cigarjoe

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About cigarjoe

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    Film Noir, Westerns
  1. And I'm sure their teeth are rubbery, and you can use the garden hose to sluice them clean in all their nether regions when you are done.......
  2. I Just Watched...

    Dark City (1998) Existentialist Noir from The Twilight Zone Beware of Greeks bearing imaginative movies. Director Alex Proyas along with two other writers Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer have created a brilliant metaphorical Neo Noir Film about being, life, and essentially an ultimate Noirsville. The film is a high point in the art of studio/stagecraft. A gorgeous film to look at. Dark City stars Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist (2006)) as John Murdoch, William Hurt (Body Heat(1981), I Love You to Death (1990)) as Inspector Frank Bumstead, Kiefer Sutherland (Fallen Angels TV Series (1993–1995), Melancholia (2011)) as Dr. Daniel P. Schreber, Jennifer Connelly (Once Upon a Time in America (1984), The Hot Spot (1990), Mulholland Falls(1996), Requiem for a Dream (2000)) as Emma Murdoch/Anna, Richard O'Brien (The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Flash Gordon (1980)) as Mr. Hand, Ian Richardson (Brazil (1985), From Hell (2001)), as Mr. Book, Bruce Spence as Mr. Wall, Colin Friels as Det. Eddie Walenski, John Bluthal (The Fifth Element (1997), ) as Karl Harris, Melissa George (The Limey (1999), Mulholland Drive (2001)) as May, Ritchie Singer as Hotel Manager / Vendor, Nicholas Bell as Mr. Rain and Satya Gumbert and Noah Gumbert as Mr. Sleep. The cinematography was by Dariusz Wolski, Romeo Is Bleeding (1993), The soundtrack was by Trevor Jones (Angel Heart (1987), The Last Of The Mohicans (1992) and the Film Editing was by Dov Hoenig (The Last of the Mohicans (1992)). The majority of the film was shot at Fox Studios Australia, and I must stress again how intricate, amazing, and believable the world that they created is. It hearkens back to the worlds created in the original Hollywood Studio Noirs but it goes light years beyond 90% of them in detail. The originals were basically low budget affairs and what they achieved was through the ingenuity and creativity of their studios and personnel. Here you have that creativity married to a substantial budget. They built fifty-five some odd different sets and shot on them in eighty days. Some work was also done in Los Angeles, California. The Noir World they created with Dark City, is an amalgamation archetypes from every noir era and bits and pieces of every iconic noir city ever filmed. There's steam vapors arising from the manholes, subways, an Automat, New York City Bishop Crook streetlamps, London Underground signs, rotary telephones, checker cabs, seamed stockings, elevated trains, 40's through to 70s autos, The Los Angeles Globe on concrete post streetlights, Art Deco skyscrapers, suspension bridges, pull shades on windows, fire escapes, cage door elevators with operators, venetian blinds, moving billboards, neon, cobblestone streets with their peeling asphalt veneers, etc., etc., Dark City was produced by New Line Cinema in conjunction with Mystery Clock Cinema. The theatrical release had the opening voice over. The director's cut released in 2008, preserved Proyas's original artistic vision for the film. The version I watched was the theatrical release DVD Dark City is a Noir Lovers wet dream, 10/10. Full review with some screencaps here in Film Noir/Gangster pages.
  3. Noir Alley

    PS The existing house from the Google street view is the one the woman is standing in front of on the title frame.
  4. Recently watched Noir

