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About misswonderly3

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    old film-noirish buildings

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  1. Noir Alley

    Hollywood is always impressed by accents. I'm wondering if they gave it to Gloria for the B and the B because of that little ol' Southern accent she did in the film. Wasn't she supposed to be from Virginia or somewhere? Dick Powell is supposed to be enamoured with her because she's a Southern belle? or something? Lorna, you're probably a better judge than I am of the authenticity of Gloria's accent. Still, I agree, her role as the charming Rosemary does not really seem to be enough to merit an Oscar win, not even for supporting.
  2. Noir Alley

    Thanks for reminding me of that, Holden. Now that I think about it, I must have unconsciously remembered that Eddie said something about being a year older. I did watch his "outro", so must have heard him say that. ...in which case, it isn't quite the amazing coincidence I thought it was, that I started thinking about how old he was today. I do remember now that he made that remark about having a drink to celebrate being a year older - that must be what got me thinking about his age. But I honestly wasn't thinking about that when I wrote that earlier post about the "coincidence" of me looking up his age on his very birthday. I truly forgot Eddie had said that, but obviously on some level it stuck in my mind. So much for the "amazing coincidence". I feel a bit silly, actually. Oh well, it's still cool that it's Eddie Muller's birthday. Hope he spent it somewhere fun, like a ritzy nightclub with a torch singer.
  3. Noir Alley

    Hey ! I just found out ! Today is Eddie Muller's birthday - October 15th. I was curious to know how old this guy was, and googled "How old is Eddie Muller?" What a coincidence I did this on the very day he was born ! Eddie baby, if you're reading this thread...HAPPY BIRTHDAY ! May your streets always be rainy (this is a good thing,) and your martinis always be dry.
  4. Noir Alley

    Ya gotta love the location settings and cinematography in Anthony Mann's Side Street. I think the film is worth watching for that alone ( which is not to say I don't also enjoy the performances, characters, and somewhat convoluted story.) Highlights include that aerial photography that introduces the film (I think Eddie M. said this was filmed from a blimp??? !), something unique to films made then, I don't think I've ever seen it in any other movie from that era. I love the way these opening shots show the skyscrapers of NYC, along with the little alleys (side streets!) and seedier parts of the city. In fact, a big reason why I like Side Street is those seedy locations, real New York City places circa 1947. One reason I love noir is that very seedyness: dark alleyways, garbage cans lying on their side in these same alleyways (I know that sounds bizarre, enjoying overturned garbage cans !), random stray cats wandering around everywhere, crummy night clubs with cheapskate managers and broken-hearted floozie torch singers, crummier walk-ups (often where the broken-hearted floozies live), and dark towering buildings overshadowing rain-soaked streets. I also love the "higher end" locales (not much high-end stuff in Side Street though) - the ritzy glitzy night-clubs (where the singers are several cuts above the floozie variety), the lavishly furnished penthouse apartments, the enormous hotel rooms with 24 hour room service - you often see that side of life in noir, too, and I find it fun to temporarily, vicariously, inhabit such places. But I have to admit, my favourite noir settings are of the kind you see in Side Street- old, dark, "gritty". I don't know why I like those locales so much - maybe it's the slight air of danger and mystery they hold. (This is not to say I'd like to traverse those seedy streets in real life -not that such places exist anymore...) Speaking of crummy residences, how come Farley, with his pockets full of his ill-gotten cash (not all of the 30,000 is stuffed in that package he left with the bartender), chooses to stay in that exceptionally squalid hotel? He could have afforded something a little better than that. Of course, as Eddie Muller points out in his intro, poor Joe wasn't thinking straight by that point. Just a young mixed up messed up kid.
  5. Noir Alley

    That's too bad. I guess I can kind of understand your opinion on Granger and O'Donnell together....my husband feels much the same way, he's not crazy about the two noirs they were in. He says they're too sweet, too "lovey-dovey", and all those affectionate scenes between them just waste time. I don't see them that way, I really like each of them individually, and also think they really "work" as a couple. I wonder if they were friends in real life, and if Cathy had any idea about Farley's sexual orientation. (I picture a kind of Liz Taylor/Monty Clift type of friendship...)
  6. Noir Alley

