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JULY 24 TCM FILM DISCUSSION FOR #NOIRSUMMER FOR ALL 13 FILMS


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#41 ciro_barbaro

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 02:41 PM

His Kind of Woman - a Comedy...of errors!

 

The print of this film is by far the best I've seen of this series.  It looks to have been struck from the original camera negative or at the very least a pristine fine-grain positive.  It's lit scrumptiously, blacks that are like velvet, consider the night for night sky in the yacht scene, and whites that had amazing resolution: bright without burnout in the highlights--in the scene where Mitchum comes out of his hotel room and has the envelope with his additional money in hand--he's in peripheral light, semi-darkness even, and that piece of white paper positively glows.  Not to mention the sparkle of Jane Russell's jewelry and one scene where there was a fireplace fire behind them and it absolutely glowed and visually crackled in the background.  There was an emulsion scratch for a few minutes in the last reel, and that was the only time I was jarred into remembering that it was a film.  Otherwise, it was like looking at a "coffee table book" of gorgeous black and white photographs.    I wish the print of "The Locket" was this good!  The sound quality was without aural blemish.  

 

I will say that the naturalistic styles of Mitchum and Russell melded so well together, even in the dramatic scenes there wasn't that sense of overdramatic "angst" we so often see in these.  She looked spectacular, and the aforementioned gorgeous print of this film allowed us to see all the detail of the pearl-white in her outfits. 

 

The movie itself, however, was a hodgepodge of insanely disparate styles thrown together in a blender, under-mixed and poured out.  Vincent Price almost saved the day, and for much of it towed that line between outrageously good and just too much.  Some of the final scenes were reminiscent of "Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd."  Did someone put peyote in my popcorn?  I thought I was watching a film noir, or maybe a gangster flick!

 

I started to watch this and fell asleep within the first few minutes and woke up again halfway through it.  So I scrolled to "The Locket."  Got through it without a hitch.  One sitting.  I tried "His Kind Of Woman" again.  Fell asleep again.  Woke up it was over.  Jumped to "Angel Face."  Engaged from the beginning.  Watched until the end.  Got a good night's sleep.  Made a pot of morning coffee.  Was determined to get through "His Kind of Woman"...awake.  Succeeded.  Too bad the film didn't! 


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#42 ciro_barbaro

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 02:07 PM

Agree.   Macao is the far better film.   His Kind of Woman plays more like a comedy than a noir.   The Jim Backus and Vincent Price characters were there for comic relief.    The plot didn't make a whole lot of sense.   I'm still trying to figure out why Dan swam back to the yacht after having escaped being brought there by McGraw & Co. in the first place?    

 

Obviously, so he could be threatened by Burr and the plastic surgeon (another 'doctor' who's a whiz-bang with a hypo, like in Murder My Sweet, Kiss Me Deadly,  etc.) for what seemed an eternity, but I'm not sure he had a valid reason for him to go back except to place himself in more danger.  

Completely agree.  It didn't know what it wanted to be, and went on forever!


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#43 Marianne

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 12:13 PM

Great comments.  Your second to last paragraph:  Now that Jerry is no longer a "simple" man, was he really acting so magnanimously "allowing" Mae to go get Gloria as a selfless, forgiving gesture, or has he now spawned his own agenda.  From his point of view, trust or no trust, Mae can take care of little Gloria, and so that burden has been lifted from Jerry.  He's getting something whether he forgives Mae or not.  So the question is, will he from this day forward use the child as emotional blackmail to "keep the wife in line?" In essence, will he now become one of those "other" guys who abuse their wives? It's really interesting that you bring up the nature shots of the surroundings:  these scenes are repeated a few times throughout the movie.  I'd like to take a look at exactly where they recur in the plot-line.  If the people in this story are indeed animals, then is the implication that they, too, cannot change their patterns?  This is way too deep for a Sunday morning!

