rohanaka

A Walk on the Noir Side

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Hey everyone,

 

I did watch Tension. I thought it was okay and had some good points but overall I wasn't particularly satisfied with this one.

 

I didn't buy into Quimby's (Basehart) relationship with Claire (Totter) at all. The scene where he shows her the house was interesting. She really did a number on him there, but did he even know his wife? He tells her I thought that's what you wanted. It wasn't.

 

I don't think Claire knew what she wanted. I don't think she was ever satisfied in the moment and was constantly looking for something new. Her pickups in the pharmacy (the pharmacy? who knew?) were brazen and tawdry. I'll give her points for that.

 

Some Spoilers ahead!

 

I did like Basehart as Quimby. He came off as such a milquetoast but I was getting into his revenge plot. The identity switch was interesting. He takes off his glasses and meets nice Mary (Charisse). I would have thought he might realize his good fortune in Claire leaving but I guess it was personal at this point.

 

When he does put his plan into action he backs off and gives Claire's new guy Barney (Gough) an earful instead. This seems to have led to some "tension" between Barney and Claire later on and we finally get our murder. We don't see it though.

 

Barry Sullivan then enters the picture as Lt. Bonnabel. I thought Sullivan did a good job here. I liked him in the story but not so much with the narration part. He walks a fine line sometimes while digging up the truth. I thought his scenes with Claire were good and it kept me guessing for a bit how it would all play out. I also liked the scene where he takes Mary to the pharmacy and goes on about Quimby's alter ego with him right there. That was pretty intense.

 

Tom D'Andrea's character of Freddie was something of a red herring. He is prominent in the beginning but then fades away. I had a sneaking suspicion he might have been more involved then we knew but the film didn't go there.

 

Hi Jackie!

 

Jackie wrote: Basehart is so good here, he's great at making you feel uncomfortable and yet he's terribly sympathetic. When he actually finally slaps Totter, you almost feel pleased.

 

I found him sympathetic but he was a sap too. I confess. I was pleased with the slap..

 

Jackie wrote: The movie really revolves around Totter though. She drives the story and is an actress I've grown to REALLY like. Sbe's terrific. Sly and sexy, always thinking on her feet...you can always see her thought processes, what drives her. A tremendously underrated actress.

 

I have always liked Totter. She is very provocative here. I really didn't like her Claire and I mean that in a good way. In some ways she was too tough for the film but the film wouldn't have been anything without her. There were a couple of things that I thought softened her up just a little bit. That doll for instance, it was sort of pitiful in a way. Her reaction during the fight scene was interesting and she does stop Barney from going too far. I also liked her talk with Quimby on the beach when she finally lets him have it out with her. That was the most honest conversation they had in the whole film.

 

Jackie wrote: Rewatched Tension and am bowled over at how much better it is the second time around! The acting is uniformly good, but especially Basehart, Totter, and oddly, Barry Sullivan, who I barely noticed at all last time around.

 

Well maybe this is the type of film that plays better on subsequent viewings. I just thought the story was a bit lacking and found some of the turns it took disappointing. I did think the acting was good. I was curious how Charisse would hold up and I thought she was fine. I think Totter's Claire is certainly memorable. I also liked Basehart and Sullivan.

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Miss G., I have to say I "prefer" King Kong to the Big Lizard, but that's only by default, because Godzilla absolutely terrifies me -- I even have nightmares about him, especially when I'm under stress.  At least Kong is fuzzy, lol.  No less frightening in his own simian way, but the thought of an atomic monster rising from the depths is just too scary to even think about, let alone see.  However, at least I've managed to work up a smidgeon of sympathy for Cody Jarrett, lol.

 

I'm trying to sort out thoughts about TOO LATE FOR TEARS.  Was Lizabeth Scott's pasty, waxy, almost ghoul-like make-up (I kept thinking of bloodless Lya Lys in THE RETURN OF DR. X) a cleverly stylistic attempt to emphasize her character's predatory, vampirish soullessness, sucking the life out of every man she comes in contact with?

