As a fan, I'm more or less willing to sit through anything starring Richard Conte. You can count me among those who don't think it would have been a tragedy if Francis Ford Coppola had given Conte the title role in The Godfather, as he supposedly considered doing before relegating him to the role of Barzini. Conte still came away with one of the film's best lines: "After all....we are not communists!" That said, he made a lot of forgettable films during his long career, film noir and otherwise. The Brothers Rico, screened at the recently concluded Film Forum B-noir festival, is unfortunately one of those films. It clocks in at around 90 minutes but feels twice as long, thanks to unfocused direction, lazy editing and a strange aversion to action. Whenever the story builds up to a moment where blood is about to be spilled, director Phil Karlson (Scandal Sheet, Kansas City Confidential) curiously leapfrogs over that moment and lands us in another long scene of tedious conversation. The movie leaves almost everything to the imagination, which movies should never do unless they're on very firm ground. I guess we should just assume there's a director's cut out there somewhere that contains all the movie's most promising scenes, such as the hotel room torture session, the driveway execution, and the presumed murder of a mobster's wife and child.

categories Cinematical