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Noir Alley

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22 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I read NIGHTMARE ALLEY a few years ago and interested in your thoughts about it.

I’m interested in what YOU thought of it....

(I know I’ve mentioned several times that I read it, and while I liked it very much I think it probably could’ve been about 15 to 20 pages shorter (Less the delusional ramblings near the end) and it would’ve made an even better, sharper book.)

It’s a real shame Gresham died so young, he had a lot of promise no doubt.

 

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Also as I recall, It is very, very much like the movie. About the only thing they left out were the luriddetails here and there...A backstory about how as a youth, Stanton Carlisle caught his mother having an affair with someone?

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9 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I’m interested in what YOU thought of it....

(I know I’ve mentioned several times that I read it, and while I liked it very much I think it probably could’ve been about 15 to 20 pages shorter (Less the delusional ramblings near the end) and it would’ve made an even better, sharper book.)

It’s a real shame Gresham died so young, he had a lot of promise no doubt.

 

The MPPC would never have allowed it to be filmed as written. But we should probably wait for TomJH to finish reading it before we discuss it, no?

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1 minute ago, cigarjoe said:

I read it a few years ago and interested in your thoughts about it.

So far I'm enjoying it, if enjoy is quite the right word for such a subject matter. I noticed that the film uses some of the same dialogue directly out of the novel, at times. So far I prefer the film but, as I said, I'm only at the half way point.

It's interesting, though, that the screenwriters decided, for the purpose of dramatic conflict, to have a different take on the diner scene when Stan's relationship with Molly is first exposed.

In the film Bruno grabs Stan and half chokes him to death to get him to agree to marry her, while Zeena is clearly hostile towards him. In the novel that doesn't happen, at all. Zeena is celebratory that Stan and Molly are going to marry and Bruno doesn't have to get physical with him. Stan is rather meekly quiet about marrying, and the next thing you know they're hooked up and on the road doing their act five years later.

By the way even before the diner scene in the novel Stan is talking to Molly about her learning the code and they going on the road together. In the film, of course, it occurs by happenstance following the shotgun marriage. I prefer the film's take. I think the screenwriters improved upon the good material provided to them by William Lindsay Gresham.

By the way here is the passage from the novel from which it gets its title. After Zeena, as part of her mentalist act, tells a yokel in the audience that he will be getting a job with good pay somewhere up North, Gresham writes:

All of 'em want North, Stan thought. It was the dark alley, all over again. With a light at the end of it. Ever since he was a kid Stan had had the dream. He was running down a dark alley, the buildings vacant and black and menacing on either side. Far down at the end of it a light burned; but there was something behind him, getting closer until he woke up trembling and never reached the light. They have it too - a nightmare alley. The North isn't the end. The light will only move further on. And the fear close behind them. White and black, it made no difference. The geek and his bottle, staving off the clutch of the thing that came following after.

 

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When I was a kid I read that James Cagney was visiting the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, staying at the Royal York Hotel. I wrote him a fan letter and my Dad, after getting off the train at Union Station, crossed the street to the Royal York and handed my letter to the front desk clerk. He told me how he watched the clerk place my letter in a mail slot for Mr. Cagney.

Four months later, in one of the great thrills of my life, I received a note from Jimmy Cagney, thanking me for my letter. I even got a charge out of seeing that the actor had hand written my name and address on the accompanying envelope. He was an acting God to me. Still is.

A short while afterward, emboldened by his positive response, I sent Cagney a second letter, this time asking him what had been his source of inspiration for the cafeteria scene in White Heat in which Cody Jarrett goes nuts. I never received a response. Listening to Eddie Mueller's outro for the film, in which he said that the actor had come, over the years, to loathe the film, gives me a fair indication of the reason for the actor's silence. That, plus the fact that Cagney hated interviewers asking him questions of that kind, something of which I was unaware at the time.