 

D.O.A. is an old favorite of mine -- it used to run all the time on television back in the day.  Jackie, so glad you uploaded that photo of O'Brien at the newstand after he's been given devastating news.  I'm thinking this must be the most brilliantly directed five second scene in movie history -- the evocative, quicksilver, whirlwind series of simple life "vignettes" passing before Frank's eyes, symbolic of everything he would never again have the chance to experience.  On a "lighter" note, the bedside manner of these doctors seems almost comically hard-boiled. One of them comes out of the laboratory with that glowing vial of poison and barks: "Yeah, you got it, Bigelow"  (Frank is always called by his last name)

 

Ro, I loved reading your comments on RED LIGHT.  A certain Someone was also on duty 24/7 at the conclusion of THE BAD SEED, lol.  Virginia Mayo had a thankless role, playing some sort of strange "Girl Friday" to Georgie.  I found her performance sorely lacking, but maybe that was because of the ham-fisted dialogue she was required to spout. 

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Hey there Bronxie, Jamesjazzguitar and everyone,

 

I also watched Too Late for Tears again. This time restored!  I will probably write something on that tomorrow.

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Really looking forward to it, molo!

 

I was disturbed by Dan Duryea's appearance -- I absolutely love him, one of my favorite character actors -- he looked positively ragged, even ill.  Not sure if something was going on in his personal life at the time, or he was just being "Method-y" with the seedy character.

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Really looking forward to it, molo!

 

I was disturbed by Dan Duryea's appearance -- I absolutely love him, one of my favorite character actors -- he looked positively ragged, even ill.  Not sure if something was going on in his personal life at the time, or he was just being "Method-y" with the seedy character.

 

I believe Duryea was just channeling the vibe of the character he was playing since his personal life was steady and solid (e.g. married for 35 years until his death).   Note near at the end (of the film an Dan!) when he explains how he got the money it is clear he wasn't a professional criminal.   As he said, he just found himself in once in a lifetime situation were he could blackmail someone and make a mint.   As his dealings with Scott take him deeper and deeper into a noir hole,  he unravels and we see this not only in what he says but in how he carries himself.    That is fine acting  (method or not).

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Hey everyone,

 

I watched Too Late for Tears the other night and it was certainly nice to see the film restored.

 

Jamesjazzguitar says:

 

I believe Duryea was just channeling the vibe of the character he was playing since his personal life was steady and solid (e.g. married for 35 years until his death).   Note near at the end (of the film an Dan!) when he explains how he got the money it is clear he wasn't a professional criminal.   As he said, he just found himself in once in a lifetime situation were he could blackmail someone and make a mint.   As his dealings with Scott take him deeper and deeper into a noir hole,  he unravels and we see this not only in what he says but in how he carries himself.    That is fine acting  (method or not).

 

Definitely agree with you there. The scenes between Scott's Jane and Duryea's Danny are my favorite part of the film. When we first see him as he comes to Jane's apartment he thinks he can take control of the situation. He even slaps her around a bit. Jane has the money though and she is calculating enough to gain the upper hand. 

 

Jane gets him to go a long with her plans and before he knows what hit him she has him involved in murder and having to watch his own back before she takes him out too. He does unravel. He doesn't know which end is up anymore. I really like how their story plays out and Duryea is great to watch. His cynical quips were great too.

 

Scott plays Jane very cool and with that easy smile that she brings out when she needs to ease the tension. She is so calculating and, except for the tinge of desperation, that husky voice sounds almost soothing as she pleads with Alan, plays Danny down the line and tries to hold off Don Blake (Don Defore).

 

He (Blake) is the wild card in all of this. Jane can't figure out his angle and neither do we until the end. It keeps us guessing. 

 

A few more thoughts. 

 

Spoilers!

 

Jane has a past. What exactly went on with her first husband? As she says to Alan:

 

I wish it were that easy, I've always been this way.

 

She has second thoughts on the boat with Alan. She kills him in a struggle. It's an accident. Right? I like that part. If Jane had just simply murdered him it would have changed our perception of her a little too early in the film. Plus Alan was such a nice guy.

 

I got the feeling Alan and Jane hadn't been married that long. Maybe that's why his sister Kathy (Kristine Miller) lived across the hall. She probably was there before he met Jane. 

