Dumb Die Fast, The Smart Die Slow (1991)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Countries - Thailand  |  
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Manop Udomdej's 1991 melodrama from Thailand demonstrates that the universe of film noir can transcend geography. Safecracker and prison fugitive Salak meets generous Boonpreng, who hires him to work in his garage/restaurant. Boonpreng's young wife, Chanang, discovers Salak's secret, and she blackmails him into opening her husband's safe. Caught by Boonpreng, Salak reveals who he is and asks his employer to turn him in. Enraged, Chanang kills her husband, but the safe's door slams shut. Chanang demands that Salak re-open the safe so that they can split the cash. He tells her that he will give it all to her when things cool off. A torrid affair naturally ensues, but the situation really gets hot when Salak's safecracking partner, Tuang, shows up. This film clearly owes much to The Postman Always Rings Twice. Yet its dream-like scenes bathed in blue light alternating with the hot orange of the day help turn up the temperature quite a few degrees. And as a femme fatale, Chanang gives Lana Turner's Cora a run for her money.