Recently watched Noir
Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:49 AM
Of these, I'd not seen two, and still have to see one of them!!! I enjoyed ESCAPE IN THE DESERT, even though it was clearly not up to par of the original film of which it was a remake. But I'd not seen it before and enjoyed it. I have never seen SIDE STREET yet, and need to! Fortunately I have it on a Film Noir Collection from WB, so one day I'll sit down and watch it! I always love Paul Kelly, so I definitely need to see it on that basis plus your great review!
I would disagree with you a bit on THE PETRIFIED FOREST, because I love Leslie Howard so much, all of that part of the film captivated me just fine, and Bogie's appearance just shifts it into another gear, but I loved it all, and would rate it 10/10. I'd also give a 10 spot to THE BIG SLEEP. I guess I don't care too much how they match up with the written form that gave birth to the film, but just relish their energy on-screen. It's a great film!
I agree with you about Faith in WHERE DANGER LIVES, I like the film, but it's...I dunno, not the best of the best. Mitch always fun to watch, but for most of this film he's kind of out of it, and doesn't really bring the energy I'm used to because of it. Or maybe he's just sleepier than usual!
You really need to catch HIS KIND OF WOMAN, I really dig it and would rate it a 9 of 10 at least!
Thanks for the great posts!
Posted 20 May 2011 - 06:23 AM
*Escape In The Desert* (1945) A remake of The Petrified Forest, Nazi spies infiltrate a hotel in the American Southwest with.Dir: Edward A. Blatt Cast: Jean Sullivan,Philip Dorn, Irene Manning. Edward A. Blatt. Philip Dorn, Helmut Dantine, Jean Sullivan, Alan Hale. Lot of obvious painted backdrop studio shots Never seen before, 5/10
*The Petrified Forest* (1936) D: Archie Mayo. Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Dick Foran, Humphrey Bogart, Genevieve Tobin, Charley Grapewin, Porter Hall. Drags until Bogart shows up the Leslie Howard/Bette Davis romance is a snoozer. Bogart is Duke Mantee, escaped gangster, who holds writer Howard, dreamer Davis, and others hostage at roadside restaurant in Arizona. Seen parts but never the whole 6/10
*The Killers* (1946) D: Robert Siodmak. Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker, Sam Levene, Virginia Christine, William Conrad, Charles McGraw. Ex-fighter found murdered, subsequent investigation. Story told in flash back. Great stylized cinematography with outstanding cast, excellent 10/10
*Where Danger Lives* (1950) D: John Farrow. Robert Mitchum, Faith Domergue, Claude Rains, Maureen O'Sullivan. Mitchum falls for suicidal Domergue who leads him on thinking that she is Claude Rains? daughter rather than his young wife. A confrontation leads to a fight with Rains landing blows from a fire place poker on Mitchum?s noggin before Mitchum lands a blow that knocks Rains out. Mitchum suffering from a concussion leaves the living room and Domergue finishes Rains off smothering him with a pillow. She lets Mitchum think that he killed Rains and the two flee towards Mexico Atmospheric, stylized not a bad Noir though Domergue doesn?t quite gel in the part . 7/10
*His Kind Of Woman* (1951 D: John Farrow. Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Tim Holt, Raymond Burr, Charles McGraw, Marjorie Reynolds, Jim Backus. Mitchum blindly goes to Mexico for a payoff of 50 grand, discovers he's the soon-to-be-dead chump whose identity will help deported gangster Burr re-enter the country. Only saw part of it but Vincent Price is a hoot as a ham actor (I?m sure it wasn?t much of a stretch for him) Only caught the beginning and bits and pieces before I had chores to do. This has a huge write up in the Encyclopedia of American Film Noir will have to revist.
*The Big Sleep* (1946) D: Howard Hawks. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers, Louis Jean Heydt, Regis Toomey, Peggy Knudsen, Dorothy Malone, Bob Steele, Elisha Cook, Jr. Raymond Chandler's first novel; detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart) becomes involved with wealthy Bacall and her uncontrollable little sister Vickers. Its ok but Bogart & Bacall are Bogart & Bacall and not Marlow & Sternwood. Caught this from after the first hour mark to the end, my least favorite Big Screen Marlowe, so far, but I haven?t seen the Brasher Doubloon yet 6.5/10
*Crime in the Streets* (1956) D: Donald Siegel. James Whitmore, John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo, Mark Rydell, Virginia Gregg, Denise Alexander, Will Kuluva, Peter Votrian, Malcolm Atterbury. Draggy drama of angry, alienated youth Cassavetes, who conspires to commit murder. Cassavetes always reminds me of a demented Jerry Lewis, saw just the end of this studio bound film boring, 5/10
*Side Street* (1950) D: Anthony Mann. Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig, Paul Kelly, Edmon Ryan, Paul Harvey, Jean Hagen, Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens, Harry Bellaver, Whit Bissell. Part-time mailman Granger impulsively stealing $30,000 of blackmail money from a ring led by a crooked lawer, and finding himself caught between the crooks and the cops.
