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#1 cigarjoe

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 05:59 AM

Shock Corridor (1963) Nutter Noir

 
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Sam Fuller's shot in 10 days in studio Neo Neo Noir.

Fuller (Pickup on South Street (1953), House of Bamboo (1955), The Crimson Kimono (1959), Underworld U.S.A. (1961), The Naked Kiss (1964)) also wrote the script back in the forties under the title Straitjacket for Fritz Lang. But Lang wanted to cast Joan Bennett in the lead. Cinematography was by Stanley Cortez (The Underworld Story (1950), The Night of the Hunter (1955), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Three Faces of Eve (1957), Vice Raid (1959), and uncredited for Chinatown (1974)). Additional color footage sequences by Sam Fuller from The House Of Bamboo and the unfinished film Tigrero,  the Music was by Paul Dunlap.

The film Stars Peter Breck (I Want to Live! (1958)) as Johnny Barrett, Constance Towers (Over-Exposed (1956), The Naked Kiss (1964), as Cathy, Noir vet Gene Evans (Berlin Express(1948), Criss Cross (1949), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Armored Car Robbery (1950), Storm Warning (1951), Ace in the Hole (1951), The Long Wait (1954), Crashout (1955) ) as Boden, Western Vet James Best (One Way Street (1950), ) as Stuart, Hari Rhodes (The Satan Bug(1965) as Trent, actor and writer Larry Tucker (Blast Of Silence (1961) as Pagliacci, Paul Dubov as Dr. J.L. Menkin, Chuck Roberson (Hi-Jacked (1950)) as Wilkes, Bill Zuckert (Kiss of Death(1947), ) as 'Swanee' Swanson, and Philip Ahn (Impact (1949), Macao (1952), Hell's Half Acre(1954)) as Dr. Fong.

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Johnny Barrett (Breck)
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Stuart (Best)

Wanna be hot shot reporter Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) gets a bug up his **** to break a story about a murder that took place in the kitchen at a mental hospital. With the blessing of his editor, he gets coached for a period of time by Dr. Fong (Philip Ahn) a psychiatrist so that he can conceivably pass re great as insane. His girlfriend exotic dancer Cathy is going to file a complaint posing as his sister. Cathy is going to claim that Johnny is molesting her. Cathy thinks the whole idea is disgusting. Getting committed is a breeze.
 
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Pagliacci (Tucker) midnight opera

 

Johnny is in like Flynn, but the nut jobs, and wing nuts are beginning to wear him down. Pagliacci, (Larry Tucker) his next over ward mate sings gibberish opera at all hours of the night.

The three witnesses to the murder are Johnny's targets, Stuart was captured in the Korean War and was brainwashed. Stuart now thinks he's Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart, Borden (Gene Evans) is a brilliant nuclear scientist who's gone mad. Trent is a blackman who thinks he's the head of the Klu Klux Klan. Trent starts race riots among his ward mates.
 

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Added to Johnny's dealings with the loonies are the sadistic guards and various forms of institutional therapy that he's subjected to after his confrontational altercations. All the sequences in the asylum are great with some outstanding acting sequences on display especially from James Best. The area where the film goes laughingly off track are in the Constance Towers' Cathy stripper sequences. I don't know if it was written in the original script but as it comes out on the screen Towers plays a singing stripper with a brain who sticks out from the other strippers like, as Chandler put it in Farewell My Lovely, "a tarantula on a piece of angel food.

Cathy: Do you think I like singing in that sewer with a hot light on my navel? I'm doing it because it pays more than shorthand or clerking or typing.

Yea sure. In real like she wouldn't last a set. She comes off utterly ridiculous doing a very lame strip routine. Her head at one point is completely covered with a feathered boa. You can picture what a real real hardcore reaction of the audience to her would be, i.e. jeers, boos, and shouts of, "****!" "shut up and strip," "take it off," "show us your ****," and "get the **** off the stage."  It's almost as bad as Anita Ekberg's set in Screaming Mimi.

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****?

 

You gotta wonder if Towers had some input into that disastrous decision, did she not want to play a common stripper?, or was it the sway of the MPPC that dictated it so, but in contrast, other films got away with a lot more doing a way better job with more believable burlesque related sequences, i.e., Girl On The Run (1953), The Man With Golden Arm (1955), Hell Bound(1957), Two Men in Manhattan (1959), the way ahead of it's time and also BTW, the real deal a strip show circa 1960 in The Savage Eye (1960, Satan In High Heels (1962), and Angels Flight(1964). It's not until Rita Moreno's stripper routine in 1969's Marlowe do we get an actually believable classy strip in a mainstream film. The best Black & White strip recreation is Valerie Perrine's as Hot Honey Harlow in Lenny -Bio Noir .

It also doesn't help having Cathy show up in miniature in repeat performances to reinforce the cheesiness of her act during some hallucination sequences. 
 

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In another scenario Barrett walks accidentally into the male graffiti covered walls of the  **** ward, the ****'s go out of control and attack, taking Barrett down like a pack of wolves taking down a deer, apparently trying to "bite" Barrett to death, it's a hoot.

Screenshot%2B%25287195%2529.png **** Another chuckle inducing sequence is when Barrett wanders into the **** Ward. You kind of wish that rather than 1963 Fuller would have made both this and 1964's The Naked Kiss, after the complete demise of the Motion Picture Production Code, say post 1967. He could have made a more realistic adult features.

After one of Trent's hospital race riots, Barrett is straitjacketed and cared off for shock treatments. He  begins imagining that Cathy really is his sister.

Barrett still manages to learn the identity of the killer and during a fight with a guard violently extracts a confession from him in front of witnesses and gets to write his story. But consequences send this directly to Noirsville.

Noirsville

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Shock Corridor is good in some sequences with some powerful acting but in others not so much and not because of anything controllable, it was a victim of the restraints of the times. 7/10 

 

Review with more screencaps here: http://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/10/shock-corridor-1963-nutter-noir.html



#2 cigarjoe

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:57 PM

The Violent Years (1956) Juvenile Delinquent Noir

 
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Like Jail Bait (1954) This film fits the JD exploitation, "C-Z" Noirs popular with the Beach/Surfer/Horror/SiFi movie demographic of the late 50s early 60s.

Directed by William Morgan, written by Ed Wood, and cinematography by William C. Thompson. Music by Manuel Francisco

The film stars Jean Moorhead as Paula Parkins, Barbara Weeks as Jane Parkins, Arthur Millan as Carl Parkins, Theresa Hancock as Georgia, Glen Corbett as Barney Stetson, Joanne Cangi as Geraldine, Gloria Farr as Phyllis, Lee Constant as Sheila, I. Stanford Jolley as Judge Clara, Timothy Farrell as Lt. Holmes.
F. Chan McClure as Det. Artman, Bruno Metsa as Manny, and Harry Keaton as the Doctor.

Paula Parkins (Moorhead) rich brat. A female Eddie Haskell. Devious daughter of newspaper editor father and a high profile blueblood mother. As soon as mater leaves for some charity event Paula is on the phone organizing her posse, her bullet bra wearing girl gang, Georgia (Hancock), Geraldine (Cangi), and Phyllis (Farr).

Screenshot%2B%25286744%2529.png Paula Parkins (Moorhead) For kicks the gang knocks over filling stations. The gang's M.O. is driving up to a full service gas station in an very conspicuous black four door 1954 Caddy series 62 sedan, pulling a gat on the attendant and emptying the cash drawer.
 

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 For more thrills they also terrorize a lovers' lane couple smooching in a 1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible. They take all their jewelry and money. They strip the woman of her cashmere sweater. Tie her up with her own ripped up in strips skirt and toss her partially clothed in a slip in the back seat of her convertible.
 
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For the almost back seat romeo they have other ideas. They pull him off into the woods and begin to remove his clothing. We cut to a shot of a leering Paula taking off her sweater. The film cuts away, after all it's 1956. We find out through a newspaper headline that they "assaulted" the unfortunate guy. The fact that later Paula has "a bun in the oven" leaves no doubt what  the gals did and, thanks to the MPPC, anything else your wildest imagination can come up with, with him.

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Screenshot%2B%25287016%2529.png Paula getting ready
 

Paula finds out from her father, after she feigns innocent curiosity, that the cops are going to stakeout all gas stations that stay open after 10PM with a cop disguised as a gas jockey or mechanic. So Paula tells her crew that filling stations are out.

The gals have an enabler Sheila (Constant) a female fence, who tells the girls that there is a group of people interested in having the girls knock over a school. A what? ****? This is never explained, probably a commie plot, but it doesn't really matter because if you are still watching at this point you're sticking it through for the outrageous ridiculousness of it all.  A watchman spots the gals breaking in.  While the gals are horrendously trashing a classroom, lol, i.e. ripping the blotter on a desk, erasing tomorrows lesson from the blackboard, throwing a globe through a window, the cops show up driving their 1956 Ford Mainlines, and the girls start immediately shooting. A cop and two of the girls Phyllis and Geraldine are killed, but Paula and Georgia get away driving the Caddy through a hail of bullets.

Detective: These aren't kids. These are morons!

 

Screenshot%2B%25287003%2529.png Lt. Holmes (Farrell) far left

 

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The film ends with a long moralizing monologue by the judge to Paula's parents, who sentences their grandchild, Paula's illegitimate daughter (yes Paula dies in childbirth) to life in a state institution rather than let them adopt her.

