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Marv needs money. His unemployed dad is so poor that he makes Marv give up half his last six bucks so they can both go on three-dollar dates; he's just lost his scholarship after getting caught writing a term paper for Betty, the prettiest (and only) girl in his class; and Betty herself has told him he doesn't stand a chance with her unless he can give her what she wants most: money, money, money. But Marv has mob ties and Marv knows where to find a million dollars cash... Written by
This is a low budget late fifties era movie, the sort dealing with juveniles in a delinquent social environment.
There is a lot one can say about this film. It is drama, and perhaps a bit Shakespearean in the way that every day occurrences cause characters to overreact in tragic ways.
It's a comic book world, where the safe cracker is an artist, the liquor store owner is an savvy and wiser in years ex gangster, a million dollars in cash becomes available, the warehouse boss is dealing heroin, and the alcoholic father can't hold down a job for one day.
It's also a throwback to the old fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm Brothers. Our hero is a likable young man who makes a few unwise decisions, but has a good heart.
And like most other reviewers have stated, it is the likability of this young hero that makes this film interesting, as well as good acting.
What really sticks out is how the only truly evil character in this film is the only female in it. It probably didn't go over too well with women, as "the soul of a woman is created below" looks like the theme here.
The female is cruel and cunning. However, even she has a motivation. We don't see the reason, but she explains it. An abusive father. However, after a while, we wonder whether she is even telling the truth about that.
The setting is very bleak. Our hero is really in a world where everything is against him. Even the teacher, who seems to be fair at first, becomes an ogre with little compassion. Still, he has some compassion.
Aside from the girl, all of the ogres have some degree of compassion or limitation to their cruelty. Aside from her, each character has more than one dimension. One can't help but notice that the bully character even resembles the hero in ways, sort of like a big older brother.
Amid all these fairy tale ogres with some sense of fair play, we have our young hero, doing the best he can. This is a world that seems to be a fairy tale in ways, but also real in other ways. The world closes in around people this way quite often.
While the events are very theatrical and unreal, with a Shakespearean ending of multiple deaths, it is real in the way that the world closes in around our young hero.
While it seems far fetched, there is something charismatic about this film, perhaps all of the actors, perhaps the atmosphere, perhaps the throwback to old fairy tale morality, perhaps the charisma and likability of the hero, probably all of these, which makes this an interesting film.
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