 

The business with the note on the bag when Jane had the guy pick it up for her. Alan knew he couldn't trust his wife.

 

I also liked when Jane takes Danny for a ride and he eventually figures out he is disposable and just how dangerous Jane really is.

 

I don't think Jane ever forgot Danny's slap either.

 

Don Blake added another element to the film. There wasn't that much police involvement in the story. No detective running around. Blake provided that part without us being sure what his motive was.

 

I thought the ending was fine. You get a little twist at the end and then Jane...well, how else could it have turned out?

 

Too Late for Tears is such a great little noir. Jane Palmer is my kind of noir dame and Danny Fuller is my kind of noir sap, two very memorable characters.

 

Anybody else have any thoughts on this one?

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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On a side note, Too Late for Tears reminded me of a little discussion we had way back in this thread. It was something like "dangerous boat rides" in films.

 

We can certainly add this one to the list.

 

See my poll in the Movie Rambles Thread. :)

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Barb!

Really looking forward to it, molo!

I was disturbed by Dan Duryea's appearance -- I absolutely love him, one of my favorite character actors -- he looked positively ragged, even ill.  Not sure if something was going on in his personal life at the time, or he was just being "Method-y" with the seedy character.

 

Barb, I can't tell from your post if you have seen it yet or not. I was fully prepared to agree with you on Dan's appearance since before viewing I had only seen some caps that someone had posted of the scene near the end when Dan was in those in suspenders looking rather down and out etc. But even then I didn't realize that he had been on a bender in his room when he did look sort of unprepossessing perhaps even ill. But after viewing I did not have that impression at all for most of the film.

 

Molo!

 

Hey everyone,

 

I watched Too Late for Tears the other night and it was certainly nice to see the film restored.

 

Jamesjazzguitar says:

 

I believe Duryea was just channeling the vibe of the character he was playing since his personal life was steady and solid (e.g. married for 35 years until his death).   Note near at the end (of the film an Dan!) when he explains how he got the money it is clear he wasn't a professional criminal.   As he said, he just found himself in once in a lifetime situation were he could blackmail someone and make a mint.   As his dealings with Scott take him deeper and deeper into a noir hole,  he unravels and we see this not only in what he says but in how he carries himself.    That is fine acting  (method or not).

 

Great comment, James.

 

Molo: Definitely agree with you there. The scenes between Scott's Jane and Duryea's Danny are my favorite part of the film. When we first see him as he comes to Jane's apartment he thinks he can take control of the situation. He even slaps her around a bit. Jane has the money though and she is calculating enough to gain the upper hand.

Jane gets him to go a long with her plans and before he knows what hit him she has him involved in murder and having to watch his own back before she takes him out too. He does unravel. He doesn't know which end is up anymore. I really like how their story plays out and Duryea is great to watch. His cynical quips were great too.

 

An effective scene for me was when he is confronted with the idea of murdering the sister. So much of  Duryea's usual persona is gentle banter but with an undercurrent of threat,  speaking with gentle ironic tones that nevertheless often betray the notion that he really means business, etc., here he leaves all that behind an is generally p i s s e d and to see him in EARNEST this way with that totally angry outburst, the expression on his face revealing an outward desperation and inner vulnerability that he usually can cover up.  Yes, he got serious at other times, but the emphasis here (No patty-cake put on, but totally visceral) was gratifying, clearly recognizing that the situation is getting out of control. I thought he played that brilliantly, well done, Dan. I just had another look at this scene and was looking for when he said the money wasn't worth it. I guess not here but he did say that he was willing to walk away and chalk the whole thing up to experience. Is it unusual for him to be the classic noir protagonist, he's usually on the other side isn't he? Those two Lang noirs with Bennett, he was sort of an accomplice to the fatale. Obviously I don't know his filmography.     

 

Scott plays Jane very cool and with that easy smile that she brings out when she needs to ease the tension. She is so calculating and, except for the tinge of desperation, that husky voice sounds almost soothing as she pleads with Alan, plays Danny down the line and tries to hold off Don Blake (Don Defore)....He (Blake) is the wild card in all of this. Jane can't figure out his angle and neither do we until the end. It keeps us guessing.