    Dark City (1998) Existentialist Noir from The Twilight Zone Beware of Greeks bearing imaginative movies. Director Alex Proyas along with two other writers Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer have created a brilliant metaphorical Neo Noir Film about being, life, and essentially an ultimate Noirsville. The film is a high point in the art of studio/stagecraft. The premise of the story in Voice Over, (if you saw the theatrical cut) goes like this: "First there was darkness. Then came the strangers. They were a race as old as time itself. They had mastered the ultimate technology. The ability to alter physical reality by will alone. They called this ability "Tuning". But they were dying. Their civilization was in decline, and so they abandoned their world seeking a cure for their own mortality. Their endless journey brought them to a small, blue world in the farthest corner of the galaxy. Our world. Here they thought they had finally found what they had been searching for." The knowledge of their immanent demise has driven them on an odyssey across the universe in search of an elusive something that will save them. When they reach Earth they discover our curious race of beings who individually possess "souls" that spiritual or immaterial part of a human being regarded as immortal. Immortality is what they desire. The "soul" is a concept that they can't quite grasp, so they "borrow" a sample population of humans whisk them off planet and construct with their reality machine an elaborate experiment, a pseudo flat "Earth" floating out in the void of space that consists solely of the Noirish-Hopperesque mega sized entity "Dark City," cloaked in perpetual darkness and mostly devoid of water. The alien hive mind has an aversion to both light and moisture. The humans they have trapped in their rat maze are "tuned" every twelve hours. The aliens, who actually inhabit the human dead using them as "vessels," shut down the world and conduct various experiments on their captives. They steal their individual memories and lives and swap them back and forth, back and forth, with others, so nobody knows who they are any more. By interchanging all these individual memories and lives within the human population of their experiment group, they hope to create in effect a sort of artificial hive mind similar to their own and by doing this, hope to isolate the elusive "soul." The hope of isolating this "soul" is the drive of the extraterrestrials and it's possession key to their immortality. Dr. Schreber: I call them the Strangers. They abducted us and brought us here. This city, everyone in it... is their experiment. They mix and match our memories as they see fit, trying to divine what makes us unique. One day, a man might be an inspector. The next, someone entirely different. When they want to study a murderer, for instance, they simply imprint one of their citizens with a new personality. Arrange a family for him, friends, an entire history... even a lost wallet. Then they observe the results. Will a man, given the history of a killer, continue in that vein? Or are we, in fact, more than the sum of our memories? All the humans in the experiment do not even know where they are from, all that memory has been erased, all they know is the city. Possibly, though I haven't seen it myself, the directors vision, his version of the film would start here. The film opens with the depiction of this vast megalopolis Dark City. We see Dr. Schreber, the "mad scientist", a human who has betrayed his own kind. The mad scientist/doctor was used also in Classic Film Noir in the films The Man in Half Moon Street (1945), Decoy (1946) and maybe others. Dr. Schreber takes out his watch and as the second hand hits 12:00 O'clock everything in the city "shuts down." the cars, the buses, the trains stop dead in their tracks. All the humans wherever they are, walking on the street, sitting on stools in diners, driving cars, sitting at diner tables, etc., etc., fall down into a very deep sleep. After the credits our tale begins with an experiment gone bad. In a nondescript sleazy hotel, a man eventually identified J. Murdock wakes up naked in a tub of water with no memory of how he got there. This amnesia trope quotes a number of Classic Noirs, Spellbound (1945, Somewhere In The Night (1946), Black Angel (1946), Crack-Up (1946), Deadline at Dawn (1946), High Wall (1947), The Crooked Way (1949), and The Clay Pigeon (1949) also Neo Noirs The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Mister Buddwing (1966). John Murdock (Rufus Sewell) A series of quick cuts moves us along the narrative, he gets out of the tub, looks in the mirror, puts on the clothes that are draped upon a chair. He walks out into an alcove, he sees a suitcase with the personalized letters H.K. He opens it. He spots a postcard for a place called Shell Beach among the clothes. He puts the postcard in his jacket. The ring of the phone jarringly breaks the silence. A caller announces he's Dr. Schreber and he tells Murdock that "they" are after him and to leave immediately. He doesn't understand. He moves further out into the bedroom. He sees a dead woman on the floor beside a bed. Waking up with a dead body trope is used in The Dark Corner (1946), Dead Reckoning (1947) and of course it's exactly the same premise at the start of The Hard Goodbye aka Marv's Story in Frank Miller's Sin City series of graphic novels pub in 1991 and in screen treatment (Sin City (2005)). The dead woman has weird spirals carved into her flesh. These Fibonacci