8 April 2006 | Bunuel1976
BODYGUARD (Richard Fleischer, 1948) **1/2
Up until a few weeks ago, I only knew cult 40s tough guy Lawrence Tierney from his role in Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS (1991); recently, however, I managed to watch his 2 vehicles released on DVD by Warners as part of their "Film Noir Collection Vol. 2", namely DILLINGER (1945) and BORN TO KILL (1947). This Richard Fleischer film, then, would be my third from Tierney's short period of glory.
Actually, the actor is the best thing about the whole movie - whose story, amazingly, was co-written by a very young Robert Altman! - as it's certainly a minor noir, albeit an enjoyable one; indeed, Tierney's cynical, no-nonsense attitude (reminiscent of Bogart, Mitchum and Robert Ryan) provides a good deal of amusement throughout. Still, the plot - a discredited cop uncovering corruption in a meat-packing company, when appointed to protect the elderly female proprietor - is nothing special and also kind of dreary; besides, the jovial personality of leading lady Priscilla Lane is as much unsuited to Tierney's hard-boiled façade as she is to the inherent bleakness of the genre!