Interesting speculation about Jerry's motives, but I do believe that future events after Jerry and Mae reunite would constitute a separate movie, a sequel to Clash by Night. As viewers, we can only go by what happens on the film before our eyes. It was obvious to me that Jerry loves his daughter; he kisses her and shows her the beauty of the moon on a hot sweltering night (not all of nature is beastly!). He is willing to take the baby with him on the boat while he works, so he is willing to spend time with her and take care of her. From our modern perspective, it may seem like Jerry is dumping Gloria, their daughter, on Mae, but I can only go by what Mae says she wants in the movie. She tells Earl she is leaving him because he doesn't have a place for the baby in his view of their relationship. She begs Jerry to take her back because she wants her family, including the baby, back. I don't think Mae is thinking that she will be burdened from now on.

 

But who knows what a sequel could bring for Mae and Jerry!


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#44 ciro_barbaro

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 11:40 AM

 

Clash by Night

 

I had written a lot of this before trading posts with ciro_barbaro, which helped me clarify my thoughts even further. Many thanks to ciro_barbaro and others for a great discussion about this film!

 

Clash by Night opens with crashing waves, crashing surf, and a rocky shore behind the opening credits. We know lots of tumult is to come. Then the film switches to shots of seals, pelicans, gulls, and a fishing fleet. Were the animals meant to foreshadow the scene when Jerry calls Mae and Earl animals? He repeats the word several times, and I thought of the animals from the beginning of the movie while this scene played out.

 

The film features lots of talk about violence against women, and even violence from women directed toward men (especially on the part of Peggy):

• When we first see Peggy and Joe together, Peggy talks about spousal abuse. One of her coworkers showed up at work with a black eye, courtesy of her husband. She stands up for herself, both verbally and physically, when Joe defends the husband’s position.

• One of the first things that Earl says to Mae, when they first meet in the projection room of the movie theater: “Gotta cut her up a little bit. She’d look more interesting.” He’s talking about women in general, I believe.

• When Mae, Jerry, and Earl are out a local bar, Earl says about his ex-wife: “Someday I’m going to stick her full of pins just to see if blood runs out.”

• Later in the movie, Joe play-strangles Peggy with a towel, and she starts to be hurt a bit because he goes too far. But he only releases her when she tells him he’s the one who is exciting. And when he does release her, Peggy socks him in the jaw.

 

In the scene at the bar, with Mae, Jerry, and Earl, Earl and Mae seem to do most of the talking. At a couple of points during the conversation, Earl addresses his comments directly to the camera, although he is not addressing the audience, in a first-person point of view (POV). This felt so odd to me, and I couldn’t figure out why Fritz Lang would do this. But then that’s probably the point: Earl is an odd character who made me uncomfortable, and this technique made me feel that viscerally. (Another successful use of the first-person POV that shows how far filmmaking has come since Lady in the Lake. The other successful use in this week’s Summer of Darkness lineup is in The Narrow Margin, during the fight on the train, with Detective Brown’s foot coming right for the camera and the other character’s face.) It didn’t make me relate to the character, but it did make me want to run in the opposite direction from the one that Mae seemed to be taking in the film, in general!

 

When Jerry says that he never thought of cutting a woman (this is during the same scene in the projection room of the movie theater when Earl and Mae fist meet), Earl calls him a simple man, as though it were an insult. The whole scene is perfect noir. The only one out of place is Jerry because he’s a simple man—but not for long.

 

Uncle Vince is just as creepy as Earl, in his own way. He’s always there to bring bad news. He even prods Jerry to commit murder, and Jerry almost does.

 

Wow, a happy ending—sort of. I didn’t see that coming, not with all the violent physicality and emotional abuse between the male and female characters. Jerry says that he has to trust because it’s the only way to live, but it seems clear to me that this film is implying that such trust is a gamble in general, not just for Jerry, and that it will take him some time to trust Mae again. And I have the sense that Mae will do anything for her daughter; she simply cannot abandon her, even if it means giving up her relationship with Earl.

 

Commentary on the movie was provided by Peter Bogdanovich on my borrowed copy of the DVD. He did not want to call Clash by Night a film noir because it is essentially a love triangle, but why does that disqualify it? The constant fighting and violent physicality between so many of the characters makes the movie a film noir for me. Most of the story may take place in people’s homes and may be about a love triangle, but I had no trouble with that same kind of setting, for example, in Mildred Pierce. Bogdanovich also mentioned the footage that starts the movie, which was filmed in a documentary style. When I watched it a second time, I was amazed at the scenes Fritz Lang and Nicholas Musuraca were able to capture and weave into the story to portray the life of the fishing town.

