An Aero Theatre Exclusive!
Director, screenwriter, and actor Jules Dassin first gained recognition for a series of tough, realistic urban action movies during film noir’s glory years: the prison thriller BRUTE FORCE (1947), the police docudrama THE NAKED CITY (1948) and the riveting crime picture THIEVES’ HIGHWAY (1949). One of Dassin’s best films was NIGHT AND THE CITY, a 1950 classic starring Richard Widmark as a shady wrestling promoter; unfortunately, it was also the director’s final film before his exile from Hollywood. The blacklist sent Dassin, who had old ties to the Communist Party, to Europe for the rest of his career. Barely able to speak French, Dassin relocated to Paris in 1953 and helmed the masterful heist film RIFIFI (1954); in 1955, he won a directing award for the film at Cannes. Other classics followed, including the comedy NEVER ON SUNDAY (1960) and another heist classic, TOPKAPI (1964). Dassin’s work was marked by a blend of gritty reality and poetic expressionism; as critic J. Hoberman wrote in the New York Times, "Dassin’s characteristic movies combine Pop Front sentimentality and pulp fiction violence; his directorial style is at once overtly theatrical and cannily neo-realist. The hybrid was his forte." The Aero will screen six of Mr. Dassin’s most acclaimed films.