Again, this film is another example of Classic Noir unraveling. Crime stories were syphoning off to TV.  Major Studio B production stopped, and as the Motion Picture Production Code weakened, independent poverty row and low budget film creators were taking more artistic liberties. So those Film Noir that went too far over the line depicting violence started getting classified as HorrorThriller (even though they were just say, showing the effects of a gunshot wound, or dealing with weird serial killers, maniacs, and psychotics, etc.). Those that went too far depicting sexual, drug, torture, juvenile delinquency, etc., storylines and situations were being lumped into or classed as various Exploitation flicks, (even though they are relatively tame comparably to today's films). The the noir-ish films that dealt with everything else, except Crime, concerning the human condition were labeled Dramas and Suspense. Those that tried new techniques, lenses, etc., were labeled Experimental. Some films are so so bad in all aspects that they acquire the "so bad it's good" Cult status.

The Violent Years is an interesting example of a film that's achieved cult status as an Exploitation Juvie Noir, 6/10. Screencaps are from a Youtube stream. Full review with more screencaps here: https://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-violent-years-1956-juvenile.html


#3 cigarjoe

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:49 AM

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) New York Noir

 
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Dysfunctional family noir. 

Directed by the legendary Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men (1957), The Fugitive Kind (1960), The Pawnbroker (1964), Fail-Safe (1964), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), The Verdict (1982)). He was one of the busiest directors of the post studio era. This was his last feature film before his death in 2011.

The cinematography was by Ron Fortunato and the music was by Carter Burwell (Fargo (1996), Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991)).

The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman (Boogie Nights (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Red Dragon(2002)), as Andy Hanson, Ethan Hawke (Gattaca (1997)) as Hank Hanson,
Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny (1992), The Wrestler (2008)) as Gina Hanson, Albert Finney (Tom Jones (1963), Gumshoe (1971), Miller's Crossing (1990)) as Charles Hanson, Rosemary Harris (The Boys from Brazil (1978)) as Nanette Hanson, Brían F. O'Byrne (Million Dollar Baby (2004)) as Bobby Lasorda, Aleksa Palladino (Boardwalk Empire TV Series (2010–2014)) as Chris Lasorda, Michael Shannon (Vanilla Sky (2001), The Missing Person (2009), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), The Iceman (2012), Boardwalk Empire TV Series (2010–2014)) as Dex, Leonardo Cimino (Mad Dog Coll (1961), The Young Savages(1961),  Naked City TV Series (1958–1963), Moonstruck (1987)), as William, and Amy Ryan (The Missing Person (2009) as Martha Hanson.

Everything a Noir should be. It's about slimeballs. It's about losers. It's about family. It's about infidelity. It's about desperation. It's about dead ends and about broken dreams. A get rich quick scheme.  A simple story of a robbery that's gone horribly, horribly, wrong. It's about Murphy's Law.

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Andy (Hoffman)
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 Hank (Hawke)
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Charles (Finney)
Andy Hanson, Manhattanite, corporate real estate stooge, embezzler, drug addict, silver tongued devil. Dreaming of Rio on other people's money. Hank Hanson, basement dwelling screw off, the weak kid brother with the good looks. Mom and Dad likes him best. But he's a deadbeat dad three months behind on his alimony. His wife thinks he's a bum, his own daughter thinks he's a loser, harsh. He's even screwing Andy's wife Gina, skeezy, it's a brother tag team, so of course given this dish, Gina is another piece of work.

Andy, getting desperate as his big bubble world is crumbling around him, geezes up a job that's pure CAKE.  The stickup of their parents Mom & Pop jewelry store in a Westchester Mall.

Andy Hanson: We don't want Tiffany's. We want a Mom and Pop operation, in a busy place, on a Saturday when the week's takes go in the safe. We both worked there. We know the safe combinations. We know the burglar alarm signals. We know where everything is. I figure, between the week's take, the jewelry and the cases, the vault, there's a $500,000 haul. I figure probably six. The old dumb old lady that works there, she's alone till noon. She's not going to be a problem.
Hank Hanson: Andy...
Andy Hanson:  Yeah?
Andy Hanson:  That's mom and dad's store.
Andy Hanson:  That's what I said. A Mom and Pop operation.

We go in on Saturday morning just when old lady what's her name, Doris opens to door. Wave a gun in her face. Scare the **** out of her. Empty the cash register, the safe, the displays, and scram. The insurance covers the loss and damages. Nobody loses.. I will take the swag to a fence down in the city that Dad once knew in the Diamond District. $500,000 in diamonds/jewels nets $120,000 and we are flush.

But Andy wants Hank to do it alone. He tells Hank, no, no little brother, I was up there recently and may get recognized. Oily Andy drops a couple grand of embezzled money under desperately broke Hank's nose as bait. Operating money. All that moola goes to Hank's head but Hank can't do it stag. He doesn't have the gonads. He visits an acquaintance, an ex con, buss boy, petty thief named Bobby Lasorda, he convinces him to do the actual robbery, Hank will drive the rental getaway car.

Saturday morning. So what could go wrong. Bobby goes in, and scares the **** out of the old lady. Only the old Lady ain't Doris it's Nannette, Hank and Andy's mom, which Hank would have seen if he had balls enough to do it himself. For Bobby, though, you seen one old lady you've seen them all, and he goes on with the plan. Empties the cash register and the safe, dumping trays of diamonds into a sack. Nannette however, is no Doris, when Bobby has his back to her breaking the glass counter tops she grabs a gun out of a drawer and blasts him. Bobby shoots back hitting Nannette. Bobby slides and stumbles for the door and Nannette from the floor squeezes off another shot sending Bobby through the plate glass door. He comes to rest lying very dead among the shards. Hank **** his pants and peels out of the parking lot and down the rabbit hole to Noirsville.

Noirsville
 

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The story is told nicely in individual flashbacks that sort of rewind, overlap, and take off from different character's points of view. The acting from all the principals is intense. Charles Hanson, played by Albert Finney is at first devastated, then resigned and finally desperate as he goes on a quiet vendetta when the police seem to be blowing him off. Philip Seymour Hoffman's Andy is tragic, he  gives a tour de force going very convincingly the full range of human emotions. Watch for Michael Shannon as Dex the scummy brother in law of dead Bobby who puts the touch on Hank to cover the loss of Bobby for his sister and her daughter. Hell, he doesn't want to be stuck with taking care of her.

Excellent last film for Lumet, excellent family Neo Noir, like a train wreck that you can't stop watching. 9/10 Review with more screencaps here: https://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/10/before-devil-knows-youre-dead-2007-new.html

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#4 cigarjoe

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 06:51 AM

Jail Bait (1954) C Noir

 
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Directed by Edward D. Wood Jr., with cinematography by William C. Thompson. Stars: Lyle Talbot, Dolores Fuller, Herbert Rawlinson, Steve Reeves, Clancy Malone, and Timothy Farrell.

Ed Wood's Film Noir, the wayward son of a doctor Don Gregor (Malone), runs around with cheap crook Vic Brady (Farrell) pulling stickups, their last job knocking over a theater box office gets the security guard dead by Dons trigger finger. When Don decides to turn himself in Vic has other plans. Fuller as Brady is hilarious growling non stop wisecracks.

Vic Brady: They've had my picture in the files so long it's getting moldy.

Loretta: Honey, that's bad business, cop killing.
Vic Brady: So what? They bleed like anybody else. Now stop gibbering! I gotta think!

There is a scene in a kitchen where surrounded with what looks like the type of kitchen appliances you'd find nowadays in a defunct roadside dump, Loretta tells Vic off ...

Loretta: ...you're a has been with a gun!
Vic Brady: A has been, baby I've only just begun. I didn't set you up in all this luxury just to have you walk out on me. I pulled you out of that main street dive and made something out of you. No you'll never walk out on me.

Screenshot%2B%25285784%2529.png Don Gregor (Malone), Vic Brady (Farrell)
The film has this wonderfully cheesy spanish guitar and whacky bossa nova score by Hoyt Curtin. It homages the plastic surgery/removal bandages sequences in lots of films but with a nice twist.

Noirsville
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The film also includes a two minute insert, and it's right out of left field, of who has been termed the last blackface performer Cotton Watts in a skit called Cotton Watts and Chick, a curious artifact of a past era. I don't know if it was in the original release or not. IMDb lists them in the cast.

Hands down Ed Wood's best film. 6/10 More Screencaps at https://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/09/jail-bait-1954-c-noir.html


#5 cigarjoe

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 12:56 PM

Tchao Pantin (So Long, Stooge) (1983) French Neo Noir Masterpiece

 
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A Film Noir that's won the equivalent of five Oscars.

Tchao Pantin, was nominated for twelve, and won five Cesars, France's Academy Award. It's still not available on DVD or Blu Ray in Region 1. A shame because this is an excellent film noir. It's got all the right ingredients for this particular aficionado. The story revolves around small time losers, in a gritty working class neighborhood of Paris. Directed masterfully by Claude Berri, shot with a knowing eye by Bruno Nuytten and starring a popular French comedian who was famous for his irreverent sense of humour. The Music was by Charlélie Couture.

The film stars Coluche (The Wing or The Thigh? (1976)) as Lambert, Richard Anconina (The Little Gangster (1990)) as Bensoussan, Agnès Soral (Window to Paris (1993)) as Lola, Philippe Léotard (French Connection II (1975)) as Bauer and Mahmoud Zemmouri (Munich (2005)) as Rachid.

A seedy, 18th Arrondissement ghetto. Paris. Downpour. Night. Lambert (Coluche). All-Night Gas Jockey. Grease Monkey. Alcoholic. Middle age has been. Runs a Total Service Station. Corner of Place de la Chapelle & Pajol. Bensoussan (Anconina). Reckless. Semitic cycle thief. Drug dealer. Punk **** kid.