 

Great comments.  Your second to last paragraph:  Now that Jerry is no longer a "simple" man, was he really acting so magnanimously "allowing" Mae to go get Gloria as a selfless, forgiving gesture, or has he now spawned his own agenda.  From his point of view, trust or no trust, Mae can take care of little Gloria, and so that burden has been lifted from Jerry.  He's getting something whether he forgives Mae or not.  So the question is, will he from this day forward use the child as emotional blackmail to "keep the wife in line?" In essence, will he now become one of those "other" guys who abuse their wives? It's really interesting that you bring up the nature shots of the surroundings:  these scenes are repeated a few times throughout the movie.  I'd like to take a look at exactly where they recur in the plot-line.  If the people in this story are indeed animals, then is the implication that they, too, cannot change their patterns?  This is way too deep for a Sunday morning!


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#45 Marianne

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 09:47 AM

Clash by Night

 

I had written a lot of this before trading posts with ciro_barbaro, which helped me clarify my thoughts even further. Many thanks to ciro_barbaro and others for a great discussion about this film!

 

Clash by Night opens with crashing waves, crashing surf, and a rocky shore behind the opening credits. We know lots of tumult is to come. Then the film switches to shots of seals, pelicans, gulls, and a fishing fleet. Were the animals meant to foreshadow the scene when Jerry calls Mae and Earl animals? He repeats the word several times, and I thought of the animals from the beginning of the movie while this scene played out.

 

The film features lots of talk about violence against women, and even violence from women directed toward men (especially on the part of Peggy):

• When we first see Peggy and Joe together, Peggy talks about spousal abuse. One of her coworkers showed up at work with a black eye, courtesy of her husband. She stands up for herself, both verbally and physically, when Joe defends the husband’s position.

• One of the first things that Earl says to Mae, when they first meet in the projection room of the movie theater: “Gotta cut her up a little bit. She’d look more interesting.” He’s talking about women in general, I believe.

• When Mae, Jerry, and Earl are out a local bar, Earl says about his ex-wife: “Someday I’m going to stick her full of pins just to see if blood runs out.”

• Later in the movie, Joe play-strangles Peggy with a towel, and she starts to be hurt a bit because he goes too far. But he only releases her when she tells him he’s the one who is exciting. And when he does release her, Peggy socks him in the jaw.

 

In the scene at the bar, with Mae, Jerry, and Earl, Earl and Mae seem to do most of the talking. At a couple of points during the conversation, Earl addresses his comments directly to the camera, although he is not addressing the audience, in a first-person point of view (POV). This felt so odd to me, and I couldn’t figure out why Fritz Lang would do this. But then that’s probably the point: Earl is an odd character who made me uncomfortable, and this technique made me feel that viscerally. (Another successful use of the first-person POV that shows how far filmmaking has come since Lady in the Lake. The other successful use in this week’s Summer of Darkness lineup is in The Narrow Margin, during the fight on the train, with Detective Brown’s foot coming right for the camera and the other character’s face.) It didn’t make me relate to the character, but it did make me want to run in the opposite direction from the one that Mae seemed to be taking in the film, in general!

 

When Jerry says that he never thought of cutting a woman (this is during the same scene in the projection room of the movie theater when Earl and Mae fist meet), Earl calls him a simple man, as though it were an insult. The whole scene is perfect noir. The only one out of place is Jerry because he’s a simple man—but not for long.

 

Uncle Vince is just as creepy as Earl, in his own way. He’s always there to bring bad news. He even prods Jerry to commit murder, and Jerry almost does.

 

Wow, a happy ending—sort of. I didn’t see that coming, not with all the violent physicality and emotional abuse between the male and female characters. Jerry says that he has to trust because it’s the only way to live, but it seems clear to me that this film is implying that such trust is a gamble in general, not just for Jerry, and that it will take him some time to trust Mae again. And I have the sense that Mae will do anything for her daughter; she simply cannot abandon her, even if it means giving up her relationship with Earl.

