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Noir Alley

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13 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

ooking 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)

Like them also but I think Two Men In Manhattan is in English for The Cid which is why I listed it.

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Yeah, I don't give a **** about coddling The Cid. I thought we were talking about French noir! I should know better than to stick my nose into this thread. :lol:

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Some of Jean-Pierre Melville's noir inspired films have also been on TCM.

LE-CERCLE-ROUGE-web2050.jpg

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14 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, I don't give a **** about coddling The Cid. I thought we were talking about French noir! I should know better than to stick my nose into this thread. :lol:

Lawrence, have you seen Hans Le Marin (The Wicked City), a 1949 French noir (it's listed as a French-U.S. production) featuring the husband wife team of Jean-Pierre Aumont and Maria Montez? Aumont plays a Canadian sailor in Marseilles who meets a cabaret girl (ie. prostitute) in a bar and, after he gets mugged and she disappears, becomes obsessed with finding her. Lili Palmer appears in the film, as well.

Shot in Marseilles, as well as Paris, as a film it's just so-so, though it has a memorably downbeat ending. However, it was Montez's first film after leaving Hollywood and in playing a seductive, cold blooded hustler she's surprisingly effective and drop dead gorgeous in lovely black and white photography (if you can find a good looking print, that is). Montez would be dead just two years later but this film makes you wonder if she could have been successful in a new career direction playing noirish bad girls.

787aK1B.png

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Perhaps Edward was unconsciously influenced by the carny ballyhoo of the movie's

early setting. I was watching a number of British noirs on YT. One films leads to a

list of similar films. The October Man, The Upturned Glass, Dear Murderer, all from

1947 and Beyond This Place from 1959. There were others I can't recall at the

moment. Pretty solid films, though in general less gritty and violent than their

American counterparts. 

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Oh Xenu help me, 

I hope the Scientology folks don’t have people waiting on EDDIE’s doorstep over his remarks introducing NIGHTMARE ALLEY today...

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17 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.

 

10 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, I don't give a **** about coddling The Cid. I thought we were talking about French noir! I should know better than to stick my nose into this thread. :lol:

I do not think Joe's response to my post cited above is "coddling."  He supplied information responding to my post.  Technically we are discussing Noir Alley in this thread, not Nori in general and much less French Noir.

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4 hours ago, TheCid said:

 

I do not think Joe's response to my post cited above is "coddling."  He supplied information responding to my post.  Technically we are discussing Noir Alley in this thread, not Nori in general and much less French Noir.

Relax, Cid. There's a reason that I left a laughing emoji. 

Like I said, I should know better than to post in this thread. It won't happen again.

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Oh Xenu help me, 

I hope the Scientology folks don’t have people waiting on EDDIE’s doorstep over his remarks introducing NIGHTMARE ALLEY today...

LOL

I wouldn't worry too much about this, Lorna.

(...word is Cruise and Travolta hardly ever tune into TCM)

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On 5/3/2019 at 9:10 PM, TomJH said:

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.

I had seen this film before and I had given it a rating of 8/10. Strangely enough, I could not recall anything about it when I rewatched it today. I still think it's a great film with shocking twists and turns with excellent acting by everyone. It was way ahead of it's time and would have been good material for 1960s exploitation directors like Roger Corman (who had his own carny mentalist sequence in "X, The Man With The Xray Eyes") or Sam Fuller who could make great films out of lurid subjects and sleazy characters. 

Still, I am still perplexed on why I could not remember anything about it, maybe I was a victim of the spook racket.

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10 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

I had seen this film before and I had given it a rating of 8/10. Strangely enough, I could not recall anything about it when I rewatched it today. I still think it's a great film with shocking twists and turns with excellent acting by everyone. It was way ahead of it's time and would have been good material for 1960s exploitation directors like Roger Corman (who had his own carny mentalist sequence in "X, The Man With The Xray Eyes") or Sam Fuller who could make great films out of lurid subjects and sleazy characters. 

Still, I am still perplexed on why I could not remember anything about it, maybe I was a victim of the spook racket.

So Jim. Do you at least recall having some guy tell you about you as a kid and your dog?

(...that could be a sure sign you might be right here, ya know) ;)

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Oh, and btw...

On 5/3/2019 at 5:35 PM, Dargo said:

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)

Guess I lost this bet here.

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Potential future victims of the Great Stanton:

boy-dog-run-together-field-haystacks-746

boy-and-dog-running-through-a-buttercup-

boy-running-field-bull-dog-mountains-924

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And btw, besides all the other terrific performances in Nightmare Alley, how about Ian Keith's as the drunken character Pete here?...

pete.png

(...wow, RIGHT?!)

 

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1 minute ago, Dargo said:

And btw, besides all the other terrific performance in Nightmare Alley, how about Ian Keith's as the drunken character Pete here?...

pete.png

(...wow, RIGHT?!)