spirals, here and during the opening credit sequence, reminds you also of the "hypno wheel" spirillic illusion cast by the offset cone in one of the classic opening credits sequence of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone TV Series (1959–1964). Two 1959 Spanish horror films, The Vampire’s Coffin and The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy, were presented with a new innovation added by K. Gordon Murray, an American producer called “Hypnoscope,” In a four-minute filmed introduction preceding the show, a disembodied voice speaking over an endlessly looping hypnotic spiral explains that “you may feel yourself changing from the gentle person you are, to a monster....." (Death Spirals a History of the Hypnotic Horror Film) The "hypno wheel" was also used in The Hypnotic Eye (1960) as a segment of the "Hypnomagic" part of the film and it appears again in Ray Dennis Steckler's The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? (1964) Spirals also symbolically represent the format of a timeless basic building block, a foundation of ever evolving life, repeated ad infinitum, on entities across a spectrum as diverse as our fingerprints, a flower, a pine cone, a sea shell, a hurricane, to the galaxies. We see hints of the spirals throughout the film in iron work, in patterns, on stairways. Murdock jarred by the sight, knocks a knife off the dresser, it's covered with blood. He flees the room just before "The Strangers" arrive. The Strangers reanimate the dead bodies of humans. They dress in black long floor length coats that resemble robes. When out and about in their city they also wear fedoras. Murdock runs down the stairs to the lobby. Down in the hotel lobby the desk clerk awakens and tells him that the Automat called and that he left his wallet there. He heads out into the city. Its an extremely noirish elaborate set, a series of nocturnal Edward Hopper vignettes that astonishes, kudos to the Production Design by George Liddle, and Patrick Tatopoulos along with the Art Direction by Richard Hobbs and Michelle McGahey. We cut to a lounge act in a seamy dark cabaret somewhere. A torch singer Emma Murdoch (Jennifer Connelley) is crooning a slightly off sounding, almost drugged out, slowed down version of an old standard "Sway" (first recorded in 1953). The actual singing was done by Anita Kelsey. Torch singers appeared in Classic Noir, Ida Luoino in Road House (1948), Jean Hagen in Side Street (1950), Lizabeth Scott in Dark City (1950), Audrey Totter in The Sellout (1952), Anne Bancroft in Don't Bother To Knock (1952), Gloria Grahame in Naked Alibi (1954), Barbara Hale in The Huston Story (1956), and probably a few others. Emma back stage between sets receives a message also from Dr. Schreber who left his card. He wants her to cone down to his office because he has something important to tell her about her missing husband. Dr. Schreber tells her that John has lost his memory and that if he shows up she should call him. He could be dangerous. Meanwhile, back at the Hotel, the body is discovered and the police are called in. Inspector Frank Bumstead (William Hurt) is in charge of the investigation. He shows up in a Film Noir fedora and spouting hard boiled bon mots to the uniforms in the room. It looks like another prostitute murder. There is a serial killer murdering prostitutes in the city, Noir Classic The Sniper (1952) was one of the first films to depict a serial killer. From the register he gets a name, J. Murdock, now both the City Police and The Strangers are after him. While Bumstead and his men are investigating the room another man bursts upon the scene. He is Detective Eddie Walenski (Colin Friels) the former partner of Inspector Bumstead. He appears to be quite mad and has to be restrained. Murdock eventually finds the all night Automat. Meets a prostitute outside. Retrieves his wallet from a display and discovers something unusual when this is achieved through some type of mysterious force. On his way out of the Automat he is stopped by two uniform cops and is in effect rescued from their clutches by May the prostitute, who tells them he's her client. Prostitutes were also a part of Classic Noir. Joan Benett in Scarlet Street (1945), Margo Woode in Somewhere In The Night (1946), Gloria Grahame in Crossfire (1947), Mary Astor in Act of Violence (1949), Cleo Moore and Nita Talbot in On Dangerous Ground (1951), Jean Peters in Pickup on South Street (1953), and Susan Hayward in I Want to Live! (1958). May takes him back to her flop. Emma is brought in to the city police headquarters for questioning about John, She tells Bumstead that he's been missing two weeks, he left when he found out that she was having an affair with another man. When Bumstead shows her a list of victims names she asks which one is John accused of killing? Bumstead tells her "all of them." At May's flop May makes small talk with Murdock. He's sitting on the bed while she undresses looking through his wallet for clues. His drivers license tells him his name is John and his address. May John Murdock with all his new info about his identity decides to split leaving May alone. He heads back out into the city but he meets up with Mr. Hand and his men on the scaffolding of a billboard for Shell Beach. Here during the confrontation with The Strangers he again instinctively is able to use his new found ability to "cue" to evade them, apparently killing one of The Strangers "Mr. Quick" (Frederick Miragliotta) in the process. With his home address in hand Murdock goes