 

Commentary on the movie was provided by Peter Bogdanovich on my borrowed copy of the DVD. He did not want to call Clash by Night a film noir because it is essentially a love triangle, but why does that disqualify it? The constant fighting and violent physicality between so many of the characters makes the movie a film noir for me. Most of the story may take place in people’s homes and may be about a love triangle, but I had no trouble with that same kind of setting, for example, in Mildred Pierce. Bogdanovich also mentioned the footage that starts the movie, which was filmed in a documentary style. When I watched it a second time, I was amazed at the scenes Fritz Lang and Nicholas Musuraca were able to capture and weave into the story to portray the life of the fishing town.


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#46 Sir David

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 09:04 AM

The Narrow Margin

 

Howard Hughes, or no Howard Hughes, RKO made my favorite Noirs. Haven't seen this one for a good while but it's a terrific ride through Noir territory, just about the only tropes it didn't include were the flash-back and the voice-over! 

 

Seeing it again made me thinks about the Daily Dose discussion earlier in the week about it's hard boiled dialogue almost being a parody of that in earlier films. The fact it was made in 1950 but not released until 1952 actually puts the movie on that boundary between early and late Noirs and I feel the whole tone of the film to be closer to, say, The Maltese Falcon, than the more cynical movies that followed it's release. In fact, Charles MacGraw's character is more overtly sympathetic to the death of his partner, Forbes, than Sam Spade ever was about his, although he does kind of ruin it later when he has the following exchange:

 

Brown: Poor Forbes

Neall: What about poor Forbes

Brown: He owed me five bucks!


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#47 ciro_barbaro

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 07:43 AM

The Locket

 

A great piece of entertainment.  Casting Laraine Day was actually brilliant.  She had to have that butter wouldn't melt in her mouth quality so that all these people would believe her.  Even though there were multiple flashbacks it was very easy to follow if you see it from the beginning.  Of course, years ago we just went to the movies, never finding out about start times, and generally we came in on the middle of one of the two features usually shown and left when it came to the part of the first movie we already saw-"This is where I came in."  So I guess at the time this might've confused people if they didn't see it from the beginning.  I wish it were a better print with a clearer soundtrack--and that green tint...the technical flaw of that removed it a layer for the "engagement" factor, but it was still terrific nevertheless.  A "B" level "Laura."  It had everything.  I particularly liked the "matched" shot of Nancy as a child and Nancy as the bride looking down after the music box hit the floor and opened.  

 

Angel Face

 

It's so tragic that Howard Hughes' egregious treatment of Miss Simmons destroyed any joy she may have had playing such a terrific part as this. I was thinking the same thing about her wig as Mr. Muller.  It was almost iconic in stature, and it's funny that he set up a comparison with Barbara Stanwyck's wig in "Double Indemnity."  I wonder if that character would've had the same incredible impact without it.  That said, this is a great story and an artful film.  Jean Simmons gives a terrific performance, as does everyone.  Misogyny abounds again with Mitchum's character, where he lets Mona Freeman know he's a free agent, even while seeing her, and his line delivered as a professional ambulance driver to a client "I've been slapped by dames before" (something to that effect) after she slaps him, shows how he feels about "dames."  He's not very sympathetic, but he's not stupid, and he still gets it in the end.  I thought the ending was terrific.  You know, some people in these posts say that noir never has a happy ending.  Not true.  If the protagonist has not actually done anything wrong, it usually does end happily for them.  That's why I liked this one.  I thought for sure that through some quirk of fate that she, the murderess, would die, and he, the innocent bystander, would be spared.  But maybe he died on a technicality because he knew beforehand she might kill the stepmother and didn't try to stop it.  Hmmm.  A worthwhile film.  Great print, true black and white and not that horrible green-tinted stuff, and clear soundtrack.  I had fun watching this. They had me at the wig!

