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Couched in the traditional trappings of a noir heist thriller, Graham Chaffee’s To Have and To Hold is a hard-boiled disquisition on the darker regions of married life and the American Dream. Set in October 1962, while the world holds its collective breath awaiting the possibly apocalyptic climax of the unfolding Cuban Missile Crisis, the banality of everyday life goes on, as Lonnie and Kate Ross confront their own domestic cold war. As Kate, frustrated and disillusioned, looks outside her marriage for satisfaction, Lonnie’s justifiable suspicions of his wife’s infidelity lead him down a deadly road of increasing paranoia and violence as he seeks to reclaim what he’s lost. Possession, jealousy, lust, and betrayal — the classic ingredients for a rocky marriage in an America on the verge of nuclear apocalypse. Masterfully paced and drawn in Chaffee’s fluid, inky brushstrokes, To Have and To Hold captures the pulpy, nocturnal atmosphere of classic noir.

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