Holy Crap another great NYC Noir that I've never heard of, this one with the benefit of a big budget that Kubrick didn?t have for the ?Killers Kiss?. Great atmospheric location shots juxtaposed with seedy apartment interiors. A highlight is the grand finale cab vs. cop cruiser chase, through the narrow, deserted, Sunday morning streets of lower Manhattan, the high angle overhead shots makes it look like rats running around an elaborate maze, equals the chase in McQueen?s ?Bullitt ? in a different way. 10/10
Posted 14 May 2011 - 06:15 AM
Posted 13 May 2011 - 10:04 PM
Posted 13 May 2011 - 03:41 PM
Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:55 PM
Powell would have been fine as Walter Neff. As long as he didn't sing!
Edited by: redriver on May 13, 2011 2:55 PM
Posted 13 May 2011 - 12:28 PM
Things are never so bad they can't be made worse.
Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:52 AM
The story is basically, a prize fighter falls for the taxi dancer he peeps on from across the air shaft in his apartment house, juxtaposed cuts of him fighting a loosing bout in the ring and her fighting off the advances of her **** boss establish the dynamics of the story. He comes to her rescue after Rapallo accosts Gloria in her apartment, and they hit it off. Exchanging hard luck stories they decide to take a vacation from the city and to travel West to Seattle to a horse farm that Davey's uncle owns.
Davey needs his money from his last fight and Gloria needs her paycheck. They arrange with Davey's manager to meet at the ballroom. All goes hay-wire and the events that propel the story to a memorable conclusion are started in motion.
BTY, If any of you haven't seen it some shots from the film are used on one of TCM bumpers, the one that uses the "Angel Eyes" tenor sax instrumental.
Definitely on the A-list with another 10/10.
Posted 12 May 2011 - 11:53 AM
Posted 12 May 2011 - 09:01 AM
*Cry Danger* (1951) was directed by Robert Parrish, and stars Dick Powell as just released con Rocky, Rhonda Flemming as Nancy, Richard Erdman as Delong, William Conrad as mob bookie Castro, Regis Toomey as lawman Cobb, and Jean Porter as blond dish Darlene.
Nice opening title sequence of passenger train making its journey to the City of Angles. At Union Station, Rocky (Powell) is met by cop Cobb (Toomey) and the man who provided his alibi (five years late) that got him released from the pen, an alcoholic marine with a wooden leg named Delong (Erdman). Cobb buys the drinks and asks Rocky about the missing $100,000 loot from the robbery that got him incarcerated along with his best friend. Rocky sticks to his story that he was framed and that he knows nothing about the money.
After cop leaves the bar Rocky confronts Delong and he admits that he made up Rocky's alibi and that a greatfull Rocky should part with some of the hidden loot. Rocky tells him that he really doesn't know anything about the robbery but he knows who might and that is Castro (Conrad) a local mob bookie, headquartered upstairs at the Amigo Club, but he is greatfull for the alibi and befriends Delong. Before confronting Castro, Rocky first wants to visit his best friends wife Nancy (Flemming) who was a former girlfriend of Rocky's.
Delong & Rocky driving a decadent looking Nash Ambassador (that bobs up and down like a boat on an easy-glide suspension) go to find Nancy.
Nancy lives in a seedy run down trailer court near downtown LA. Rocky and Delong go to the court and rent a decaying trailer from a crusty ukulele playing manager while waiting for Nancy to return from work. While passing the time they befriend a cute blond sunbather named Darlene. Delong, Darlene, Rocky and Nancy start hanging out together while Rocky begins to unravel the frame that got him set to prison.
What's to like?
This is a great little noir all set in a rundown low rent neighborhood of LA replete with fleabag hotels, sleazy bars, and corner deli's.
The trailer park location is great, it provides a nice contrast to conventional all dark Noirs and it gives that creepy "just flipped over rock and bugs scurrying from the sun" feeling to the film. The park and its denizens provide a lot of amusing laughs interspersed with seriousness of the confrontations between Rocky, Castro, and Castro's henchmen.
