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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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JULY 3 TCM FILM NOIR DISCUSSIONS FOR #NOIRSUMMER FOR ALL 14 FILMS


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#21 rrrick

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 01:57 PM

THE WINDOW

 

The great thing about a course and series like this is the unexpected hidden gems along the way. Sure I like watching and rewatching the MALTESE FALCONs, OUT OF THE PASTs, and LADY FROM SHANGHAIs, but it's a movie like THE WINDOW which makes it really worthwhile.

 

This is an exceptional movie in every way conceivable. It has a great, thrilling and truly suspenseful story. It has great acting performances, truly stunning and spectacular cinematography, and a wonderful score. But the true brilliance is the underlying psychological themes and how the film succeeds in addressing these. 

 

A murder is committed. There is an unseen witness. The witness is 10-year old Tommy. The killers are his neighbors in the apartment upstairs, just 'regular' people. The problem is nobody believes him. 

 

That irrational fear that most of us probably at one time had as a child - the fear of the darkness upstairs, something evil lurking there - has become reality. In Tommy's case 'the monsters in the dark in the attic' do exist.

 

And the biggest trauma of all. His parents don't believe him, and even worse, they scold and punish him for making things up. His father locks Tommy up in his room, nailing the windows shut to make sure Tommy can't leave the room. Due to circumstances Tommy is then left alone at home, in mortal fear for his upstairs killer neighbors.

 

It all leads to a truly nailbiting and chilling climax....

 

The beauty is this is a story about regular people in just a downtrodden neighborhood in the big city. It's obvious the parents have to work hard to make ends meet and try their best to lead a normal life and raise their boy in the best possible way. The use of real location shooting ads genuine authenticity to the story, making it even more relatable. 

 

In the end we don't know who was murdered, or why he was murdered, and it's not even clear if the killer is even captured or what. But that's not really the point. This is a film about a playful kid and youthful innocence facing the hardest and most traumatic confrontation possible: A dangerous world where anybody can be a murderer and you are completely on your own in having to deal with it.

 

Noir as noir can be.


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#22 rrrick

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 04:00 AM

Not that constraits are necessary for genius, but a true genius will just become more creative to deal with barriers. There are too many specifics on what roadblocks Hitchcock had thrown in his path. Off the top of my head, how about the shower scene in Psycho? It would never have gotten past the censors in colour, and no nudity could be shown. In working around those constrains, Hitchcock come up with a more terrifying scene because of what was implied, rather than being graphic.

 

As general examples, the constraints of censorship (Production Code) in the 40s; or lack of budgets as covered in the whole topic of B movies resulted in some pretty inovative efforts (Gun Crazy or Detour).

But the constraints you mention were valid for Welles too. He had to deal with the production code as well, limited budgets, studios meddling, interfering and even cutting up his movies. 

 

I love the PSYCHO shower scene as much as anyone, but I can't relate this to Welles being 'graphic' in his films. By the way, I don't want to make this into a competition between Welles and Hitchcock, or any other director. 

 

As far as I'm concerned both were directors looking to perfect the art of movie making, pushing the envelope, and if not always succeeding, at least helped in taking film to the next level as an art form. 


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#23 sapphiere

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 03:34 AM

I didn’t mean to slam Orson Welles at all. I have a lot of respect for his efforts and I admire his work in films like Touch of Evil. He had genius for innovation and a strong vision for what he wanted - his work in radio and theatre were particularly groundbreaking. And he had a real presence as an actor.

Again, as far as Touch of Evil, he did not write an original story. It was based on a novel – Badge of Evil.

My point was that I don’t think he was god-like as far as being this genius director-write-producer who was always betrayed by the money men and studios, butchering his masterpieces. I’m guess it’s because I’m old enough to remember him in interviews, always harping on that… what might have been.

It’s funny a lot of the jobs he took as either an actor or director for hire (or both) are what he’s best remembered for now. Jobs he took to finance his own film projects, that overall never really panned out.

