Special Edition, The Criterion Collection
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Thieves Highway is set in the world of "long-haul boys" who drive by night to bring their goods to the markets of Americas cities. Ex-G.I. Nick Garcos (Richard Conte) is a tyro trucker bent on satisfaction from the man responsible for crippling his fatherruthless market operator Mike Figlia (Lee J. Cobb). Along the way, he is seduced by siren Rica (Valentina Cortesa) and drawn into the San Francisco produce racketlanding him in a web of treachery and heartbreak. The Criterion Collection is proud to present this Jules Dassin masterpiece, the last film he completed in America before he was blacklisted.
The rugged world of long-haul trucking knits perfectly with classic film noir dynamics in this sizzling, underrated picture. Navy veteran Richard Conte returns home to California, only to plunge into a revenge scenario and a scheme to haul the season's first apples to the teeming San Francisco fruit market (a place seen as a nocturnal jungle for the survival of the fittest). Lee J. Cobb enjoys himself enormously as the chiseling boss at the Frisco market, Millard Mitchell is wry as Conte's angle-playing trucking partner, and Valentina Cortese adds a bright, sexy exoticism to the multi-layered duplicitous dame. Director Jules Dassin, in his last American-shot film before blacklisting, shows his expressive abilities with shadowy interiors and road-movie exteriors alike. The punchy screenplay by A.I. Bezzerides, whose trucking experiences also fueled They Drive by Night, is a textbook case for the complexities of pulp--not apples, fiction. --Robert HortonSee all Editorial Reviews
- Audio commentary by Alain Silver, editor of The Film Noir Reader and author of Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
- Video interview with director Jules Dassin
- Original theatrical trailer
- A new essay by film critic Michael Sragow
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Unlike film noir Thieves' Highway opens with Nick Garcos' (Richard Conte) homecoming during a sunny afternoon accompanied by hearing his father singing in the kitchen. Nick has brought presents to all of his family members and a bundle of money, which he has earned in order to settle down. The money should help Nick get married to Polly (Barbara Lawrence) and go into business with her father. However, this joyous moment is suddenly halted, as Nick finds out that his father has lost his legs.
Nick's father informs him of how he lost his legs, as he had done business with a certain Mr. Figlia (Lee J. Cobb). The story that Nick hears makes him cringe in anger, as he understands that Mr. Figlia had set up his dad through a dubious plan. When Nick heard the whole story he decides to return to his father's truck, as the man, Ed Prentiss (Millard Mitchell), who bought it had not yet paid for the truck. However, Nick goes into business with Ed and together they pick up some Golden Delicious apples that he intends to take to Mr. Figlia.
The life of a trucker means long hours, deadly and financial dangers, and very little sleep, as life on the road cuts between the driver and their family while they try to find a way to make a buck for their near and dear. Nick decides that this is what he wants to do, as Ed and he pick up two trucks full of apples in Fresno. The apples are to be taken to the wholesale produce market in San Francisco, which is described as a 36-hour drive.
In San Francisco the audience gets to follow Nick on his quest to find Mr. Figlia, an idea that never seemed to be fully thought through. Eventually he finds him and discovers that he is the man that he suspected him to be, a ruthless businessman that shows no consideration for anyone. The only thing that he seems to care about is the money he makes, which he is not willing to part with.
They Drive by Night (1940) offers a similar cinematic experience as Dassin's film, as it also depicts the struggles of truck drivers. However, Raoul Walsh's story is more glamorous, as the tale slowly drifts away from the tough life of being a truck driver. Dassin's story focuses on the job and on the characters within the environment in which they exists. They cannot escape to a better place, as it is their destiny to be where they are while they have to make the most out of it
A valuable side note is that the year after Thieves' Highway was released Jules Dassin was identified as communist by Edward Dmytryk, which made him blacklisted. As a result Hollywood lost one of their most promising directors and Dassin decided moved to France where he continued to make films. He made great films such as Rififi (1955) and Never on Sunday (1960). In the awareness of Dassin being blacklisted the audience gets to experience the films he made prior being blacklisted, which have terrific cinematic value. Thieves' Highway is one of these films that he left for coming generations to enjoy and ponder.
movie plays around the fruit market, photographed like a film noir. Cobb gives a strong performance giving Conte
a bad time. Well made by director Jules Dassin.
The commentary by Silver is magnificent as it always is when he does one these..............noir fans, you will love this movie. Highest recommendation!
Most recent customer reviews
To those viewers I would encourage them to view the film a second time and...Read more
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Criterion Collection > All
- Movies & TV > Criterion Collection > Classics
- Movies & TV > Criterion Collection > Drama
- Movies & TV > Criterion Collection > Film Noir
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Drama
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Mystery & Thrillers
- Movies & TV > Indie & Art House
- Movies & TV > Movies