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MissGoddess

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> {quote:title=ChiO wrote:}{quote}

> 17. Burt Lancaster as "J.J. Hunsecker" (Sweet Smell of Success): I tend to be ambivalent about Lancaster as an actor -- sometimes he's painful for me to watch -- but this may have been the role he was born to play. Nasty, cruel, cynical and in love with his younger sister...and maybe Sidney Falco, too. Who says I ain't a romantic?

>

 

That is a nice list, ChiO. I'm not sure about Hunsecker being in love with Falco, though. I don't think he was his type. And I'm not sure Hunsecker could ever really love anyone as much as he loved himself! ;)

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*So you're not that big on Burt, eh? Our list of favorites usually match in some crazy way, so I find this one strange. Or are you talking about Burt outside of film noir? Are you an Elmer Gantry fan?*

 

I do like Elmer Gantry. It's another role that fits my perception of Mr. Lancaster. It also has John Alton cinematography, don't you know. I suppose that most of the performances that I don't enjoy are outside of noir except -- HERESY ALERT -- I'm not a fan of Criss Cross and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's just too convoluted for my pea-brain.

 

*Did you bump Robert Ryan to the top spot yet or are you still a Jimmy guy?*

 

It's still Jimmy #1, Bobby #2, and Timmy #3. It's probably because Stewart got to (or was required to) play a greater variety of roles and, since he's good in all of them, he gets bonus points.

 

Now for the real issue:

 

*For some reason, I struggle to call films not of the 40s and 50s "film noir."*

 

Why? If I were a provocateur, I might say something like: More wonderful noirs were made before *Stranger on the Third Floor* (1940) and after *Touch of Evil* (1958) than were made during the Classic Age of Film Noir. I took a few minutes and thought of these favorites of mine that I have proudly standing beside the best of 1940-58:

 

*The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari* 1919

*Greed* 1924

*The Unknown* 1927

*The Blue Angel* 1930

*Vampyr* 1931

*M* 1931

*The Testament of Dr. Mabuse* 1932

*Fury* 1936

*You Only Live Once* 1937

*Port of Shadows* 1938

 

*Peeping Tom* 1959

*Blast of Silence* 1961

*Underworld, U.S.A.* 1961

*Cape Fear* 1961

*The Hustler* 1961

*Something Wild* 1961

*The Manchurian Candidate* 1962

*High and Low* 1963

*The Sadist* 1963

*The Trial* 1963

*Shock Corridor* 1963

*The Naked Kiss* 1964

*The Killers* 1964

*Blow-Up* 1966

*Point Blank* 1967

*Army of Shadows* 1969

*The Conformist* 1970

*Wanda* 1970

*Fat City* 1972

*Martha* 1973

*Mean Streets* 1973

*The Friends of Eddie Coyle* 1973

*The Conversation* 1974

*Chinatown* 1974

*Taxi Driver* 1976

*The Killing of a Chinese Bookie* 1976

*The King of Comedy* 1983

*After Hours* 1985

*Blue Velvet* 1986

*The Killer* 1990

*The Usual Suspects* 1995

*Dead Man* 1995

*Eyes Wide Shut* 1999

*The Hole* 2000

 

And plenty more, I'm sure, if I put my mind to it. What are you, some kind of purist...or just an ageist?

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*Why? If I were a provocateur, I might say something like: More wonderful noirs were made before Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) and after Touch of Evil (1958) than were made during the Classic Age of Film Noir. I took a few minutes and thought of these favorites of mine that I have proudly standing beside the best of 1940-58:*

 

Those are truly a wonderful selection of films, ChiO. Even the most jaded and cynical noir fan should be persuaded that noirs shouldn't be limited to just what came between 1940 and 1958. B-)

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What's the score, Cubs Fan? -- I do like Elmer Gantry. It's another role that

fits my perception of Mr. Lancaster.

 

I figured you did. Lancaster's energy in that film is quite impressive. Hunsecker and

Gantry, now that's a pair. Ahem.

 

It also has John Alton cinematography, don't you know.

 

Ahhhh, yes. You know, I've only seen Gantry once and it was before I was aware of

Johann. I need to watch it again.

 

I suppose that most of the performances that I don't enjoy are outside of noir

except -- HERESY ALERT -- I'm not a fan of Criss Cross and I'm not sure why.

Maybe it's just too convoluted for my pea-brain.

 

What?! Yvonne De Carlo alone should put that one over the top.

 

It's still Jimmy #1, Bobby #2, and Timmy #3. It's probably because Stewart got to

(or was required to) play a greater variety of roles and, since he's good in all of

them, he gets bonus points.

 

Stewart certainly has more range than Ryan, but I didn't know that was a big factor for

you. The Hitch-Mann connection is big for me. But I do like Jimmy in just about any

flick, so we are the same there. Ryan gained the top spot for me because I love how

he plays villains. He can play soft or hard so damn well. That ain't easy. So what

film do you think Jimmy is the most villainous? Is it Vertigo?

 

Now for the real issue:

 

For some reason, I struggle to call films not of the 40s and 50s "film noir."

 

Why? If I were a provocateur, I might say something like: More wonderful noirs were made before Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) and after Touch of Evil (1958) than were made during the Classic Age of Film Noir.

 

What are you, some kind of purist...or just an ageist?

 

So you've ridden back into town with your pooka, trouble. I like that.

 

I'm oft to say, "I'm conservative with my being and liberal with my thinking." This is how I

am with film noir. When it comes to me, I view film noir through strained purist eyes. When

it comes to others, I'm wide-eyed.

 

As you know, the term "film noir" was given birth by the French critic, Nino Frank, after

World War II. From what I gather, the French critics had not seen many Hollywood films

from the early-to-mid 40s due to World War II. When Frank saw films like

Scarlet Street and Double Indemnity, he was surprised to see such dark

films coming out of Hollywood. This was not the Hollywood of pre-WWII.

 

From my purist thinking, film noir was a term given to American-made films and this

"genre" ran from the early-40s to the late-50s. I believe the influx of German and

European directors, writers, and cinematographers during this period changed American

cinema. They had brought the "black" to Hollywood.

 

Why the 40s and 50s? Because I believe this was the timeframe that lent itself to film

noir. America and the world was first embroiled in a dark war and then it faced a dark

return from war and then it was confronted with a new darkness: Communism and all

the paranoia that came with the Cold War. Racial injustice was also starting to brew

during this time. Eisenhower's America was also a factor.