My feelings were not hurt. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Unfortunately my thoughts sometimes get away from my script. You were correct in posting that TOUCH OF EVIL was a adapted screenplay based on a novel. I am glad that TOUCH OF EVIL was shown in May when Orson was the Friday Night Spotlight. He was not a perfect man. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS was mangled, because Orson left to work on another project in South America. Orson did not edit TOUCH OF EVIL. Virgil Vogel and Aaron Stell were assigned. Edward Muhl, head of production at Universal, scheduled a screening.Orson was not present at the screening. He had taken off for Mexico, because the front office had praised the rushes.Unfortunately the screening did not go well.The front office found problems with the continuity making portions of the film hard to follow.Orson didnot think that the same thing would happen again. Orson made a mistake by not attending the screening. If he had made himself available,there was a chance that Orson could have explained what his completed film meant.If the studio wanted changes or cuts, Orson would be on site to do reshots or rewrite.The studio ignored Orson`s angry memo, and Universal released their revised version of TOUCH OF EVIL.Forty years later we were finally able to see the restored TOUCH OF EVIL. I am grateful to the dedicated filmmakers who worked on the restoration. In my opinion TOUCH OF EVIL is a truly great film noir of the late 1950`s. My son was a dedicated TV MOONLIGHTING fan. Orson Welles last appearance was the beginning narration of THE DREAM SEQUENCE ALWAYS RINGS TWICE. The episode was in black and white during the dream sequence made to honor 1940`s film noir.



#24 ColeCorri

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 12:33 AM

 

The Big Clock

 

I wondered about The Big Clock, if it were really a film noir. For me, Ray Milland’s onscreen presence exudes warmth and joviality, which are not film noir–ish characteristics at all. When I compare him to, let’s say, Dan Duryea, I get two totally different vibes. Even in Ministry of Fear, Milland seemed to be enjoying himself and the mystery immensely. I think he’s a terrific actor, but he doesn’t “menace” me from the screen. He wasn’t supposed to “menace” in either movie, so he was really perfect for both roles in The Big Clock and Ministry of Fear.

 

Elsa Lanchester (as Louise Stroud) is very warm in The Big Clock, too. For example, she doesn’t reveal George Stroud’s identity. She’s very funny, too. For example, her shriek at the end of the movie upon seeing her third (or fourth, or fifth?) husband in the person of the “radio actor” (said with much disdain by Steve Hagan, Janoth’s henchman) was hilarious.

 

But before I was swept away by the humor and good cheer of both George Stroud and Louise Patterson, I did notice the camerawork, especially the opening sequence. After the credits finish rolling, the camera seems to track from the New York cityscape, with dawn breaking, right into the offices of Janoth’s publishing empire, with the workday beginning. This seemed like a new technique to me, probably made easier with new technology after World War II.

 

I really enjoyed The Big Clock, but, like you, I didn't fell like it was really noir.  To steal Foster Hirsch's term, I felt that it was more noir-stained than actual noir.  It had elements of it, but it was a bit too light-hearted for me to consider it true noir.  You are right in saying that George Stroud seemed to be having too much fun; he wasn't your typical tormented noir hero.  The film was definitely a comment on the corruption of big business, which seems to fit very well into the world of noir, but tonally, it just didn't seem in line with other films noir.

 

On a random note, did they ever explain why Louise Patterson was trying to buy her own painting?  I loved the humor Elsa Lanchester brought to the role, but I was unclear about that point.  I thought perhaps there was a line explaining it that I missed because I was focused on something else.


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#25 MareyMac

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 12:17 AM

No flack, but it's interesting to think about if and how external factors have an effect on the appreciation of a film, like in this case the supposed character traits of the director who made it.

 

I'm also curious why you think constraints are necessary for true genius. And what kind of constraints would that be?