Cagney always loved horses, and I suspect that had played a large role in his visit to the Royal Winter Fair where there is plenty of farm livestock. Now, in retrospect, I suspect my second letter to him might have received more of a response if I had asked him about Morgan horses.

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WHITE HEAT (1949)

I thought it was fantastic.  Can't wait to hear the debate from whomever thinks this was not "Noir". :P

I would have loved to see the scene where MOM got it, but that might have created a different reaction to the dining hall outburst.  I really loved that aspect of.  She comes to visit him in prison and says she'll knock off the guy who is gunning for him, Classic Ma. :lol:

I loved how crazy Cody Jarrett was, but I thought Cagney downplayed the psycho side most of the time.  I thought he was brilliant and I was greatly disappointed to hear Muller mention is dislike for this film.  While I was watching it I thought it was such a brave and bold move for Cagney at that time in his career, but that all came apart when I heard he hated it.

And wow was Virginia Mayo great.  I loved how her face said class and her actions said trash. :D  This might be my favorite film for her.

Most comedic aspect was when it came to light that someone had smuggled a gun into prison.  I love how that didn't seem to be that big of a deal and it was just given up when Jarrett needed it. :rolleyes:

So sad story, I fell asleep last night during the prison "crash out".  I woke up just before Big Ed got his and realized that I already had this movie on DVD, but had never watched it.  So sad that my addled brain can't always remember what movies I own and don't own.  And if I hadn't fallen asleep I might have never watched that DVD because I just ordered the Blu-Ray. :D

So in the big game of life.... POINT MULLER -  WHITE HEAT was definitely another winner.

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3 hours ago, Looney said:

I loved how crazy Cody Jarrett was, but I thought Cagney downplayed the psycho side most of the time.  I thought he was brilliant and I was greatly disappointed to hear Muller mention is dislike for this film.  While I was watching it I thought it was such a brave and bold move for Cagney at that time in his career, but that all came apart when I heard he hated it.

Cagney had said his autobiography that people would often ask him how did he psych himself up to pull off that scene when he goes berserk in the prison mess hall. He never had to psych himself up for a scene, he just said that he sometimes heard the screams of the mentally ill in asylums in New York to know what he needed to do. 

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On 5/9/2019 at 8:05 AM, TomJH said:

I've never been to any carnies in the sticks but I do recall when Toronto's CNE had fat lady setups as part of its mid way, which is primarily comprised of games and rides. No geeks, though.

I recall a large tacky sign with a painting of a woman who transformed into a gorilla. It looked like fun so I went into a large tent with a friend of mine. There was a fair collection of yokels there, err, I mean ticket buyers like us.

Anyway there was a cage on a platform with a woman inside it. Some guy gave us a brief spiel and the lights in the tent went out. When the lights came on again, sure enough, there was an ape in the cage who pressed wide open the bars and leaped down from the platform running amuck in the screaming crowd which started to run from the tent.

Being the manly sort I grabbed my friend, Michele, and held her firmly in front of me so the gorilla would get her first. But Michele was fearless. She just kept laughing.

The gorilla then turned and started to exit the tent off to the side and, as she did so, Michele said, "Look, Tom, the gorilla has adidas." I checked her feet and, sure enough, the ape was wearing better shoes than me.

It was sunny outside as we watched the dark outline of the gorilla through the canvas tent. The ape started climbing some stairs at the back of the tent which was taking her back to the cage on the platform. At the last moment as we watched the outline of the ape we saw it reach up and remove the gorilla head.

At that moment I started to get cynical about the legitimacy of what we had just witnessed.

Ah, Tom, I remember the CNE so well. I know it's still around, in some form, but I haven't been there in years, and I suspect that it's very much changed since when I used to go. Which was as a kid (with my parents) and as a teenager (with my friends.) I remember the side-show area of the Ex (we all called it "The Ex", remember?), and yes, I do recall a "fat lady" exhibit. I was morbidly curious about these shows, but never went into any of them. And yeah, there was no "geek"  (hey, are you familiar with that book I mentioned a few pages back, the novel by Robertson Davies called "World of Wonders"? One  of ours', as I'm sure you know  (not the geek, I mean Robertson Davies).