Screenshot%2B%25285055%2529.png Lambert (Coluche)
Screenshot%2B%25285045%2529.png Bensoussan (Anconina) Bensoussan, drenched, is being tailed by the cops, his stolen moped out of gas. He pushes it under the Total Station's canopy, and heads inside. Lambert is watching all this from inside the station. When the two meet a sort of friendship bond is sparked and it develops over the weeks.

They are both alone in the world with no friends and no families left. Lambert see's in Bensoussan his own son (who <spoilers> we find out later died of a drug overdose).

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Bensoussan during his friendship with Lambert, meets a punk rocker chick Lola (Agnès Soral), who is at first attracted to his stolen cycle, then to him. Their brief relationship ends when, after Bensoussan and Lola are stopped by a motorcycle cop, he belts the cop and takes off with a very frightened Lola.

 

Screenshot%2B%25285070%2529.png Lola (Soral)
 
When Bensoussan is killed in front of Lambert at the Total Station, by his double crossing drug dealing connections, the film boards the express Metro to Noirsville.
 
Noirsville

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Director Berri was noted previously as the director, writer and occasionally a star, in a handful of French Comedies. This work was the beginning of a four year detour into more serious fare. In this film beautifully Noir soaked shots are held reverently.  Coluche was a popular French standup comedian famous for his irreverent attitude towards politics and the establishment in general, gives along with Anconina excellent performances.

Screencaps are from a Youtube streamer without English subtitles, but if you read the story synopsis you can let yourself be transported into the story through the cinematography of Bruno Nuytten and be thoroughly entertained even without knowing any French. 9/10 

 

Full review with more screencaps here: https://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/09/tchao-pantin-so-long-stooge-1983-french.html


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#6 cigarjoe

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 06:55 AM

The Crooked Way (1949) The Most Graphic Noir

 
(SLWB  February 06, 2012 republished Noirsville 9/19/2017)
 
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John Alton's chiaroscuro cinematography imparts upon The Crooked Way what could arguably be the most Graphic Novel look to a Classic Film Noir.

Director Robert Florey (The Vicious Years (1950), Johnny One-Eye (1950), segued into TV early did some Alfred Hitchcock Presents,  Twilight Zones and Outer Limits), Director of Photography was Master Cinematographer John Alton (about fourteen Classic Noir to his scorecard). Music was by Louis Forbes.

The film stars John Payne (Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Larceny (1948), Kansas City Confidential (1952), 99 River Street (1953), Slightly Scarlet (1956), Hidden Fear (1957)), Sonny Tufts (No Escape (1953), Cat-Women of the Moon (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955)), Ellen Drew (Johnny O'Clock (1947)), Rhys Williams (Nightmare (1956)), Percy Helton (nine Classic Noir), and John Doucette (eight Classic Film Noir), Ester Howard (Murder, My Sweet (1944), Detour (1945), Born to Kill (1947), No Man of Her Own (1950), Caged (1950)), Frank Cady, Charles Evans, who also had some Noir on their curriculum vitae. Cady I just watched the other day in The Asphalt Jungle.
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Eddie Rice (Payne)

 

Eddie Rice (Payne), wakes up in a San Francisco Veterans Hospital after WWII with a Silver Star but no memory. The Doc tells him his amnesia is "organic" and that the piece of shrapnel in his head has permanently erased his past. The Doc suggests that he attempt to piece his life together by returning to familiar surroundings. His enlistment hometown was L.A., maybe if he goes home he will run into someone who knew him.

 

Eddie buys it. We buy it. Yes, a chance. A once upon a time like big dream, about how, just out of plain crazy **** dumb luck, he'll walk around in The City of Angels and will run into somebody he knows. Then, maybe that person will lead him to another, and then that person to yet another and he'll happily put together his story piece by piece. He figures it's gonna be hard, it's gonna take time. He diligently studies a pamphlet about Los Angeles riding the train on the way down.

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L.A.

Yo. The friggin minute he steps out of Union Station he's pinched by the cops. They are there looking for somebody else, and look who drops into their laps.  He's picked up and hauled down to the police station. They know who you are, Eddie.

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Sgt. Barrett (John Doucette) and Lt. Joe Williams (Rhys Williams) 

 
At the station Eddie Rice finds out he's Eddie Riccardi. Foregedboudit, Eddie's gotta be really scrambled in the head. He can't even remember that he was Italian.

From the cops file he reads that he worked with a sort of Southern California hillbilly hood/mob boss Vince Alexander (Sonny Tufts), whom he framed before he joined the Army and disappeared into WWII.

He also finds out he was married to B-Girl (Nina) Ellen Drew, who also has mob connections. She is working in an illegal gambling parlor, she oversees the girls, always on the lookout for those with new "talents." Thanks to the MPPC we can allow our wildest imagination figure out what that meant, lol.

Caught between the cops and the mob, Payne eventually wakes up in a car with a gun in his hand, a dead cop in the seat next to him, and a siren in the distance is getting louder. Just before the tipped off police arrive, Eddie scrambles out into the night.
 

This Film is a gem. Alton's cinematography is extremely dark and claustrophobic and fits the subject matter well, a feast for Noir eyes with a nice juxtaposition of studio set & seedy location shots that make a fine example of the noir aesthetic. The large and varied cast actually enhances the amnesia angle to the story since minor character actors flicker for a few moments of screen time out of the shadows and then are gone, and just like Eddie, you don't  know whether they are a part of Eddie's past life or not.

Noirsville Alton's stylistic cinematography

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Western Swing Bar

 

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Like a lit stick of dynamite mad dog (Sonny Tufts)

 

Payne plays a convincing amnesia victim, Drew is good as his ex wife, but Sonny Tufts as the mob boss is excellent, he is very convincing as an unhinged, wild eyed, mad dog, barely in control when angered, hood. He should have been in more Film Noir, his performance here is both impressive and very memorable. He spits, snarls, and I wouldn't be surprised if he bit, actually after checking his bio, he does bite. "In 1949 he had been found drunk on a Hollywood sidewalk. In 1950 he was sued by two women for allegedly biting each of them in the thigh." (IMDb mini bio)

This film may also have the distinction of being one of the only Film Noir to feature some Western Swing its diegetic soundtrack.

The screencaps are from the Geneon DVD, it's cheap, adequate but featureless, still a personal 9/10 for me. Full review with more screencaps here: https://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-crooked-way-1949-most-graphic-noir.html


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#7 LawrenceA

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 01:48 PM

I hadn't heard of that one. Thanks for the write-up on it, cigarjoe.



#8 cigarjoe

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 01:37 PM

The American Side (2016) Neo Noir Niagara Redux

 
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"There are three sides to every story... the truth, the lie, and the American side."

Directed by Jenna Ricker, written by Greg Stuhr and Jenna Ricker. Cinematography by Frank Barrera, and Music by David Shire.

The film stars Greg Stuhr as Private Detective Charlie Paczynski, Camilla Belle as Emily Chase, Alicja Bachleda-Curuś as Nikki Meeker, Matthew Broderick (Glory (1989), Manchester By The Sea (2016) as Borden Chase, Janeane Garofalo (Dogma (1999), as Agent Barry, Robert Forster (Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), Jackie Brown (1997), Mulholland Drive(2001), Breaking Bad TV Series (2008–2013), Too Late (2015), Twin Peaks  TV Series (2017– )) as Sterling Whitmore, Grant Shaud (Wall Street (1987)) as The Professor, Robert Vaughn (cameo) (Mike Hammer TV Series (1958–1959), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV Series (1964–1968), Bullitt(1968)), Harris Yulin  ('Doc' (1971), Night Moves (1975), Scarface (1983), Narrow Margin(1990)) and Joe Grifasi (The Deer Hunter (1978), Matewan (1987), Ironweed (1987), Ironweed (1987), Auto Focus (2002), ) as The Serb, Norm Sham as Maguire the Detective,  and Kelsey Siepser as Kat the stripper/confidence gal.

Buffalo, what was at one time our Frontier, analogous to The Stick's or The Wild West. It's the capital of the "other" New York.  Upstate. "The Queen City" it spawned "daredevils," and pioneered steam powered grain elevators, and what could be a more iconic symbol of The Great American Fly-Over Country. You could probably say Buffalo is the prototype typical Mid Western/Great Lake, U.S. city.

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Greg Stuhr and Jenna Rickers script works into The American Side, in a similar fashion to Robert Towne's Chinatown L.A. water wars some Queen City historical atmosphere. In this scenario the early 1900s hydropower, the electrical invention history of genius Nikola Tesla, Buffalo and Niagara Falls is woven into a tale that bridges to the 21st century. This happens in the form of the missing pages of Tesla's notebook which may contain valuable inventions, or of those left unfinished, or just hinted at i.e. free energy systems, invisibility, death rays, etc.

Who is Nikola Tesla?, a genius pioneer of electrical technology and a world-class eccentric. Who, as D.A.R.P.A. Agent Barry in the film, puts it  "you could say invented the 20th Century.... When people were getting around on horseback Tesla envisioned a device so small that it could fit into your pocket it would let you check the news, or the stock market or talk to anyone anywhere in the world"  sound familiar? He was a dreamer of ideas though, rather than a builder. A nice opening montage traces part of this timeline.

The writers, using the locals around the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area including the Canadian Side of 2.25 million, create another sort of Sin City universe, a Northern version of say El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, only instead of  Mexicans and more Southern neighbors we have a completely different mix nationalities clustered along the Northern border.

