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Noir Alley

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My favorites for Edmund O'Brien are DOA and Two of a Kind  with Lizabeth Scott.  Although he does very well in just about all his movies I have seen.  Did watch 711 Ocean Drive today, but had seen it before.

He had a very interesting role in They Only Kill Their Masters as the liquor store owner.

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Next Sunday's feature will be In A Lonely Place with Bogart and Graham.  Somewhat different in that Bogart is not an actual criminal in the Noir sense.

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Noir Alley‏Verified account @NoirAlley 4h4 hours ago

 
 

Join us for @EddieMuller's favorite film IN A LONELY PLACE ('50) next week at 10am ET here on #NoirAlley!

 

 

I noticed today that he said next week's movie is his favorite of all.  So I had to go look up the schedule to find out what was coming. Hopefully next week he will explain why it is his favorite.  I have it on DVD, but will watch the opening (if I remember) for his introduction.

Not a bad movie, but not typical Noir in my opinion.

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Some spoilers ahead for 711 Ocean Drive.

This is Noir Alley, so check your morals at the door.

Is it wrong to root for the bad guy?  After seeing so many of their films on TCM, Edmund O’Brien and Joanne Dru are like old friends.  I found myself hoping that somehow things would turn out all right for them; but since this is 50's film noir there’s no hope for that.

I’m a sucker for technology, so I was completely taken in by the scenes explaining the details of the bookmaking operation, the use of the telephone equipment, and the operation of the betting swindle towards the end of the film.

This movie has a bit of everything, a cross between The Sting, Mission Impossible, and The Godfather.  And the finale location was worthy of a Hitchcock film.

And what a great kingpin Otto Kruger played - just the right mix of arrogant CEO and ruthless crime boss who wants to keep his hands clean.

Eddie of course was masterful in his explanation of it all.  Can’t wait for next week to see his favorite film!

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My favorites for Edmund O'Brien are DOA and Two of a Kind  with Lizabeth Scott.  Although he does very well in just about all his movies I have seen.  Did watch 711 Ocean Drive today, but had seen it before.

He had a very interesting role in They Only Kill Their Masters as the liquor store owner.

 

 

i understand it might be a slightly divisive performance (there is a lot of showboating and ACTING!, however I think the part calls for it) but I like Edmund O'Brien very, very much in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE. To me, it's an Oscar worthy performance.

 

ironically, the one performance of his that i do not like at all is the one for which he won an Oscar: his loathsome agent in the utterly dreadful THE BAREFOOT COUNTESSA.

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Besides The Killers,  D.O.A., 711 Ocean Drive, White Heat, and The Hitch-Hiker, Edmund O'Brien is also good in The Third Voice, Backfire, Man in the Dark, Shield for Murder, and OK in Between Midnight and Dawn and A Cry in the Night. I Haven't seen or don't remember seeing The Web, An Act of Murder, or a Double life, but I may have one of them..  

 

Of all the males stars in Film Noir, the top three with the most films are Bogart, Conte, and if I remember right O'brien. He also did a noir TV series called Johnny Midnight (1960), where he plays a theater owner/detective.

 

He's also good in some Westerns, Rio Conchos, and The Wild Bunch, besides the aforementioned The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. 

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Besides The Killers,  D.O.A., 711 Ocean Drive, White Heat, and The Hitch-Hiker, Edmund O'Brien is also good in The Third Voice, Backfire, Man in the Dark, Shield for Murder, and OK in Between Midnight and Dawn and A Cry in the Night. I Haven't seen or don't remember seeing The Web, An Act of Murder, or a Double life, but I may have one of them..  

 

Of all the males stars in Film Noir, the top three with the most films are Bogart, Conte, and if I remember right O'brien. He also did a noir TV series called Johnny Midnight (1960), where he plays a theater owner/detective.

 

He's also good in some Westerns, Rio Conchos, and The Wild Bunch, besides the aforementioned The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. 

 

According to the book Film Noir (Ward \ Silver),    Mitchum is in 13 noirs,   Robert Ryan,  Dan Duryea and Bogart are in 11,  and O'Brien and Conte in 9.   