Not that constraits are necessary for genius, but a true genius will just become more creative to deal with barriers. There are too many specifics on what roadblocks Hitchcock had thrown in his path. Off the top of my head, how about the shower scene in Psycho? It would never have gotten past the censors in colour, and no nudity could be shown. In working around those constrains, Hitchcock come up with a more terrifying scene because of what was implied, rather than being graphic.

 

As general examples, the constraints of censorship (Production Code) in the 40s; or lack of budgets as covered in the whole topic of B movies resulted in some pretty inovative efforts (Gun Crazy or Detour).


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#26 MareyMac

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 11:54 PM

Yes, I know there has always been debate concerning CITIZEN KANE. Orson could write a highly regarded screenplay. TOUCH OF EVIL 1958 is memorable for many reasons, and the three reasons are Orson directed, starred in, and wrote the screenplay. He wore padding to make his heavy frame look more grotesque playing California detective Hank Quinlan. The film was shot in Venice, Ca. and opens with a three minute tracking shot on the Mexican border. A time bomb goes off in a millionaire`s car, and the two occupants are killed. The premise is set, and we watch Hank try to frame a young Mexican for the murder. The film works for me in the storyline, the camera angles by Russell Metty, and for the most part casting. Ricardo Montalbon  would have been the correct choice to play Mike Vargas instead of Charlton Heston. TOUCH OF EVIL along with CITIZEN KANE are inducted in THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY for preservation. Orson was also the recipient of THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE award for achievement in film making.

I didn’t mean to slam Orson Welles at all. I have a lot of respect for his efforts and I admire his work in films like Touch of Evil. He had genius for innovation and a strong vision for what he wanted - his work in radio and theatre were particularly groundbreaking. And he had a real presence as an actor.

Again, as far as Touch of Evil, he did not write an original story. It was based on a novel – Badge of Evil.

My point was that I don’t think he was god-like as far as being this genius director-write-producer who was always betrayed by the money men and studios, butchering his masterpieces. I’m guess it’s because I’m old enough to remember him in interviews, always harping on that… what might have been.

It’s funny a lot of the jobs he took as either an actor or director for hire (or both) are what he’s best remembered for now. Jobs he took to finance his own film projects, that overall never really panned out.


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#27 HEYMOE

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 10:34 PM

Key Largo

 

An enjoyable movie. Originally it was a stage play, and this is obvious from the fact that the majority of the action (not that there's much of that, it's a very chatty film!) takes place in only a couple of rooms. And such a great cast - most of the performers speak for themselves but I think a couple of the actors deserved a shout-out: Claire Trevor made a wonderful lush, she was the standout for me, and I loved the oily and creepy Curly, played by Thomas Gomez. Super stuff. 

I Agree with you concerning Thomas Gomez. From the get go, Curly appears menacing in a subtle way.

I thought the marina set was awesome.



#28 Sir David

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 08:26 PM

The Long Goodbye

 

I knew it would be a mistake to watch this, I knew I'd hate it. And I did. 

 

Oh, where to start? I know, I know, it's clever, it's Altman, it's an anti-Noir. Whatever. I can't respect a film that completely kicks out the essence of the story it purports to be telling. Here Marlowe is portrayed as a shambling, mumbling man, virtually completely lacking in the sharp one-liners he's famed for. Honestly, I felt it was more Columbo than Marlowe, though Columbo would've been far more entertaining. And I swear myself at times but did Marlowe ever? It was like hearing your mum cuss somehow, just wrong! It seemed just one of those 70s things where they wanted to rebel for the point of rebelling: let's make a Marlowe film and do everything to subvert our idea of the man...he even murders Lennox in cold blood! Did Altman just want to annoy the film audience? 

 

And hippies. I don't like hippies in any movie, let alone gratuitously semi-naked hippies put in the film for no other reason than a bit of cheap titillation for the 70s audience. 

 

Also...that start: ten minutes of watching him mumble and feed the blasted cat. Really? There was more action in the Daily Dose this morning than in this entire film...although I admit that I did find the part when the mob guy deliberately maimed his girlfriend just to make a point very powerful. 

