If you haven’t read Martin Ford‘s nonfiction book, Rise of the Robots (2015), you should, notwithstanding some of the language is too technical for me. The subtitle reads: “Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future,” so, yes, it’s a book about vocations that might be swallowed up by automation. If we’re dumb—be sure to read Chapter 8—they will be. Everything in moderation.
T-men, in T-Men (1947), are agents of the U.S. Treasury Department’s law enforcement division. Early on, the movie more or less informs us that these taxpayer-supported agents do not make that much money (lest moviegoers then were understandably worried about massive federal spending) and, anyway, the story begins with a murder! Treasury has its work cut out for it.
What happens is that an informer is killed by counterfeiters, and off go two likable-looking T-men (Dennis O’Keefe and Alfred Ryder) to infiltrate the band of culprits.
This is recommendable film noir, better than most pics at presenting the unusual nature of crime investigation. Granted, the characters are ciphers, but this was perennially the case in old crime movies, and at least the drama in T-Men is rough-and-tumble fun. What’s more, there are two alluring femme fatales, played by Mary Meade and Vivien Austen (shamefully uncredited; she plays Genevieve).
Directed by Anthony Mann.
The third season of Jane the Virgin, on the CW, has begun, with the married Jane retaining her virginity because hubby Michael has been shot and is in critical condition!
Trauma and pathos are intertwined with mildly comic flashbacks of Jane and Michael developing their mutual crush, and all of this is conventional. The unconventional stuff is on the periphery, as when Michael’s would-be killer turns out to be Sin Rostro—and what sin there is in this woman!—masquerading as a police officer. And not just any police officer, but Michael’s partner Susanna! Is this show crazy, or what?
At least it isn’t just crazy—and it isn’t tiresome yet either. Gina Rodriguez was brilliant in last night’s episode, as versatile as ever. And now that she’s playing two roles (sort of merging into one), Yael Grobglas is more of a grabber than she ever has been.