 

Of course I'm not saying the above is 'accurate' since what is a noir or not is subject to interpretation.    I'm just providing a source as a discussion point.

 

E.g. the book doesn't list The Web or An Act of Murder  (but Wikipedia does say these are noir films).     Often I find film noir books tend to focus mostly on the more well known 'noir' films while sources like Wikipedia tend to label,  films I view as just crime films, as 'noir'.    

 

Like O'Brien,  I'm sure Conte was in more noir\crime films then the 9 the book list,  which are:

 

The Big Combo, The Blue Gardenia,  The Brothers Rico,  Call Northside 777 (which to me is too procedural to be noir), Cry of the City,  House of Strangers,     New York Confidential,  The Sleeping City and Thieves' Highway. 

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According to the book Film Noir (Ward \ Silver),    Mitchum is in 13 noirs,   Robert Ryan,  Dan Duryea and Bogart are in 11,  and O'Brien and Conte in 9.   

 

Of course I'm not saying the above is 'accurate' since what is a noir or not is subject to interpretation.    I'm just providing a source as a discussion point.

 

E.g. the book doesn't list The Web or An Act of Murder  (but Wikipedia does say these are noir films).     Often I find film noir books tend to focus mostly on the more well known 'noir' films while sources like Wikipedia tend to label,  films I view as just crime films, as 'noir'.    

 

Like O'Brien,  I'm sure Conte was in more noir\crime films then the 9 the book list,  which are:

 

The Big Combo, The Blue Gardenia,  The Brothers Rico,  Call Northside 777 (which to me is too procedural to be noir), Cry of the City,  House of Strangers,     New York Confidential,  The Sleeping City and Thieves' Highway. 

Could you tell me what film of Conte's is being referenced in the noir segment showing a woman playing tic tac toe on him?  I always miss the title, thanks.

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Could you tell me what film of Conte's is being referenced in the noir segment showing a woman playing tic tac toe on him?  I always miss the title, thanks.

 

That's the scene with Valentina Cortese from Thieves' Highway (1949).

 

m66eBZh.jpg

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My usual source is Spencer Selby's Dark City (1984), He lists a total of 490 Film Noir and about 90 more "Off Genre and Other Film Noir", here is the breakdown (I was wrong O'Brien is tied with Burr with 13 Noirs (but again there are some films that may be debatable and also most Noir lists stop at 1958 or 1959 but there are a few noirs beyond 1960):

 

Humphrey Bogart (15) 

The Big Sleep

Conflict

Dark Passage

Dead Reckoning

The Desperate Hours

The Enforcer

The Harder They Fall

High Sierra

In A Lonely Place

Key Largo

Knock On Any Door

The Maltese Falcon

Sirocco 

They Drive By Night

The Two Mrs. Carrolls

 

Richard Conte (14)

The Blue Gardinia

Call Northside 777

Cry Of The City

Highway Dragnet

Hollywood Story

House Of Strangers

New York Confidential

The Raging Tide

The Sleeping City

Somewhere In The Night

The Spider

Thieves Highway

Under The Gun

Whirlpool

 

Raymond Burr (13)

Abandoned

Affair In Havana

The Blue Gardinia

Crime Of Passion

A Cry In The Night

Desperate

His Kind Of Woman

The Pitfall

A Place In The Sun

Please Murder Me

Raw Deal

Red Light

Ruthless

 

Edmund O'Brien (13)

Backfire

Between Midnight and Dawn

A Cry In The Night

A Double Life

The Hitch-Hiker

Man In The Dark

711 Ocean Drive

Shield For Murder

The Turning Point

Two Of A Kind

The Web 

White Heat

The 3rd Voice

 

The rest 

 

Elisha Cook Jr. (12)

Zachery Scott (12)

Barry Sullivan (12)

Edward G. Robinson (11)

Robert Ryan (11)

Howard Duff (10)

Dan Duryea (10)

Charles McGraw (10)

