Barton_Keyes

Noir Alley

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4 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I don't remember, but did Lorre play a flute too? 

I think he whistles - "Hall of the Mountain King". In both films, it's the whistling /flute-playing, especially because it's the same signature tune, that gets the attention of the blind balloon seller. 

it's some other melody in Losey's version. Did anyone notice, at the end of Eddie's "outro" in his talk about "M", he turns around to pour himself a drink and he's got a big "M" on the back of his suit ?! Also, he's whistling "Hall of the Mountain King". Funny guy, I like him.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Hibi said:

Another difference, most of the remake takes place in bright daylight.

That's right ! Maybe something to do with filming in sunny L.A. But the daylight shooting doesn't make the film any less "dark".

Of course in the Lang version, the whole film is dark - not just thematically, but visually. German expressionism and all that.

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10 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

That's right ! Maybe something to do with filming in sunny L.A. But the daylight shooting doesn't make the film any less "dark".

Of course in the Lang version, the whole film is dark - not just thematically, but visually. German expressionism and all that.

Guess this means the weather of Berlin isn't usually as sunny as L.A.'s is then, eh MissW?! 

(...and thus perhaps the very reason the German version of Baywatch never really caught on) ;)

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23 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

That's right ! Maybe something to do with filming in sunny L.A. But the daylight shooting doesn't make the film any less "dark".

Of course in the Lang version, the whole film is dark - not just thematically, but visually. German expressionism and all that.

Yes.

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Oh Hell to the Yes, NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947) is this week's NOIR ALLEY pick....guess you could say the "Alley" Pic is the Alley Pick....

It's a Fox Film that has only recently started to air on occasion on TCM, it is also TYRONE POWER'S best performance (a real revelation for me as I had never considered him a particularly good actor before) as well as a GREAT turn from a ripe, middle-aged JOAN BLONDELL. EDMUND GOULDING (sp?) who directed THE RAZOR'S EDGE, GRAND HOTEL and a few BETTE DAVIS vehicles over at Warner's directs and I think it's his best film.

Based on a very good (if a trifle overlong) novel by WILLIAM LINDSEY (sp?) GRESHAM who was the husband of JOY GRESHAM who later married CS Lewis- he killed himself not long after it was published.

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YES. I've seen it many times, but will be watching again. Love Helen Walker too.

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Have seen Nightmare Alley a few times and it is pretty good.  Not a lot of violence (as I recall) like some Noirs, but still a good thriller.  Coleen Gray is one of the less appreciated actresses of her time in my opinion.  I will be watching (recording) this one.

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An open suggestion to TCM and Noir Alley. Once we exhaust the TCM Noir Film Library, it would be nice to make a conscientious effort to screen for us all The British and French Film that are out there that we never see along with the Paramount and Fox Noirs.  😎 

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Nightmare Alley is great. Not to be missed, even if the film can't be quite so frank as we might like. Tyrone Power, not usually someone I consider a top actor, is so good. He and Helen Walker give career-best performances, and would have been reasonable choices for best actor and best supporting actress of 1947. (I consider 1947 the best year ever for best actress and best supporting actress performances, though you wouldn't know it from the official Oscar nominations.) Joan Blondell, also outstanding, hoped for an Oscar nomination, but Nightmare Alley did not do well at the box office. Power never got to play another role this good.

Edmund Goulding isn't the guy you'd expect to make a great film noir, but he certainly did. Of course he's happy to hint that one or two of the characters might not be entirely heterosexual.

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11 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

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Wow! Who knew "The Toastmaster General of The United States", George Jessel, produced this baby?

First I remember hearing of this anyway, and after having caught this film previously a couple times in the past.

(...betcha Eddie will mention something about this on his intro/out-tro)

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Aside from the outstanding work that Nightmare Alley has from Power, Blondell and Walker, a smaller performance in the film certainly worthy of mention is that of Taylor Holmes as the cynical, crusty millionaire whom Stan Carlisle (Power) has to convince that the spirit of his lover has come back to visit him.

SPOILER ALERT: The garden scene, beautifully photographed, in which this "re-visitation" takes place, has a cathedral-like quality to its trees set design as the smooth talking, duplicitous Carlisle continues to invoke passages from the Bible to the millionaire as he awaits the pre-arranged arrival of the "spirit." And when that spirit does arrive, fake though she may be, there is initially a goose bump up the back eeriness to the sight of the "spirit" of the girl seeming to glide at a distance between some trees.

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One of the most intriguing aspects of Nightmare Alley for me is that this may be the only Hollywood studio "A" production of its time that dared to explore the subject of the exploitation of the gullible in their belief in a hereafter and spirit world. Or, as Carlisle calls it in the film, the spook racket.

While there may be a few minor "B"s that have delved into this subject matter (MGM's nifty Miracles for Sale comes to mind, as well as a really minor effort called Religious Racketeer in which Mrs. Harry Houdini was involved, I believe) Nightmare Alley stands alone in its time, I suspect, as the sole major Hollywood production to tackle a subject matter that could be as controversial as this for some of its audience members.