to look for his wife Emma. That a human has evolved the ability to "cue" has the hive mind of The Strangers in a panic. Mr. Book (Ian Richardson) the leader of The Strangers orders that both Murdock and Dr. Schreber be brought in. The Strangers visit Dr. Schreber at his small sanctuary in the city, a public swimming pool, to ask him why Murdock can't be tuned and how did he evolve the ability to cue. The doctor tells them that it was a genetic mutation, and that this is what they are looking for, a human who can cue can save them from extinction. Meanwhile Bumstead has been tailing Emma back to her apartment, and when John Murdock shows up he tries to make an arrest. John evades Bumstead by vaulting over a stairway railing. Murdock escapes, again involuntarily using his ability to que. When he finds that he's trapped in the basement of the apartment house, out of need and desperation. he wills/ques a doorway to appear in a blank wall. He opens it and makes his escape, the wall goes back to being blank. Murdock hails a taxi and is whisked off into the bowels of the city. As Murdock is now immune to "tuning" he observes how The Strangers go about their grand experiment. Murdock explores the city. He watches it change as The Strangers rearrange it. He also realizes that there is never any daytime. Bumstead in the meanwhile goes to visit Eddie Walenski. He has, like in his office at the police station, obviously become obsessed with the murder case. Papers and notes are plastered about an empty room. Eddie is feverishly scratching spirals on the wall. He too, has become immune to "tuning" and has observed The Strangers switching infrastructure and peoples memories around. He realizes that Dark City is laid out like a never ending spiral, and it's spirals that are consuming his mind. When he relates his "findings" to Bumstead. he thinks Eddie's lost his mind. Walenski: I've been trying to remember things, CLEARLY remember things, from my past, but the more I try to think back, the more it all starts to unravel. None of it seems real. It's like I've just been dreaming this life, and when I finally wake up, I'll be somebody else. Somebody totally different! Inspector Frank Bumstead: You saw something, didn't you, Eddie? Something to do with the case. Walenski:There is no case! There never was! It's all just a big joke! It's a joke! (This idea about dreaming your life, I first read about this in a head comix in the early 1970's, it was in one the issues put out by The Overland Vegetable Stagecoach Productions the creation of F. Shrier and Dave Sheridan. The comix book titles were The Balloon Vendor, Mother Oats and Meef and in one of them there was a tale that postulated that there was this alien race who lived on a distant planet that had a very slow rotation, which resulted in a nighttime that lasted 90 Earth years. The aliens would sleep and their dreams would be our lives, so we are just the dreams of aliens. These comix were either printed by The Print Mint, or the Rip Off Press.) The Strangers coerce Dr. Schreber to inject the mind of Mr. Hand with John Murdock's most recent memories on the theory that by having John's memories he'll be able to be one step ahead of him always. Murdock asks humans about Shell Beach a seaside resort everyone knows it but nobody knows how to get to it. He takes The Green Line, a subway line that is supposed to go to Shell Beach, but he finds that the local train doesn't go there. At the 59th Street Station, all passengers are told to get off, a human tells him that only the express goes to the end of the line, but the express doesn't stop at 59th Street. Eddie Wallenski, is at that 59th Street Station also. He approaches Murdock and he tells him, almost confession like, all he knows about The Strangers. He states to Murdock that what makes humans different is that we have free will, and that he knows how to get out of the city. He then demonstrates/proves this by jumping in front of an express train. Murdock continues his own investigations. From the postcard he carries he gets the address for his uncle Karl. He calls on his uncle who lives above an aquarium. He visits his childhood room, where he lived after his parents were killed in a house fire. He watches a slide show with Uncle Karl, but he notices that a childhood picture of himself shows a nasty burn scar on his arm, which he doesn't have. He tells his "uncle" that those slides and memories aren't real. Murdock continues to travel around the city. He watches as The Strangers cue the city to their various whims and schemes. Growing buildings by their sheer wills. He watches as they switch around the memories and life stations of various residents. When Murdock meets up again with Dr. Schreber, he gives him an inadvertent display of his cuing power. Schebner is impressed. Dr. Schrebner: You can make things happen by will alone. Later Murdock and Mr. Hand meet upon a rooftop while The Strangers are cuing the city and they do battle amidst the reforming architecture. Mr. Hand: Mr. Murdock you've been the cause of much distress. Mr. Murdock: Start Talking... Murdock gets the upper hand putting a knife to Mr. Hand's temple. Mr. Hand: There's no need for this. There's no escape. The city's ours. We fashioned this city on stolen memories, different eras, different parts, all rolled into one. Each night we revise it, refine it, in order to learn. Mr. Murdock: Learn what? Mr. Hand: About you Mr. Murdock, you and your fellow inhabitants. What makes you human? Mr. Murdock: What? Mr. Hand: We need to be