 

An extra thought:  I wonder if changing Mona Freeman's hairstyle in her last scene was a conscious choice.  In all the scenes when she was still Mitchum's "girl" her hair was pulled back and up, like her guard is up with him.  She's not relaxed.  Since their relationship is "open," she always has her guard up, she's always "competing."  But in her last scene when she commits to his friend (Kenneth Tobey) because he's the kind of man who wants to be committed and married to her, her hair is loose, soft, like she's finally comfortable.  Her guard is down, She's finally unrestrained.  

 

As far as the slapping story: Unless Mr. Muller was referring to her being slapped multiple times in rehearsal and Robert Mitchum slapping Preminger before the cameras rolled, the evidence on film does not support this intention.  Mitchum's hand hardly touched her face.  As he starts to slap her there's an abrupt cut to a different angle where we see his hand already on her face.  The rest of the work was done by the foley artist.  Her slapping Mitchum was definitely real. There's no cutting away and the sound seems diegetic.  Sorry to contradict but that's what I see in the film.  Perhaps I misunderstood.  I've read about how abusive Preminger was with his leading ladies, so I completely believe that part, and I believe he may have told Mitchum to slap her hard and Mitchum may have said nothin' doin' as he slapped Preminger, but I don't see any evidence on film of a hard slap to Miss Simmons actually happening.


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#48 sheriff34

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 07:39 AM

"The Strip" -

 

Again, I'm sorry to offend but I've always found it difficult to buy Mickey Rooney as a lover.  Yes, I know he was married 1,000 times, perhaps others found it difficult as well.

 

"Miss Fluff" as I'll call her, she was no dummy.  She knew what she wanted and wasn't going to let anyone stop her.  She used poor William Demarest as a shield when she felt like it.  I'm sure he realized this, as he was no dummy either.

 

Did anyone notice that the hatcheck girl and "Miss Fluff" bore a striking resemblance to each other or is it just me thinking this - especially at the end when all of a sudden there was a new cigarette girl. 

 

I had to keep looking at both women during the movie to see which was which.  I guess it was difficult finding women shorter than Mickey. 

 

James Craig vs. Mickey Rooney, really?  I'm sorry but there was no contest. 

 

I think she knew what she was getting into and thought she could handle it.

 

The ego of Mickey's character, he just met her, she made a deal to date him so that he could have the job playing the drums and then all of a sudden, he thinks they're going to marry and he's telling her what she and cannot do?  I don't think so...even for those times.  They hadn't been dating for a time and you could see she didn't really give a rat's you-know-what about him.

 

Some of this is silly.

 

The music was great and I agree, having all those "greats" in one movie was outstanding. 

 

There's no denying that Mickey Rooney was a multi-talented, multi-faceted human being but I just can't accept Andy Hardy as a great lover.

Agree. Don't forget he married Ava Gardner!! Of course, this is his personal life and not relative to the character he portrayed in The Strip.  Apparantly, Rooney was the movies' hot ticket item at the time and Gardner was on the rise. The studio approved and promoted their marriage. Undoubtedly, the studio could possibly have seen a good bottom line here?


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#49 cigarjoe

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 06:43 AM

Re: The Narrow Margin

 

You got to remember this was the very height and also the very brink of the end of the great "luxury name train" era and it was cheaper than flying, $100 Chicago to LA vs about $300 air see below
 
AIR TRAVEL IN THE 1950s
Coach Class
In the 1950s the American aviation industry grew dramatically. Airline companies had gradually adopted the technological improvements of World War II for their civilian planes, and commercial air travel became faster and more comfortable. It also became cheaper as new planes accommodating more people were introduced. Airlines began to offer "air coach class" seating, priced to compete with railroad's "coach" business. By paying coach fares, passengers could fly almost anywhere in the country for about one hundred dollars, one-third less than airfares of the late 1940s. "For the first time the ordinary man began to fly with us," observed Juan Trippe, longtime head of Pan American. By 1955 more Americans were traveling by air than by railroad.
 
Check out the accommodations on the "Train of the Stars" basically a rolling hotel:
 
 
On a side note next time you watch the film pay attention to the last sequence on the train just after Paul Maxey blocks the corridor so that McGraw and Jacqueline White can escape the reporters in the opposite direction, just as they leave the train, behind Maxey in a pouch against the wall sticking out is a brochure for TWA nice product placement Howard.

