The Big Steal (1949) Directed by Don Siegel. With Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Patric Knowles, Ramon Novarro and William Bendix.
One thing you won’t leave ‘The Big Steal’ in any doubt about is Robert Mitchum’s ability to handle himself in a bar brawl. In its blink and you’ll miss it 71-minute runtime, Don Siegel’s lively 1949 road-chase movie features four set pieces in which ‘Mitch’ goes full on alpha male on various aggressors.
While the basic plot of the film isn’t particularly memorable, it’s at its best when centering on the playful chemistry between its two leads, Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. The pair carve out a likeable, bantering partnership that goes most way to keeping your interest in the ongoing chase. As already mentioned, there’s little in the way of flab in terms of runtime, as Siegel succeeds in keeping things tight and to the point.
Also worth a mention is Ramon Novarro as a charismatic police inspector, who cleverly oversees the plot of false identities and corrupt motivations. With little screen time, his character makes a good impression while adding a certain degree of fun to proceedings.
Best described as a film-noir thriller, The Big Steal is action packed, fast-paced and actually quite sunny. Fine direction along with a tight script and good performances make it well worth the ride. 3.5/5