 

Absolutely! Ian Keith gave a great performance.

Yet another outstanding portrayal in the same film. In the scene in which he re-lives his mentalist act in front of a mesmerized Stanton, Keith allows us to see a glimpse of the brilliant mind and gift for talk he had before the bottle ruined him. It's a marvelous scene.

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5 minutes ago, Dargo said:

And btw, besides all the other terrific performances in Nightmare Alley, how about Ian Keith's as the drunken character Pete here?...

pete.png

(...wow, RIGHT?!)

 

Totally agree. I had heard that Universal had wanted him to play Dracula in "Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein" before going with Bela Lugosi.

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Joan Blondell's earthy sensuality was allowed freer range in Nightmare Alley than in any other film in her career that I can recall. Zeena is a woman who loves Pete and nurses him but contributed to his alcoholic downfall with her roving eye in the past. And now it torments Zeena but she still can't resist the strong sexual appeal of Stan Carlisle, the latter more than eager to exploit her carnal weakness to meet his own ruthless ambitious ends.

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Nightmare Alley allowed Tyrone Power to show us the dark side of male charm and sexual allure.

us-Edmund-Goulding-Nightmare-Alley-DVD-R

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Watched it this morning and would give it 8/10.  Good basic book, screenplay, acting and directing.  Held my attention for every scene even though I had seen it a few years ago.

I had forgotten how significant Coleen Gray's role was as to the amount of screen time she had.  Helen Walker was OK, but not as impressive (to me) as Coleen Gray.  Of course, might have been due to different type roles.

Next time I meet someone running for office or selling investments, I will ask them if they know my friend Carlisle Stanton.  This was mentioned in Eddie's intro  as to how one con artist lets another one know that he is on to his game.

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Another Spook Trade film worth having on Noir Alley is The Amazing Mr. X (1948)

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On 5/3/2019 at 8:56 PM, DawnM74 said:

I loved this movie!! I originally watched it because I love Joan Blondell (and will watch anything with her in it) 

I completely agree.  I had never seen this one, but I got super excited to see Blondell was in it, and she did not disappoint - other than not being on screen in every scene.  :lol:

OKAY so NIGHTMARE ALLEY... What a surprise this was all around.  I think my only complaint might be a slight dislike of the soft ending, but I didn't hate it.  I definitely thought the "made for it" would mark the start of the end credits. But what a great movie.  What great performances.  I don't think I want to see another Tyrone Power movie. :D  Definitely hope to see it On Demand again sometime this week.

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30 minutes ago, Looney said:

I completely agree.  I had never seen this one, but I got super excited to see Blondell was in it, and she did not disappoint - other than not being on screen in every scene.  :lol:

OKAY so NIGHTMARE ALLEY... What a surprise this was all around.  I think my only complaint might be a slight dislike of the soft ending, but I didn't hate it.  I definitely thought the "made for it" would mark the start of the end credits. But what a great movie.  What great performances.  I don't think I want to see another Tyrone Power movie. :D  Definitely hope to see it On Demand again sometime this week.

I think that ray of hope for Carlisle at the end is only a sight compromise. Come on, unless you're really into chicken, this is one of the most bleak of '40s noirs towards the end.

nightmare_alley_magnum.jpg

"Mister, I was born for it."

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1 minute ago, TomJH said:

I think that ray of hope for Carlisle at the end is only a sight compromise. Come on, unless you're really into chicken, this is one of the most bleak of '40s noirs towards the end.

nightmare_alley_magnum.jpg

"Mister, I was born for it."

Pete feels differently.

 

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I liked Nightmare Alley even better after watching it again last night and was even more impressed by all the cast members. Thanks to everyone for the shout-outs to Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Ian Keith, Coleen Gray, and Taylor Holmes. No one holds back, but no one overacts, either. Edmund Goulding probably deserves some of the credit for that. Previously I had felt one or two of the Coleen Gray scenes dragged a bit, because I was so eager to see what Helen Walker's Lilith was up to, but this time I fully enjoyed the Molly/Stan scenes, too.  I liked Eddie Muller's point about how Power and Goulding had just made The Razor's Edge, and how Stan Carlisle is like the dark side of the religious quester Larry Darrell in The Razor's Edge.

I also hadn't realized how Stan Carlisle is like a combination of noir antihero and femme fatale, like John Garfield and Lana Turner (or Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer, etc.) in one character. Stan uses his sexual charm on Zeena and Molly as ruthlessly as any femme fatale. He also turns down a femme fatale's sexual invitation, and that turns out to be as unfortunate as giving in usually is.

One additional thought: consider the little scene early in the film where the carny owner says that Stan's usually chasing something in a skirt. I'm not sure what the screenwriter intended, but Goulding shoots this in a close two-shot, and darned if this doesn't sound to me like the opening move in a potential pickup, with the owner testing the waters.

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