"The most intriguing of Tesla’s inventions are the ones that got away. Visitors to the Tesla Museum in Colorado Springs are told a story reminiscent of UFO conspiracy tales: In a raid on his house immediately after his death, government agents seized all of Tesla’s apparatus — some 85 trunks full — either because timid bureaucrats felt the world wasn’t ready for the wonders of Tesla technology or for more sinister reasons. Exactly what all this top-secret Tesla technology may be isn’t known, but some of it, so goes the story, may make time travel possible." (Skeptical Inquirer 1994)

The script also nicely incorporates some ironic hardboiled humor into the dialog.

Paczynski

American%2BSide%2B33.jpg Charlie Paczynski (Stuhr) The only P.I. in the phonebook, a retro, scruffy, looking Charlie Paczynski, is playing pinball in a dive bar. He's Polish. A perpetual cigarette dangling. He drives a '69 "monkey poop brown" Dart Swinger. He's waiting for his mark.

Like the Mike Hammer in Kiss Me Deadly, Charlie is a "bedroom dick", a "window peeper." Like Mike and Velda, Charlie and a stripper named Kat are hooking and scamming marks, Kat tipping Charlie so that be there to take photographs of compromising positions. Charlie contacts the husband, and  claims he's working for the wife, tells the mark that the wife hasn't seen them, but that she paid $1000 for them. The mark in this case a Professor can buy the photos and himself off the hook. Nice racket.

Apparently college professors and top electrical engineering technologists, on the Eastern Rim of the Midwest, go to Buffalo/Niagara Falls for their quota of boobage.
 
When Kat gets assassinated in a carnival parking lot while Charlie is there to shoot some new blackmail images, everything goes down a rat hole of intrigue to Noirsville involving pages from Tesla's notebook of inventions, Serbian foreign agents, competitive energy czars, The F.B.I., and an obscure U.S. agency called D.A.R.P.A., Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The film has got an excellently convoluted plot that homages a bit of Kiss Me Deadly (1955), and visually revisits Niagara (1953). Two running gags poke fun at Paczynski's penchant for constantly sucking a tar bar, and the fact that private detectives still exist.

Maguire (a police detective): Get the hell out of here.
Charlie: You got the road jammed up.
Maguire: You're a long way from Polonia.
Charlie: Working a missing persons case.
Maguire: You couldn't find a hole in a donut.
Charlie (pointing to Maguire's cigarettes): Can I get one of those?
Maguire (handing Charlie his pack): No.
Charlie:  Male or female?
Maguire:  The jumper is male.
Charlie:  Got a light?
Maguire:  This is the season, the place is a magnet, honeymoons and suicides.
Charlie:  What's the difference?
Maguire:  Ha! You should take that routine to Vegas. I'll escort you to the airport.
Charlie: I told you, I've got a job and I've already found the guy. Some nut out of Pittsburg name of Soberin.
Maguire:  Which one of these maroons put you up to it?
Charlie:  I don't get it?
Maguire:  Soberin, (a stretcher goes by with a covered body) you can help tuck him in.

Noirsville

American%2BSide%2B48.jpg Charlie & Sterling Whitmore (Robert Forster)
Maguire:What would you do if I was in your shoes Charlie?
Charlie:  I'd burn my socks.

American%2BSide%2B26b.jpg The Silver Haired Man (Robert Vaughn)
 
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Silver-Haired Man:  Everyone looks the same in a suit, like a rat.

After giving Charlie tons of info. Charlie asks him something specific,

Silver-Haired Man: How should I know, I don't go nosing around in other people's business.


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More P.I. Charlie Paczynski quotes:

Charlie:  I don't mind getting paid for somebody I'm already looking for.
Emily: I'm not paying you to look for him, I'm paying you to find him.
 
Security Guard: No, no, no, no, no, you just don't walk up here.
Charlie:  What do we do?
Security Guard: Well if we're lucky we schedule an appointment.
Charlie:  Appointments are for assholes...  you probably make them all the time.

Charlie:  That's a gene pool screaming for chlorine.

The American Side is a good example of what can be accomplished in an fly over country production. It's nice to see the the middle of the country again in a Noir with some cinematic memory. Greg Stuhr carries most of the load, he impressed, with the rest of the cast putting in good but pretty much extended cameos of various lengths, one standout was Norm Sham who stole a couple of scenes.

For Noir & Detective enthusiasts it's a winner. Screencaps are from the Sony Pictures 2016 DVD. Almost a low rent Chinatown. 7/10 Full review with more screencaps here: http://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-american-side-2016-neo-noir-niagara.html

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#9 cigarjoe

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 10:55 PM

Dick Tracy (1990) Crayola Comic Pulp Noir (on a rewatch)

 
(SLWB July 11, 2013)+

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Director: Warren Beatty, Cinematography: Vittorio Storaro, Writers: Chester Gould (characters), Jim Cash, and Jack Epps Jr.
 
Stars: Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy), Charlie Korsmo (The Kid), Madonna (Breathless Mahoney), Glenne Headly (Tess Trueheart), and Al Pacino (Big Boy Caprise) with huge supporting cast includding William Forsythe (Flattop) Seymour Cassel (Sam Catchem) Charles Durning (Chief Brandon) Mandy Patinkin (88 Keys) Paul Sorvino (Lips Manlis) R.G. Armstrong (Pruneface) Dustin Hoffman (Mumbles) Kathy Bates (Mrs. Green) Dick Van Dyke (D.A. Fletcher) Henry Silva (Influence) James Caan (Spaldoni) Michael J. Pollard (   Bug Bailey) Henry Jones (Night Clerk) Estelle Parsons (Mrs. Trueheart) John Schuck (Reporter) and Noir vets Henry Jones (Night Clerk) Ian Wolfe (Forger) Mike Mazurki (Old Man at Hotel).
 
Chester Gould's comic strip Dick Tracy brought to life in Pulp Noir a pastiche of comic strip/graphic novel, Poetic Realism, Pulp Fiction, and Film Noir.
 
Beatty and Vittorio Storaro along with Art Direction by Harold Michelson, Set Decoration by Rick Simpson, the Buena Vista Visual Effects Group and Costume Design by Milena Canonero create an enjoyable fantasy world of late 30's early 40's Chicago in a pallet limited to the six main colors that the original comic strip appeared in: red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, plus black and white.
 

Beatty's Tracy is a nice "good guy", always doing the right thing, tough and seemingly incorruptible, but as played by Beatty he is human, tempted determinedly by his femme fatale wanna be, Breathless Mahoney (Madonna). Glenne Headly plays Tess his long time sweetheart, the "good" girl. Charlie Korsmo plays tough street urchin "Kid", who is taken under Tracy's wing. 
 
Tess & Dick


Screenshot%2B%25283344%2529.png Tracy (Beatty) and  Tess (Hedley)
The Kid
 
Screenshot%2B%25283358%2529.png The Kid (Charlie Korsmo)
 

Some of the best sequences are of Breathless practically showing everything she's got while trying to work her womanly charms on a stoic Tracy.

Breathless Mahoney

Dick Tracy: No grief for Lips?
Breathless Mahoney: I'm wearing black underwear.

Dick Tracy: You know, it's legal for me to take you down to the station and sweat it out of you under the lights.
Breathless Mahoney: I sweat a lot better in the dark.

 

Breathless trying to seduce Tracy it a dress slit crotch high:

Breathless: What's a girl got to do to get arrested in this town?
Dick Tracy: That dress is a step in the right direction

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Breathless: Aren't you gonna frisk me?
 

 
Screenshot%2B%25283354%2529.png Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino)
 
Madonna's Breathless is stunning, she plays is Lip's Manliss' girlfriend/torch singer working his club, when Manlis is whacked she becomes the property of Big Boy Caprice mob boss. Caprice (Pacino) is not only an over the top mobster but a closet choreographer and in a hilarious segment he joins Breathless and the chorines on stage trying to spice up their new number.
 

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Noirsville

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The diegetic music is great, the songs sung by Madonna by Sondheim, and the soundtrack music by Danny Elfman not really that memorable, maybe they will grow on me with repeated viewings.

Full review with more screencaps here: http://noirsville.blogspot.com/2015/08/dick-tracy-1990-crayola-comic-pulp-noir.html

A fun film 7/10

 

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#10 cigarjoe

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 07:26 AM

I rated those as 2/10 (F), 3/10 (D-), 3/10 (D-), and 3/10 (D-), respectively, so not really. There were a few moments of inspired trash in P.P.S. and Run Swinger Run, but I wouldn't go out of my for them, unless you have a taste for bad movies.

Pretty much what I've heard too. Mahon was obviously in it for the quick bucks.  B)



#11 LawrenceA

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 08:21 PM

BTW, Any of them worth a look-see?  :D

 

I rated those as 2/10 (F), 3/10 (D-), 3/10 (D-), and 3/10 (D-), respectively, so not really. There were a few moments of inspired trash in P.P.S. and Run Swinger Run, but I wouldn't go out of my way for them, unless you have a taste for bad movies.



#12 cigarjoe

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 08:06 PM

That's wild about Barry Mahon's World War Two record. I've known of him for years thanks to his sleazy film efforts, and wouldn't have imagined him being the inspiration for the "Cooler King". I've seen The Beast That Killed WomenProstitutes Protective SocietyRun Swinger Run!, and Sex Club International, all thanks to Something Weird video.

BTW, Any of them worth a look-see?  :D



#13 LawrenceA

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 03:57 PM

That's wild about Barry Mahon's World War Two record. I've known of him for years thanks to his sleazy film efforts, and wouldn't have imagined him being the inspiration for the "Cooler King". I've seen The Beast That Killed WomenProstitutes Protective SocietyRun Swinger Run!, and Sex Club International, all thanks to Something Weird video.