like you. As a roof peak shoots quickly up they are physically split apart again. Murdock meets up with Bumstead and Dr. Schreber and the three of them go looking for Shell Beach. They drive to the riverfront and take a rowboat as far as they can go. When they get to the end of the city they discover that Shell Beach exists only as a huge poster upon a wall. Murdock frustrated rips apart the poster revealing a brick wall. Murdock and Bumstead begin to beat upon the wall and Murdock again inadvertently cues and explodes outwardly a hole right through it revealing only the dark void of deep space beyond. Noirsville A gorgeous film to look at. Dark City stars Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist (2006)) as John Murdoch, William Hurt (Body Heat(1981), I Love You to Death (1990)) as Inspector Frank Bumstead, Kiefer Sutherland (Fallen Angels TV Series (1993–1995), Melancholia (2011)) as Dr. Daniel P. Schreber, Jennifer Connelly (Once Upon a Time in America (1984), The Hot Spot (1990), Mulholland Falls(1996), Requiem for a Dream (2000)) as Emma Murdoch/Anna, Richard O'Brien (The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Flash Gordon (1980)) as Mr. Hand, Ian Richardson (Brazil (1985), From Hell (2001)), as Mr. Book, Bruce Spence as Mr. Wall, Colin Friels as Det. Eddie Walenski, John Bluthal (The Fifth Element (1997), ) as Karl Harris, Melissa George (The Limey (1999), Mulholland Drive (2001)) as May, Ritchie Singer as Hotel Manager / Vendor, Nicholas Bell as Mr. Rain and Satya Gumbert and Noah Gumbert as Mr. Sleep. The cinematography was by Dariusz Wolski, Romeo Is Bleeding (1993), The soundtrack was by Trevor Jones (Angel Heart (1987), The Last Of The Mohicans (1992) and the Film Editing was by Dov Hoenig (The Last of the Mohicans (1992)). The majority of the film was shot at Fox Studios Australia, and I must stress again how intricate, amazing, and believable the world that they created is. It hearkens back to the worlds created in the original Hollywood Studio Noirs but it goes light years beyond 90% of them in detail. The originals were basically low budget affairs and what they achieved was through the ingenuity and creativity of their studios and personnel. Here you have that creativity married to a substantial budget.They built fifty-five some odd different sets and shot on them in eighty days. Some work was also done in Los Angeles, California. The Noir World they created with Dark City, is an amalgamation archetypes from every noir era and bits and pieces of every iconic noir city ever filmed. There's steam vapors arising from the manholes, subways, an Automat, New York City Bishop Crook streetlamps, London Underground signs, rotary telephones, checker cabs, seamed stockings, elevated trains, 40's through to 70s autos, The Los Angeles Globe on concrete post streetlights, Art Deco skyscrapers, suspension bridges, pull shades on windows, fire escapes, cage door elevators with operators, venetian blinds, moving billboards, neon, cobblestone streets with their peeling asphalt veneers, etc., etc., Dark City was produced by New Line Cinema in conjunction with Mystery Clock Cinema. The theatrical release had the opening voice over. The director's cut released in 2008, preserved Proyas's original artistic vision for the film. The version I watched was the theatrical release DVD Metaphorically you can have a heyday analyzing everything that comes at you in the film, if so inclined. John awakens in water. Life began in water. He's born so to speak in water. Humans are 60% water. The Strangers naturally have an aversion to water. When Murdock knocks over the goldfish bowl and saves the goldfish that is flopping around on the tiles he picks it up and places it in water. You can even run ahead of yourself. At first, from the angle looking upwards, I assumed he put the fish in a toilet bowl. I thought to myself what an appropriately apt metaphor for a Noir tale, saved temporarily only to soon be fated to have a fifty-fifty chance of being flushed by the next human in the room. But no Murdock places the fish in the tub he just exited. The Strangers aversions to water and light make them almost fungus like beings, they dwell in a cool, dark, faintly blue lit subterranean spirilic Dantean hell. They are living dead. Their abode the grave. They use the dead humans as vessels. Their only physical weapons are the blade, ornamental knives that can obviously be used to lacerate and penetrate the vessel. In a cinema sense, The Strangers can be looked at as demented screenwriters writing and rewriting, the scripts and scenarios for their human actors. The spirals can represent the search that all beings must make to understanding, and that search when done correctly is spirally boring ever inward. The Strangers are also on that spiral but their search of the spiral is in the wrong direction, the hive mind is starting in the center and the only direction it can go is outwards towards oblivion. Curiously in these contemporary times, you can look at The Strangers as Trump, The Republican Party and Fox News trying to "tune" the narrative story of America to fit their wacky version of reality, it's a battle of our culture, no matter how many times they attempt to imprint through the media at their disposal, what are you going to believe? Them and what they on the "Alternate reality" right repeat ad nauseam, or your lying eyes. Dark City is a Noir Lovers wet dream, 10/10. Screen caps are from the New Line DVD. Full review with more screencaps here Noirsville
  5. Noir Alley