George Sanders (10)

Henry Morgan (9)

George Raft (9)

Wallace Ford (9)

Thomas Gomez (9)

Arthur Kennedy (8)

John Garfield (8)

Robert Mitchum (8)

Sterling Hayden (8)

Richard Widmark (8)

William Bendix (8)

Lee J. Cobb (8)

Joseph Cotten (8)

Broderick Crawford (8)

John Hodiak (8)

John McIntire (8)

Steve Cochran (7)

William Conrad (7)

Dane Clark (7)

Alan Ladd (7)

Steven McNally (7)

Lloyd Nolan (7)

Peter Lorry (7)

Howard daSilva (7)

Ted de Corsia (7)

Sydney Greenstreet (7)

Glen Ford (7)

Paul Stewart (7)

Albert Decker (7)

Regis Toomey (7)

Ed Begley (7)

John Hoyt (7) 

 

Note Dana Andrews, Dick Powell, Burt Lancaster, Richard Basehart, Leo G. Carroll, Brian Donlevy, John Ireland, Frank Lovejoy, Victor Mature, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Art Smith, William Tallman,  and quite a few others have 6 or less

 

(Edited to flush out the 6 Noir list and give more info on Selby's book).

Edited by cigarjoe
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Great info here Cigar Joe!   

 

Funny but my source does list Somewhere in the Night as a noir starring John Hodiak,  but it does NOT list the film as one Conte is in,  in the appendix.   (I have found other errors in the appendix).

 

Anyhow,  my source doesn't list the United Artist film Highway Dragnet,  or the Universal films like The Raging Tide or Under the Gun,  or the Fox films The Spider and Whirlpool.    I don't recall TCM ever showing these films, other than Whirlpool. 

 

But your Conte list has a mistake because it doesn't include The Big Combo,  which is often viewed as Conte's most successful noir film (and a fine,  gritty film I enjoy very much).    I have to assume Dark City covered The Big Combo.

 

As for Mitchum only having 8 noir films in Dark City:    My source does cover some post 1958\59 noir films like Cape Fear,   Farewell,  My Lovely,  and The Friends of Eddie Coyle.    It also includes Undercurrent (Hepburn\Taylor\Mitchum),  and The Locket,  which some might not consider noir. 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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My usual source is Spencer Selby's Dark City (1984), He lists a total of 490 Film Noir and about 90 more "Off Genre and Other Film Noir", here is the breakdown (I was wrong O'Brien is tied with Burr with 13 Noirs (but again there are some films that may be debatable and also most Noir lists stop at 1958 or 1959 but there are a few noirs beyond 1960):

Ted de Corsia (7)

 

Ted De Corsia - one of my favourite screen tough guys.

 

If I had to go with just one film with De Corsia at his best it would probably be as the second-in-command of Murder Inc in THE ENFORCER, the hard hitting 1951 Raoul Walsh crime film (Bogart's last released through Warners, I believe, and a great sendoff from the old studio). Not only did Ted have more than ample opportunity to play it hard boiled and tough, but he showed off a further range by a few scenes it which he was impressively showing fear (and fear is something viewers usually don't associate with this guy unless he was instilling it in others).

 

TeddeCorsia.JPG

 

But Ted was also featured in The Lady from Shanghai and The Naked City, and impressively so.

 

Ted De Corsia, a hulking presence and gravelly voice, combined with that face, that made him a natural for crime films. I suspect all fans of noir and crime just love an actor like this.

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Ted De Corsia was a solid contributor in many noirs like The Big Combo,  Crime Wave,  The Killing, and Slightly Scarlet (a color Payne noir) in addition to the films Tom mentions.

 

My favorite performance of his is in The Enforcer,  for the reasons Tom gives.   No one could doubt he was a tough guy,  but he showed another side once he knew the mob had ordered a hit on him.

 

 

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Unless I missed it somehow, I think Selby has missed mentioning this guy here...

 

Joseph Calleia

MV5BY2FiOWY2NzgtYTNmYy00ZGU0LTkyNjAtMWI2

 

(...surely the guy has had to have been in at least half a dozen Noirs if not more, wouldn't ya say?!)