 

By 1960, the tide had turned in the country and I believe film noir had mostly

evaporated. JFK, Vietnam, and civil rights were to take center stage. Hollywood would

also see the disintegration of the studio system. It was no longer the 40s and 50s. The

German influence in Hollywood was gone.

 

Do I believe film noir was still being made after the 50s? Most definitely.

Blood Simple is my favorite contemporary film noir. Chinatown is a classic

film noir from the 70s. Brick is a terrific film noir from this decade.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle is pure film noir. It's a fantastic film. Are they neo-noir?

Yes. But are they still film noir? Yes.

 

Was there film noir prior to the 40s? Yes. As you know, Fritz Lang is a huge favorite

of mine and I believe he had a major influence on many a filmmaker, including Alfred

Hitchcock. I view Lang as the grandfather of film noir.

 

So why don't I consider films before the 40s to be pure film noir? Because Germans and

some Europeans had been making "black" film for years. It wasn't a surprise to see a

"black" film come out of Germany. What was surprising is to see a "black" film come out

of Hollywood.

 

I'm of the belief that Lang's You Only Live Once may be the first Hollywood film

noir. But I say this as an ignorant film watcher. Dewey is someone whose words I'd

trust with this. I'd love to hear what Hollywood films from the 30s he feels are

film noir.

 

I also believe Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow is the last film noir of the

50s, mainly because it deals with the two greatest concerns facing America as she

headed into the 60s: nuclear war and civil rights. Odds Against Tomorrow feels like

the last step.

 

What about Samuel Fuller's The Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor, you ask. Are

they not film noir? Well, I must plead guilty to my own heresy, I still haven't seen either

of them. I have a strong feeling that they ARE pure film noir.

 

You may get a kick out of this. You and Dewey can BOTH speak to this, too. Like film,

music is often lumped into decades or genres. I'm an 80s music fan. If you listen

to the music of the 80s, you will hear the sound of the 70s in the first couple of years. You

will still hear the rock and the disco of the 70s. By 1982, the sound of the 80s started to

kick in. I believe Fuller was still making "disco" in the early-60s when "disco" was dead.

 

What is rock-n-roll to you? To Dewey? When did it start? Did it end or is it still

going? If a handful of rock-n-roll songs are made, does that mean the era is still

alive? Yes, there is film noir still being made today, but, I believe the true film noir era

is long gone.

 

And what I really should have said is that I usually separate my "classic" favorites from

my "contemporary" favorites. Demarcation, anyone?

 

I'm going to comment on your film noir list then. Some of those you named are quite

interesting. The Manchurian Candidate being one. "Mrs. Iselin" is definitely a

femme fatale of the highest order.

 

Damn, I'm going to be paying for this night... today. I blame you and your evil pooka for

my idiocy. And how rotten of you to dangle those 30s Lang flicks in front of my purist eyes.

It's no wonder I liked you from the start.

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> I also believe Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow is the last film noir of the

> 50s, mainly because it deals with the two greatest concerns facing America as she

> headed into the 60s: nuclear war and civil rights. Odds Against Tomorrow feels like

> the last step.

>

 

As a huge film noir fan I always enjoy coming here and reading the various back-and-forth among the board members; sometimes I even participate. Anyway, reading through your comments, Frank, I find myself in total agreement about the genre being basically confined to the years 1940-l958/59, although as you point out, there are certain great neo-noirs that have been produced in ther years since. (My own personal choice for the best: Chinatown, for a myriad of reasons I won't go into here.) I am curious about your above comment concerning Odds Against Tomorrow, a film that I admire, and which I too believe more or less "closes the door" on film noir in 1959. However, you say it deals with two of the greatest concerns facing America going into the 1960s: nuclear war and civil rights. I certainly see the civil rights aspect, but where is the nuclear war angle? From my memory, it doesn't enter the story line at all. The film is pretty much a crime caper, bank job, along the lines of The Asphalt Jungle, no? I was wondering if you were momentarily confusing the story with another 1959 movie, starring Harry Belafonte, called The World, the Flesh, and the Devil; that one certainly concerns nuclear war, and of course civil rights, since the three survivors were a black man, a white man, and a white woman. Just curious.

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Rickspade, you've addressed some really good points and I'm inclined to agree with you pretty much completely. The whole subject about whether the "real" noir is or is not confined to that 1940-1958/59 period probably could be discussed for weeks on end, and maybe would even deserve its own thread.

 

Personally I always thought of Fritz Lang's "You Only Live Once" as being very much a proto-noir. Others might disagree, of course.

 

Also I never thought of "The World, the Flesh and the Devil" in terms of noir, although I can see why some would see it that way. But you're right that it would seem to be the most likely choice in terms of a movie from the era that addressed both nuclear fear and racial concerns. It's great that TCM has been able to show it now and then.

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> Personally I always thought of Fritz Lang's "You Only Live Twice" as being very much a proto-noir. Others might disagree, of course.

>

> Also I never thought of "The World, the Flesh and the Devil" in terms of noir, although I can see why some would see it that way. But you're right that it would seem to be the most likely choice in terms of a movie from the era that addressed both nuclear fear and racial concerns. It's great that TCM has been able to show it now and then.

 

 

Thanks. I haven't seen the Lang film (which I believe is titled, You Only Live Once) in a long time, probably even before I ever became a film noir "addict." I remember thinking it was terrific, especially the performances of Fonda and Sylvia Sydney as the doomed lovers. I'd have to see it again to figure out whether I would put it into the noir category. It wouldn't surprise me if I did, because as we know, Fritz Lang went on to later direct some GREAT films noir, The Woman in the Window, and Scarlet Street, the latter being in my top five noirs of all time.

 

As for The World, the Flesh and the Devil, I wasn't exactly categorizing it as noir; I was just speculating that perhaps FrankGrimes had somehow confused the plots a bit. We'll let him answer that one for himself. (Note to FrankGrimes: I'm in no way calling into question your knowledge and insights in this genre; I always enjoy your postings, and my top films noir list and characters almost mirrors yours.)

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You're right, of course, Rickspade, I'd meant to say "You Only Live Once". I'd agree that it's a terrific film, and arguably a precursor to movies like "They Live by Night".

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Hey, Rick! -- It's a pleasure to catch up with you today.

 

As a huge film noir fan I always enjoy coming here and reading the various

back-and-forth among the board members; sometimes I even participate.

 

No need to be shy around these parts. If you got something to say, speak up. You

will find that most everyone here is quite welcoming. Well, all but ChiO. You got

to keep an eye on that guy. Ohhh, and Miss G. She likes to slap and stab. :D

 

Fritz Lang went on to later direct some GREAT films noir, The Woman in the

Window, and Scarlet Street, the latter being in my top five noirs of all time.

