Wednesday, July 1, 2020

YES, JACK WEBB WAS A FILM DIRECTOR. A GOOD ONE

RIP Los Angles: Celebrity Grave: "Dragnet" Actor & Producer Jack ...For Jack Webb, the man was a right wing law and order probable homophobic anti commie racist scum- slinger, but he had chops as a film maker, as someone capable of telling a compelling, compulsively watchable bit of propaganda. 

I wrote a paper on him in college which compared him to classic auteur hero Sam Fulller, mainly for the purpose that Webb, in his movies, met and exceeded the quantification required to be a a film "AUTHOR" and hence the single creator of a movie. 

He had a world view, he had an stylistically identifiable visible style that he a applied to specific genre conventions, his characters were variations on a number of types that serve to make the plot move along, the narratives contained a set of values that were threatened and needed to be protected, and there was an obvious morality that was never far under the surface in his story-lines.

 I chose Webb because I always found Fuller a bit arch and melodramatic, so why compare him to someone who is bit cornball and stiff but with such a righteous since of self-confident style that you cannot help but watch is films over and over. 

I've said more than once that Webb is the auteur  critics never seemed to talk about. I wonder if anyone's done a study of his film work, IE, 30, The DI, Peter Kelley's Blues, the Last Time I Saw Archie, Dragnet, Dragnet 66, The LSD Story. Not a lot of feature films, but more than Norman Mailer, who got a hefty study from a film scholar a few years ago. 

And though one is never going to get past what is unintentionally comic in the films, there are times when I just shook my head after watching the DI or 30 realizing that I just watched a movie made by a man in full expressive control of his talent.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated due to spam. But commentaries, opinions and other remarks about the posts are always welcome! I apologize for the inconvenience.