 

A terrible film, in my opinion, one which - apart from the one scene I mentioned - I can't find a single thing to recommend it. Someone on these forums said that the Brasher Dubloon was the worst Marlowe film made: I wonder if they'd seen this, and, if they had, just how bad must that movie be? 


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#29 Sir David

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 05:03 PM

Key Largo

 

An enjoyable movie. Originally it was a stage play, and this is obvious from the fact that the majority of the action (not that there's much of that, it's a very chatty film!) takes place in only a couple of rooms. And such a great cast - most of the performers speak for themselves but I think a couple of the actors deserved a shout-out: Claire Trevor made a wonderful lush, she was the standout for me, and I loved the oily and creepy Curly, played by Thomas Gomez. Super stuff. 

 

 


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#30 rrrick

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 03:51 PM

KEY LARGO

 

Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Edward G. Robinson... Talk about an ensemble of stellar actors. And for those who have seen the previous Noirs in this series, also and particularly Claire Trevor who as far as I'm concerned is fantastic as the down and out alcoholic singer Gaye Dawn.

 

A movie which for approximately 80% of its run time takes places in one room, with at times up to 10 characters in it. It therefore looks more like a theatrical stage play setting. This could have resulted in a pretty static presentation. But it doesn't feel that way, because of the dynamic direction of John Huston, and especially the understated yet very effective camera work of Karl Freund. 

 

Huston has a perfect eye for positioning key and support characters in the room in such a way that they occupy spaces on screen in a meaningful way. Even if they don't do anything, their presence is palbable and either brings balance or distorts it, depending on what the narrative needs at each particular moment. But most of the time the characters move about, like a pefectly choreographed ballet, circling each other or walking from one end to the other, drawing attention to either themselves or other characters in the room.

 

I was actually surprised how restrained Karl Freund's camera work seemed to be. Freund's work on movies like METROPOLIS, THE LAST LAUGH and DRACULA is legendary. In KEY LARGO he seems to hold back on the low and skewed angles, and doesn't even make that much use of shadows and light as someone else might have done given the material. 

But when paying closer attention, it's obvious that like the actors, his camera is also moving around and changing positions constantly. In fact he makes the difference between KEY LARGO being a 'static' play or becoming a movie, in which the viewer is immersed in the tense and lethal conflicts between the characters.


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#31 BrianBlake

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 03:35 PM

It warrants mention here that Touch of Evil was more Charlton Heston's project than it was Orson's.   Heston INSISTED on Welles directing the film, not just starring in it, and told the producer's he'd walk away from the film if Welles didn't direct.   So casting Montalban, or any other 'authentic' Hispanic actor was never ever in the cards for Touch of Evil.  

 

With all our recent focus on Welles' chosen 'accent' in the role of Black Irish, it's also worthy of note that Charton Heston considered his decision NOT to do a Mexican/Hispanic accent for his Mike Vargas character one of the biggest mistakes of his acting career. (Curiously, the Vargas character was not supposed to be Mexican in the original script.  It was Welles who changed it.)

 

Ultimately, it may have been better that Heston didn't do an accent as it kept his trademark voice that audiences would associate with a heroic, authoritative movie star. You can definitely read Touch of Evil as an indirection commentary on race relations and tensions in the United States in 1958. Interracial romance, police and US government corruption and framing, bigotry, bombings, state sanctioned murder and terror, crossing or blurring racial/ethnic lines, etc. 



#32 Marianne

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 03:14 PM

The Big Clock

 

I wondered about The Big Clock, if it were really a film noir. For me, Ray Milland’s onscreen presence exudes warmth and joviality, which are not film noir–ish characteristics at all. When I compare him to, let’s say, Dan Duryea, I get two totally different vibes. Even in Ministry of Fear, Milland seemed to be enjoying himself and the mystery immensely. I think he’s a terrific actor, but he doesn’t “menace” me from the screen. He wasn’t supposed to “menace” in either movie, so he was really perfect for both roles in The Big Clock and Ministry of Fear.