 

There we go! Scarlet Street is my favorite film noir.

 

(Note to FrankGrimes: I'm in no way calling into question your knowledge and

insights in this genre; I always enjoy your postings, and my top films noir list

and characters almost mirrors yours.)

 

Your taste is dreadful, too? :D Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it. And

you can question my knowledge and insights any time that you wish. I'm very okay

with that. I'm very new to classic film, so I have much to learn. Film noir is the

"genre" I know the most about, but I promise you that I'm nowhere near as learned

as you and the others in this forum.

 

Anyway, reading through your comments, Frank, I find myself in total agreement

about the genre being basically confined to the years 1940-l958/59, although as

you point out, there are certain great neo-noirs that have been produced in ther

years since.

 

For me, that period seemed to be where film noir was consistent in both its

production and theme. It's more difficult to find this before and after that

period. It's more grab bag in those periods.

 

But, as I said before, when it comes to others and their opinions, I'm very

open-minded and accepting.

 

Here's an example of my own film noir stupidity: I don't include Hitchcock films on my

list. And I say this while acknowledging that The Wrong Man and

Strangers on a Train are films noir. Yes, I'm an idiot.

 

Also, when I was deciding if I wanted to post on this board or at IMDb, back in 2007,

I checked to see how film noir was being discussed. This board didn't have nearly

the action as IMDb, but those who were discussing film noir here "got it," from

where I laid in the streets, dying from a stab wound to the neck.

 

One thing that really turned me off at IMDb was the insistence of a guy who said it

wasn't a film noir unless it had a femme fatale. Now that is something I definitely

disagree with.

 

(My own personal choice for the best: Chinatown, for a myriad of reasons I won't

go into here.)

 

You can't go wrong with that. Is it THE Los Angeles film noir?

 

I am curious about your above comment concerning Odds Against Tomorrow, a film

that I admire, and which I too believe more or less "closes the door" on film noir in

1959. However, you say it deals with two of the greatest concerns facing America going

into the 1960s: nuclear war and civil rights. I certainly see the civil rights aspect, but

where is the nuclear war angle? From my memory, it doesn't enter the story line at

all. The film is pretty much a crime caper, bank job, along the lines of The Asphalt

Jungle, no? I was wondering if you were momentarily confusing the story with another

1959 movie, starring Harry Belafonte, called The World, the Flesh, and the Devil; that

one certainly concerns nuclear war, and of course civil rights, since the three survivors

were a black man, a white man, and a white woman. Just curious.

 

Odds Against Tomorrow is what you say it is... until the very end.

 

 

SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT!

 

IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW AND WISH TO

SEE IT, TAKE COVER!

 

And I do highly recommend the film.

 

O

D

D

S

 

A

G

A

I

N

S

T

 

T

O

M

O

R

R

O

W

 

The end of film noir?

 

oddsagainsttomorrow1.jpg

 

oddsagainsttomorrow2.jpg

 

The words spoken in the following cap seem to come from "heavenly judges." And

we know who the " two" really are.

 

oddsagainsttomorrow3.jpg

 

It's not just white versus black, it's also American versus Russian. In the end, which

is which? I also like how the leaning telephone pole plays as a "cross" in this shot.

 

oddsagainsttomorrow4.jpg

 

Here's the perfect sign for film noir:

 

oddsagainsttomorrow5.jpg

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Wow, I never picked up any allusion to the threat of nuclear war

or the "cold war" in Odds Against Tomorrow. The next time I watch

it I will have to keep that in mind. Those images certainly do much to back

your claim.

 

You will find that most everyone here is quite welcoming. Well, all but ChiO. You got

to keep an eye on that guy. Ohhh, and Miss G. She likes to slap and stab

 

If only statements like this didn't ruin your credibility.

 

Pay no attention, RickSpade. I'm sure a brilliant gumshoe like you can detect what

MrGrimes is full of.

 

2HaveHaveNot-03.jpg?t=1236729107

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Frank,

 

Good to hear back from you. I'll just respond to a few of your points.

 

(1) I arbitrarily "divide" my noir films into the "Class A" kind (those with more or less "A" or well-know actors/actresses and directors) and the "Class B" films, (very well-done, but lower budgets, and with the lesser known and more "cult status" actors/actresses and directors). So at the top of my Class A films are Double Indemnity, Scarlet Street, Out of the Past, Sweet Smell of Success and Nightmare Alley, w/Indemnity being at the top and the others filling out the top five in random order depending upon my mood on any particular day. Class B films would be D.O.A., Detour, Gun Crazy, The Asphalt Jungle (although John Huston is a Class A director), and The Killing (same for Kubrick I guess, although back then he wasn't that well known). Of course, as I said, this is arbitrary and I've never seen anyone else make this kind of distinction, but who says we can't make up our own criteria, right? In fact, I'm in complete agreement with you about Hitchcock's films: as much as I love many of them, they're not film noir to me. They just don't have that noir ambience; it's probably hard to explain to people who aren't steeped in the love of genre the way we are, but as the Supreme Court Justice once said when asked to define pornography: "I know it when I see it."

 

As for Odds Against Tomorrow, as the cliche goes: a picture is worth 1000 words, and you provided three of them. I have to confess although I've seen the movie (many years ago) and while I remembered both men dying rather spectacularly, I did not recollect that the final scene was so apocalyptic. After seeing those images, I think you're right on the mark. Good insight on your part. Now I can't wait for TCM to show it again so I can refresh my memory of the entire film.

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Frank,

 

I knew as soon as I posted my message I would have to amend my list. I'm embarrassed; how could I have left off not one, but _two_ of my favorite noirs, both with Richard Widmark? They have to go right into Class A because I think Widmark was a major star, and he never got the proper respect as an actor. Anyway, Pickup on South Street and Night and the City, two classic, quintessential noirs, in any category!

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What's the word, Rick? -- (1) I arbitrarily "divide" my noir films into the "Class A"

kind (those with more or less "A" or well-know actors/actresses and directors) and the

"Class B" films, (very well-done, but lower budgets, and with the lesser known and

more "cult status" actors/actresses and directors).

 

That's fascinating. I've never heard of anyone doing that before.

 

So at the top of my Class A films are Double Indemnity, Scarlet Street, Out of the Past,

Sweet Smell of Success and Nightmare Alley, w/Indemnity being at the top and

the others filling out the top five in random order depending upon my mood on any

particular day.

