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'The Big Combo,' 'Pitfall' on Broadway: Kenneth Turan's film pick

February 2, 2012 | 11:44 am

The Big Combo

The UCLA Film & Television Archive has taken to showing premium films at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles, and the film noir double bill scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 is one of the best.

Top-billed is Joseph Lewis' classic "The Big Combo," with Cornel Wilde as a relentless cop, Richard Conte as a pitiless crime lord and Jean Wallace as the girl caught in the middle. The big, dark shadows in this film will eat you alive.

Also showing is Andre de Toth's "Pitfall," starring Dick Powell as a married insurance agent (shades of "Double Indemnity") who finds the definitely unmarried Lizabeth Scott awfully hard to resist.

It's a chance to see a pair of great films in a great venue, a circa 1918 theater built by the one and only Sid Grauman.

Other cities would kill for the great old theaters remaining on Broadway, and we should patronize them whenever possible.

Million Dollar Theater, 307 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.


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-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic

Photo: Richard Conte and Jean Wallace in "The Big Combo." Credit: UCLA Film & Television Archive