#14 cigarjoe

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 03:38 PM

The Sex Killer (1967) Nut Job Noir

 
 

Another Grindhouse Sexploitation entry in what we should call the "Transitory Noir" canon when Classic Noir unshackled from the Motion Picture Production Code was unravelling and sans restraints was morphing into Neo Noir.  Blame Hitchcock, Psycho (1960), cracked the door open for some Noir to deviate into a psycho-sexual taboo direction, what before had been hinted at or cloaked in subtext was now openly becoming exploited. 

"FILM NOIR HAD AN INEVITABLE TRAJECTORY…
THE ECCENTRIC & OFTEN GUTSY STYLE OF FILM NOIR HAD NO WHERE ELSE TO GO… BUT TO REACH FOR EVEN MORE OFF-BEAT, DEVIANT– ENDLESSLY RISKY & TABOO ORIENTED SET OF NARRATIVES FOUND IN THE SUBVERSIVE AND EXPLOITATIVE CULT FILMS OF THE MID TO LATE 50s through the 60s and into the early 70s!"
 
 (The Last Drive In)

The Sex Killer aka The Girl Killer was directed by Barry Mahon.  Barry Mahon who (believe it or not) was a distinguished fighter pilot during WWII. He was shot down and imprisoned in Stalag Luft III where Mahon worked on the same escape tunnels made famous by the movie The Great Escape (1963). It has been said that the part played by Steve McQueen in that film was in fact partially based upon Mahon. He's mainly known for legitimately producing a couple of Errol Flynn and Gina Lollobrigida pictures Crossed Swords (1954), Cuban Rebel Girls (1959), as well as four children's films, but mostly for the quickie, low budget, mostly bad, sexploitation features.

With 70 director credits to his name roughly 85% are trashy sexploitation features and shorts some quite hilariously titled i.e., Fanny Hill Meets Dr. Erotico (1969), Fanny Hill Meets the Red Baron (1968), A Good Time with a Bad Girl (1967), Run Swinger Run! (1967), Fanny Hill Meets Lady Chatterly (1967), The Art School for Nudists (1965), Nudes on Tiger Reef (1965), The Girl with the Magic Box (1965).  Out of this substantial oeuvre of essentially, what even most devotees of sexploitation deem cheap celluloid crap, it's not particularly surprising that at least one would get enough of all the elements and ingredients right to make a Transitory Noir. That two of them, The Sex Killer and the previously reviewed Hot Skin and Cold Cash (1965), did is remarkable. What tips both these two features into a "thumb's up" inclusion into the Noirsville universe is the noir-ish, neo-realistic nature of the uncredited cinematography, combined with the unique also uncredited storyline for Hot Skin and Cold Cash, and in the case of The Sex Killer its particular bizarre, again uncredited, storyline.

The films are also unique gritty time capsules for the 1960's New York City's Mid Town Time Square/42nd Street area and lower Manhattan's Greenwich Village area. Just like Los Angeles' Bunker Hill and Downtown Broadway functioned in Classic 1940s and 50s Classic Noir so does Times Square, Greenwich Village, and Harlem function in these New York City based, amorphous, Transitory Noirs.

The film "stars" and we use the term loosely, (info from IMDb) Bob Meyer as Tony (uncredited), Bob Oran as Tony's Boss (uncredited), Rita Bennett as Sunbather (uncredited), Helena Clayton (uncredited), Uta Erickson as Hooker (uncredited), and Sharon Kent as the Blonde on Couch (uncredited), from their performances all pretty much amateurs. The rest of the cast are probably just real people doing their everyday jobs.

Like Norman Bates in Psycho, Tony (Meyer) is a loner with issues. Tony's standoff-ish. Tony is a peeping Tom. Tony is also a bonafide, sexually dysfunctional, a dangerous sicko, a whack job. He works on the Hell's Kitchen side of Times Square among " the naked mannequins with their Cheshire grins," in a Mannequin Factory (shades of Kubrick's Killer's Kiss (1955), Experiment in Terror (1962), and Aroused (1966).
 

We first meet Tony in one of those ubiquitous forever "Going Out Of Business," merchandise stores in the 60s-70s pre disneyfied Times Square. He's buying a pair of binoculars. Back at work he tells his fellow questioning workers that he's going to use them for "bird watching" up in Central Park, they don't believe him.

The%2BSex%2BKiller%2B003.jpg Tony Tony (Meyer), that look is guaranteed to get you women....

The%2BSex%2BKiller%2B011.jpg Heading home to "bird watch"

 

I guess working around a lot of busty naked female mannequins has been giving Tony a bit of an angle on his dangle, if you start off as a mannequin fetishist, it's gonna be all downhill from there.

After he clocks out he puts his newly hatched peeping tom plan into action. He heads downtown to a new "Now Renting" apartment tower near where he lives. The fact that it just opened assures that most of the apartments are still empty and that he probably won't be noticed. He still wisely goes down the buildings driveway and in through a service entrance and from the basement, up to the roof. He's hunting for "birds' alright,  topless sunbathers scattered on the various "tar beaches" that surround the West Village tower. For those of you wondering unfamiliar with the term, "tar beach" is what New Yorker's call the roofs of their walk up apartment houses.
 

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Bingo!!!

 

Who says seploitation is just uncultured junk? The gal on the left is actually sporting some Haute couture, she's wearing Rudi Gernreich's sensational monokini, the first topless bathing suit, it was initially published in Women's Wear Daily on June 4, 1964.

Tony's wildly successful first attempt at voyeurism jump starts his other compulsions. His libio shifts from park into first gear, he now needs not only to, passively watch, but also to actively possess, but he's still not quite ready for a real "live" woman. Back at the job Tony starts getting overly friendly with some of the mannequins.
 

The Mannequin Factory (Tony's budding romance")

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"Hi honey wanna go on a date?"

During the day Tony is getting excited and turned on as he moves mannequins around. He hatches a simple plan to "borrow" one of the gals from storage and taker her home. Now, hey,  Tony is just a mental case he's not stupid. He knows he can't sneak a whole mannequin out of the shop so for his woman, he'll settle for a head and ****. Hey, Tony's trying, just look at it like practice, doesn't The Red Cross have "Annie." Of course he gets caught by the boss at the door who asks he what the hell does he think he is doing?  He takes the mannequin away and tells Tony to go home.

Shot out of the saddle without ever getting out of the barn Tony is now frustrated. Tony is desperate. Tony is pathetic. Walking down the sidewalk it's love at first sight, he passes a sort of whatnot/antique shop window display. Beckoning him, with a come hither look, is a "cute" mannequin head sitting on a chair. She's making "eyes" at him. "are you looking at me, are you looking at me!, What, You think I'm sexy,.. are you calling me sexy?" He slips into the shop, looks around a bit sees nobody around watching and snags her right out of the window. Holding her gently, caressingly, under his arm he whisks her to a bar down the street.

 

Tony orders a drink, and it looks like he chats up the head.
Hey baby, how about a drink?  I think you got a real nice mouth.

Of course Tony attracts a couple of looks from the patrons and the bartender. One thing you learn being a native New Yorker, being born and raised around a lot of people you learn young the important art of getting along with your fellow travelers in this World of ours. Everybody's got their own personal kinks, none of us are perfect. You see someone acting weird but harmless you usually don't want to but in. It's live and let live.

Done with the small talk Tony makes his move.

The%2BSex%2BKiller%2B038.jpg

He baby let's go to my place

 

Tony leaves the bar date in arm. What follows is a great neo realist guerilla shot sequence, a piece of visual history, an archive of a typical subway ride downtown on the old BMT 7th Avenue line in 1967. And, you  damn well know, that with the low budgets of these sexploitation films had to work with, that it's shot without permits, an excellent candid time capsule of the 60s.

NYC Subway circa 1967

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It won't be long now honey

 

Above a token booth, the bank of the original heavy token accepting wooden turnstiles, on the wall in the b.g. one of the varied  "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's Real Jewish rye" bread advertizing campaign posters that were plastered all over Manhattan. That poster had the Navajo.

So Tony heads downtown, the film is edited a bit out of sequence however. Apparently he got on at 42nd street Times Square Station, and went downtown, then apparently got off at 14th. Where above he's shown waiting for a train. But in the next sequence below we are back to the downtown train pulling into the 42nd Street station. When Tony finally leaves the train for his neighborhood he's shown riding an Astoria bound QT train that's heading uptown. The only New Yorker explanation I can give you is that perhaps he was on a downtown express, had to go past his local stop to the next express stop, then double back on a local. This strategy can sometimes be quicker than riding a pokey local through every stop all the way downtown, and Tony's in a hurry to score.

The%2BSex%2BKiller%2B053.jpg
 
Tony gets back home with his date, to his spartan apartment. His only decorations are a few pin ups tacked on the wall above his bed, Lovingly Tony lays the head gently down on his bed. What Tony does with the head after that is left to our wildest imaginations. So see, it still works just like in the old Classic Noir days of the Motion Picture Production Code, it's just that the cultural yardsticks have changed.
 
Successfully stealing the head only accelerates Tony's deviant behavior. He shifts it into second gear. He gets up the courage to approach a hooker. He knows how to chat them females up now. Tony talks her into coming up to his I guess we can call it the "love shack." Getting there, she of course, asks for money up front, unfortunately he doesn't have enough. What he's got isn't even good enough for a ****. She tells him it's only worth a peek at her goods.
 