 

Elsa Lanchester (as Louise Stroud) is very warm in The Big Clock, too. For example, she doesn’t reveal George Stroud’s identity. She’s very funny, too. For example, her shriek at the end of the movie upon seeing her third (or fourth, or fifth?) husband in the person of the “radio actor” (said with much disdain by Steve Hagan, Janoth’s henchman) was hilarious.

 

But before I was swept away by the humor and good cheer of both George Stroud and Louise Patterson, I did notice the camerawork, especially the opening sequence. After the credits finish rolling, the camera seems to track from the New York cityscape, with dawn breaking, right into the offices of Janoth’s publishing empire, with the workday beginning. This seemed like a new technique to me, probably made easier with new technology after World War II.

 

Janoth’s tumble down the elevator shaft seemed completely realistic to me. Kindler’s (Orson Welle’s) tumble off the church clock tower didn’t look real, even in long shot. We aren’t going to see The Dark Corner for this course, but a character in that movie takes a dive out a window and it’s very artificial looking.

 

I enjoyed The Big Clock, but more for its humor and the actors’ performances than its film noir characteristics.

 

Side Note: I did notice that George Stroud (Ray Milland) was married to Georgette Stroud (Maureen O’Sullivan). Really? She doesn’t even rate her own first name?


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#33 BrianBlake

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 12:40 AM

The one thing about Welles is that he was willing to try everything that film had to offer. That makes him exciting to me, but it also means that inevitably there will be failures (if you're swinging for the fence you're going to whiff a few). It sounds like there are a lot of people on this forum for whom "The Lady Fron Shanghai" is a failure. I don't think it's a masterpiece, but I still find it fascinating and more interesting than most pictures made around that time.

 

I'd agree with this assessment. Welles was one of the first really striking directors to summon tons of filming techniques and methods together as a way to portray a story, but where it's not just the story being portrayed but you get a strong sense that there is a storyteller and s/he has a vision that is being portrayed. Most hollywood films from this period, the camera tries to be invisible, Welles' movies draw attention to themselves as well as highlighting the stories. That is  I think partly why Orson is often called a magician filmmaker. He was a showman as well as a storyteller. I think, looking at his movies, you can see why another great director Martin Scorsese was so influenced by Welles at his best--great, brilliant storytelling and conveying of moments and emotions but often accomplished with what some would call pretentious camera moves but I think are much more often than not just virtuoso visual imagery. Welles was definitely a filmmaker who made you aware of the camera, and I think you can fairly classify as a formalist. Such a formalist that many were turned off by his great, what I would think is best described as a video essay, "F for Fake" which pushed at and challenged the boundaries of moviegoers' definition of documentaries.

 

I still have to watch Shanghai off my DVR, but I've seen enough of his other work to largely agree with your broad assessment Kirk. Almost no great directors hit it out of the park everytime; every great has some duds or almosts. I do think, however, it's worth mentioning that Welles does not seem to have had the same innate savvyy/gift that Hitchcock and one of Welles' idols John Ford had. Namely, to edit films as he shot them. In other words, he would come in with a particular directoral vision that limited how much a studio could much it up. In some ways, I guess that's to be expected given that narratives in Welles pictures are often quite complex and there's a lot of winks and things going on below the surface. Of course, Hitchock and Ford have some of those things too but their stories were often deceptively simple which limited how ham-handed studio producers could be. Both Hitchcock and Ford were also long-time studio directors and made films in the silent era so they were more experienced with how to shoot their films at the time in ways that would ensure most of their vision reached the screen. Whereas, Orson, though a prodigy, grew up in the theater and in radio and largely owed lots of his cinematic expertise, at least early on, from his weeks studying under the great cinematographer Gregg Toland prior to Citizen Kane.