    1950-51 Nash Statesman (that bobs up and down like a boat on an easy-glide suspension), The Nash Statesman 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.
  6. Amnesia Collection

    You can probably add, Black Angel (1946), Crack-Up (1946), Deadline at Dawn (1946), High Wall (1947), and The Clay Pigeon (1949) to the list.
  7. Hysteria (1965) and other amnesia films

    What Mister Buddwing is, is is actually a pretty good Neo Noir with a great Jazz score,
  8. I Just Watched...

    What really intrigues me as a native New Yorker is New York City (circa 1947), and particularly it shows all my old neighborhoods and roads that I was familiar with as a kid 10 years later. LaGuardia Airport, The Gasometers (gasholders) just North of the Queensboro Bridge (BTW I don't believe there are any of these left in the entire USA. Queensboro Bridge at 59th Street Manhattan, my best friends brother ran a waterbed store on 59th Street just East of that the upper level approach bridge that the car in on in this shot below: We also see the Toll Booths on Henry Hudson Bridge, Henry Hudson Bridge over the Harlem River, Grand Central Terminal at 42nd Street, old style wooden N.Y. State parkway lights, Motorcycle cops on Vernon Blvd. along Queensbridge Park with 59th Street Bridge, The Hell Gate and Triboro Bridges. Being originally a native New Yorker when I first viewed the film I noticed something off, the image is reversed. In the film it's this way: The correct camera view is below. We are looking from Wards Island South across the East River towards the North end of Astoria Park where both the Hell Gate and Triboro Bridges cross the river. You can see a part of Manhattan skyline under the Triboro Bridge. Just out of the picture to the left would be Con Edison's Astoria Powerhouse and two large gasometers. I used to sit on the grass across the river in Astoria Park and watch the ship, tug boat and barge traffic going back and forth on the East River.
  9. Films and the old South

    Symptom: ... films of that period seem to glorify the pre-Civil War South and the Confederacy. Cure: Drum (1976) directed by Steve Carver, based on the Kyle Onstott novel, the cinematography was by Lucien Ballard and the music was by Charlie Smalls. The film was released by United Artists and is a sequel to the film Mandingo (which I've never seen either). The film stars Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Pam Grier, Ken Norton, Yaphet Kotto. Drum (Norton) has been born to a white prostitute (Vega), who raises him with her black lesbian lover. Drum grows up as whorehouse servant but is forced to bare-knuckle-box another slave Blaise (Kotto) for the entertainment of a white effeminate/gay slaveholder, a Frenchman named Bernard DeMarigny (Colicos). DeMarigny wants to sleep with Drum, but his advances are rejected and during the ensuing scuffle Drum's "mammy" is shot. Drum and his friend Blaise are eventually sold to plantation owner Hammond Maxwell (Oates) and are both taken to his plantation to work. Regine (Grier) is purchased by Maxwell as well and is taken to the plantation for his own personal desires as a bedwench. He also purchases a white **** Augusta Chauvel (Lewis) to be his housekeeper/fiance. Maxwells plantation is a stud farm he doesn't grow cotton he breeds slaves. The film is a hoot. Maxwell's got an out of control daughter Sophie (Smith) with raging hormones who likes to run around the "farm" making the male slaves let her unbutton their breeches and play with their snakes. Sophie also tries to force Blaise to sleep with her, and after being rejected, tells her father that Blaise has raped her. Blaise is put in chains and Maxwell decides that he must be castrated for the alleged rape. Blaise is chained up in the barn and while helpless, Sophie comes in lifts her hoop skirts and flashes Blaise, but Maxwell see's her do it. Meanwhile, a dinner party has been arranged to celebrate the engagement of Maxwell and Chauvel. Casual dinner conversations includes the best way to go about castrating a slave. Drum frees his friend Blaise from his chains and it all ends up turning into a slave revolt led by Blaise, with the slaves burning down the out buildings. During the storming of the main house fighting Drum grabs hold of DeMarigny's twing and berries and rips them off by the roots, that method wasn't mentioned in the dinner conversation. Cheesy. Maxwell and Chauvel are all saved by Drum. In appreciation for saving his family and also knowing that if Drum stays the prevailing sentiment of all the local white slaveholders would demand that he kill him, Maxwell sets Drum free and tells him to run into the night. A much better written and choreographed ending than somewhat similar Django Unchained, it's a better film. 9/10 The whole cast is excellent, entertaining and well made, check it out while you can, was on line.
  10. Noir Alley

    Yes its the street name "North Hill Place"
  11. MEXIFORNIA & LEFT COAST NEWS

    What about all the sons daughters, father and mothers killed by right wing nut jobs???
  12. Noir Alley

    Here's a better a angle (closer to the one in the film) for the house on North Hill Place, you can see the Los Angeles City Hall in the background, along side the telephone poles and the palm tree. Also you can see how the field of focus in the film makes City Hall appear much much closer than it actually is.
  13. I Just Watched...

