Thieves’ Highway was made during a remarkable run of noir pictures that confirmed its director, Jules Dassin, as one of the genre’s major forces. Following on from Brute Force and The Naked City, with Night and the City and Rififi soon to follow, it more than deserves its place in such hallowed company.
Returning from the war to discover his father has been crippled in an altercation with a brutish mob-connected kingpin, Nick Garcos puts aside thoughts of settling down and instead focuses them on revenge. He buys an old army surplus truck and hits the road – a 36-hour non-stop to San Francisco and, he hopes, a little justice…
Starring Richard Conte as Garcos and Lee J. Cobb as the object of his hate-filled intentions, Thieves’ Highway is as tough as film noir gets. Adapting his own novel, A.I. Bezzerides (who would later bring Kiss Me Deadly to the big screen) created a slice of pure pulp poetry.
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