It's nice that someone here on these boards has some memories similar to mine - memories of Toronto back in the day.

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5 hours ago, Looney said:

And wow was Virginia Mayo Mayo great.  I loved how her face said class and her actions said trash. :D  This might be my favorite film for her.

I agree and am always surprised at how her work in this film is never talked about (I did miss the intro, though, so maybe Eddie did mention it?)

I enjoy her most in her films with Danny Kaye, but this is indeed her best performance.

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32 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Ah, Tom, I remember the CNE so well. I know it's still around, in some form, but I haven't been there in years, and I suspect that it's very much changed since when I used to go. Which was as a kid (with my parents) and as a teenager (with my friends.) I remember the side-show area of the Ex (we all called it "The Ex", remember?), and yes, I do recall a "fat lady" exhibit. I was morbidly curious about these shows, but never went into any of them. And yeah, there was no "geek"  (hey, are you familiar with that book I mentioned a few pages back, the novel by Robertson Davies called "World of Wonders"? One  of ours', as I'm sure you know  (not the geek, I mean Roberson Davies).

It's nice that someone here on these boards has some memories similar to mine - memories of Toronto back in the day.

Yeh, it's been years since I went to the Ex too. I loved it so much as a kid that I used to go several times during the three weeks it was open. The same year I went to it with Michele and we saw that gorilla lady we went on a few rides. She would laugh uproariously while we were on the roller coaster and even, when the thing did the loop and we were briefly upside down, take her hands off the bar holding us in the carriage so that her arms were flapping in the air freely. Then she was laughing even harder. I, meanwhile, was perfecting my form by not throwing up.

No, I'm not familiar with the Robertson Davies book to which you made mention, MissW.

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Sorry, I left out the most fascinating aspect of recent Noir Alley episodes.  Last week Springfield and Galesburg, Illinois get a shout out and then Springfield again this week.  Looney lives very close to Springfield and not too far away from Galesburg.  My dad actually grew up very close to Galesburg.  Okay that is out there now.  Everyone feel free to discuss.  :lol: :D :lol:  (Yes I often laugh at myself.)

 

 

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2 hours ago, sagebrush said:

I agree and am always surprised at how her work in this film is never talked about (I did miss the intro, though, so maybe Eddie did mention it?)

I enjoy her most in her films with Danny Kaye, but this is indeed her best performance.

I’m also a fan of Mayo’s. She definitely deserved to be a bigger star. I recorded a lot of her films when she was SUTS last year. I may need to catch up on those films! 

I read that Mayo was ever so slightly cross-eyed and she had to be filmed in a special way to not bring emphasis to it. 

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24 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I’m also a fan of Mayo’s. She definitely deserved to be a bigger star. I recorded a lot of her films when she was SUTS last year. I may need to catch up on those films! 

I read that Mayo was ever so slightly cross-eyed and she had to be filmed in a special way to not bring emphasis to it. 

Yes, she is ever so slightly cross-eyed. But I actually think that adds her to appeal- it makes her seem a little vulnerable, somehow. She's very pretty, cross-eyed or not. Some people feel that a "flaw" of some kind in an otherwise beautiful person makes them even more beautiful; flawed beauty is more attractive than perfection.

Anyway, I really like Virginia Mayo, and I agree she's under-rated and not as well-known as she deserves to be. I think another of her really memorable roles is as the discontented, b1tchy wife of Dana Andrews' in Best Years of Our Lives. It's not as big a role as that of Verna in White Heat, but she still has an impressive screen presence in it. 

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If I cared all that much about it, I would mount a defense that White Heat isn't

really a noir, but I don't really care that much, so I'll only say it's just a gangster picture

where the head man is a loony. Very entertaining as such, no doubt. I got a kick out

of ma telling Verna she'll wear out the mattress, though maybe not in the way ma

meant. And once again, poor old mother gets all the blame. Shame on you, Siggy.

