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Thieves' Highway [DVD] [1949]

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence, Jack Oakie
  • Directors: Jules Dassin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian
  • Dubbed: German, Italian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 9 April 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007JV73K8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,434 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Thieves’ Highway is set in the world of "long-haul boys" who drive by night to bring their goods to the markets of America’s cities. Ex-G.I. Nick Garcos (Richard Conte) is a tyro trucker bent on satisfaction from the man responsible for crippling his father--ruthless market operator Mike Figlia (Lee J. Cobb). Along the way, he is seduced by siren Rica (Valentina Cortesa) and drawn into the San Francisco produce racket--landing him in a web of treachery and heartbreak.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thieves' Highway is directed by Jules Dassin and adapted to screenplay by A. I. Bezzerides from his own novel Thieves' Market. It stars Richard Conte, Valentine Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence, Jack Oakie and Millard Mitchell. Music is by Alfred Newman and cinematography by Norbert Brodine.

A war-veteran returns to the family home to find his father has been left wheelchair bound by a amoral produce dealer in San Francisco. Swearing revenge he sets himself up as a truck driver and heads off to Frisco with a truck load of Golden Delicious apples...

Revenge, hope and desperation drives Dassin's intelligently constructed noir forward. It's a film very much interested in its characterisations as it doles out a deconstruction of the American dream. The familiar noir theme of a returning war-veteran kicks things off, with Nico Garcos (Conte) finding a crippled father and a money hungry bride to be waiting for him; welcome home sailor! From there Dassin and Bezzerides push a revenge theme to the forefront whilst deftly inserting from the sides the devils of greed and corruption of the California produce business.

The trucks journey is brilliantly captured by the makers, both exciting and exuding the menace of the hard slog for truckers. Once Nico and his partner, Ed Kinney (Mitchell), get to Frisco and encounter bully business boy Mike Figlia (Cobb), underhand tactics come seeping out and the appearance of prostitute Rica (Cortese) into Nico's life adds a morally grey area that pings with sharp dialogue exchanges. Real location photography adds to the authentic feel of the story, and cast performances are quite simply excellent across the board.
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Format: DVD
Jules Dassin directed, in my opinion, two great dramas that happened to be crime films, Night and the City (1950) and Rififi (1955). Earlier, he made two near-great crime films, Naked City (1948), a little dated now, and Brute Force (1947). For me, Thieves' Highway (1949) pauses right in the middle, both in terms of the year made and in terms of the success of the story. The movie tells us about Nick Garcos (Richard Conte), who returns home from working at sea with presents for his family and his fiance. He discovers that his father, a long-haul produce trucker, has lost his legs in a trucking accident after delivering tomatoes to produce broker Mike Figlia (Lee J. Cobb) in San Francisco. It looks like Figlia also stole back the money his father had been paid by Figlia. Nick is determined to settle scores. He sets out with an old-time hauler to deliver apples to Figlia, and plans to do whatever it takes to even things out. It doesn't work out so easily for Nick. The happy ending Darryl F. Zanuck shot and added to the film without Dassin's knowledge doesn't help matters. Zanuck's contribution starts with Nick meeting Figlia in a bar by a highway, a fight and ends with Nick and Rica, a woman he met after his fiance dumped him and who earns her money from men, driving off together. I'm not sure that whatever the original ending was Dassin had in mind would have improved the film. As it is, I think this movie of retribution is masterfully directed, filled with realism, contains several first-rate sequences and is photographed with great style and mood. The truck crashing off the highway, with boxes of apples tumbling off and the apples rolling down the hill toward us is startling. So why don't I like it as much as I think I should?Read more ›
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Format: DVD
The Criterion Collection presents "THIEVES' HIGHWAY" (10 October 1949) (94 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of a crocked produce dealer in San Francisco --- Masterfully directed by Jules Dassin with a script by A. I. Bezzerides (who also wrote the novel)

Some tense scenes between Conte and Cobb, doesn't get any better than this with two pro-actors trading jabs.
A classic noir from Dassin!

Under the production staff of:
Jules Dassin [Director]
A.I. Bezzerides [Novel & Screenplay]
Robert Bassler [Producer]
Alfred Newman [Original Score]
Norbert Brodine [Cincmatographer]
Nick DeMaggio [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Jules Dassin [Director]
Date of Birth: 18 December 1911 - Middletown, Connecticut
Date of Death: 31 March 2008 - Athens, Greece

2. Richard Conte
Date of Birth: 24 March 1910 - Jersey City, New Jersey
Date of Death: 15 April 1975 - Los Angeles, California

3. Lee J. Cobb [aka: Leo Jacoby]
Date of Birth: 8 December 1911 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 11 February 1976 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California

the cast includes:
Richard Conte ... [Nick Garcos]
Valentina Cortese ... [Rica (as Valentina Cortesa)]
Lee J. Cobb ... [Mike Figlia]
Barbara Lawrence ... [Polly Faber]
Jack Oakie ... [Slob]
Millard Mitchell ... [Ed Kinney]

SPECIAL FEATURES [BONUS]:
1. New, restored high-definition digital transfer
2. Audio commentary by Alain Silver, editor of Film Noir Reader and author of Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
3. New video interview with Jules Dassin
4.
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