 

So Double Indemnity tops the list for you. That was one of the first films noir

I ever saw and it was the first Barbara Stanwyck film I ever saw. Needless to

say, I was hooked with both. Double Indemnity currently ranks #13 on my

favorite film noir list.

 

Class B films would be D.O.A., Detour, Gun Crazy, The Asphalt Jungle (although

John Huston is a Class A director), and The Killing (same for Kubrick I guess, although

back then he wasn't that well known).

 

All of your "A" and "B" choices are favorites of mine. D.O.A. ranks the lowest

on my list, but I still like it a heckuva lot. One of the best opening lines in all of film.

 

Of course, as I said, this is arbitrary and I've never seen anyone else make this

kind of distinction, but who says we can't make up our own criteria, right?

 

Precisely! Film noir is truly gray. It's the perfect kind of classic film "genre" for guys

because it does provoke "arguments," ala sports.

 

In fact, I'm in complete agreement with you about Hitchcock's films: as much as

I love many of them, they're not film noir to me. They just don't have that noir ambience;

 

I always think of Hitchcock as his own "genre." The Wrong Man is the Hitch film

that feels and looks the most like film noir. It's very stripped down and minimalistic. It's

a very dark and somber Hitch, which is extremely rare. It's quite jarring.

 

Strangers on a Train would be the next Hitch film I'd place in the film noir category,

but that one at least has flair despite it's darkness. Shadow of a Doubt is

very noirish to me. Vertigo would also be in the mix, but the purist in me

struggles to call it film noir. It certainly has elements of film noir.

 

it's probably hard to explain to people who aren't steeped in the love of genre the way

we are, but as the Supreme Court Justice once said when asked to define

pornography: "I know it when I see it."

 

:D And we all see through different eyes (minds). This is why I don't look to off those

who say this film is film noir and that one isn't. Like you, I use my own criteria for my

own lists unless asked to do differently. And I do like bottomless discussions of this nature.

I think ChiO knows this about me, too. Well, actually, he's just a troublemaker who also

likes bottomless discussions... thank goodness.

 

As for Odds Against Tomorrow, as the cliche goes: a picture is worth 1000 words, and

you provided three of them. I have to confess although I've seen the movie

(many years ago) and while I remembered both men dying rather spectacularly, I did

not recollect that the final scene was so apocalyptic. After seeing those images, I think

you're right on the mark. Good insight on your part. Now I can't wait for TCM to show it

again so I can refresh my memory of the entire film.

 

Robert Wise was big on the social issues of the day and he was anti-war. He was

basically a humanist. He killed two birds with one stone with

Odds Against Tomorrow. He's most known for West Side Story and

The Sound of Music, but I have found his other films to be remarkable. And you'd

never know a guy like Robert Wise would make a film like Born to Kill. It's a film

that runs counter to him.

 

I knew as soon as I posted my message I would have to amend my list. I'm

embarrassed; how could I have left off not one, but two of my favorite noirs, both

with Richard Widmark? They have to go right into Class A because I think Widmark

was a major star, and he never got the proper respect as an actor. Anyway,

Pickup on South Street and Night and the City, two classic, quintessential noirs, in

any category!

 

I'm with you, I believe Richard Widmark was a major star... at least in the world of film

noir. He's one of my favorites. But I'm ashamed to say, I still haven't watched

Night and the City. Pickup on South Street is a biggie for me.

 

Here's my current top ten:

 

1. Scarlet Street

2. Pickup on South Street

3. Out of the Past

4. In a Lonely Place

5. The Third Man

6. Raw Deal

7. Fallen Angel

8. The Killing

9. The Night of the Hunter

10. The Big Heat

 

Can you find the one film that should not belong on the list of a "purist"? Did you say

something about arbitrary? :)

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>

> I always think of Hitchcock as his own "genre." The Wrong Man is the Hitch film

> that feels and looks the most like film noir. It's very stripped down and minimalistic. It's

> a very dark and somber Hitch, which is extremely rare. It's quite jarring.

>

> Strangers on a Train would be the next Hitch film I'd place in the film noir category,

> but that one at least has flair despite it's darkness. Shadow of a Doubt is

> very noirish to me. Vertigo would also be in the mix, but the purist in me

> struggles to call it film noir. It certainly has elements of film noir.

 

Frank,

 

I agree completely with you about the Hitch films you mention; for me, both The Wrong Man and Strangers on a Train can be considered "noirish;" Vertigo may be Hitch's greatest film, all cinematic and story elements considered, but it's borderline noir. As for Shadow of a Doubt, I must confess, while many people rate this as one of his best, I was very disappointed in it, and I'm not sure why. The story seemed far-fetched to me, even for Hitchcock, and I just couldn't get into it. From reading the way others feel about it, I guess I have a minority opinion there.

 

 

> Robert Wise was big on the social issues of the day and he was anti-war. He was

> basically a humanist. He killed two birds with one stone with

> Odds Against Tomorrow. He's most known for West Side Story and

> The Sound of Music, but I have found his other films to be remarkable. And you'd

> never know a guy like Robert Wise would make a film like Born to Kill. It's a film

> that runs counter to him.

>

I agree completely, Wise is an amazing case study. A director who began his career heading in one direction, and then switched gears dramatically into a whole different genre. I knew him from his musical credits first, then was amazed to see how proficient he was in creating not just average noir films, but _very good_ ones; in addition to Odds. . . and Born to Kill, I'm sure you know he also directed The Set-Up (w/ the great Robert Ryan in a boxing film w/ definite noir elements), The Captive City (which TCM just ran last week and which I thought was surprisingly good in small-genre, semi-documentary style noir) and I Want to Live, the Barbara Graham story, for which Susan Hayward won her Academy Award. All those films are first-rate, and then the guy turns around and does the musicals; talk about versatile.

 

 

> I'm with you, I believe Richard Widmark was a major star... at least in the world of film

> noir. He's one of my favorites. But I'm ashamed to say, I still haven't watched

> Night and the City. Pickup on South Street is a biggie for me.

 

Well, we all have films we should have seen/always meant to see. I highly recommend Night and the City; as you probably know, it's set in London, early 1950s, and features a great Widmark performance, along with some terrific character actors, sleazy, and classic noir-types. I only wish Jules Dassin had chosen another actress instead of Gene Tierney; she was perfect in Laura, but otherwise, she's often not a good fit in the more grimy noirs. (Linda Darnell would have been much better, IMO).