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24 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I would mount a defense that White Heat isn't

really a noir

If it's not a noir for you, it's not a noir, for others it obviously tips noir. It's all subjective. :D😎

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This past Friday I saw four movies at the film noir festival in Palm Springs: Somewhere in the Night; The Scarlet Hour; 5 Fingers; and All My Sons. Some of you would say that All My Sons and especially 5 Fingers aren't noir, and I would agree, which is why I intend to write about them in the "I Just Watched" thread. However, all four films were very much worth seeing.

I had never heard of Somewhere in the Night--one of the best noir titles ever--and if I had seen this film knowing nothing about it, I would never have guessed the director, a name well known to most of the people who post here. This is the second film of Joseph L. Mankiewicz; his first was Dragonwyck. The cinematography by Norbert Brodeen is superb. Foster Hirsch, introducing the film, suggested that Somewhere in the Night is the most visually interesting of Mankiewicz's films, and that makes sense to me. The opening of the film is great. The camera moves around, occasionally going out of focus, as we discover that we are in a medical tent with several patients and medical officers, and eventually the camera emphasizes a patient with a bandaged face (and, incredibly, a perfectly trimmed pencil mustache). This is John Hodiak, the star of the film.

Hodiak is 1) a WWII veteran 2) with amnesia 3) and a new face. Yes, there's no doubt that this is noir. His name may be George Taylor and he has reason to believe that a man named Larry Cravat knows something about him. The more he learns about Larry Cravat, the shadier the man seems to be. A lot of other people want to find Larry Cravat, too, and most of them have no problem playing rough. A large sum of money has gone missing, and all of these people want it.

The plot is as complicated and convoluted as The Big Sleep, and like Dark Passage there might be a plot hole or three, but as with those two films, if you can just shelve those thoughts and roll with the movie, there's much to enjoy. One more reservation: The leading lady is Nancy Guild ("Rhymes with wild!" the Fox publicists wrote). Zanuck saw her picture on a magazine cover, thought she looked like Gene Tierney, and signed her to a movie contract. She's not really bad, but it's understandable why Gene Tierney and Lauren Bacall had bigger careers.

That being said, here are some of the many good things. Jeff Corey has a bit part as a bank teller! Harry Morgan has a small part as an attendant at a Turkish bath! If you want examples of Chekhov's "There are no small parts, only small actors," those guys provide them. The nightclub owner who's sweet on Nancy Guild is played by Richard Conte. An aging lady right out of a Tennessee Williams play is played with appropriate delicacy by Josephine Hutchinson (Oil for the Lamps of China, The Story of Louis Pasteur). An actor named Fritz Kortner does his best to walk off with the film playing a character known as Dr. Oracle. Kortner is great, but he can't entirely walk off with the film, though, because Lloyd Nolan plays the police detective trying to make sense of this chaos, and if you love Lloyd Nolan, you'll want to see this film. He brings some welcome comic moments while always seeming real, and as Foster Hirsch pointed out in his intro, Nolan has a long speech midway through the film where he explains much of the backstory. Nolan makes this necessary and complicated exposition sound like ordinary conversation. It would be a perfect scene to show to an acting class.

One more fun fact about the film, courtesy of Foster Hirsch: the producer of the film is Anderson Lawler. Mankiewicz chose him because he knew Lawler wouldn't interfere with what Mankiewicz wanted to do. Lawler was best known as a "walker," the guy studio bosses would let escort their wives to parties because they knew the women were perfectly safe with him.

 

 

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Just now, kingrat said:

I had never heard of Somewhere in the Night-

I saw it a long time ago and recall enjoying it. It was released on DVD as part of Fox's noir series, although it's currently out of print..