 

I also think that because Welles is associated with Citizen Kane he's often imputed to have had more to do with production than he probably ever did. I recently watched Journey into Fear (1943) for this series, and though there are some flashes of similiar things to what Welles did in the Stranger and earlier in Citizen Kane, I think critics are greatly exaggerating how he was a ghost director to the movie for large chunks or something. A similar theory commonly pops up with Steven Spielberg and the original Poltergeist, but I think that is more founded for particular scenes and just overall themes than you see with Journey into Fear. 


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#34 KirkG

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 11:03 PM

The one thing about Welles is that he was willing to try everything that film had to offer. That makes him exciting to me, but it also means that inevitably there will be failures (if you're swinging for the fence you're going to whiff a few). It sounds like there are a lot of people on this forum for whom "The Lady Fron Shanghai" is a failure. I don't think it's a masterpiece, but I still find it fascinating and more interesting than most pictures made around that time.
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#35 ThePaintedLady

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 08:41 PM

That’s a perfectly valid opinion and there are many people who, although giving credit to Welles for flashes of genius, feel he was not quite the director-God he’s been made out to be. I share that opinion for a number of reasons:

 

Welles had a massive ego as was known to throw blame onto others for his failures and try to take complete credit for successes. Case in point, he tried to ‘buy’ Herman Mankiewicz’s writing credit from him – so that Welles would have sole credit for the Citizen Kane screenplay. At the genius of Citizen Kane is the script. And there is a lot of evidence that Mankiewicz wrote the guts of it. Welles never again wrote an original screenplay to match Citizen Kane. Mainly, he tried adapting other works.

 

I think Welles rode on the coattails of a lot of talented people who made Kane into the amazing picture it is. If you look at all his other attempts, they just don’t come together. Magnificant Ambersons was based on a creaky old novel that would never have been successful, regardless of being left unedited. It was a dreary, boring story.

 

Welles’ excuse was always that Citizen Kane was the last picture he had complete control over. Well, he had a lot of control in Lady from Shanghai and that movie is a mess. A true genius works within the constraints put on his work. Alfred Hitchcock had nothing but roadblocks to deal with, working for David Selznick, and he consistently delivered masterpieces. That’s a genius.

 

I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of flack…

 

No flack frome me. I completely agree. I'm not saying that Welles is horrible. I just don't think he's that great. I, too, recognized this ego, and that's what turns me off. There are some actors even today that are very talented, but there's just something about them I don't like (ex: Russell Crow). 


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#36 dwallace

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 04:48 PM

I found myself thinking of many of the ideas in the questions asked while watching a non-noir film Best Days of Our Lives which won 7 academy awards.  As Virginia Mayo said, Cagney probably deserved an Oscar for White Heat, but Hollywood won't give them to gangsters.

 

Best Days of Our Lives opening scene with the Army Air Corps Captain trying to get home after deployment, shoved out of the ticket counter by a businessman.  Yet, just the year before his travel would have had priority.  Then flying over Boone City, seeing all the B-17's, some new, demobilized, just sitting for scrap.  Later offered a job for $38.50 a week, having made $400.00 a month in the war.  

 

Think of how unsettling that was for the service men.



#37 Shannon Muir

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 03:56 PM

The Big Clock (1948)

Paramount Pictures

 

The Big Clock plays like is a classic whodunit with a twist- we know who the murderer is. They mystery then is how does the murderer find the man out who saw him enter his victim’s home right before the crime was committed. It is a fun cat and mouse noir thriller with great performances by Ray Milland and Charles Laughton and an excellent screenplay filled with surprises and twists.

 

The film opens with a three minutes long single take with no cuts. The director (John Farrow) shows us the city skyline in silhouette then pans around to capture the façade of a high-rise then slowly zooms in until we are inside the building and continuing follows a man exiting the elevator who then sneaks inside the belly of the building’s clock. Once there the camera tracks back and we see the time and day has moved back thirty-six hours and a flashback sequence begins to tell this story. Very noir-like.