    Grand Central Murder (1942) Screwball Noir A humorous/ensemble film noir directed by S. Sylvan Simon (Lust for Gold (1949)). The film was based on Sue MacVeigh's 1939 novel of the same name. The screenplay was credited to Peter Ruric. The cinematography was by George J. Folsey and the music was by David Snell. It is one of the ensemble/quasi-comedy Noirs, a small sub genre of Noir. Others are Deadline at Dawn (1946), His Kind of Woman (1951), Shack Out On 101 (1955), and even Lady In The Lake (1946), has some of this quality, there are probably a few others lurking in the Classic Noirs. Neo Noir contenders are Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), The Late Show (1977) After Hours (1985), Delicatessen (1991) and The Big Lebowski (1998). The film has quite the cast with a lot of Noir credentials, starring Van Heflin (The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (1946), Possessed (1947), Act Of Violence (1949), The Prowler (1951)) as a private investigator "Rocky" Custer who becomes one of the suspects in a murder on a private train car in Grand Central Terminal. Patricia Dane (Johnny Eager (1941), The Harder They Fall (1956)) as Mida King, Cecilia Parker as Constance Furness, Virginia Grey (Highway 301 (1950)) as Sue Custer, Rocky's wife, Samuel S. Hinds (Lady on a Train (1945), Call Northside 777 (1948)) as Roger Furness, Connie Gilchrist (Johnny Eager (1941), Act of Violence (1949), The Killer That Stalked New York (1950)) as Pearl Delroy, Tom Conway (Two O'Clock Courage(1945)), Whistle Stop (1946), Repeat Performance (1947), Confidence Girl (1952) as Frankie Ciro, Sam Levene (The Killers (1946), Brute Force (1947), Crossfire (1947), Dial 1119 (1950), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1957)) as Inspector Gunther, Mark Daniels (Bury Me Dead (1947)) as David V. Henderson, Stephen McNally (Criss Cross (1949), The Raging Tide (1951), Split Second (1953)) as "Turk", Betty Wells as "Baby" Delroy, George Lynn as Paul Rinehart. Roman Bohnen as Ramon, and Millard Mitchell (Deadline at Dawn (1946), The Naked City (1948), Criss Cross (1949), D.O.A. (1949) Gun Crazy (1950), Side Street (1950)) as Detective Arthur Doolin. Mida a golddigging ex bubble dancer turned legit show girl gets herself murdered in a private train car in Grand Central Terminal, with a dozen suspects with possible motives. The film has running jokes about Mida's cheapness, i.e., the various ways she manages to stiff others into paying her bills, and Mida's alley cat morality, a lovesick detective, Doolin, who keeps frantically trying to contact his girl by phone, and another about Levene's "chain drinking" addiction to cherry soda. The pacing and smart dialogs are in classic screwball mode, but the flashbacks and action sequences in the tunnels of Grand Central Terminal are all quite noirish. Though it's supposed to take place in Grand Central Terminal it was most likely all filmed on a studio backlot, (there may be some second unit stock footage of actual GTC moving tain footage) though some of the moving train sequences may also have been filmed in the old subway tunnel under Bunker Hill. It all looks reasonably quite like Grand Central Terminal to a native New Yorker. Review with more screencaps here in Film Noir Gangster pages. Café au lait Noir 7/10
  14. Recently watched Noir

