Pulp Fiction Thursday: Act Of Violence

Robert Ryan cornered the post-war film noir market on playing disturbed, even psychotic, veterans. It left him somewhat typecast as a villain, which is a pity. Ryan was movie star handsome and a versatile performer when given the chance. He was also baseball great Ted Williams’ doppleganger.

Act Of Violence is a tightly paced, well-acted little film directed by Fred Zinnemann as a prelude to his career as an A-List Oscar winning director. Ryan steals the film playing-what else?-a disturbed veteran.

The only thing I don’t like about Act Of Violence is its dopey and misleading title. Oh well, nobody’s perfect…


Here’s the trailer:

2 thoughts on “Pulp Fiction Thursday: Act Of Violence

  1. The resemblance was indeed uncanny. I neglected to point out the irony of Ryan as villain. He had a reputation for being one of the nicest people in the movie business in his day; everybody loved him.

  2. Damn, thanks for noticing the unnatural resemblance between Ryan and the Splendid Splinter- it is striking.
    OTOH, re. his eventual typecasting, I loved how Peckinpah used Bob’s well-worn on-screen persona in “The Wild Bunch”. His character was the bad guy who saw the problems that badness had caused him and the rest of the Bunch, but he was so nauseated by the so-called Good Guys (the U.S. Army, its directors and servants), that we could see that his character had little choice but to have been “bad”. What a great coda to Ryan’s film career, and just great in general.

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