Film & Video

Gritty Sometimes Pretty

Pop your corn, grab your drink and park it in a comfy spot for frothy viewing of the dark and dank. Made for just you, the crime thriller lover, these gritty, seamy videos deliver… and then deliver more. Click the links to buy these wrenching realizations of wickedness.


TRUE DETECTIVE-series, season one

true detectiveTalent abounds in this HBO drama. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are Louisiana State police with gritty jobs and gritty  lives investigating a grisly serial killer. Top marks for these remarkable and complex characters. Created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, music by T-Bone Burnett, gifted direction from Cary Joji Fukunaga.

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As dirty as real gets.  Glaring realizations of one of noir’s two motivators and a deadly sin. Gnarly writing and veteran actor Stacy Keach, narrating, give it juice.

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gone baby gone

Casey Affleck is a South Boston PI hired to search for a missing Southie neighborhood child. Compelling, chancy plotting, gritty, hold-your-breath scenes, and a champion supporting cast (Notably, Ed Harris as Police Detective Remy Bressant) make this modest thriller an overachiever. Adapted from the novel by Dennis Lehane.  Buy It On Amazon >>

THE BIG EASY- Soundtrack


Zydeco straight from hell covers the opening credits. Artists include Beausoleil, The Dixie Cups, The Neville Brothers, The Wild Tchoupitoulas and more.  The film’s a bit dated but still tasty. Great cast/local color. Buy It On Amazon >>>




A dizzying rendering of chaos begetting chaos. Director Katheryn Bigelow, abetted by sterling performances, serves up a powerful emotional dramatization of the police attributed triple homicide at the Algiers Hotel during the riots of Detroit in 1967. Despite bits of stilted dialogue, trivial plot contrivances and underdeveloped characters, Detroit packs a wallop  Buy it on Amazon >>



Merriam-Webster .com

adjective  grit·ty  \ ˈgri-tē \
1  containing or resembling grit
 having strong qualities of tough uncompromising realism
3  doing the right thing means pearl-diving in the Newtown Creek sewage treatment plant. That’s 250 million gallons of crap and toxic chemicals daily.




Harrowing account of young women being drug mules for South American cartels. Gritty and low budget, striking and believable, Maria Full Of Grace reveals the motivation and the toll of this high risk life. Written & directed by Joshua Marston. Buy it on Amazon >>



Best Episode-Time Bomb

joe kendaThe suspect description, the sketch artist’s rendition, and the culprit apprehension are worth the price of admission. Kenda, the FBI, and the ATF are drawn into the bombing of the Pikes Peak National Bank.  See It On ID >>




John Hawkes and his retro, supercharged Chevy Nova sizzle in this apt up-to-date piece of classic crime storytelling. A disgraced, small town ex-cop stumbles into the murder of a rich man’s granddaughter.  Great characters, snappy dialogue and nifty direction put a sheen on somewhat shopworn plotting. Directed by the brothers Nelms. Buy It On Amazon >>



blood simple3

Real film noir from early Coen brothers.  Small town Texas characters get snarled in in lust, greed and murder. Features earlyFrances McDormand in a warm up to her award winning role inFargo. A little slow out of the gate, give it a chance; you’ll be glad. Buy it At IMDB >>



Overheated melodrama with wooden acting, ridiculous plotting, sumptuous production design, and gritty, good girl Rita Hayworth knocking it out of the park with an “I’m about to lose my dress” rendition of Put The Blame On Mame.  Costumes by Jean Louis. Buy Memorabilia On eBay >>>


Honorable Mentions



sin city

Look up grit in the dictionary and you’ll find Sin City. Coming up short on character, plot and narrative, it’s just fun for you who like it down and dirty. Shared direction by Quentin Tarantino, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller. Buy the Reboot on Amazon >>



wartime crime

Acute insight into the social fabrics of peoples at war. Skip the urban legend of the U.S. Navy and Lucky Luciano, and check out The Blackout Killers,  The Zoot Suit Riots and The Godfather of London. An unique perspective into crime. See it on ahctv >>




I WANT TO LIVE-film, 1958

I want to live2

Hard luck girl Susan Heyward (Babs) falls in with Beatniks, gangsters, baby, junkie husband, bungled robbery, murder, implied jail house lesbians, and  death penalty bounce. Note the cold gritty realism of the go in to San Quentin prison, the sit on death row, the preparation of the gas chamber and the (sanitized) execution. Chilling. Oscar for Heyward.  Buy It On Amazon >>


DANA ANDREWS – Leading Man Of Film Noir


Personifying the morally conflicted, driven by greed and lust,  anti-hero of the epic genre, Andrews made several classics while battling his personal demon during a long career. Elegantly directed by Otto Preminger, with a steaming Linda Darnell, and luscious locales, try first the 1945 “Fallen Angel.”  Buy It On imbd >>


52 PICK-UP – film, 1986


Real LA grit. Business man, Roy Scheider’s (Jaws, The French Connection) affair embroils him into an underworld of pimps, whores, blackmailers, and killers. Great shallow characters, outrageous plotting and lots of grimy grit. Directed by John Frankenheimer.  Buy It On Amazon >>


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