The%2BSex%2BKiller%2B080.jpg

I only have $10

Back at his peeping tower perch Tony is now in third gear, actively looking for victims. Tony is in effect window shopping. He starts to track down the women to the addresses of buildings they are sunbathing on and then he goes about waiting and then he stalks them. He's even carelessly taken to randomly peeking in street level windows to see what he can see.
 

The%2BSex%2BKiller%2B091.jpg

In High gear now Tony's deviancy turns deadly. First targets from peeping, and now just randomly following women to their offices or home. He pulls them into whatever is handy, i.e., the ladies room or breaks into the women's apartments, strangles them and then (always off camera) has sex with their bodies, like warm mannequins. Tony is a necrophiliac wing nut. 

Of course with Tony really going of the deep end and taking more and more chances he inevitably hops on the crazy train express to Noirsville.

 

Again, the film is about a 6/10, it's no technical masterpiece there are peeping tom sequences where the camera angles change inexplicably, and one sequence completely out of left field, it's just an insert voyeuristic peek at a woman in her apartment, though I'm not even sure if it's one of the sunbathers. Maybe the creative "team" though the film needed a bit of a jolt at this juncture. Who knows, it may have been left over footage from another Mahon opus, snicker.

For me originally a native New Yorker, it gets another point for the neo realist captures. The smoggy Manhattan depicted is the city I spend my late teens and early twenties in, that's my Times Square. It was my high school backyard. I went to school between 6th and 5th Avenue on 54th Street, it was one long block over to 7th Ave., then five short blocks down to the North fringe of Times Square. The mid 60's Times Square, where just casually walking down the street you'd see women wearing see-through tops, clusters of Hookers gravitating around 47th street, or encounter a myriad of grifters, Sabrett hot dog and pretzel vendors, shoe shiners, and people wound just a bit too tight.

The Metropole, across from a big Playland Arcade, afforded a nice free peek at topless dancers inside to sidewalk gawkers. Around the corner South of Playland between 7th and Broadway on 47th St., there was a Burlesque supply store with an a large audacious display window. There were still active Dime a Dance Joints around with genuine taxi dancers, one was the Majestic Ballroom above the Playland in the triangle block bordered by Broadway and 7th and 47th and 48th. The Follies Burlesque was above the Howard Johnson's further South in competition with the numerous "Live Nude Girls" peep shows and adult bookstores. All this among the the the legitimate Broadway theaters, the Movie Palaces and 42nd St. grindhouses.

Added to the above, the candid cinema verite like "Vanishing/Forgotten New York" subway and the West Village sequences are just surprise bonuses. It's interesting to note, to a subway geek, that the complete conversion from the original incandescent to fluorescent lighting in the subway stations had not been completed.

The story holds both faint similarities to the works of Peckinpah, and Lynch and cinematic memories to Kubrick. Screencaps are from the Something Weird Video. Archivally interesting and culturally entertaining, an oddity of a time past. Remember though, it's still a grainy sexploitaion film with a depraved story at heart. When it comes to these Times Square centered films there is always the distinct possibility that one of my friends or even I may have been candidly caught on film.  A 6-7/10 and that's being sentimentally generous. Full review with more screencaps at Noirsville the Film Noir.


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#15 cigarjoe

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 08:23 AM

Hard Eight (1996) Reno Neo Noir

 
poster.jpg

Christmas Noir

Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights (1997), There Will Be Blood (2007)). The cinematography was by Robert Elswit (The River Wild(1994), Boogie Nights (1997), There Will Be Blood(2007)) and the great music was by Jon Brion and Michael Penn.

The film stars Philip Baker Hall (Zabriskie Point (1970), Kiss of Death (1995) Hit Me (1996)), John C. Reilly (The River Wild (1994), Gangs of New York (2002) ), Gwyneth Paltrow (The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999),  and Samuel L. Jackson (Sea of Love (1989), Goodfellas(1990), White Sands (1992), True Romance (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997) The Hateful Eight (2015)), with small supporting appearances by Robert Ridgely, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Melora Walters.

Sydney (Hall). Hard guy. An ex gangster. Maybe it's just the Christmas season or maybe Sydney is seeking perhaps a personal redemption. He's in some Mojave desert pitstop trying hard to weasel some wings.

 

Hard%2BEight%2B16.jpg Sydney (Hall)  John (Reilly). ****. Loser. Down and out. Transient at Jack's. Went from Los Angeles to Vegas to, get this, try and win the six grand he needs to bury his mother. Sydney "finds" John and offers him a cigarette and a cup of joe. Sydney we find out later has an Atlantic City connection to John. At the booth Sydney offers to give John fifty bucks. He asks John what he'd do with the fifty, Johns says he'll eat. Sydney  answers and then what? Sydney tells him that with the fifty dollars I'll take you to Vegas and show you how to survive. John wonders what's the catch, but he agrees to let Sydney show him and they drive back to Vegas.

Hard%2BEight%2B%2B04.jpg John
Two years later. Christmas time. John and Sydney have been up in Reno now a couple of low rollers working the casino circuits. John is getting by on his own thanks to Sydney. John has also fallen in love with a cocktail waitress/B-girl/amateur hooker named Clementine (Paltrow). John also has made a new friend name of Jimmy (Jackson), he is a hard drinking, suave, cocky, casino security man who moonlights as  "player."

Hard%2BEight%2B20.jpg Clementine (Paltrow)

Sydney wants the best for John, treats him like a son. Sydney becomes interested in Clementine when he sees that John is head over heels for her. Questioning Clementine, Sydney finds out that she is also expected to be friendly to the customers.

Sydney: [at the cocktail lounge] Tell me something. Are you required to flirt, to behave as you do toward that table of men over there? Maybe... it's some part of your job?
Clementine: Uh, they don't say to do it.
Sydney: But if you don't?
Clementine: Well, then I get questioned, like: "Why were so rude to them?", and, I mean, I can't talk back. I can't tell them to **** off and leave me alone.
Sydney: As a rule?
Clementine: I'd also lose the tip.

 

Hard%2BEight%2B23.jpg
Jimmy (Jackson)

Tailing her after work he finds out that she's hooking on the side. That night, Sydney confronts Clementine and takes her up to his room. Clementine suspects that he wants to play hide the sausage, but he only wants to set her up with John.
 

The next day Sydney sends Clementine and John out to the mall to buy her some clothes.

That night, Sydney receives a frantic call from John. John asks Sydney for help, and John won't tell him why, he just asks him to come to a motel room. Sydney gets to the room. ****. He finds out that John and Clementine are not the sharpest tools in the shed. They have  taken a trick of Clementine's hostage. He **** Clementine and didn't pay her. They've knocked him out and are holding him for ransom. They called his wife and demanded $300. 

Hard%2BEight%2B49.jpg

 
Sydney: You know the first thing they should've taught you at hooker school? You get the money up front!
Hard%2BEight%2B51.jpg I want my three hundred dollars Sydney, can't believe it. Then to top it all off John tells Sydney that he married Clementine. When Sydney asks who knows that they are there, John finally tells him that Jimmy brought him the gun. Sydney takes charge tells John and Clementine to get out of town, go on a honeymoon. The head out to Niagara Falls.

Everything goes Noirsville when Jimmy blackmails Sydney with the knowledge that Sydney shot John's father in the face back in Jersey.
 
Jimmy: What I mean - what I believe... is that you killed his father... like the stories I heard go. Now, if somebody killed my father... I would feel the need to do something. The stories I heard - you know, stories get around - is that you used to be a hard-****. You were a hard-**** and you took his dad out, Sydney. So you think - what? You can just walk through this life... without being punished for it? ****, man. I know all those guys you know. Floyd Gondolli, Jimmy Gator, Mumbles O'Malley. They like to sit around in Clifton's and talk, talk, talk. They love to tell stories. You can sit there and look at me sideways all you want. You probably think I'm some kind of **** or something... but I'm not a killer... like you. You walk around like you're Mr. Cool, Mr. Wisdom... but you're not. You're just some old hood. The other night in the bar, you asking me a question... like do I do parking lot security? Well, the answer is no! I'm trusted security inside the casino. I'm trusted with security, and I don't **** it up.
Sydney: Good that you have such a sturdy sense of responsibility.
Jimmy: Don't! Don't! Don't ****' do that! You understand? I can see right through that ****! You look at me as some idiot, huh? I know you do. I know you. You old guys, you old hoods... you think you're so ****' above it... so high and mighty. What am I to you? Some loser? Not with a gun in my hand. Not with the facts I know. Bottom line, Sydney. No matter how hard you try... you're not his father.

Jimmy's is also, for all his coolness and hip threads, another dumb ****, and yes also another loser.  In his above monolog we can highlight the section of it that will be his famous last words, that being, "but I'm not a killer... like you." Bingo!

Noirsville
 
 
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All the principals are superb. Hall portrays the tough love pseudo father figure in a solemn, standoffish way, you know he doesn't suffer fools normally but his humanity is leaking out of his exterior shell and he does his best for the two dimwits he has chosen to help. Riley is the loveable idiot, taking every wrong direction when he has a choice. His soul mate Paltrow plays the equally dense, a marriage made in a mental hospital. Soon after the ceremony John turns around and Clementine is gone off with a trick. Jackson as the not quite smart enough Mr. Cool, shows his chops here. There is an excellent transition of a tune that is originally called Sydney's Theme. It happens when Sydney is waiting on the return of Jimmy.

Jimmy is high rolling it at the crap table. He bets a hard eight and makes it. Mr Cool now gets a hooker in tow and brings her back to the apartment. Opening the door they grope in the dark. Jimmy begins to ask the woman to "see your p***y." She lays back on the couch spreading her legs wide while Jimmy flips the switch on the light. She is showing Jimmy everything she's got. And at that moment Sydney's Theme transitions into what I call the White **** Blues for Jimmy.

