Glass Key: It's one of those films that keeps you guessing, which is fantastic. 9 out of 10 when it comes to mystery plots the answer is staring you in the face but with glass key it really isn't clear until the big revelation at the end. I kinda felt for Paul too, his own sister doesn't stand by him and the girl he loves is actively plotting against him, but he doesn't come off as a "bad guy" not really so it seems horrible to see the world sort of try and swallow him up.
Laura: The thing that hit me in this was vincent price sans mustache. LOL. I did like this one except the character of Lydecker who just gave me the creepy crawlies. He was telling his story of Laura and I think the character is assuming that his story makes it obvious that he cared about her and loved her when the vibe I got was that he was a possessive stalker creepo. I'm so used to Vincent Price from the horror movie genre where he is ALWAYS the one who did it that it took me a moment to realize that he didn't...but it became pretty obvious very quickly...then Lydecker's steering of the investigation towards shelby came off as very suspicious. I think perhaps I didn't like Lydecker because I dated that type before, the possessive manipulative jack **** type and he rubbed me the wrong way the whole time which I don't think he was meant to be unlikable the entire time. If that makes sense..
Ministry of Fear: I kinda loved how everything in this film seemed to be connected. Some character would appear and they looked super familiar and it's like "OH YEA WE SAW THEM EARLIER" sort of thing. And nearly every one of them is a bad guy. He some how stumbles into what almost feels like an alternate world where practically everyone he meets is actively conspiring against him. One of the other things that I think I noticed though I could be completely wrong was travers, the spy who is undercover as a tailor, I think he was played by the guy who played Johnny in Scarlet Street. I'd have to look the name up to be sure but the face kinda jogged something in my head.
Danger Signal: This is one of those films where the person you are supposed to bet against makes himself known from the get go. And he's pretty bad. The film opens with the woman he's staying with apparently killing herself and he goes on the run. The minute though that he asks his new fiancee to write a suicide note for him something clicks in your brain and you realize he killed the first lady and is probably going to kill this one too. From that point on it's almost a race against time to see if she can get him before he gets her..and even though neither of those things actually happens it feels like they are going to, like it's somewhat inevitable so kudos to the scriptwriter on this because the actual ending is like "oh...well that works too" lol and then happy futures all around.
Mildred Pierce: Holy cats Veda is just horrid. The entire time you want to see something worthwhile in her, if only to make her mother's devotion to her feel in any way appreciated but there's nothing. She hasn't got a single redeeming quality.
Deadline at Dawn: This one I liked for the interaction between the two love interests. She doesn't know if she can trust him but you could tell she wanted to.
Johnny Angel: This one does a great job in terms of misdirection, where the real person 'who done it' isn't even really hinted at. I also kinda loved the portrayal of new orleans, it made a nice break from the typical noir settings.
Murder, My Sweet: This one is a personal favorite of mine, I've even read the book...and as far as the book is concerned the moose in the film is a lot more likable. The one in the book kills just about everyone he meets, not out of malice but more like how amthor bites it...because he's too strong and too dumb to know he's doing it. Also in the book version Marriot is a bigger character, much more important than he is here. Here he is just the thing that gets Marlowe swept into the plot. The spiderwebs were facinating to me...as many times as I've seen this I never noticed before that they move with the camera...seems obvious now but I think they were on the lens, like a gel or something of that nature is on a light...I found noticing that I had a whole new appreciation for the film in terms of cinematography. I looked closer at the way the camera existed in the environment and it really just made me like the film more lol
Detour: This one kinda hit me funny. When it started I was absolutely not into it..but by the time he climbs into that car with Haskell I couldn't look away lol. The main character gets the short end of the stick here though for sure. He makes what he thinks are the right choices when he makes them for the most part but he still ends up between a rock and a hard place. And when he comes to the conclusion that he can't be himself or haskell and has to go on living as a hitch hiking vagrant it's just sort of really tragic. I actually talked to my grandma about this a bit after I watched it in terms of hitchhiking. It's not really a part of our society anymore. It's dangerous to pick up one and dangerous to try and do it so neither of those things seems to happen, so I didn't really understand what it was like before it was considered dangerous. Grandma explained that back in the day there were fewer cars...sometimes only a few in a particular neighborhood so it wasn't uncommon to see people hitchhiking around the time this film was set. She said they didn't really think anything about picking someone up either, it was very casual and accepted at the time. So the film comes from a time where it was considered no big deal to hitch hike which gave me a different appreciation for it. It would be a bit like someone doing a seemingly harmless thing like getting coffee at starbucks when all hell breaks loose and it gives the film a different flavor if you think about it not as him doing something dangerous to that gets him in trouble because, according to grandma, they didn't think hitch hiking was dangerous where she came from.
Gun Crazy: The thing that jumped out to me about a part of this was sort of a gender switch on frank butler and annie oakley as far as the "meet cute" part of the film goes. There was a quote that jumped out to me here, so much so that I joted it down in my notebook "You're the only thing that's real, the rest is a nightmare" Also the swamp sequence reminded me of high sierra, in that it's the end of the road and there is no way that this is going to turn out well for them. High Sierra was the same way. When he started up that mountain that was that. There was absolutely no way he was going to survive to the end of the story no matter what he did from that point forward...this is much the same. The minute they got out of that car they were doomed. You feel it the same way you felt it in High Sierra.
Tomorrow is another day: I loved the ending on this one. The fact that they had been on the run and no one was chasing them was one thing but both of them getting to leave with their heads held high and get their happy ending was actually really great. Throughout the film you sort of fall for them both, even though, in the beginning it was her lying to him that nearly drove him a bit around the bend. What sort of a woman convinces someone that they are a killer...she seems a bit like that shrink lady from nightmare alley retrospectively (as I watched that one after this one so I wouldn't have seen it at the time) in the beginning but she changes. It seems really trite to say that "love" changed her but maybe it did. But it had a flavor like woman on the run in that you want the husband and wife to be together and okay and for most of the film that doesn't seem like it will happen. And after that kid found the magazine it was like "oh nooooooooooo!" in the same vein as when the husband in woman on the run goes to meet the killer. It was the same feeling of dread...something that noir films excel at.
Nightmare Alley: I just touched on this one briefly in relation to the other film but what struck me here was not the carnival or the spiritualism hoax but the psychiatrist. She's into this mess up to her eyeballs and she still manages to slither her way out. In that one sequence after he goes back for the rest of his money you suddenly see her as she truly is, manipulative snake type personality willing to drive him insane in order to keep her secrets. She quickly takes his place in my mind as the "villain" of the piece. The other thing that jumped out to me was Bruno...I think he is played by the actor who did Moose in Murder, My Sweet. I really get excited when I see familiar faces in old movies. It's like OH HEY IT'S THAT GUY XD
Night Moves: For me the thing about this film was the familiar faces..they kinda overpowered the plot because I was like "OH LOOK HOW YOUNG HE/SHE IS" I think I just wasn't expecting to recognize anyone other than gene hackman when the film started so that's where it came from. I will say though that it had some of the interconnectivity that I noticed in ministry of fear in that just about everyone he meets is part of this huge conspiracy. There was also a very memorable quote "Take a swing at me Harry, the way Sam Spade would" that made my little TCM radar go YAY. The body count here is insane too...in the same vein as the book version of Murder, My Sweet (it's not called that though...Farewell, My lovely I think is the title) They just seem to keep piling up, even at the end it isn't clear if the detective is going to make it either. And it's sort of out of context to say it but there is a line from midsummer night's dream...the way they mean it in the play is different but the wording fits "For when the players are all dead, there needs none to be blamed" it is the best way to describe that final sequence in Night Moves.