The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond
<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5Rate this
Time Out saysQuite the equal of Boetticher's classic B-Western series starring Randolph Scott, this ferocious gangster biopic indulges in none of the nostalgia for the Depression or glamorisation of its anti-heroes so prevalent in most such movies. As incarnated by Danton, Diamond is a bundle of pure, destructive energy, so ruthless in his sexual, social and financial ambitions that he'll do anything to increase or protect his criminal domain; even to the point of agreeing to his brother's death as insurance that the law doesn't reach him through his inevitably softer sibling. With superb noir photography from Lucien Ballard, the tone is almost existential: wisely, Boetticher defines his protagonist not through psychology but through action. Indeed, the very form of the film mirrors the speed, intelligence, and amoral cunning of its hell-bent mobster.