Loan Shark (1952)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama, Film Noir, Gangster Film  |   Run Time - 79 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Loan Shark is an average little B-level gangster picture, but it's quite enjoyable. Mind you, there's nothing especially inventive in its screenplay, which presents a situation and then goes through some very well-worn numbers as it follows the inevitable progression from that situation. The writers also are clearly unafraid of letting logic fall by the wayside when it suits them or of failing to explain things that seem more than a shade unbelievable. These are definite failings, but director Seymour Friedman takes these lemons and makes the proverbial lemonade: rather than fix these problems, he tries to barrel through the proceedings so no one will notice, with the result that Shark moves at a fast and steady clip. It also helps that Shark has as its star George Raft. Raft could easily play this kind of part in his sleep, and while it's no challenge to him, he does a fine job and gives the film the starpower that it needs. Another plus is the excellent Joseph Biroc camerawork. Shark is no film noir, but Biroc's evocative lensing could easily make you believe it is.