13 June 2013 8:41 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Liam O'Flaherty's novel The Informer, in which an Ira man rats on a comrade for the reward money and endures a night of agonizing guilt, punishment and redemption, has been filmed thrice, and all three versions are of interest. Jules Dassin's proto-blaxploitation version, Uptight! (1968), is the least impressive, but does boast fine performances by screenwriters Jason Bernard and Ruby Dee, who take lead roles, and the always imposing Raymond St. Jacques and Roscoe Lee Browne. The climax, scored to Booker T. and the M.G.'s "Time is Tight" (a.k.a. The Blues Brothers' theme) is pretty exciting, once you get over the shock.

John Ford's 1935 The Informer is the most faithful and famed, though its reputation is not as high as it once was. At times the Rko production, with its Max Steiner score and hulking performance from Victor McLaglan, recalls King Kong (McLaglan »

- David Cairns

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