It's a Reno of noisy ding, ding, ding, casino hotels with bad lounge acts, dive motels, and small dumpy vinyl greasy spoons, all with the barest hints of Christmas, i.e., faint elevator music yuletide carol's on autopilot, or a pathetically stingy string of lights on a front porch. Bravo 9/10. Full review with more screencaps here. http://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/08/hard-eight-1996-reno-neo-noir.html


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#16 papyrusbeetle

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 11:56 AM

Thanks so much for these unusual "noirs"-----I can't wait to find DATE WITH DEATH, and ALL FALL DOWN.

 

but one of my fave films of all times (I've memorized it!) is  THE LATE SHOW.

Every thing about it is great, so low-key, and so hilarious!


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"I don't want to die."

"Neither do I, baby, but if I have to, I'm going to die last." -OUT OF THE PAST

 


#17 cigarjoe

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 08:48 PM

Date With Death (1959) New Mexico Noir

 
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The second Hollywood movie filmed in "psychorama," a process using subliminal information through film by flashing images on the screen so quickly that they cannot be perceived by the conscious mind. The subliminal communication was by Precon the Precon psychologist was Dr. Robert E. Corrigan, and the Precon engineer was Mr. Hal C. Becker.

Directed by Harold Daniels (Roadblock (1951),  written by Robert C. Dennis (Crime Against Joe(1956), The Man Is Armed (1956), Mike Hammer TV Series (1958–1959), Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV Series (1955–1962).  The cinematography was by Carl E. Guthrie (Flaxy Martin (1949), Backfire (1950), Caged (1950), Undercover Girl (1950), Highway 301 (1950), The Tattered Dress (1957), Hell Bound (1957) the appropriately sleazy music was by Darrell Calker.

The film stars Gerald Mohr (Lady of Burlesque(1943), Gilda (1946), Undercover Girl (1950), Hunt the Man Down (1950), Detective Story (1951), The Sniper (1952), ) as Mike Mason / Louis Deverman, Liz Renay
(The Naked and the Dead (1958), The Thrill Killers (1964)) as Paula Warren, Robert Clarke (Desperate (1947), Mike Hammer TV Series (1958–1959)) as Joe Emmanuel, Stephanie Farnay as Edie Dale. Harry Lauter (Moonrise (1948), Roadblock (1951), The Big Heat (1953), Crime Wave (1953), The Crooked Web (1955), The Case Against Brooklyn (1958)) as Lt. George Caddell, Ed Erwin as Det. Lt. Art Joslin, Lew Markman as Nicky Potter - Chief Thug, Ray Dearhorn as Sam the Jailer, Kenne Duncan as Andrews  the Freight-Train Watchman.

Santa%2BFe%2BDate%2BWith%2BDeath.jpg

 

taking the siding
A Santa Fe freight drag bound for L.A.takes siding out in the middle of nowhere, New Mexico. We see a hobo Mason (Mohr) smoking his pipe leaning against an open boxcar door. Mason had a used car lot in New York City and went flat broke so he's bumming his way to L.A. and a new start.

Mason%2BDate%2BWith%2BDeath.jpgMike Mason (Mohr)

 

A railroad brakeman walks along the top of the cars spotting Mason and another 'bo now sitting in the open doorway. The brakeman has words with the men, when he kicks Mason, Mason belts him and jumps off the car just as a passing freight roars by.
 
 

Mason now on foot is seen walking towards a dirt road rail crossing. At the road Mason looks at desolation in both directions. He flips a coin and goes to the right. after a few miles he spots a 54 Pontiac pulled off in the brush. He slips on his jacket, sticks his pipe in his pocket making it look as if he has a gun.

 

 
He approaches the car, spots a woman's initialed scarf, draped out of the window next to a hanging sport coat blocking a view of the back seat. It looks as if there may be some hanky-panky going on. Mohr announces "sorry to interrupt your party, I wanted a ride into the next town." He gets no response, going to the window he sees a man slumped in the front seat. Mason shakes the man thinking he's just passed out drunk. He's not, he's dead, shot through the heart.

He searches the man and finds a NYPD police detective badge his name is Louis Deverman. Next we see Mason driving the Pontiac dressed in the sport coat that was hanging in the back window, shaving with an electric shaver plugged into the cigarette lighter, and speeding down the two lane fast enough to attract two motorcycle cops. They pull him over see his driver's license assume he's Deverman then escort him into the town of Mindon.
 

At the courthouse he's sworn in as the new police chief, then shown around the department by the acting chief Lt. George Caddell (Lauter).
 

At the jail he meets Paula Warren (Renay) the jail keeper calls her a transient, she's sitting in a cell awaiting a court date for attempting to defraud a hotel manager and simple assault. Paula tells him that she hit him with a lamp "it was self defence." Mason/Deverman tells the jailer to let her out.
 

Then he takes her to the hotel and tells the manager to drop the charges and give her back her room or he'll start hounding him about code violations. Mindon is rife with corruption, we see a tobacconist shook down by two thugs that threaten his daughter. Half the businesses in town pay protection to a racketeer named Joe Emanuel (Clarke) who runs his operations out of the Country Club. Mason/Deverman quickly finds himself in the middle of the corruption scandal and the investigation of the murder of a dead man found outside town, i.e. the real Deverman. Mason/Deverman heads out to the Country Club to confront Emanuel.

He sees Paula auditioning for the floor show just before he meets with Emanuel. He suspects that Emanuel had the real Deverman killed and Emanuel all but confirms it. Mason/Deverman makes a deal telling Emanuel that since he's chief of police he can name his successor. Emanuel says he'll think about it.

After giving Paula a ride back to the hotel she invites him up to her room. While she takes a shower, Mason spots a scarf just like the one in the back of the murder car, while at the same time Lt. George Caddell finds out that Mason is an imposter. Everything goes twistedly Noirsville.

Noirsville

 

 
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Paula Warren (Renay)

 

 

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This film is an interesting watch if you can find it. The shakedown sequence with the two goons slowly cutting off the buttons on tobacconist's daughters tight sweater, and then right through her bra must have been quite daring for 1959, ditto the shower sequence with Liz Renay (at the time a gal pal of Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen). Mohr is believable, Renay and most of the major principals are adequate, the rest of the cast though seem like amateurs, probably the actual townsfolk of Roswell, New Mexico. This could use a restoration, what I had to watch left much to be desired. 6/10 

 

Full review with more screencaps here: https://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/08/date-with-death-1959-new-mexico-noir.html



#18 cigarjoe

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 08:44 PM

Dark Country (2009) Honeymoon To The Twilight Zone

 
dark_country%2Bposter.jpg
Detour for two on their honeymoon to hell.

Inspired by the Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and EC Comics, i.e., it's Tales from the Crypt series, Thomas Jane and Tab Murphy (Gorillas in the Mist (1988)) fashioned the screenplay from Murphy's eerie short story.

"I wanted to make a movie that was for people who enjoy movies that are off the beaten track, you know?" said Jane. "I wanted to make a movie for fans of cult films, for fans of "The Twilight Zone", for guys who stayed up late to watch "The Outer Limits" when they were probably too young to do that." Thomas Jane

Directed by Thomas Jane (Jonni Nitro (2000)), with cinematography by Geoff Boyle (Enemy at the Gates (2001), Mutant Chronicles (2008)), and the films music was by Elew, and Film Editing was by John Lafferty and
Robert K. Lambert.

The film was shot in 3D high definition and 2D high definition, and according to Wikipedia"Wanting to have as many graphic novel elements Jane brought on-board comic artist Tim Bradstreet to work as the visual consultant and production designer in addition to Berni Wrightson, who provided the designs for the character Bloodyface, and Ray Zone as the 3D supervisor. Jane chose to do the film in 3D as a way to prove to the filmmaking community that you could create a low-budget film in 3D and have it turn out looking great." 

I'm not a fan of 3D, nor for that matter a fan of most current popular comic centric cinema, so I never saw this upon it's initial release. In 2D on the home screen it's entertaining enough.

The film stars Thomas Jane (Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999),The Punisher (2004), Give 'em Hell Malone (2009)) as Dick, Lauren German (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(2003)) as Gina, Ron Perlman (Romeo Is Bleeding (1993), The City of Lost Children (1995)) as Deputy Thompson, Con Schell as Double, Chris Browning as Stranger, and Rene P. Mousseux as Crime Scene Trooper.

Screenshot%2B%25281542%2529.png Dick (Thomas Jane) Screenshot%2B%25281637%2529.png Gina (Lauren German) Dick and Gina. Lust/Love at first sight. Dick just passing thru Vegas. Gina, girl of his dreams. Gina ex Cheetahs stripper. Gina, working a casino table, looking for a way out. Hitched. A quickie Vegas marriage. A hot sheet motel, consummation. The Scorpion.

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They decide to take Gina's '61 Dodge Polara and head to **** hometown, Sonoma California. Desert in all 360. Beat the heat drive at night. The The Big Chief Gas Station/Diner. Top off the tank. A stranger at the counter warns Dick to stay on the interstate. The backroads double back, they dead end.

Screenshot%2B%25281556%2529.png

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Dick and Gina take a shortcut anyway. The headlights spot a road sign for Searchlight 25 miles. They took the wrong fork. They make a U-ey. The road is deserted. A big half moon lights up the desert. Dick shuts off the headlights and drives by moonlight. Gina feels hot. Gina feels frisky. 