The Nash Ambassador is a hoot, you can't help but chuckle everytime you see tough guy Rocky driving around in what looks like a ridiculous upside down bathtub.
Rocky's memorable confrontation with Castro, after Castro tries to frame him the second time.
Cutie Darlene who shows lots of skin while almost constantly sunbathing on a lounger in the trailer park.
A nice twist.
I'll give this one a 10/10. This needs a DVD release, please!
Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:56 AM
Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:48 PM
Ok now back to "hard core" noir.
Watched *99 River Street* (1953) last night, I saw this recently on TCM but only from the about the the halfway point to the end, and from what I saw I though it was pretty good. Boy did I miss a lot of outstanding sequences.
Directed by Phil Karlson, with John Payne as ex prizefighter/cabby Ernie Driscoll, Evelyn Keyes as pixie-ish wanna be actress Linda James, Brad Dexter as dapper jewel thief Victor Rawlins, Frank Faylen as cab company shift boss Stan Hogan, Peggie Castle as ex-showgirl Pauline Driscoll
and Jack Lambert as mob muscle Mickey.
Basically Ernie and Pauline are having marital difficulties. Pauline thought she was marring the next champ but Ernie gets an eye injury and is banned from boxing. She resents the fact that she gave up a promising career and now she's married to a cabby. Unbeknownst to Ernie Pauline has fallen in with Rawlins who commits a jewel heist.
Keyes has a nice meaty role playing it slightly over-wound. Faylen is a sort of mentor to Ernie. The film has some great sequences a nice twist, and an interesting denouement on a great set piece. 10/10
Posted 06 May 2011 - 06:21 PM
Posted 06 May 2011 - 01:16 PM
"....What is it?"
"The stuff that dreams are made of."
Posted 05 May 2011 - 06:06 PM
Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:58 PM
Posted 04 May 2011 - 06:44 AM
This one had decent and dark story line that made up for its lack of being very Noir-ish stylistically.
Basically Walker and Barrett plan on killing her husband Donlevy an auto company executive working in San Francisco. I'd have killed him myself for the unbearably overly attentive husband shtick routine he was playing, lol. Anyway once the attempted murder goes haywire (a bumbling Barrett accidentally drives into a gasoline tanker and is burned beyond recognition), the police assume the body is Donlevy's.
Donlevy, who was conked on the head and left for dead regains conscious climbs into a parked moving van, passes out, and wakes up someplace in Nevada.
Humiliated and devastated by his wife's complicity in the attempted murder, Donlevy gets a job as a mechanic working for Raines in a fly speck town in Idaho. He does not reveal his identity and, lets his wife get indicted as an accomplice in his murder.
There is an unexpected twist. 6.5-7/10
Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:41 PM
I am fortunate to have RAILROADED on a collection called "Film Noir: The Dark Side of Hollywood". I really like it, it's a B, but a very enjoyable one.
I wish TCM/Warner's would do more of the Noir collections, even if they do them as MOD's.
Posted 03 May 2011 - 04:13 PM
Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:16 AM
This version ties up the loose ends in a beach house rather than on the gambling ship and the Burnette character is absent. ?It short shifts the Jessie Florian character, though it has a nicely done Dali-esque sanatorium-hallucinogenic sequence. But it also sports a lame epilogue with Marlowe temporarily blind catering to the love story expecting, female audience.
Powell is great as Marlowe pretty much as I pictured him in my minds eye as I remember the book (Mitchum was just a tad too old and a tad too iconic, unfortunately), but I'll go with Rampling as Velma in *Farewell My Lovely* she had a more devious look in her eyes, Trevor wasn't as believable to me she played it a bit to convincingly upper crust, with a Boston Brahmin accent pronouncing the word cant as k-on-t, all in all though, I prefer all the rest of the actors in the Richards version 1975 version, you cant beat John Ireland. But still I'll rate it 8/10
*Railroaded!* (1947) Directed by Anthony Mann with John Ireland, Hugh Beaumont, Sheila Ryan, and Jane Randolph, another low budget Noir, with a lame script.
Sexy beautician Clara Calhoun (Randolph), who has a bookie operation in her back room, connives with her boyfriend, mob collector Duke Martin (Ireland), to stage a robbery of the day's take. But the caper turns violent; a cop and Duke's partner are shot; and Duke arranges for innocent Steve Ryan, owner of the car they stole, to be framed. Sheila Ryan plays love interest to cop Hugh Beaumont.
This had a few too many contrived plot points for me but Ireland puts in a very good turn as mobster, watch it for Ireland. Randolph is a looker. 6.5/10
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