During the first two decades of his career, Sidney Poitier was the beneficiary and exemplar of so-called Hollywood liberalism, and—carrying the flag of rectitude and racial equality if not harmony—rarely played a “bad guy.” Which makes the opening film of the Poitier double-bill this weekend such a rare treat. In THE LOST MAN (1969)—built on the armature of the IRA thriller Odd Man Out (directed by Carol Reed)—Poitier is a gun-brandishing militant on the run, finding refuge and comfort when and where he can. Poitier met his co-star Joanna Shimkus during filming, and they later went on to marry, celebrating their fortieth anniversary in 2016. The film’s score is by Quincy Jones.
THE LOST MAN was written and directed by Robert Alan Aurthur, who also wrote the second feature, Martin Ritt’s excellent EDGE OF THE CITY (1956), which pairs Poitier with a young John Cassavetes. The evening’s films are part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive series Golden Age Television Writers on the Big Screen.
THE LOST MAN and EDGE OF THE CITY, Friday, August 11, at 7:30.
BILLY WILDER THEATER, HAMMER MUSEUM, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.
From top: John Cassavetes (left) and Sidney Poitier in Edge of the City.
Poster, right: Joanna Shimkus.