 

> Here's my current top ten:

>

> 1. Scarlet Street

> 2. Pickup on South Street

> 3. Out of the Past

> 4. In a Lonely Place

> 5. The Third Man

> 6. Raw Deal

> 7. Fallen Angel

> 8. The Killing

> 9. The Night of the Hunter

> 10. The Big Heat

>

> Can you find the one film that should not belong on the list of a "purist"? Did you say

> something about arbitrary? :)

 

Well, that's a great list. I have to admit I haven't seen Raw Deal (see, everyone has gaps), but from what I've read about it, that has to be included in any purist's list. I think all the films have definite, strong noir elements, but if I was forced to exclude one, it might be The Night of the Hunter. That's a great film, w/ a terrific Mitchum performance, but it has a couple of kids and Lillian Gish, and it loses points for that. Besides, it has a happy ending (Mitchum gets his), and for many "purists" that can be grounds for exclusion. But, as you said, it's arbitrary.

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Hey there, Rick -- I agree completely with you about the Hitch films you

mention; for me, both The Wrong Man and Strangers on a Train can be considered

"noirish;"

 

They both have the look of film noir, which is important for me, especially

The Wrong Man.

 

Vertigo may be Hitch's greatest film, all cinematic and story elements considered,

but it's borderline noir.

 

I agree with you. There's definitely a sucker and a femme fatale present and the scheme

is very film noir, but I just struggle to call it film noir.

 

As for Shadow of a Doubt, I must confess, while many people rate this as one of

his best, I was very disappointed in it, and I'm not sure why. The story seemed

far-fetched to me, even for Hitchcock, and I just couldn't get into it. From reading

the way others feel about it, I guess I have a minority opinion there.

 

You don't like Shadow of a Doubt? Are you crazy?!

 

:D Just teasing. I like that you weren't shy about saying you were disappointed

with the film. I respect that.

 

I'm in the majority with this one; Shadow of a Doubt is one of my favorite Hitch

flicks. I love Joseph Cotten's "Uncle Charlie." I also love the transformation "Charlie"

(Teresa Wright) goes through in the film. She starts off a happy-go-lucky girl with no

real worries in the world but she slowly starts to deteriorate. I also like how she

protects her mother from the truth. Only Charlie knows the truth about Uncle Charlie.

Everyone else is oblivious. The danger from within. Do others see the danger that

is right in front of them?

 

I agree completely, Wise is an amazing case study. A director who began his

career heading in one direction, and then switched gears dramatically into a whole

different genre.

 

You got it. The most common thread for him looks to be that of concern for humanity,

be it for a child, a people, or a planet.

 

I knew him from his musical credits first, then was amazed to see how proficient

he was in creating not just average noir films, but very good ones; in addition to

Odds. . . and Born to Kill, I'm sure you know he also directed The Set-Up

(w/ the great Robert Ryan in a boxing film w/ definite noir elements), The Captive City

(which TCM just ran last week and which I thought was surprisingly good in

small-genre, semi-documentary style noir) and I Want to Live, the Barbara Graham

story, for which Susan Hayward won her Academy Award. All those films are

first-rate, and then the guy turns around and does the musicals; talk about versatile.

 

The Set-Up is another big favorite of mine. It's #16 on my favorite film noir list. I've

yet to watch The Captive City, but I do have it on tape, thanks to TCM. I've only seen

bits and pieces of I Want to Live!. That's another Wise film that speaks to his

concern for humanity.

 

I always thought Wise did everything, but, come to think of it, did he ever do comedy? He

was such a serious filmmaker.

 

Well, we all have films we should have seen/always meant to see. I highly recommend

Night and the City; as you probably know, it's set in London, early 1950s, and features

a great Widmark performance, along with some terrific character actors, sleazy, and

classic noir-types.

 

It's actually one the films noir I wish to see most and I do have the DVD. Yes, I'm that

pathetic. I have a feeling "Harry Fabian" will become one of my favorite male characters.

 

I only wish Jules Dassin had chosen another actress instead of Gene Tierney; she

was perfect in Laura, but otherwise, she's often not a good fit in the more grimy

noirs. (Linda Darnell would have been much better, IMO).

 

I can see your point about Gene being out of place in the sleazy world of

film noir, and I say that while telling you she's my second favorite actress. Gene fits

better in a film like Whirlpool or Leave Her to Heaven. You're right, Linda,

who is my fourth favorite actress, does fit better in the underworld because she can

play street tough better.

 

Well, that's a great list. I have to admit I haven't seen Raw Deal

(see, everyone has gaps), but from what I've read about it, that has to be included in

any purist's list.

 

Hey now! We found a pretty big one you haven't seen. Now I feel a little better. I'm

a sucker for triangle stories and Raw Deal is one of the best.

 

I think all the films have definite, strong noir elements, but if I was forced to exclude

one, it might be The Night of the Hunter. That's a great film, w/ a terrific Mitchum

performance, but it has a couple of kids and Lillian Gish, and it loses points for

that. Besides, it has a happy ending (Mitchum gets his), and for many "purists" that

can be grounds for exclusion. But, as you said, it's arbitrary.

 

Ahhh, yes, The Night of the Hunter is definitely a film that has been debated

on its being a "film noir." I believe ChiO is one of the debaters. He may have to

clarify that, I may be mistaken. It's the look of The Night of the Hunter that

makes it film noir to me. It's absolutely mesmerizing. It's German Expressionism at

its finest. I've never seen a better looking black-and-white film. It's haunting.

 

So is it film noir? Well, that really is up for debate. As you mentioned, can a film noir

have two children as its protagonists? Can a film noir have Lilian Gish save the day?

Gish with a shotgun equals yes for me.

 

The Night of the Hunter is a morality tale but it's told as a children's fairy tale

along the lines of "Little Red Riding Hood" and the "Three Little Pigs." Can film noir

be a child's fairy tale? That's where the tag of "film noir" really runs into some trouble.

 

Can a film noir be moralistic? I say definitely. In fact, I view film noir as morality tales

for us dumb guys. The films of German Expressionism were quite often morality tales.

 

Can a film noir have a happy ending? I think so. Most of the ones I like don't end

well, but some do. Pickup on South Street has a rather happy ending.

 

One of the components that does make The Night of the Hunter a film noir to me

is that the father of these children was a crook and a killer and that Harry Powell

(Robert Mitchum) is chasing "his" money; he's trying to land his "big score." If Powell were

chasing two adults for the money or looking to rob a bank, would this make it more

of a film noir? The fact that he's chasing kids for the money makes it so unique. What

we are witnessing is the film noir dirt of parents landing on their children.

 

But, the truth is, it really is the look of the film that makes it film noir to me.

