Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mug Shots #13: Robert Ryan aka The Man on the Edge

Because he was so often a clenched-teethed, snarling mass of violence (Crossfire, Odds Against Tomorrow, Beware My Lovely) he's been underrated as an actor. While it is true that he'll beat the shit out of you for looking at him wrong, even when he's a cop (On Dangerous Ground), it should be noted that as the doomed-but-brave boxer in Robert Wise's existential classic The Set-Up he is one of the most touching of all heroes in noir.

Essential Robert Ryan:

The Set-Up
Odds Against Tomorrow
Act of Violence

Best of the Rest:

Berlin Express
Clash by Night
On Dangerous Ground
The Woman on Pier 13 (aka I Married a Communist)

For more on Ryan click here.

And here's a typically good piece by Bright Lights.

Ryan also features in the best fight scene in all noir.


Mark said...

Don't forget his great performance in Anthony Mann's The Naked Spur. Essential Ryan.

Naomi Johnson said...

And as the evil-minded Clegg in BILLY BUDD, Ryan managed to find the pathos in an otherwise irredeemable character.