Combustible Celluloid
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With: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortesa, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence, Jack Oakie, Millard Mitchell, Joseph Pevney, Morris Carnovsky, Tamara Shayne, Kasia Orzazewski, Norbert Schiller, Hope Emerson
Written by: A.I. Bezzerides, based on his novel
Directed by: Jules Dassin
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 94
Date: 09/20/1949

Thieves' Highway (1949)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

How About Them Apples

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Jules Dassin's amazing Thieves' Highway (1949), which delves into the cutthroat world of fruit vendors, is a little-known classic. Richard Conte tries to avenge his father, whose legs were smashed in an "accident" after leaving crooked vendor Lee J. Cobb. The femme fatale this time is Valentina Cortese, who tries to keep Conte occupied while Cobb's goons unload his truck full of golden delicious apples. The great A.I. Bezzerides (Kiss Me Deadly) wrote the original novel and screenplay. Filmed at the old loading docks (now the Embarcadero) and on the highways between here and Altamont, this one has to be seen to be believed.

DVD Details: The Criterion Collection's DVD includes a section of a still-in-progress documentary about the great screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides.

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