 

And, after having said all of that, the film I was alluding to as running outside of this

false purity is The Third Man. Reason being: it's British-made. But it sure is film

noir to me.

 

nightofthehunter2.jpg

 

nightofthehunter3.jpg

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If I may, gentlemen,

 

MrGrimes you bring up a point that interests me:

 

I also love the transformation "Charlie"

(Teresa Wright) goes through in the film. She starts off a happy-go-lucky girl with no

real worries in the world but she slowly starts to deteriorate. I also like how she

protects her mother from the truth. Only Charlie knows the truth about Uncle Charlie.

Everyone else is oblivious. The danger from within. Do others see the danger that

is right in front of them?

 

Is she so "happy go lucky"? Yes, comparatively she definitely is. But I like that

Hitch reveals our first look at "Charlie" on a parallel with her Uncle Charlie.

Not just visually (the are both first shown reclining contemplatively on their beds),

but in terms of their state of mind. Certainly Charles had much heavier and more

frightening things weighing on his mind than innocent young "Charlie", but to her

limited experience, her cares were like the weight of the world. When her father

checks in on her she starts to vocalize her discontent, rattling off basically what's

"wrong" with their whole way of life. It's very NORMAL, very much to be

expected of a healthy young teenager on the cusp of womanhood living in a small

town where nothing very interesting ever happens. Yet her cares are presented in

such a marked paralell manner to her Uncle, who is also a restless spirit and the

one person in the family she considers a true kindred spirit: the only one who

"understands" her.

 

I can't help but wonder what prompted Hitch to make such a point of comparison.

Is it merely to depict their closeness or is he commenting on something deeper,

something about the basic disastisfaction many find in commonplace society,

and how different personalities react to it? Charles got a bad bump on the head

and it turned his restlessness into psychopathy. Does that mean little "Charlie" is

really only superior by virtue of the fact she suffered no ill timed bump on the head? If

this sounds far fetched, why the preoccupation with murder exhibited by Charlie's

father (not a blood relation to Charles, by the way, but just an in-law) and her

father's friend (Hume Cronyn)? And what about the scene in the saloon where

Uncle Charlie confronts young Charlie with the truth? Right in the midst of sane

Santa Rosa was a den of "iniquity" where one of Charlie's own former schoolmates

is revealed to have drifted into, the waitress, a girl who already seemed worn out

beyond her years and who admits she'd just about "die for a ring like that".

 

It all seems to add up to Hitch's way of showing just how very close to the surface

the more horrific aspects of human experience are in even the most 'safe' and sedate

communities/environments.

 

This situation reminds me a little of IMPACT, considered inarguably a true film noir. So

why is IMPACT a film noir and not SHADOW OF A DOUBT? Because of

the director?

 

Sorry if I took things off-track but I just thought of these things and wanted to

get them out there for comment.

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_ChiO_, I'm curious about your opinion on Burt Lancaster, too. You say most of the performances

you don't care for are outside of his noir work. Yet you like *Elmer Gantry*, so I'm

wondering if you'd mind expanding a little on your opinion. Because to me, he has

two basic personas: the "big", theatrical presence with, in Frankenheimer's words,

"extreme physicality" and the super-subdued parts where he basically turned inward

upon himself. I've seen mostly the subdued type in his films noir and so I was

surprised to see you admire him as Gantry.

 

If I were to hazard a guess as to what, in my limited opinion, may make him seem

out of place in noir is that he doesn't project vulnerability or confusion very well.

Even Rober Ryan does that better. At most, Lancaster can appear to be out of his depth or

outsmarted. But complex? I guess Hunsecker was complex, but he was also

extremely "superior" minded and in control (superficially at least). When I think of the

quintessential film noir actors (Mitchum, Widmark, Andrews, Ryan) I see men who can project

fear, confudsion, self-doubt, even if they are playing characters who are primarily

in control or "in charge" types.

 

As much as Burt could seem ambivalent, I think his physical presence tended

to undercut that. There is nothing ambivalent about his looks. You could say

the same about Mitchum, but Mitchum had that ability to look like a sleepwalker

suddenly slapped awake and Robert Ryan had gimlet eyes. :)

 

Ha, that turned into a regular "ramble" which went nowhere but I really was

sincere, ChiO, in my curiosity as to why you disdain Lancaster as a noir player.

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Ciao, Miss Gun for Hire -- Is she so "happy go lucky"? Yes, comparatively

she definitely is. But I like that Hitch reveals our first look at "Charlie" on a parallel

with her Uncle Charlie. Not just visually (the are both first shown reclining

contemplatively on their beds), but in terms of their state of mind. Certainly

Charles had much heavier and more frightening things weighing on his mind

than innocent young "Charlie", but to her limited experience, her cares were like

the weight of the world. When her father checks in on her she starts to vocalize

her discontent, rattling off basically what's "wrong" with their whole way of life. It's

very NORMAL, very much to be expected of a healthy young teenager on the

cusp of womanhood living in a small town where nothing very interesting ever

happens. Yet her cares are presented in such a marked paralell manner to her

Uncle, who is also a restless spirit and the one person in the family she considers

a true kindred spirit: the only one who "understands" her.

 

You are RIGHT. I forgot about how the two Charlies are presented to us. "Young

Charlie" (Teresa Wright) DOES feel as if her and her "Uncle Charlie" (Joseph Cotten)

are kindred spirits. This is why she wishes he would visit; to bring her to life. This

is one of the many great ironies to be found in this film, as it is arguably Hitch's

most ironic film.

 

I can't help but wonder what prompted Hitch to make such a point of comparison.

Is it merely to depict their closeness or is he commenting on something deeper,

something about the basic disastisfaction many find in commonplace society,

and how different personalities react to it?

 

I certainly believe Hitch was making a statement. Middle-class America is quite

heavenly and idyllic for most, but to a young teenager, it can feel like a trap. Life

is to be bigger and more exciting. The life Uncle Charlie has is more exciting to

young Charlie. But young Charlie doesn't know a thing about Uncle Charlie.

She doesn't have a true picture of him. She's idealizing, just as those who

idealize middle-class America.

 

Charles got a bad bump on the head and it turned his restlessness into

psychopathy. Does that mean little "Charlie" is really only superior by virtue

of the fact she suffered no ill timed bump on the head?

 

Hmmmm, I never thought about that. The way I take young Charlie is that

she's representative of restless youth. She bemoans her existence and is

unappreciative of what she has, namely a loving, peaceful family, quirks and

all. She finds her ideal of Uncle Charlie to be more to her liking than the

reality of her family. The grass is always greener.