When Dick turns the headlights back on there is a guy standing in the middle of the road. Dick swerves to miss him and goes off the shoulder. The man was in an accident his flipped over car is just down the road. The man has no recognizable face. Dick tells Gina to call 911. She can't get service. They pick up the guy and put him in the back seat. Looking for a light of a hospital, they drive to a dead end.

Screenshot%2B%25281587%2529.png

They make another U-ey and head back they way they came. Dick and Gina argue about getting lost.

The bloody-faced man in the back comes to and screams. He gets hysterical. He tries to strangle Dick. It's all Gina can do to keep the car on the road. Slamming on the breaks Gina steers to the shoulder. Dick and the man tumble out of the car.

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Dick grabs a rock and smacks him upside the head. Then keeps pounding him until he's dead. Dick not thinking too clearly tells Gina they have to bury the body and forget it ever happened. Driving off on a dirt road they dig a shallow grave with a tire iron and dump the body in.
 
Screenshot%2B%25281617%2529.png

 
While Gina is scooping dirt into the hole Dick goes and gets a drink out of their cooler. He rummages around in her handbag and finds a gun. When Gina gets back into the car he asks her about it. She tells him about working at Cheetah's when she had first gotten to Vegas, and about the creep that was obsessed with her. Dick naturally asks Gina if the guy they just buried was the creep. She replies that without a face it;s hard to tell.
 

Dick and Gina finally pull into a rest area and clean up. While washing up in the men's room Dick discovers that he lost his watch. Gina tell him to forget about it but Dick tells her his name is engraved on the back. He has to go back and get it. Gina refuses to go, so Dick tells her to wait there with the gun while he drives back. While leaving the rest area Dick must have missed seeing the signpost up ahead indicating he just passed the border of Noirsville and into The Twilight Zone.

Thomas Jane's directing is competent with an excellent grasp of Noir stylistics. His acting is fine. Lauren German is very believable as Gina with a top notch performance. Ron Perlman has a nice cameo. Working with a $5,000,000 dollar budget this film fits nicely into the low budget slot once occupied by the old poverty row studio cheapy noirs. Fans of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Night Gallery will also get a nice jonze from this, at least this fan did. A straight to DVD Sony Pictures Entertainment release 7/10.

 

Full review with more screencaps here: http://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/07/dark-country-2009-honeymoon-to-twilight.html


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#19 cigarjoe

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 07:03 AM

Across the Hall (2009) Noir Hotel

 
across_the_hall%2Bposter.jpg

Sleeper Neo Noir that's surprisingly entertaining, well made, and very interesting to look at. Directed competently and stylishly by Alex Merkin who, to quote IMDb is "A New York native hailing from the prestigious Boston University College of Communication, Merkin is noted as being a "talent to watch" by Daily Variety".

The film was written by Alex Merkin, Jesse Mittelstadt, and Julien Schwab and is actually an expanded version of his short film which was written by the same three above with the addition of Kris Johnson. The excellent cinematography was by Andrew Carranza, and the Music was by Bobby Tahouri.

The film stars Mike Vogel as Julian, Danny Pino as Terry, Brittany Murphy as June, Brad Greenquist as The Porter, Arie Verveen as Lucas, Natalie Smyka as Anna, Guillermo Díaz as The Cook, Dov Davidoff as The Bellhop.

The story is told in real time, flashforwards, and flashbacks and takes place in the once ritzy now slowly decaying, past it's prime, Riverview Hotel. A  drunk and very distressed Terry (Pino), who has suspected his fiancée June (Murphy) of infidelity has followed her to The Riverview, where, he suspects she is playing hide the sausage with another guy.  Terry goes to the reluctant night porter (Greenquist) and bribes him to give him room 508 across the hall from June's room 507.

Screenshot%2B%25281467%2529.png The Riverview Hotel Terry waits in the room. He uses his cell phone and calls his best friend Julian (Vogel). Julian is relaxing in a tub with an icepack on his knee. Terry tells him that he broke into his house took Julian's revolver and followed June to the hotel. He plans to gun the lovers down. Julian asks Terry where he is at, and when Terry tells him that he is in the room across the hall Julian freaks.

<spoilers>

He freaks, you see, because it's Julian who is with June in room 507, in the Riverview Hotel, in Noirsville.

Noirsville
 
Screenshot%2B%25281495%2529.png Night Porter (Greenquist)
Screenshot%2B%25281494%2529.png "Out Of The Past" quote
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June (Murphy)
Screenshot%2B%25281478%2529.png the cell phone call to Julian (Vogel)
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Terry (Pino)
 

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The Director Merkin sticks in a few Classic Noir quotes, i.e., June registers as Kathie Moffet, Jane Greer's character from "Out Of The Past," and Terry later walks under a Theater Marquee that's playing "Nightmare Alley," there may be a few more. The four leads are excellent, the cinematography and music a treat. 7/10  Full review with more screencaps here: https://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/07/across-hall-2009-noir-hotel.html

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#20 cigarjoe

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:44 PM

Rage (El mal) (1966) Mexican Film Soleil Neo Noir

 
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Director Gilberto Gazcón fashions an interesting Neo Noir that feels like a Western, is part InfernoWages of Fear and Guilty Bystander mixed with a bit of the anxiety of both Panic In The Streets and The Killer That Stalked New York.

The screenplay was jointly written by Gilberto Gazcón Teddi Sherman, Fernando Méndez, Guillermano Hernández, and Jesús Velásquez. The cinematography was by Rosalío Solano and the Soundtrack was by Gustavo César Carrión.

The film's vivid color palette gives it a pulp-ish paperback cover look, it's similar in that respect to the color Noir Slightly Scarlet (1956).

The film stars noir vet Glenn Ford (Gilda (1946), Framed (1947), The Undercover Man (1949), The Big Heat (1953), Human Desire (1954), Experiment in Terror (1962)) as Doc Reuben, Stella Stevens (Man-Trap (1961)) as Perla, David Reynoso ( Presage (1974), Que viva Tepito!(1981), El último túnel (1987)) as Pancho, Armando Silvestre ( La Impostora (2014), Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)) as Antonio, Jose Elias Moreno (Santa Claus (1959)) as Fortunato, Dacia Gonzalez (The Shark Hunters (1963)) as Maria, David Silva (Los Fernández de Peralvillo (1954), Campeón sin corona (1946) Espaldas mojadas (1955)) as Bus Driver and Isela Vega (Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)) as a prostitute.

Wages Of Fear quote
 

 
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Doc Reuben (Ford) runs a medical clinic in a small Mexican village. The village is booming with the influx of construction workers who are blasting a new road across the backcountry. Except for practicing medicine, Doc is a bit alienated from normal human contact outside of his medical duties, and obsessed with drinking himself to an early grave. You see, Doc blames himself for not being able to save his young wife and baby during childbirth. He drinks to forget. His main companion is his german shepherd dog.
 
 
Pancho (Reynoso) is a local who got a job on the road crew as a dynamiter. He learned his trade in the mines. Pancho and his wife Maria (Gonzalez) are going to have a baby, and Doc is happy to check Maria's progress, but tells Pancho that she will need a specialist when the time comes because she will need a caesarean section.

Pancho's friend Fortunato (Moreno) is a dozer operator on the road crew. His pet cat Princesa is acting strange. When the crew drives back to town Pancho's cat jumps out of his arms and attacks Doc's dog. The general consensus is that Princesa is pregnant. A few days later Doc gets bit by his own dog.
 

DSCN4346.JPG Dog bites Doc At the end of the week the supply truck brings a load of prostitutes to entertain the road crew. One of
prostitutes is Perla (Stevens), and at the "fiesta" she is very attracted to Doc who is quite drunk. Doc sneaks off to the clinic with a couple of bottles of booze and Perla follows. Doc throws her out and starts to hallucinate in a very graphic noir-ish sequence. In the morning a very hung over Doc finds Perla asleep upon his examination table, she has missed the truck.


DSCN4343.JPG Perla (Stevens) at Docs
The next day Fortunato drug into town by ropes, he is delirious and foaming at the mouth, he has rabies. Perla and Doc get to know each other but Doc is still standoffish. Doc explains about the death of his wife. Ten days later the supply truck arrives and Perla leaves town.


DSCN4400.JPG Rabies
Pancho arrives in town on his donkey cart early the next evening and tells Doc that Maria is contracting, Doc tells Pancho to hurry back and he'll follow in a company jeep. On the way back to his place Pancho runs into Doc's dog, the dog is bloody and foaming at the mouth and snarling at the Donkey's legs. The dog is rabid.

Doc drives up sees the situation and shoots the dog. He now realizes that he was bitten ten days ago and that he is also infected. He counts the days back to when he was bitten and realizes that he has 48 hours to get treated. When Doc tells Pablo that he has to get to the nearest big city to get shots Pablo grabs Docs gun and threatens to kill him. Doc says OK but floors the Jeep leaving Pablo in the dust as he speeds off in the growing darkness to Noirsville.

Noirsville

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Glenn Ford is compelling as the weathered Doc Reuben even though haunted by his failure to save his wife and child and drinking himself to death he can still keep his skills sharp and show compassion and kindness towards Maria. Stella Stevens at 30 is at the height of her beauty, she is the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold looking for a way out of the life. She is sexy, sassy, and sweet. David Reynoso is great as Pancho he holds his own with Ford and displays his acting chops. The rest of the cast is very good and the landscapes around Durango are beautiful. Very entertaining, This film needs a good restoration. Café con leche noir. 7/10

 

Full review with more screencaps here: http://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/07/rage-el-mal-1966-mexican-film-soleil.html


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