One of the most interesting film noirs, “The Big Combo” is a Hollywood production of the mid-50s, starring Cornel Wilde and his wife, Jean Wallace. They appeared together in several motion pictures, and this thriller is one of them. Jean Wallace’s cool beauty reminded me of Grace Kelly. But the real star of the film is Richard Conte (best-known for “The Godfather”). He appears here in the role of a very dangerous criminal, who can’t be caught by the police owing to the lack of evidence. “The Big Combo” reveals a very daring triangle between Wilde, Wallace and Conte, and especially the scenes with Wallace and Conte are the ones that caught my attention, because I am sure they surprised the audiences for their modern look. “The Big Combo” is a typical film noir: a fascinating combination of lights and shadows, dark streets, unsolved murders, dirty businesses, corruption, deadly women (or femme fatales), hard-boiled policemen, tough dialogue, a cat-and-mouse game between the good guy and the villain, many twists and turns, and a surprise ending — too good to be true, I’d say. There is an iconic movie still featuring the silhouettes of Cornel Wilde and Jean Wallace getting out of the dark. This is one of the most frequenly used pictures to depict the noir style, and the masterful filming and direction of Joseph L. Lewis were certainly very effective. I highly recommend you to watch “The Big Combo” not just because it is a very good thriller, but also because it is a film that can be adapted to the modern times – you will find for sure many similarities between this old motion picture and the thrillers or neo-noirs made in the 90s.
You could find the entire film here