Thursday, November 5, 2015

David Goodis At The Harvard Film Archive

Sunday November 29 at 5pm

The Burglar

Directed by Paul Wendkos. With Dan Duryea, Jayne Mansfield, Martha Vickers
US 1957, 35mm, b/w, 90 min
Fifties sex goddess Jayne Mansfield is the unwieldy object of desire, and deceit, in Paul Wendkos’ unusual and Orson Welles-inspired adaptation of hardboiled crime writer David Goodis’ eponymous thriller. Dan Duryea trembles with sweaty intensity as The Burglar, designing his most elaborate heist to rob a spiritualist of her famed jewels. A late, baroque film noir, The Burglar was the only film realized with an original screenplay by cult writer Goodis, who set the film firmly in the same Philadelphia neighborhoods from which he rarely wandered.


  1. That is a great image; it is very true to the novel. Duryea almost looks like he is literally "controlled by a dead man," whose ghost prevents him from loving Gladden, the dead man's daughter.

    I did not know "The Burglar" was inspired by Welles. Do you mean Wenkos studied "A Touch of Evil," which had a downscale resort setting anda narrative about robbery.

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