Watch John Alton Video
Brian Donlevy (1901-1972) often played gangster types or other unpleasant characters. But for some reason he always was one of my favorites. He is never hysterical and seems to act mainly with his face which makes him old fashioned in an endearing way. He got many good parts and always lived up to my expectations. In The Big Combo (1955), dir. Joseph H. Lewis, photographed by the great John Alton, Donlevy plays a has-been gangster boss who has to take many humiliating snide remarks by the new, more ruthless leading man, a very convincing performance by Richard Conte. The law is represented by Cornell Wilde, Lee van Cleef plays a hoodlum.