 

Also you hear a couple of McGraw's quips against the railroad during the course of the film:
 
Brown: This rattler hasn't stopped, they're still on it!
 
Brown: As soon as they pave this track accidents like this won't happen.

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#50 dwallace

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 01:45 AM

The Strip

 

Just goes to show that Fluff was no Judge Hardy.  Just think if Andy had gone to the Judge for advise, no one would have died.  While Fluff tried, he couldn't do it.  Rooney on the drums did look just the way Andy did in any of the Hardy films, especially when they were putting on a play, the way he sat up straighter and tucked his chin in as he began to get into the music.  

 

As far as his playing was concerned:

 

One thing not so well known today were Rooney's musical skills, more substantial than many realized. He was skilled on drums, piano, vibes and vocals. Virtually all movies featuring actors as musicians had professionals record for the soundtrack, but Rooney was the rare one able to it himself. *

 

Read his obits and there are references to Clark Gable and Laurence Olivier referring to him as the greatest of actors.

 

http://communityvoic...d-blues-shouter


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#51 dwallace

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 01:22 AM

The Narrow Margin is high parody, it isn't set up as slapstick but, if you know the style of noir, then you are in on the joke.  The claustrophobic aspect of the train for all the action.  The quick, hard boiled dialog, the constant train sounds throughout, when going over cross tracks, having it sound and look like gunfire.  The fat railroad detective, "...nobody likes a fat man but his grocer and his tailor..."  It was fun and exciting and kept you on your toes, unlike Kansas City Confidential.  We also see gangsters and mobsters as businessmen, never carrying guns, it makes them squeamish.  They would  prefer to do it with the pay off, even to take care of Gus's family.  

 

I enjoyed today's movie showing Raymond Burr at his Perry Mason weight, as in His Kind of Woman, instead of his usual fat man bad guy.  Lots of darkness and shadows and chiaroscuro lighting.  Vincent Price campy in playing the actor, finally really being heroric:

"Drinks are on me bucko".

Hitting the concern of organized gangster leaders making their way back into America as in Key Largo and Rocko, but Nick is coming back to raid and destroy America just as Estes Kefauver had shown in his Senate investigation.

 

The Locket was completely dark in almost every scene, even more so in the flashbacks on flashbacks on flashbacks.  The pseudo-psychiatry that passed in Hollywood.  Nancy not understanding Norman being so upset, calmly admitting she took the bracelet:  "Because I wanted it".  Then Norman playing the amature shrink, getting the flashback story of the locket, and she's cured.  That guilt will get you, Norman throwing himself out the window, Dr. Blair having his nervous breakdown, being able to blame it on the war, and finally Nancy attaining the locket she always wanted, losing her mind at the end.

 

 Angel Face ws the most dark both in style and presentation.  The former race driver out of it because of the war and driving tanks, his jaded attitude towards women, that Kathy would always be his.  Diane pushing him towards murder, showing him the crumpled papers of financial opportunity, that she crumpled.  Then killing her step-mom and accidentally her father.  The jaded criminal attorney who got them off, and the just as jaded D.A. who tried them, there must have been a deal possible for Frank.  Then killing herself and Frank when he was going to leave her.  Almost every scene in darkness and shadows.  Her neurosis from childhood, "daddy's girl" and that no one gets out alive.  Otto may have been a sadistic task master, and we know Howard was crazy, soon he would be off to Las Vegas, never to be seen...germs.

 

The French film again no one gets out in Elevator to the Gallows, she proves her lover did not kill the Germans.  But in playing detective and getting the film developed, she proves he killed her husband, with her help.  At least she will never change, grow old, they always had each other at that time.  Just as Rick and Ilsa, "...always had Paris", in Casablanca.

 

After "Lassie" noir (as one person commented), and all other types of noir, the last five movies of the evening were "real" noir.



#52 morrison94114

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 11:15 PM

I was going to post tonight with the same comment about Charles McGraw. He would be the perfect Dick Tracy. When he is wearing a hat and seen in profile he is the spitting image of Dick Tracy. I would almost think that Chester Gould used McGraw as his model, except that the Dick Tracy character predates McGraws first screen role (I checked). Glad to know it isn't just me who is reminded of Tracy by this excellent actor.

