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I Died a Million TimesGangster Noir in Midcentury America$
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Robert Miklitsch

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043611

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043611.001.0001

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Post-’50s Syndicate, Rogue Cop, and “Big Caper” Films

(p.233) Coda
I Died a Million Times

Robert Miklitsch

University of Illinois Press

The dialectic between the individual and collective in gangster noir continues in the post-’50s period. The individualist emphasis is most obvious in the syndicate and rogue cop film, achieving something of a classical synthesis in Samuel Fuller’s Underworld U.S.A. (1961) and, courtesy of Robert Mitchum’s bravura performance as Max Cady, a baroque climax in J. Lee Thompson’s Cape Fear (1961). Though the postclassic heist movie can be categorized in terms of its “cosmopolitan,” “Las Vegas,” and “civil rights” variants, Lewis Milestone’s Ocean’s 11 (1960) not only exhibits these various subgenres but also proffers a postmodern gloss on the oppositional collective implicit in The Phenix City Story and Odds against Tomorrow.

Keywords:   Syndicate, rogue cop, civil rights, Underworld U.S.A, Cape Fear, Ocean’s 11

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