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Barry Gifford's Dream Double Feature

May 26

“I chose The Strange One because Ben Gazzara’s Jocko DeParis is as mean and sadistic as my platoon leader was when I was in the Air Force Reserve at the University of Missouri in 1964. Years later, when I heard that he’d been shot down flying a mission in Vietnam, I was not displeased—not that I was necessarily rooting for the Viet Cong, but I couldn’t help but feel they’d done the world a favor by taking him out of the count. And I chose Pickup on South Street because Thelma Ritter is my favorite actress and this was certainly her greatest role—when I met Sam Fuller I thanked him for giving her such great dialogue and he said, ‘She was the only actress I could think of who could explain her predicament with just the look in her eyes.’”—Barry Gifford