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I loved this movie!! I originally watched it because I love Joan Blondell (and will watch anything with her in it) but I feel it was one of the best roles Tyrone Power ever got to play. Zanuck really didn't want Power to to this picture because he feared it would hurt his matinee idol image and the studio didn't promote it very well. What a shame because it is a great film.

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9 hours ago, kingrat said:

Nightmare Alley is great. Not to be missed, even if the film can't be quite so frank as we might like.

If it was it would have been pornographic......

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12 hours ago, kingrat said:

Nightmare Alley is great. Not to be missed, even if the film can't be quite so frank as we might like. Tyrone Power, not usually someone I consider a top actor, is so good.  Power never got to play another role this good.

 

I agree. Power never had a better role than when he played the ambitious amoral hustler in this film who uses his charm and sex appeal to serve his own purposes as he exploits those around him. However, to be fair to the actor who was often wasted in rather bland roles, he did get a few good parts towards the end of his career: The Long Gray Line, The Eddie Duchin Story, Abandon Ship and Witness for the Prosecution.

He is particularly outstanding, in my opinion, in Abandon Ship, as the officer of an overloaded lifeboat at sea who has to make some drastic, controversial decisions. It's a grim, realistic presentation of survival, and Power's matinee idol good looks are nowhere to be seen in the honesty of his dramatic portrayal.

034-tyrone-power.jpg?w=640

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2 hours ago, TomJH said:

I agree. Power never had a better role than when he played the ambitious amoral hustler in this film who uses his charm and sex appeal to serve his own purposes as he exploits those around him. However, to be fair to the actor who was often wasted in rather bland roles, he did get a few good parts towards the end of his career: The Long Gray Line, The Eddie Duchin Story, Abandon Ship and Witness for the Prosecution.

He is particularly outstanding, in my opinion, in Abandon Ship, as the officer of an overloaded lifeboat at sea who has to make some drastic, controversial decisions. It's a grim, realistic presentation of survival, and Power's matinee idol good looks are nowhere to be seen in the honesty of his dramatic portrayal.

034-tyrone-power.jpg?w=640

Checking LIKE, isn't enough for your truer than true post Tom. He's great in Nightmare Alley, hope everyone gets to watch if they haven't seen it. His performances are great in all the films you've mentioned. They're all favorites of mine. Wish I could check LIKE a few more times :)

 

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It's been something like five years, but I finally got around to reading NIGHTMARE ALLEY- the novel on which the film is based. It's very good- and the American Library edition it was printed in kept the illustrations of TAROT CARDS that begin each chapter- which are VERY IMPORTANT and really give the book a great "feel."

the book is very good, but i remember thinking it'd could been GREAT with some more stern editing...the first half is very tight and compelling- then the narrator unspools and things get abstract, and GRESHAM does it well, but there's a long, long, long descent into madness section that I personally would've red penned down to a *long* descent into madness section- but maybe that's just me.

(I'm not terrible patient with abstract writing, even when it's well done)

but it's still worth a looksie, and it's the same edition that also contains I MARRIED A DEAD MAN and THIEVES LIKE US and some others.

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(ALTHOUGH if anyone wants to come at me with "why is THEY SHOOT HORSES DON'T THEY? included among a collection of 'CRIME NOVELS'?", I readily admit that it is neither a crime novel nor even a novel period- it's an outline for a short story that is- frankly- wasteful of paper to the point where i got a little **** about it, but it's not bad by any means.)

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22 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

An open suggestion to TCM and Noir Alley. Once we exhaust the TCM Noir Film Library, it would be nice to make a conscientious effort to screen for us all The British and French Film that are out there that we never see along with the Paramount and Fox Noirs.  😎 

I have watched some of the British noir movies, but never really got into them.  As for French, not sure I have ever seen one as I do not watch foreign language movies, so it would have to have been one in English.

20 hours ago, mr6666 said:

Eddie MullerVerified account @EddieMuller 18h18 hours ago

 

It's exciting that so many people are psyched about this broadcast!

This may be the most anticipated episode of Noir Alley ever!

@NoirAlley @noirfoundation @tcm @TCMwithaTwist @TCM_Party #nightrmarealley

I will probably record it for watching later, but not so sure this is the "most anticipated episode of Noir Alley ever."

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6 hours ago, TheCid said:

I have watched some of the British noir movies, but never really got into them.  As for French, not sure I have ever seen one as I do not watch foreign language movies, so it would have to have been one in English.

 

I Became a Criminal (1947)

The Long Memory (1953)

Never Let Go (1960)

French....

Two Men In Manhattan (1959)

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4 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

 

I Became a Criminal (1947)

The Long Memory (1953)

Never Let Go (1960)

French....

Two Men In Manhattan (1959)

Looking at a list of "international noir films" on Wikipedia, other French titles that I've seen that I liked include:

  • Le Corbeau (1943)
  • Touchez pas au grisbi (1954)
  • Les Diaboliques (1955)
  • Rififi (1955)
  • Bob le flambeur (1956)
  • Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_film_noir_titles#International_noir

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