Thriller-Detective story-Film Noir

Thriller-Detective story-Film Noir

By Maurizio Colombo

Sergio Bonelli loathed the "Whodunit'', or the classic English detective story, set in some opulent country mansion, where more or less colorful investigators show their intellectual ability in finding the murderer of the day.


Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford in Gilda.

As a filmgoer, he went for the gangster and crime movies that showed venomous and seductive “Dark-Ladies”: the cunning Barbara Stanwyck of Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity, 1944, the explosive Rita Hayworth of Gilda, (1946, by Charles Vidor), the fake-innocent girl played by Gene Tierney in Otto Preminger’s Laura (1944); criminals who are trying to score the hit of their lives (tough guys like Dix Handley and Johnny Clay, interpreted by Sterling Hayden in The Asphalt Jungle, 1950, by John Huston, and The Killing, directed in 1956 by Stanley Kubrick; or the icy and lethal Doc McCoy, alias Steve McQueen, in The Getaway, 1972, by Sam Peckinpah).

On the right side of the law, instead, we find the private eyes etched into legend by Humphrey Bogart (The Maltese Falcon, 1941, by John Huston, and The Big Sleep, 1946, by Howard Hawks), and Robert Mitchum (Farewell, My Lovely, 1975, di Dick Richards) and the cops who know no rules (Kirk Douglas’ McLeod in Detective Story, 1951, by William Wyler; Frank Bullitt, played by Steve McQueen in Bullitt, 1968, by Peter Yates; and William Chance, interpreted by William Petersen in To Live and Die in L.A., 1985, by William Friedkin).