51W43A75WWL._SY445_.jpg

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whitehtcochrane.jpg

Steve Cochran and Virginia Mayo seemed to bring out the sleazy best in each other when they were co-starred as a pair of hard boiled types with the hots for one another. Both were attractive actors, and neither really got their due as performers.

I think of White Heat as the dramatic highlight of Mayo's career. She got stuck in a lot of bland roles but playing a hard boiled, self serving ****, such as in this film or Best Years of Our Lives made Mayo a lot more interesting as a performer. I wish that her followup roles in the '50s had been able to do her as much justice as an actress as did these two films.

Cochran specialized for a long time in playing nasty, sexy types on screen but, after he turned producer with his own company, he gave a lovely, sensitive performance as a nice guy, for a change, as an alcoholic who returns to the family that he had abandoned years before in Come Next Spring, a nice little bucolic tale, co-starring Ann Sheridan.

Cochran gave another sensitive performance soon afterward when he travelled to Italy to appear in director Michaelangelo Antonioni's Il Grido as a factory worker whose common law wife leaves him. He sets off on an aimless wander through the countryside, not knowing where it will take him, having a few hollow encounters with other women. But Cochran suffers, still uttering the name of the woman who left him and to whom he would like to return. It's a film about pain with its bleak Italian backdrops fitting in well with the story line. Cochran is a far cry from the double crossing Ed of White Heat here, making one wish he had had other opportunities to expand as an actor.

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

If I cared all that much about it, I would mount a defense that White Heat isn't

really a noir, but I don't really care that much, so I'll only say it's just a gangster picture

where the head man is a loony. Very entertaining as such, no doubt. I got a kick out

of ma telling Verna she'll wear out the mattress, though maybe not in the way ma

meant. And once again, poor old mother gets all the blame. Shame on you, Siggy.

The scene in the penitentiary cafeteria where Cagney goes off is the best gangster scene I've ever seen in a Warner Brothers gangster movie

Cagney opened the gangster era in 31 with "Public Enemy"  and he closed the gangster era in 49 with "White Heat". What's truly amazing is that at 50 he still had all of that volcanic energy that he had in the 30s.

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Just want to give a heads up, for those interested, that there's also a bit of discussion about White Heat on the"Hits and Misses" thread (not to be confused with "The Couch", obviously - the WH posts are on the lower half of the page.)

A couple of things struck me about White Heat this time that I'd not noticed so much upon previous viewings. The main one is the point that Tom made a page or so back, about how oddly cold Edmond O'Brien's character is in terms of his relationship with Cody Jarrett. As Tom's pointed out, on several occasions, Fallon appears to have no pity for the guy at all, as demonstrated in that "What's holding him up?" line.

I've always thought stories about spies who pretend and befriend (just thought that was an apt and catchy phrase) are complicated, emotionally. Someone - a soldier, a police detective, a rival gang member - could be any number of situations,  - is sent by the powers that be (again, could be the military, the FBI, the police, another criminal or revolutionary organization, whatever), and they have to infiltrate the group, convince them that they are genuine (ie, not a spy sent to suss them out, which is in fact exactly what they are), gain their trust, particularly the trust of the group's leader, and find a way to report what they discover to the organization that sent them (cops, military, whatever.)

The key phrase in what I wrote above is, "gain their trust". That is what makes these kinds of stories interesting and suspenseful; you're wondering all the time if they'll be discovered. Discovery means almost certain death, the spy is in danger the whole time they're doing their job, hanging out with the group they're supposed to glean information about  and, when the time comes, betray. 

But even more intriguing than the potential danger the spy faces, is the fact that he has to gain the leader's trust. He has to befriend the leader, show the leader that he's loyal, that the leader can count on him. It also helps if the spy is smart and resourceful, so that the leader will be impressed with him, pay attention to him and take him into his confidence. I've always thought that this kind of character must have very ambivalent feelings about what he's doing: the better he performs his job, the more he has to lie and equivocate and betray. How can the spy, especially if he spends a considerable amount of time with the gang, not start to feel some kind of connection, possibly even affection, for the very person he's been sent to destroy?

