The Big Combo. 1955. USA. Directed by Joseph H. Lewis. With Cornel Wilde, Jean Wallace, Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy. 84 min.
Among the young filmmakers who frequented Club 57, Steve Brown was also an active programmer with a particular interest in the work of macho auteurs like Sam Fuller and Nicholas Ray and noir directors such as Lewis. A detective’s obsession with bringing down a powerful gangster leads to his infatuation with the thug’s moll and, predictably, a number of murders. The homosexual subtext that frequently colored the genre surfaces here in the relationship between a pair of gunsels named Fante and Mingo.