from 1965 directed by Arthur Penn and starring Warren Beatty, both of whom would upend the cosy certainties of a sclerotic industry with Bonnie and Clyde two years later and run through a few of the possibilities here. The film focuses almost entirely on Beatty, as a club comedian and light-entertainment guy who goes on the run from the Mob after getting on the wrong side of them over money, a woman, and possibly a few other things. Mickey One is what the fugitive ends up being called after assuming the identity of a turned-over vagrant, “One” being as near as most people … Read more