 

If this sounds far fetched, why the preoccupation with murder exhibited by

Charlie's father (not a blood relation to Charles, by the way, but just an in-law)

and her father's friend (Hume Cronyn)?

 

I'll have to think about that one some more. As of right now, I see Joe

(Henry Travers) and Herbie (Hume Cronyn) to be a commentary on how the

middle class in America can become so comfortable with their own lives and

interests that they miss all that is right in front of their face. Complacency.

 

And what about the scene in the saloon where Uncle Charlie confronts young

Charlie with the truth? Right in the midst of sane Santa Rosa was a den of

"iniquity" where one of Charlie's own former schoolmates is revealed to have

drifted into, the waitress, a girl who already seemed worn out beyond her years

and who admits she'd just about "die for a ring like that".

 

Again, I think this is a commentary about youth seeking restless excitement at

the risk of real happiness. The waitress is the "end result" of this. Young Charlie

could end up like that waitress if she isn't careful. Hitchcockian irony can be

found throughout the film with lines like "die for a ring like that."

 

It all seems to add up to Hitch's way of showing just how very close to the

surface the more horrific aspects of human experience are in even the most

'safe' and sedate communities/environments.

 

Very much so.

 

This situation reminds me a little of IMPACT, considered inarguably a true film

noir. So why is IMPACT a film noir and not SHADOW OF A DOUBT? Because of

the director?

 

I haven't seen Impact, so maybe Rick Spade or ChiO can comment about that.

 

Now I need to watch Shadow of a Doubt again to get all of this straight.

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Rickspade, I like your analysis of the Hitchcock films. I haven't seen "Shadow of a Doubt" in a pretty long time, I remember having liked it but not thinking it was one of his very best. For me, the most enjoyable element in Hitchcock's best films is the sheer, breathless suspense and the gift for memorable composition and camera work. By contrast, with the noir films I like, I tend to enjoy the mood, the atmosphere, the overall sense of doom that often permeates everything. This is not to say that there aren't elements that overlap, of course, and there can be a certain amount of suspense in trying to figure out story twists, the possible double- or triple-cross, etc.

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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

>

> I'll have to think about that one some more. As of right now, I see Joe

> (Henry Travers) and Herbie (Hume Cronyn) to be a commentary on how the

> middle class in America can become so comfortable with their own lives and

> interests that they miss all that is right in front of their face. Complacency.

>

 

I suppose. They also seem to represent how so many people can develop

a strange appetite for violent entertainment, take it lightly and not realize

how very near to them the potential for real violence is. I mean these two

silly old men talk about murder like it's a game and right under their noses

is a serial killer. I liked when young Charlie shrieked at them about it at

one point, after the strain of holding in what she knew became too much for her.

She realized it was no joking matter.

 

 

>

> Again, I think this is a commentary about youth seeking restless excitement at

> the risk of real happiness. The waitress is the "end result" of this. Young Charlie

> could end up like that waitress if she isn't careful. Hitchcockian irony can be

> found throughout the film with lines like "die for a ring like that."

>

 

I also think it's Hitch showing, again, how close sickness, moral decay and misery

are to the "safe" havens. That complacency you mention extends to the point of

hypocracy in places like that. Why don't people know what is happening to their

"neighbors"? This waitress was someone young Charlie knew, but apparently always

avoided, perhaps from the typical "they're not respectable" mentality her parents would

have taught her. The waitress even made a point to say she never thought she'd see her

in that place. We see young Charlie's revulsion on display, it's too much for her to handle.

Suddenly it's as if everywhere she stepped was a cesspool. Her eyes were being opened

in violent way.

 

And the last scene, that seems so peaceful a resolution, is kind of pointing again to the

hypocracy with the church in the background. There they all are, going to church, doing

their best to forget and never mention again what happened. Maybe Charles was

buried as a "respectable" citizen who met with a fatal accident. Why aren't they, instead,

helping people like that kid in the saloon? Because they don't want to know. They want sordid

things to remain something for the realm of the pulp magazine and no nearer.

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

OK, back to film noir!

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Frank, et. al.

 

Well, as Mrs. Spade's boy Samuel liked to say to Detectives Polhaus and Dundy, "Boys and girls, let the fun begin." Yikes, I hadn't checked the boards for a few hours, and when I look again, there are all sorts of interesting comments to respond to. Where to begin?

 

 

 

>

> You don't like Shadow of a Doubt? Are you crazy?!

>

> :D Just teasing. I like that you weren't shy about saying you were disappointed

> with the film. I respect that.

>

> I'm in the majority with this one; Shadow of a Doubt is one of my favorite Hitch

> flicks. I love Joseph Cotten's "Uncle Charlie." I also love the transformation "Charlie"

> (Teresa Wright) goes through in the film. She starts off a happy-go-lucky girl with no

> real worries in the world but she slowly starts to deteriorate. I also like how she

> protects her mother from the truth. Only Charlie knows the truth about Uncle Charlie.

> Everyone else is oblivious. The danger from within. Do others see the danger that

> is right in front of them?

 

MissGoddess, you had some very insightful things to say about this movie, and obviously Frank thinks highly of it, too. I was going to offer some _limited_ comments because I've only seen it once, and that was quite a long time ago. However, in browsing through TCM's schedule this month I saw that they're running it again in just about 12 days, on the 24th, and that's great. Now I can revisit it (which I was hoping to do anyway) and see (1) why I didn't find it very appealing, and (2) perhaps have a change of mind about it. It wouldn't be the first time I liked something after seeing it again when my original reaction was negative. So, for now, I will hold all my comments and any questions I may have for both of you until after I see it again. As they say. . .to be continued.

 

 

>

> I can see your point about Gene being out of place in the sleazy world of

> film noir, and I say that while telling you she's my second favorite actress. Gene fits

> better in a film like Whirlpool or Leave Her to Heaven. You're right, Linda,

> who is my fourth favorite actress, does fit better in the underworld because she can

> play street tough better.

 

OK, Frank, if Linda is number four, give me your top three. (I bet Stanwyck is in one of those slots.) Then I'll give you mine.

 

 

> Hey now! We found a pretty big one you haven't seen. Now I feel a little better. I'm

> a sucker for triangle stories and Raw Deal is one of the best.

 

I'm frustrated right now, becuase Raw Deal seems to be unavailable for now unless I want to buy it. (Frankly, I purchase very few DVDs, preferring to either see old movies on TCM, or more recently get them from Netflix, which has been an excellent source for films noir. But, for some reason, they're not stocking Raw Deal at the moment, and I don't remember TCM showing it. Have they?)