    People, catch Side Street this Sunday morning, if you can. Or at least record it. Somebody involved with the film (Anthony Mann?) must have seen They Live by Night a couple of years earlier and decided that Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell make a very likeable couple, because here they are again in Side Street. And whoever that was, who wanted to pair them up again,was right. Granger has a certain vulnerability about him, no matter what role he's playing, and it serves him very well as the cash-challenged mail carrier in this unusual little noir. And Cathy O'Donnell is always sweet - and I mean that in a good way, not sickeningly "nice" or a goody-goody, just , sweet, like only Cathy O'Donnell can be. SPOILER - sort of.... How come Granger's character feels ok leaving this huge sum of cash - just a bunch of cash, sealed up in an envelope - in a public place like a bar, with only the bartender to keep his eye on it? I mean, it's just sort of stashed on a shelf behind the bar along with the bottles and glasses. And honestly, no matter how friendly Joe was with this bartender, would he really trust someone he hardly knows with a package containing $30,000 cash?? But of course, there wouldn't be no story without that foolhardy decision. Watch for Jean Hagen, about two thirds of the way in, as a sad sack singer in a run-down nightclub. Damn, she's good ! I love Jean Hagen, and wish she had more screen time in this.
  7. I Just Watched...

    I just watched one of my absolute very favourite films of all time. Definitely right up there in the top ten. I love, love, this movie. What is it, you ask, that deserves not one but two "loves" in describing it? Hannah and Her Sisters. It's Thanksgiving in Canada, and I think of this Woody Allen film as a Thanksgiving movie - among many other things. It's punctuated by three Thanksgiving celebrations. And even though Hannah and Her Sisters is an American movie, and therefore the Thanksgiving event is in November, not October ( as in Canada), it's still fun to watch at Thanksgiving time. I used to watch it every year at this time, then gave it a miss for a while. This is the first time in a few years that I watched it again. And I'm glad to say, I loved it as much as ever. Why do I like this movie so much? If I had to say it in one word, I'd say it was because it's one of the most joyous, life-affirming films I've ever seen. It just makes me feel so damn good. All the characters are engaging and funny. Woody is hilarious as the neurotic hypochondriac television producer who gets the idea he's got a brain tumour, and is almost as upset when he finds out he doesn't have one as he'd be if he did (have a brain tumour, that is.) He realizes that even if he is not going to die in the near future, he is going to die sometime, as are we all. He becomes obsessed with this idea, that death waits for us all, and if there's no God, no afterlife, what's the point of it all? So he embarks upon a quest to find Religion, a religion, any religion, that will satisfy him that there's something beyond human mortality. Of course there's no answer to this, but Woody's desperate odyssey to find some meaning to a life that inevitably ends in death, some kind of certainty, is both something we can all relate to (maybe without the desperation) and extremely funny. We don't find out till nearly the end of the movie how he resolves this. But there's no magic answer, no guru telling him some cosmic secret. Woody's epiphany is much more simple than that; it's that he discovers that life is sweet, and even if we only go around once and it all comes to an end, let's savour it while we're here. There's so much to savour. I can't express this the way Woody's character does in the film, it's best if you just watch the movie and vicariously experience his joy in this revelation. Oh, and by the way, this scene helps if you're a fan of the Marx Brothers. There are lots of other delights in this film to enjoy along the way. All the actors are first-rate. Max von Sydow is especially moving as the rejected lover of Lee, one of the three sisters the movie follows over a period of two years. Lee is charmingly played by Barbara Hershey, while Mia Farrow as the "settled" sister, captures the two sides of Hannah, as someone who's both almost annoyingly perfect (at least as perceived by others) yet is actually as needy and vulnerable as everyone else. But the most engaging character in Hannah and Her Sisters has got to be Holly, the quirky "off-beat" slightly edgy sister. Dianne Wiest won a well-deserved Oscar for this role. She makes Holly funny, touching, sympathetic. I wanted to articulate why I find this movie so life-affirming, why it makes me feel so happy when I watch it, but the best way to understand this is just to watch it. To me the icing on this already delicious cinematic cake is the very last minute of the film, when Holly tells Mickey, who earlier in the film had been told that he had "weak" fertility, that she's pregnant. Pregnant by him, I hasten to add. I love the way this film, which is all about whether and why life is worth living, ends with the news of new life beginning. I realized, watching Hannah and Her Sisters tonight, that it's not only one of my very favourite Woody Allen films, it's one of my favourite films, period. It's intelligent, moving without being in the least sentimental, moral without being preachy, engaging, wise, and very funny. It's also, as I know I've already said several times, one of the most life-affirming films I've ever seen.
  8. R.I.P. Tom Petty (1951-2017)

    I "liked" Janet's post because she's the only one who said that - at least at the time of posting this - Tom's still alive. He may not be for long, but hey, let's not start the eulogies til he's officially dead. Mark Twain famously said, "The news of my death has been greatly exaggerated." Actually, apparently what he really said was, "The report of my death was an exaggeration.", but for some reason the first quote, inaccurate though it may be, is funnier. Anyway, at this point we do not know when Mr. Petty will leave us. Perhaps he won't back down, even at this stage.
  9. Noir Alley