White Heat is a perfect example of this kind of situation. Fallon gains Cody's trust - and it's not easy, Cody is a very suspicious guy who trusts no one but his mother. Of course, saving Cody's life helps. That was a "break" Fallon couldn't have hoped for. You see the gradual development of Cody's liking for and trust of Fallon, and despite his crazy violent ways, you actually start to feel sorry for him; you know Fallon's going to use that trust to catch him, to put an end to him, really.  There's that especially weird, strangely touching scene where Cody tells Fallon that he's been "talking to Ma", revealing how much he misses her, and then even acknowledging that this must seem "crazy" to most people. You'd think Fallon would feel just a little conflicted, knowing what he has to do and yet knowing how much this deranged criminal has come to like him and trust him. Surely O'Brien could have indicated, even if it was just a fleeting expression on his face, that there was at least a shade of regret about the complete deception he was practicing on Cody.

It is possible to recognize the darkness in someone, to know that they are dangerous and must be stopped, and yet to understand them on some level and have some kind of compassion for them. Fallon feels not a hint of this ambivalence. White Heat is a great film, but I think it would have been even better, added a layer of psychological complexity to the story, if Fallon had felt something beyond a police -like satisfaction in a job well done.

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4 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

If it's not a noir for you, it's not a noir, for others it obviously tips noir. It's all subjective. :D😎

There is definitely a subjective element, though there seems to be a consensus that

the usual suspects--Out of the Past, Laura, The Killers, et al--are noir. To each their

own.

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4 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

The scene in the penitentiary cafeteria where Cagney goes off is the best gangster scene I've ever seen in a Warner Brothers gangster movie

Cagney opened the gangster era in 31 with "Public Enemy"  and he closed the gangster era in 49 with "White Heat". What's truly amazing is that at 50 he still had all of that volcanic energy that he had in the 30s.

I just wouldn't want to be the guy who has to tell Cody that dear old mom is dead. 

Hit the deck. 

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2 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Just want to give a heads up, for those interested, that there's also a bit of discussion about White Heat on the"Hits and Misses" thread (not to be confused with "The Couch", obviously - the WH posts are on the lower half of the page.)

A couple of things struck me about White Heat this time that I'd not noticed so much upon previous viewings. The main one is the point that Tom made a page or so back, about how oddly cold Edmond O'Brien's character is in terms of his relationship with Cody Jarrett. As Tom's pointed out, on several occasions, Fallon appears to have no pity for the guy at all, as demonstrated in that "What's holding him up?" line.

I've always thought stories about spies who pretend and befriend (just thought that was an apt and catchy phrase) are complicated, emotionally. Someone - a soldier, a police detective, a rival gang member - could be any number of situations,  - is sent by the powers that be (again, could be the military, the FBI, the police, another criminal or revolutionary organization, whatever), and they have to infiltrate the group, convince them that they are genuine (ie, not a spy sent to suss them out, which is in fact exactly what they are), gain their trust, particularly the trust of the group's leader, and find a way to report what they discover to the organization that sent them (cops, military, whatever.)

The key phrase in what I wrote above is, "gain their trust". That is what makes these kinds of stories interesting and suspenseful; you're wondering all the time if they'll be discovered. Discovery means almost certain death, the spy is in danger the whole time they're doing their job, hanging out with the group they're supposed to glean information about  and, when the time comes, betray. 

But even more intriguing than the potential danger the spy faces, is the fact that he has to gain the leader's trust. He has to befriend the leader, show the leader that he's loyal, that the leader can count on him. It also helps if the spy is smart and resourceful, so that the leader will be impressed with him, pay attention to him and take him into his confidence. I've always thought that this kind of character must have very ambivalent feelings about what he's doing: the better he performs his job, the more he has to lie and equivocate and betray. How can the spy, especially if he spends a considerable amount of time with the gang, not start to feel some kind of connection, possibly even affection, for the very person he's been sent to destroy?