 

The production value here is of high standards with elaborate sets, filled with details and decor.

 

In any genre, all around this is an excellent film with little to criticize and plenty to enjoy.

My husband and I watched this together and loved the cast and sets. However, we found we could predict a lot of the plot (we're also both writers, so that might have something to do with it too), though there were a couple surprises. We still found it an engaging film to watch and well worth our time, especially because it isn't typical "noir" fare in the sense of what's expected. As someone else said, we know the murderer from the outset and need to see how he's discovered... more like COLUMBO without that humor.



#38 Sir David

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 03:31 PM

Marlowe

 

Once I got past the hippies in the first scene, I settled down and enjoyed the film pretty well: maybe Garner was more Jim Rockford than Phillip Marlowe, but I didn't mind that either. 

 

Other than the aforementioned hippies (I don't like hippies) and the overly comic demise of Bruce Lee, my biggest problem with the film is this:

 

Why was it Noir (neo, or otherwise)?

 

Maybe I'm missing something here. Okay, it was a PI caper, based on Chandler, there were femme-sorta-fatales, and lies and deceit and a bit of snappy banter, but I'm sure there would be in any adaptation of Chandler and surely that doesn't automatically make it noir? 

 

Take today's Daily Dose: there's absolutely no doubt in 3 short minutes that what you're getting here is Noir...subject, cinematography, lighting, direction, all of it. So, watching that I was happy and comfortable in my mental definition of the genre/style/movement. But Marlowe? Nope, my comfortable structure crumbles and I'm uncertain once again. 

 

 



#39 VanHazard

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 01:32 PM

Yes, I know there has always been debate concerning CITIZEN KANE. Orson could write a highly regarded screenplay. TOUCH OF EVIL 1958 is memorable for many reasons, and the three reasons are Orson directed, starred in, and wrote the screenplay. He wore padding to make his heavy frame look more grotesque playing California detective Hank Quinlan. The film was shot in Venice, Ca. and opens with a three minute tracking shot on the Mexican border. A time bomb goes off in a millionaire`s car, and the two occupants are killed. The premise is set, and we watch Hank try to frame a young Mexican for the murder. The film works for me in the storyline, the camera angles by Russell Metty, and for the most part casting. Ricardo Montalbon  would have been the correct choice to play Mike Vargas instead of Charlton Heston. TOUCH OF EVIL along with CITIZEN KANE are inducted in THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY for preservation. Orson was also the recipient of THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE award for achievement in film making.

 

 

It warrants mention here that Touch of Evil was more Charlton Heston's project than it was Orson's.   Heston INSISTED on Welles directing the film, not just starring in it, and told the producer's he'd walk away from the film if Welles didn't direct.   So casting Montalban, or any other 'authentic' Hispanic actor was never ever in the cards for Touch of Evil.  

 

With all our recent focus on Welles' chosen 'accent' in the role of Black Irish, it's also worthy of note that Charton Heston considered his decision NOT to do a Mexican/Hispanic accent for his Mike Vargas character one of the biggest mistakes of his acting career. (Curiously, the Vargas character was not supposed to be Mexican in the original script.  It was Welles who changed it.)



#40 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 11:42 AM

Okay, I'm completely off-topic here.  I finally watched "The Misfits" for the first time in my life.  I've always avoided it for several reasons which I won't bother you with now.

 

I know, last movie for all three, top box office stars, I like them, really I do but...THEY ACTUALLY PAID THE FOLKS IN THIS MOVIE???????????????

 

Yes, "The Misfits" but wow, really?  They stole their paychecks for this movie.

 

Sorry.

 

Yes,  ranting.  You see I just don't see much substance in these post.    OK,  we know you don't like the film.   You do make some funny jokes,    but statement like 'but wow, really'  just don't communicate much to me.     I guess that is just me.   Charge on since the I do like the jokes.


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