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Great info here Cigar Joe!   

 

Funny but my source does list Somewhere in the Night as a noir starring John Hodiak,  but it does NOT list the film as one Conte is in,  in the appendix.   (I have found other errors in the appendix).

 

Anyhow,  my source doesn't list the United Artist film Highway Dragnet,  or the Universal films like The Raging Tide or Under the Gun,  or the Fox films The Spider and Whirlpool.    I don't recall TCM ever showing these films, other than Whirlpool. 

 

But your Conte list has a mistake because it doesn't include The Big Combo,  which is often viewed as Conte's most successful noir film (and a fine,  gritty film I enjoy very much).    I have to assume Dark City covered The Big Combo.

 

As for Mitchum only having 8 noir films in Dark City:    My source does cover some post 1958\59 noir films like Cape Fear,   Farewell,  My Lovely,  and The Friends of Eddie Coyle.    It also includes Undercurrent (Hepburn\Taylor\Mitchum),  and The Locket,  which some might not consider noir. 

Selby's book is divided into two sections the first has 25 Noirs with in depth reviews the second section lists the 490 Noirs and they each have their own short blurb but each section has it's own separate index of actors director etc., but they missed The Big Combo in the second index, I didn't cross check so including that gives Conte 15 and Undercurrent is also in the first 25 index and was missed so Bogart has 16. You are right. 

 

ps The Spider was on Youtube it also stars Anne Savage but unfortunately she doesn't last long .

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Ted De Corsia - one of my favourite screen tough guys.

 

If I had to go with just one film with De Corsia at his best it would probably be as the second-in-command of Murder Inc in THE ENFORCER, the hard hitting 1951 Raoul Walsh crime film (Bogart's last released through Warners, I believe, and a great sendoff from the old studio). Not only did Ted have more than ample opportunity to play it hard boiled and tough, but he showed off a further range by a few scenes it which he was impressively showing fear (and fear is something viewers usually don't associate with this guy unless he was instilling it in others).

 

TeddeCorsia.JPG

 

But Ted was also featured in The Lady from Shanghai and The Naked City, and impressively so.

 

Ted De Corsia, a hulking presence and gravelly voice, combined with that face, that made him a natural for crime films. I suspect all fans of noir and crime just love an actor like this.

He/s equally good in Naked City and Crime Wave

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Unless I missed it somehow, I think Selby has missed mentioning this guy here...

 

Joseph Calleia

MV5BY2FiOWY2NzgtYTNmYy00ZGU0LTkyNjAtMWI2

 

(...surely the guy has had to have been in at least half a dozen Noirs if not more, wouldn't ya say?!)

Selby lists 5

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OK adjusted the list to include The Big Combo. but the cut off is 1960 so it includes Edmond O'Brien's The 3rd Voice.  There are noirs beyond but they are morphing into Neo Noir with the weakening of the Motion Picture Production Code.*

 

Humphrey Bogart (15) 

The Big Sleep

Conflict

Dark Passage

Dead Reckoning

The Desperate Hours

The Enforcer

The Harder They Fall

High Sierra

In A Lonely Place

Key Largo

Knock On Any Door

The Maltese Falcon

Sirocco 

They Drive By Night

The Two Mrs. Carrolls

 

 

Richard Conte (15)

The Blue Gardinia

Call Northside 777

Cry Of The City

Highway Dragnet

Hollywood Story

House Of Strangers

New York Confidential

The Raging Tide

The Sleeping City

Somewhere In The Night

The Spider

Thieves Highway

Under The Gun

Whirlpool

The Big Combo

 

Raymond Burr (13)

Abandoned

Affair In Havana

The Blue Gardinia

Crime Of Passion

A Cry In The Night

Desperate

His Kind Of Woman

The Pitfall

A Place In The Sun

Please Murder Me

Raw Deal

Red Light

Ruthless

 

Edmund O'Brien (13)

