Cinema: Working the Vein

A few words should be said in praise of a tough little movie called Darker Than Amber. It represents a kind of film making that is currently unfashionable: the straightforward, uncluttered private-eye melodrama that was so much a part of the American cinema of the '40s. It is a tradition to which Godard payed homage in Breathless, and out of which came some first-rate film makers like John Huston.

Darker Than Amber is not the best of the genre, but it provides some neat jolts of violent entertainment. The plot is the usual thing: Private Detective Travis McGee* (Rod Taylor) rescues...

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