>

> Ahhh, yes, The Night of the Hunter is definitely a film that has been debated

> on its being a "film noir." I believe ChiO is one of the debaters. He may have to

> clarify that, I may be mistaken. It's the look of The Night of the Hunter that

> makes it film noir to me. It's absolutely mesmerizing. It's German Expressionism at

> its finest. I've never seen a better looking black-and-white film. It's haunting.

>

> So is it film noir? Well, that really is up for debate. As you mentioned, can a film noir

> have two children as its protagonists? Can a film noir have Lilian Gish save the day?

> Gish with a shotgun equals yes for me.

>

> The Night of the Hunter is a morality tale but it's told as a children's fairy tale

> along the lines of "Little Red Riding Hood" and the "Three Little Pigs." Can film noir

> be a child's fairy tale? That's where the tag of "film noir" really runs into some trouble.

>

> Can a film noir be moralistic? I say definitely. In fact, I view film noir as morality tales

> for us dumb guys. The films of German Expressionism were quite often morality tales.

>

> Can a film noir have a happy ending? I think so. Most of the ones I like don't end

> well, but some do. Pickup on South Street has a rather happy ending.

>

As far as happy endings, sometimes it can really "spoil' things, e.g. as much as I like The Woman in the Window, the fact (spoiler alert here!) that it turns out to be a dream in the end ruins it somewhat for me. That's why in my opinion, Scarlet Street is a much better noir. On the other hand, Pickup on South Street is so brutal, uncompromising, and terrific right up to the end, I don't care that Widmark and Peters walk off together. (Besides, you and I both know that Skip is such a louse at heart that he'll never reform; I gave that relationship a month at the most!)

 

> One of the components that does make The Night of the Hunter a film noir to me

> is that the father of these children was a crook and a killer and that Harry Powell

> (Robert Mitchum) is chasing "his" money; he's trying to land his "big score." If Powell were

> chasing two adults for the money or looking to rob a bank, would this make it more

> of a film noir? The fact that he's chasing kids for the money makes it so unique. What

> we are witnessing is the film noir dirt of parents landing on their children.

>

> But, the truth is, it really is the look of the film that makes it film noir to me.

>

> And, after having said all of that, the film I was alluding to as running outside of this

> false purity is The Third Man. Reason being: it's British-made. But it sure is film

> noir to me.

>

 

I agree with all your comments about Night of the Hunter, and frankly _I_ consider it a film noir, I don't consider myself a real "purist," (or at least not a _pure_ purist, whatever that may be). I was only speculating on which movie from your list other purists wouldn't consider a noir. Honestly, it never dawned on me that it would be The Third Man because it was not an American movie; I love the dark foreign films, and even though the best noirs I believe are American, there have been some good foreign ones. Have you seen Louis Malle's first movie, Elevator to the Gallows? I would certainly classify that as noir, although many critics classify it as the start of the New Wave. The there is Ossessione, Visconti's 1942 Italian version of The Postman Always Rings Twice, a terrific adaptation of Cain's story. One more would be Diabolique (the 1955 original, not the Sharon Stone remake), a very good movie. So I guess, my noir tastes can accommodate some foreign films, although my heart is always with the American noirs made during the 1940s and 1950s.

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> {quote:title=Rickspade wrote:}{quote}

> I'm frustrated right now, becuase Raw Deal seems to be unavailable for now unless I want to buy it. (Frankly, I purchase very few DVDs, preferring to either see old movies on TCM, or more recently get them from Netflix, which has been an excellent source for films noir. But, for some reason, they're not stocking Raw Deal at the moment, and I don't remember TCM showing it. Have they?)

 

If you're interested in renting it and TCM is not showing it any time soon, you may want to try ClassicFlix, which not only sells, but also rents by mail. They do seem to have a pretty good selection of classic movies.

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Now, _MissyG_ -- don't go Miss-representin' what I wrote. I quote me:

 

*I suppose that most of the performances that I don't enjoy are outside of noir except -- HERESY ALERT -- I'm not a fan of Criss Cross and I'm not sure why.*

 

And I wrote earlier that I'm "ambivalent" about his acting (no "disdain" said or intended, although I'll admit to using "painful" in a limited context). In Elmer Gantry, his character was out-sized, so his overt theatricality worked for me. And, to be honest (as always), direction by Richard Brooks and cinematography by John Alton probably predisposes me to liking the movie and making all sorts of allowances. Love him in The Killers. Then there's Trapeze.

 

As you know, Timothy Carey's teeth are the only teeth I care-y (or, is it "caries"?) to see on screen.

 

Where does Duryea fit into your scheme?

 

_FrankintheGrime(s)_ -- Yes, I consider *The Night of the Hunter* to be a noir. The look does have alot to do with it (even though it is self-consciously arty), but also Mitchum is all Id, compelled to terrorize Winters and the kids. Countervailing concerns are that Gish is sooo in control (as oppose to Fate having the upper hand) and the young boy is pretty in control, too. But I guess I'll just go along with most commentators and consider it noir (I'm just a getalong guy).

 

And please stop referring to my "bottom" (or does the reference to "bottomless" mean I lack said "bottom", in which case, "Thank you"...I think).

 

Now, _RickSpade_ on the other hand (he is the poster who has A and B Lists, right?) -- HIGH HORSE ALERT -- Interesting idea, but I'm adamantly philosophically opposed to it (of course, I'm opposed to several other categorizations, such as "Silents", "Pre-Code", "Foreign" and "Cult", but that's for another time and another thread). If I were to make such categories, however, Gun Crazy, The Big Combo, Blast of Silence, Detour, Dial 1119, D.OA., et al. would be the A-List and Double Indemnity, et al. would be the B-List (and *The Postman Always Rings Twice* would be on the Z-List).

 

This has been the most fun -- _and interesting_ -- series of posts in a long time. Thank you.

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Just out of curiosity, ChiO, why would you classify "Double Indemnity" under your B-list? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been considered a B-movie back in the 40s, so I take it your using a different kind of criteria.

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Just a quirky off-kilter veiled remark expressing my personal general bias in film noir of "low budget, etc = better noir" than "slick production". Of course there are many exceptions, but as a general proposition I'd rather watch noirs from Eagle-Lion, PRC, Monogram, Republic and the B-units of RKO, Columbia and Warner Brothers than those from the A-units of the Big Studios.

 

Or, "A-Unit Studio = B-List Noir". Remember, everything in noir is reversed.

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