(for all dispatches, go here)
The great African-American actor Juano Hernandez shows up yet again in Noir City, and as he did in The Breaking Point, The Pawnbroker, Intruder in the Dust and so many other films, Hernandez fills the screen with a richly drawn characterization of a minority. As Art Hazzard, Martin's trumpet-playing mentor, Hernandez is his usual brand of spectacular, strong one minute, and heartbreaking the next. Like Cagney's Snyder, he too is a relic of an era gone by, about to be replaced by a younger, sexier model. But this one is of Hazzard's own design; Douglas' Martin looks at him with a mixture of student/teacher and father/son love. Hazzard is Martin's idol, which makes their final scene together that much more heartbreaking. Please, please, please seek out more of Hernandez's work, people!
Next time: British Noirs and WTF Was THAT?!