    Grand Central Murder (1942) Screwball Noir A humorous/ensemble film noir directed by S. Sylvan Simon (Lust for Gold (1949)). The film was based on Sue MacVeigh's 1939 novel of the same name. The screenplay was credited to Peter Ruric. The cinematography was by George J. Folsey and the music was by David Snell. It is one of the ensemble/quasi-comedy Noirs, a small sub genre of Noir. Others are Deadline at Dawn (1946), His Kind of Woman (1951), Shack Out On 101 (1955), and even Lady In The Lake (1946), has some of this quality, there are probably a few others lurking in the Classic Noirs. Neo Noir contenders are Dr. Strangelove,or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), The Late Show(1977) After Hours (1985), Delicatessen (1991) and The Big Lebowski (1998). The film has quite the cast with a lot of Noir credentials, starring Van Heflin (The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (1946), Possessed (1947), Act Of Violence (1949), The Prowler (1951)) as a private investigator "Rocky" Custer who becomes one of the suspects in a murder on a private train car in Grand Central Terminal. Patricia Dane (Johnny Eager (1941), The Harder They Fall(1956)) as Mida King, Cecilia Parker as Constance Furness, Virginia Grey (Highway 301 (1950)) as Sue Custer, Rocky's wife, Samuel S. Hinds (Lady on a Train (1945), Call Northside 777(1948)) as Roger Furness, Connie Gilchrist (Johnny Eager (1941), Act of Violence (1949), The Killer That Stalked New York (1950)) as Pearl Delroy, Tom Conway (Two O'Clock Courage(1945)), Whistle Stop (1946), Repeat Performance (1947), Confidence Girl (1952) as Frankie Ciro, Sam Levene (The Killers (1946), Brute Force (1947), Crossfire (1947), Dial 1119 (1950), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1957)) as Inspector Gunther, Mark Daniels (Bury Me Dead (1947)) as David V. Henderson, Stephen McNally (Criss Cross(1949), The Raging Tide (1951), Split Second (1953)) as "Turk", Betty Wells as "Baby" Delroy, George Lynn as Paul Rinehart. Roman Bohnen as Ramon, and Millard Mitchell (Deadline at Dawn (1946). The Naked City (1948), Criss Cross (1949), D.O.A. (1949) Gun Crazy (1950), Side Street (1950)) as Detective Arthur Doolin. A murder convict Turk (McNally) on his way to Manhattan by train, breaks out the window of the men's john and escapes into the bowels of Grand Central Terminal. When he gets a chance he slips into a phone booth and drops a dime on a call to his ex girlfriend Mida (Dane). He threatens that he's gonna kill her. Mida leaves between acts in the middle of a Broadway Show, and heads East to the terminal to hide in the private railway car of one of her admirers. She's planning on leaving town with her current lover a high society swell David V. Henderson (Mark Daniels). When Henderson and his ex fiancee Connie Furnes arrive at the car they find Mida lying naked on the bathroom/shower floor. P.I. Rocky Custer (Hefflin) Police Inspector Gunther (Levene) Police Inspector Gunther (Levene) is assigned to the case. The doctor can't determine the cause of death without and autopsy. Turk is recaptured and a P.I. Rocky Custer and his wife are also rounded up and brought in for questioning. Other suspects that had grudges against Mida are brought down to headquarters. Mida's greedy phony psychic card reading stepfather Ramon (Bohnen); her New York & Western Railroad employee ex-husband Paul Rinehart (Lynn), and her sleazy producer Frankie Ciro (Conway). Also brought in are Mida's maid, an ex-burlesque singer Pearl Delroy (Gilchrist) and her daughter stripper "Baby" Delroy (Wells), who is also Mida's understudy. Roger Furness (Hinds), Connie's father and chairman of the board of the railroad, Is on the scene to protect his daughter. As Gunther gets each suspect to tell what they know and give their alibi's we see in flashback various details that lead up to the murder of Mida. Guther finds out that Mida was a world class ****, a cold hearted gold digger stringing men all along her career rise. She had used each successive boyfriend as a stepping stone upwards. Then would throw them over whenever a better prospect came in range. When she lands millionaire Henderson she tells Frankie not to worry she'll divorce Henderson in six months and she'll meet Frankie in Reno with enough money to produce a new Broadway Show. David overhears this conversation which gives him a motive for murder. Rocky is smart enough to figure out how the murder was committed once he intercepts the call from the morgue and hears the results of the autopsy before Levene. Noirsville The film has running jokes about Mida's cheapness, i.e., the various ways she manages to stiff others into paying her bills, A lovesick detective, Doolin, who keeps trying to contact his girl by phone, and another about Levene's "chain drinking" addiction to cherry soda. The pacing and smart dialogs are in classic screwball mode, but the flashbacks and action sequences in the tunnels of Grand Central Terminal are all quite noirish. Though it's supposed to take place in Grand Central Terminal it was most likely all filmed on a studio backlot, (there may be some second unit stock footage of actual GTC) some of the moving train sequences may also have been filmed in the old subway tunnel under Bunker Hill. It all looks reasonably quite like Grand Central Terminal. Full review with more screencaps here Noirsville.Café au lait Noir 7/10
  15. Noir Alley

    Actually the trailer park was on North Hill Place which wasn't on Bunker Hill, it was on a hill just West of Chinatown. Below is the only house left on the street from the film, it was the house just down the street from the entrance of the tralier park. OK, top image from film, the existing house is one behind couple, one below from google maps, on botton pic trailer park was where the high rise apartment house and the empty lot sits just to the left of the house, cool huh? Also notice how close City Hall top right corner appears in the film (top image).

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