Roadblock

 

RKO have consistently delivered the Noir goods for me and Roadblock was no different.

 

Short and taut and to the point with very little wasted in terms of narrative, it made for a very enjoyable B feature. Charles McGraw (did he ever play Dick Tracy? If not, he should have, his face is perfect for the role) as the good guy turned bad all to impress a chiseling bad girl - who ironically turns good as the film progresses - and a foolproof plan for a heist that it seems was all too easy for the cops to solve. Of course, no-one really comes out of this well. 

 

One thing I wondered. We get to see a car chase along the LA riverbed and it's such an oft used and iconic location: was this though, the first time it was used this way?

 

The film also had some very quotable lines:

 

"Can happiness buy you money?"

 

and,

 

Diane: "Some day you're going to want to have something nice and expensive that you can't afford"

 

Joe "Like what?"

 

Diane "Like me." 


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#53 QueenOfNoirs

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 09:26 PM

We watched part of Angel Face, and all of The Locket as well as many others this last Friday. I'd like to say that I prefer femme fatales to femme mentals. A femme fatale makes the choice to be wicked and that's interesting. Femme mentals just need therapy and it's just kind of sad.


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#54 dwallace

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 07:50 PM

The films introduced by Eddie Muller (Narrow Margin, His Kind of Woman, The Locket, Angel Face) and the French Film Elevator to the Gallows, were all noir, lighting and shadows, well done and presented, even if at time parody, they were respectful parody.



#55 ThePaintedLady

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 07:42 PM

I'm surprised there hasn't been mention of Elevator to the Gallows. I just watched this morning (it's On Demand for those who have Comcast). This was a well made film with an interesting plot twist at the end. Actually, there were a lot of twists throughout the film. Considering that the latest Daily Dose was about the jazz, it was used during moments of solitude as our female lead, Florence, walked the rain soaked streets at night. Very well orchestrated. It reminded me of another French film noir Two Men in Manhattan also filmed in the middle of the night along empty streets.

 

I also liked the interrogation scenes; it was pure chiaroscuro with only the actors lit against a black background. There was no room, no table, just three men floating across the screen.


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Let us read and let us dance; two amusements that will never do harm to the world.

-Voltaire

 

http://scarlettestreet.blogspot.com/ (Film Noir blog)

http://thepaintedlady922.blogspot.com/ (Vintage living)


#56 HEYMOE

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 06:06 PM

 

Sir David

 

 

One thing I wondered. We get to see a car chase along the LA riverbed and it's such an oft used and iconic location: was this though, the first time it was used this way?

 

 

I wondered that too.

I believe I saw the riverbed in "Point Blank".


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#57 EffieP

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 05:59 PM

Sir David

 

 

One thing I wondered. We get to see a car chase along the LA riverbed and it's such an oft used and iconic location: was this though, the first time it was used this way?

 

 

I wondered that too.


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#58 ciro_barbaro

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 05:55 PM

Let me see if I have your post down correctly: You weren't engaged enough with the story in Clash by Night to feel uncomfortable, and the lack of any engagement was the problem.

 

If I have this right, I would have to agree: Any movie that didn't engage me at all would be . . . boring, I guess. And that's not good for just about any movie!

 

So if I have it right, I definitely see your point. I agree that it was very hard to identify with almost all the characters. They ran the gamut: I wouldn't have wanted to spend any time with Earl, but I did grow to appreciate Mae. She may have picked a winner of a life, but I suspect she would fight for her daughter no matter what. She goes back to Jerry because she just cannot abandon her child. That was a redeeming quality for her. And the redeeming quality for Jerry is that he is not accepting her back without some limits. He tells her he will trust her again because life isn't worth living without trust, but it's not necessarily because she has inspired any trust in him. She'll have to earn that back again, and I suspect that will take a long time, even for someone like Jerry. I guess I saw some realistic optimism here, and I found that encouraging in an otherwise bleak film.

