The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (5)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (1)
This isn't a noir in the traditional sense, but it boasts enough ingredients to pass as one.
A peculiar thriller with some horror overtones. It conjures up a wholesome small town feel, complete with nosy neighbors and gossip, and an undercurrent that grows increasingly darker.
Another classic Robinson performance in a moody thriller.
Has its effective moments.
Effective noir with EG Robinson and Judith Anderson excellent as a brother & sister with a dark secret. Intense finale.
From The Mill Creek 50 Movie Dark Crimes Collection. This film-noir may look like a B-film, but it contains two powerful pieces of work, that of actor Edward G. Robinson and composer Miklos Rozsa.
A strange tale, "The Red House" benefits from one of Robinson's most flavorful performances, as a man harboring a dark secret past which returns to haunt him. Ably supporting Robinson is the strong Judith Anderson as the sister, the fine Lon McCallister as a callow but earnest youth, and the striking Rory Calhoun in one of his most impressive roles.
Directed in a somewhat standard fashion by Delmer Davis, interest is maintained by uniformly strong performances, and an extensive, full orchestral score by Miklos Rozsa. As in countless other films, Rozsa, inspired by Ravel (and the generic Debussy) weaves a wall-to-wall tapestry of psychological tension, further raising this enactment above its ordinary production design.
Devotees of Robinson can enjoy their favorite actor in his 53rd film, made at the peak of his powers. His unique film presence boasted a career of 99 films in 57 years, which was preceded by a 15-year stint on the New York stage. Robinson proved that one doesn't have to be unusually handsome to be a star, nor be relegated to minor character parts. Indeed, Robinson played leads in countless classics, with nary a weak performance. Few actors can make that claim.
The DVD transfer is not a restored print, and contains several stretches of poor audio and scratchy images. On a series called, "Hollywood Tough Guys," put out by Madacy Entertainment, one can still be grateful that "The Red House" is available, as respresentative of both Robinson's and Rozsa's unique contribution to film. 3 1/2 Stars 11-10-13
A more noirish thriller than most, "The Red House" begins as a supernatural thriller before it's revealed as a psychological one in the culmination of events leading to the nightmarish finale. Edward G. Robinson and the rest of the cast give good performances and while the script may falter in places, the performances and mood help it stay on it's feet. The film is a rather obscure and little known feature, especially one with so many stars, and that element works here. Overall I think this is a film anyone can enjoy and get into, as both my uncle and grandma both were uneasy at first but really enjoyed the film.
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