Backfire

Between Midnight and Dawn

A Cry In The Night

A Double Life

The Hitch-Hiker

Man In The Dark

711 Ocean Drive

Shield For Murder

The Turning Point

Two Of A Kind

The Web 

White Heat

The 3rd Voice

 

The rest 

 

Elisha Cook Jr. (12)

Zachery Scott (12)

Barry Sullivan (12)

Edward G. Robinson (11)

Robert Ryan (11)

Howard Duff (10)

Dan Duryea (10)

Charles McGraw (10)

George Sanders (10)

Henry Morgan (9)

George Raft (9)

Wallace Ford (9)

Thomas Gomez (9)

Arthur Kennedy (8)

John Garfield (8)

Robert Mitchum (8)

Sterling Hayden (8)

Richard Widmark (8)

William Bendix (8)

Lee J. Cobb (8)

Joseph Cotten (8)

Broderick Crawford (8)

John Hodiak (8)

John McIntire (8)

Steve Cochran (7)

William Conrad (7)

Dane Clark (7)

Alan Ladd (7)

Steven McNally (7)

Lloyd Nolan (7)

Peter Lorry (7)

Howard daSilva (7)

Ted de Corsia (7)

Sydney Greenstreet (7)

Glen Ford (7)

Paul Stewart (7)

Albert Decker (7)

Regis Toomey (7)

Ed Begley (7)

John Hoyt (7) 

 

Note Dana Andrews, Dick Powell, Burt Lancaster, Richard Basehart, Leo G. Carroll, Brian Donlevy, John Ireland, Frank Lovejoy, Victor Mature, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Art Smith, William Tallman, Joseph Calleia, and quite a few others have 6 or less

 

* Beyond 1960 as jamesjazzguitar states there are more Noirs, Glen Ford is in The Money Trap (1965) with Rita Hayworth BTW, and Experiment in Terror (1962). Burt Lancaster in The Young Savages (1961) is pretty Noir, and so is Requiem For A Heavyweight (1962) which would give Anthony Quinn another and also Mickey Rooney, Steve Cochran is in The Beat Generation (1959) so that would give him 8 in the above list, Selby missed that one, but he's also in another Noir Tell me In The Sunshine (1965). Lloyd Nolan is in Girl of the Night (1960) so he should get eight also. 

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Selby's book is divided into two sections the first has 25 Noirs with in depth reviews the second section lists the 490 Noirs and they each have their own short blurb but each section has it's own separate index of actors director etc., but they missed The Big Combo in the second index, I didn't cross check so including that gives Conte 15 and Undercurrent is also in the first 25 index and was missed so Bogart has 16. You are right. 

 

ps The Spider was on Youtube it also stars Anne Savage but unfortunately she doesn't last long .

 

I'll have to check out The Spider since I would like to see Ann Savage in a noir film besides Detour.     The only other film I have seen her in is After Midnight with Boston B l a c kie,  and she is toned-down in that one (well I assume all of her other roles are toned-down when compare to the type of gal she played in Detour!).

 

PS:  It is Mitchum in Undercurrent and not Bogart so Bogie still has 15 (and frankly I don't consider The Two Mrs. Carrolls a noir). 

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I'll have to check out The Spider since I would like to see Ann Savage in a noir film besides Detour.     The only other film I have seen her in is After Midnight with Boston B l a c kie,  and she is toned-down in that one (well I assume all of her other roles are toned-down when compare to the type of gal she played in Detour!).

 

PS:  It is Mitchum in Undercurrent and not Bogart so Bogie still has 15 (and frankly I don't consider The Two Mrs. Carrolls a noir). 

Yea, fixed it below. There are going to be some fuzzy entries in these lists. Its subjective, various life experiences tunes us all differently to the material. Some noirs resonate with some others don't. 

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Portion of a poster for Thieves' Highway:

 

XJgKc3u.jpg

 

I'm a little surprised this hasn't been scheduled for Noir Alley yet.

(Perhaps it's considered too much for Sunday mornings.)

Maybe it will be shown next year after the timeslot change.

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