 

Thanks!!!

Thanks!  You definitely have it right!


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#59 sheriff34

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 05:52 PM

The Locket (1946)

 

To me, this movie was a cinematic feast for the eyes.

 

It is loaded with low-key lighting, chiaroscuro, choker shots and what I believe to be a hint of German Expressionism. Dark shadows and lights played off each other so well. I loved it. Total noir.

 

A flashback within a flashback within a flashback is something I haven't experienced in a film prior to this one. The plot  was not as complicated to follow as I thought it might be.

 

Laraine Day did a superb job portraying her character, Nancy. Nancy is a complex character at best and Day had the range to take us from one persona to the next with ease. She could be naive, innocent, manipulative and quietly hard edged.

 

Without reiterating the whole film, suffice it to say, it was replete with subject matters ranging from tattling and betrayal to false accusations.

 

It addresses the power of the mind to repress memories and how impressionable children are. As a child, Nancy is wrongly accused of stealing a locket. That accusation had a profound effect upon her. As an adult, she becomes a kleptomanic and goes into a downspiral where she winds up being accused of murder.

 

We are taken on a psycological ride into Nancy's past and are kept in suspense as to her guilt or innocence in the murder.  And, did she willingly steal from others?

 

Only after the locket resurfaces do we know the truth.

 

Admittedly, I will need to see The Locket again for I know I have missed so much.


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#60 Janeko

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 03:33 PM

"Talk About a Stranger" -

 

A film noir?  I think by a stretch this was a noir.

 

A boy running around the entire movie angry about the death of his dog and trying to turn anyone who'd listen against the "stranger in the big house", no.

 

Billy Gray, had way too much power, freedom, say for my money.  His parents just sat there and laughed or smiled and had the general "isn't he wonderful" attitude.

 

Nancy Davis, aka Mrs. You-Know-Who, bad actress in my opinion.  I'll probably have the Secret Service knocking on my door but bad actress.

 

The two times I've seen her she's wearing what I'm calling a smock buttoned all the way up to the neck.  She has his plastic, pasty, non-emotional expressions.  She's stiff and the movie would proceed just as well if her character wasn't even in it.  Some would probably say she played her characters well if I don't like them.  I think she found her true calling later when she helped run The White House.

 

George Murphy looked tired and like he was on his way out and also on to bigger and better jobs, in politics as well,  You think he and Nancy discussed their futures during this movie - HAHA!

 

I learned that Nancy's name had appeared on one of those blacklists erroneously?  She went to the President of the Screen Actors Guild to ask for help clearing her name.  Guess who that was?  Yep, Ronnie...history began!

 

I was reminded of how much free time kids actually had years ago...running around, no TV, playing outside, getting into mischief.  Perhaps because of where they lived, but he was all over the place and didn't really seem to have any kind of curfew.  He caused a lot of trouble and everyone basically let him slide.

 

Interesting role for Lewis Stone, almost seemed like an extension of Judge Hardy, but a little darker.

 

I didn't like this movie.

I agree that Billy Gray's character had too much power, to much say, too much free time.  I can't believe that he wouldn't have had to spend a lot more time helping his father in the citrus grove than was apparent in the film.  And none of the adults, especially his parents, seemed to try to teach him that one can't just go around smearing their neighbor's name because of the unfounded assumption that the neighbor had poisoned the dog.  Even Lewis Stone's character encouraged Gray to actually go out in search of proof!!  And that's exactly what Gray did, badmouthing his neighbor every step of the way!  Then there was all that hitchhiking Gray was doing.  Was that really acceptable at that time?  None of the adults giving him rides seemed to question why he was out there all by himself.  No one seemed to be concerned that maybe he was running away.  Finally, no matter how bad his behavior was, he didn't seem to have to accept any consequnces.  I really can't believe that there wouldn't have been any punishment for his deliberately damaging the tap so that all of that fuel was lost.  It wasn't just the question of money but of  deliberately, spitefully damaging someone else's property to that extent, plus depriving all of the men with fuel that could have saved their crops.  So the whole film just didn't come together well because so much of it seemed so unrealistic.  The dogs were cute, though...


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