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The Big Combo
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis • 1955 • United States
Starring Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy
The stunning chiaroscuro of cinematographer John Alton suffuses this fascinatingly stylized film noir from B-movie master Joseph H. Lewis. Police Lieutenant Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) is on a personal crusade to bring down sadistic gangster Mr. Brown (Richard Conte). He is also dangerously obsessed with Brown’s girlfriend, the suicidal Susan Lowell (Jean Wallace). When Diamond is officially taken off the case, he nevertheless continues to investigate Brown, a dangerous pursuit that has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with private vendettas borne of submerged desires.