White Heat is a perfect example of this kind of situation. Fallon gains Cody's trust - and it's not easy, Cody is a very suspicious guy who trusts no one but his mother. Of course, saving Cody's life helps. That was a "break" Fallon couldn't have hoped for. You see the gradual development of Cody's liking for and trust of Fallon, and despite his crazy violent ways, you actually start to feel sorry for him; you know Fallon's going to use that trust to catch him, to put an end to him, really.  There's that especially weird, strangely touching scene where Cody tells Fallon that he's been "talking to Ma", revealing how much he misses her, and then even acknowledging that this must seem "crazy" to most people. You'd think Fallon would feel just a little conflicted, knowing what he has to do and yet knowing how much this deranged criminal has come to like him and trust him. Surely O'Brien could have indicted, even if it was just a fleeting expression on his face, that there was at least a shade of regret about the complete deception he was practicing on Cody.

It is possible to recognize the darkness in someone, to know that they are dangerous and must be stopped, and yet to understand them on some level and have some kind of compassion for them. Fallon feels not a hint of this ambivalence. White Heat is a great film, but I think it would have been even better, added a layer of psychological complexity to the story, if Fallon had felt something beyond a police -like satisfaction in a job well done.

Perhaps Fallon MIGHT have felt that way for a while MissW (and Tom), but let's not forget here that just before Fallon takes the rifle fixed with the scope on it and shoots Cody, he witnesses yet ANOTHER coldblooded murder committed by Cody when he shots the last of the gang while he's attempting to give himself up to the police.

And so I don't know about you here, but if I had been Fallon, witnessing THIS would have been the final straw that would have broken ANY chance for ANY residual "sympathy" I would or might have had for Cody!

In other words, I TOO would have thought something along the lines of, "THIS crazy nutcase HAS to be stopped NOW!", and most likely would have ALSO said out loud, "What the HELL is holding UP that crazy SOB?!"

(...well, that's the way I WOULD done O'Brien's line anyway...of course then again, the movie production code of the time wouldn't have much cared for my particular line-reading here) ;) LOL

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9 hours ago, Looney said:

Sorry, I left out the most fascinating aspect of recent Noir Alley episodes.  Last week Springfield and Galesburg, Illinois get a shout out and then Springfield again this week.  Looney lives very close to Springfield and not too far away from Galesburg.  My dad actually grew up very close to Galesburg.  Okay that is out there now.  Everyone feel free to discuss.  :lol: :D :lol:  (Yes I often laugh at myself.)

Don't laugh, looney! I had sort of the same feeling while watching (yet again) White Heat last night.

However in MY case, and because I grew up very very near where in the movie the police are radio triangulating the movement of Cody's gang's gasoline tanker truck while it was traveling southbound through parts of south-central L.A. and toward Wilmington and the oil refinery.

As the police dispatcher is calling out the various intersections the tanker truck is transiting, such as "166th Street and Western Ave" and "190th and Figueroa", and this during the pre-freeway era of Los Angeles(and particularly the pre-Harbor Fwy...a freeway which wasn't begun in construction until the year I was born, 1952), because during all those years of living nearby I had many times driven through those exact intersections, I felt, as I said above, a certain special fascination with this part of the film.

(...you may also recall in the film that in the police station while they're plotting the movement of the tanker truck, they're using a large map of the L.A. area of the time, and there's nary a freeway to be seen on it...well, at least I couldn't see any on it, anyway)

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5 hours ago, Vautrin said:

There is definitely a subjective element, though there seems to be a consensus that

the usual suspects--Out of the Past, Laura, The Killers, et al--are noir. To each their

own.

When TCM did that Summer of Darkness program a couple of years ago there was a link that was published in the classroom section to a comparative table of noir titles that listed all the titles that the various Film Noir book authors felt tipped noir, like you mentioned there is a core consensus but also a lot of outliers.  

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