The Big Combo (1955) Film Review B-

The cops will be looking for us in every closet.’

Fante to Mingo in “The Big Combo”
DIRECTOR: Joseph Lewis
BOTTOM LINE: Fante and Mingo, played by Lee Van Cleef and Earl Holliman, are the henchmen for gangster Richard Conte. They are clearly a gay couple, and everyone on screen seems to know it and respect their relationship. They sleep in the same bedroom, albeit in separate beds – how director Joseph Lewis managed to get by the Hays Office is a minor miracle. Their chosen profession also adds to our fascination with them and adds to their sexiness. Arguably Lewis’ greatest movie and a film noir classic, it’s also worth watching for John Alton’s stunning black-and-white cinematography and the performances of Conte, Cornel Wilde, Jean Wallace, who was married to Wilde at the time, and Brian Donlevy. “The Big Combo” marked the final screen appearance of actress Helen Walker, who was so impressive opposite Tyrone Power in Edmund Golding’s “Nightmare Alley.” The memorable score is by David Raksin. Original screenplay by Philip Yordan.

STREAMING: Amazon Prime, Apple TV+and YouTube

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