    Looks as though no one has so far commented on today's Noir Alley offering, Possessed. This may be the ultimate Joan-o-drama. (which is really saying something, when you consider how many of these things Joan was in....) I guess the most noirish aspect of the film is the mental state Joan suffers from which is indicated in the title. She is possessed and obsessed with David Sutton ( ably played by Van Heflin with his usual aplomb), She wears her misplaced and misguided passion for him like a thorny crown, allowing her "love" for him to ruin every moment in her life that could be a turning point for her, where she could be happy if she wanted to, or at least, if she were "normal". Something that's interesting about all the Joan-o-drama characters is her undeniable competence in everything except how she deals with her love object (in Possessed it's Sutton, in Mildred Pierce it's her daughter Veda, and so forth). Joan always plays a career woman, invariably good at whatever she does ( in this case, Possessed, she's a nurse). She's intelligent, efficient, exceptionally capable, and all common sense - except when it comes to the weakness that ultimately destroys her, her obsession with David Sutton. The film opens with what could be described as an intimate scene between Joan (Louise) and Heflin (Sutton.) It's set in an idyllic wilderness lake-side cottage; the two of them have just been swimming, and Joan's just drying her hair while Van plays Schumann on the piano. How romantic. It's strongly implied that they're in a physical relationship - very adult but also quite risque for the time (1947.) I mention this because it may be a partial explanation for why Louise becomes so unhinged when Sutton rejects her. Back then, sleeping with one's lover before marriage was a major decision for a woman to make. Louise may not have felt so betrayed by Sutton if she'd not taken this step. This is just speculation on my part, of course nothing is ever overtly said to indicate Louise and David had been intimate. But it's strongly suggested in that first scene, and it would account at least somewhat for Louise's over- wrought emotional reaction when David calmly tells her he's not in love with her and never will be. Anyway, the rest of the movie is the progressive unravelling of Louise's sanity. Her mental illness may have been triggered by David's rejection, but clearly there was already some kind of instability in her psyche in the first place for her to fall apart the way she does. I must admit, fun in its shameless melodrama as it is, I did become a little bored by the film by the half-way point. Maybe because I'd seen it before ( this was my second viewing), and I knew what was going to happen - but with really great films, knowing the story doesn't stop me from enjoying them on repeated viewings. My memory of Possessed's ending, however, was incorrect. I had this idea that Louise is released from the hospital and goes wandering into the city again, only to be struck by a car and killed. I don't know where I got that from . In fact, the shrink explains her mental condition to her devoted and truly loving husband (Raymond Massey, who probably never played a more sympathetic and thankless role), and it's left open whether Joan will get better or not. Also, whether she'll be found guilty of the SPOILER murder of David Sutton, given that she was a complete nutter at the time of shooting. As I suggested earlier, in many ways I do not regard Possessed as a true noir; it's more a melodrama, or maybe one of those early, earnest "mental illness"/ psychology pictures. But it has enough of the noir aesthetic - lots of night scenes, mental disturbance in the main character, and a sense that the world is askew and nothing can be done to right it - that I'll concede that it deserves a place in the classic noir canon.
  10. Share your unpopular opinions here!

    But you can feast your eyes for two and a half hours on Martin Sheen. This is the primary reason why I like the film.
  11. Share your unpopular opinions here!

    I hate teddy bears.
  12. Noir Alley

    speedy baby, I call them "Joan-o-dramas".
  13. Noir Alley

    Hope so. Sunday morning seems like the least appropriate time they could possibly feature film noir. (I'd love to see it late on a Friday or Saturday night...)
  14. Noir Alley

    Pas de problem. I could tell by your very literate write-up of the novel In a Lonely Place that you're an intelligent lady. And hey, I probably wouldn't have been able to resist the "gris /grey vs noir" joke either. After all, "noir" means "black". I looked it up and was interested to find that "noir" means "black". I thought it also meant "dark", and I guess it does. But there's another word for "dark" in French, which I also looked up: "fonce' " . Anyway, it's nice to see someone (relatively) new posting about noir, however they may see it.
  15. Noir Alley

    Nope. Not big on the "psycho noirs". But that's not to say I don't enjoy the odd psycho case in a noir - such as Richard Widmark's unforgettable Tommy Udo in Kiss of Death, or William Bendix's sadistic thug in The Glass Key. And of course there are lots more, too numerous to mention. I don't have a problem with the inclusion of violent psycho types in classic noir (you know, like, 1942 - 1960). It's just when that type of character is celebrated in some way - or when they're the main character (as in, yeah, Lawrence Tierney in Born to Kill - this is not one of my favourites) that I'm not crazy about. (No pun intended.)

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