by Gabe Meline
Everyone knows about The Birds and Shadow of a Doubt. The lucky ones know about Smile. But too few people know about one of the greatest films ever shot in Sonoma County, ‘Thieves’ Highway.’ Opening in a Sebastopol apple orchard, the 1949 film essentially follows a fruit truck on its travels down to a San Francisco fruit market. Sounds drab? It’s anything but. With a loaded underworld plot about the cutthroat fruit-distribution business and featuring the absolute, most incredible tire-changing scene in the history of cinema, Thieves’ Highway is suspenseful, intriguing and beautifully shot by blacklisted director Jules Dassin (Rififi, The Naked City). With a brilliant performance by Lee J. Cobb and a crisp new transfer from the Criterion collection, Thieves’ Highway is an afternoon must-see on Saturday, July 24, at the Sonoma County Museum, 425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa. 2pm. $2–$5. 707.579.1500.