 

He does come across as innocuous at first, an ordinary friend of the family type, but even before the end of that first confab with Jane there is some edginess that elicits suspicion, in Jane and us. Nice and a little unexpected (for me)

 

A few more thoughts.

 

Spoilers!

 

Jane has a past. What exactly went on with her first husband? As she says to Alan:

I wish it were that easy, I've always been this way.

 

That was striking. She refers to her obsession with money. Quite open about it. The question arises, why did she ever marry Alan? He was sort of an old-fashion love story kind of guy who didn't appear to have any special aspiration for money. Or was that covered somewhere in the story (on why she married him?0

 

She has second thoughts on the boat with Alan. She kills him in a struggle. It's an accident. Right? I like that part. If Jane had just simply murdered him it would have changed our perception of her a little too early in the film. Plus Alan was such a nice guy.

 

Good point. It makes us raise our eyebrows where it would count the most, later on.

 

I got the feeling Alan and Jane hadn't been married that long. Maybe that's why his sister Kathy (Kristine Miller) lived across the hall. She probably was there before he met Jane.

 

The business with the note on the bag when Jane had the guy pick it up for her. Alan knew he couldn't trust his wife.

 

She lucked out on this. I don't think it occurred to her that her husband might have put a note there. The only reason she had this stray fellow pick up the bag was because she mistakenly took that other fella standing there for a cop when the latter actually turned out to be someone who was waiting for his family. Am I reading that right? 

 

I also liked when Jane takes Danny for a ride and he eventually figures out he is disposable and just how dangerous Jane really is.

 

I don't think Jane ever forgot Danny's slap either.

 

Or perhaps the way he forced himself on her (hmmm, she may have had mixed feelings about that.)

 

Don Blake added another element to the film. There wasn't that much police involvement in the story. No detective running around. Blake provided that part without us being sure what his motive was.

 

A interesting question from another thread, why would he pretend to be Alan's friend at the outset when he didn't know as yet that Alan was missing? Alan could have showed up and exposed him right away as a liar. In his very first scene he says to the sister that he and Alan were war buddies and learned only seconds later that Alan was missing, so that was his preliminary/provisional story going in, but in learning of Alan's disappearance he might have felt that he could punch the war-buddy story to the fullest. My thought was that, having already suspected that Jane might have killed his brother, Blake/Blanchard might have jumped to the conclusion that Jane had disposed of Alan as well, and therefore had little concern that Alan was going to just show up suddenly. Of course we couldn't have surmised this at the outset since we learn about Blake/Blanchard only at the very end.

 

I thought the ending was fine. You get a little twist at the end and then Jane...well, how else could it have turned out?

 

I loved her primal scream, "IT'S MINE," referring to the money and her childish sense of entitlement to it. Look at the energy there. whew. Of course, falling over the balcony is a bit much but works better that simply having her arrested. The latter case might have been more realistic but who wants to be realistic in classic noir ... indeed, such an ending that we got is de rigeur.

 

Too Late for Tears is such a great little noir. Jane Palmer is my kind of noir dame and Danny Fuller is my kind of noir sap, two very memorable characters.

 

Agreed.

 

Anybody else have any thoughts on this one?

 

===

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Hey there Laffite,

 

An effective scene for me was when he is confronted with the idea of murdering the sister. So much of  Duryea's usual persona is gentle banter but with an undercurrent of threat,  speaking with gentle ironic tones that nevertheless often betray the notion that he really means business, etc., here he leaves all that behind an is generally p i s s e d and to see him in EARNEST this way with that totally angry outburst, the expression on his face revealing an outward desperation and inner vulnerability that he usually can cover up.  Yes, he got serious at other times, but the emphasis here was gratifying, clearly recognizing that the situation is getting out of control. I thought he played that brilliantly, well done, Dan. I just had another look at this scene and was looking for when he said the money wasn't worth it. I guess not here but he did say that he was willing to walk away and chalk the whole thing up to experience. Is it unusual for him to be the classic noir protagonist, he's usually on the other side isn't he? Those two Lang noirs with Bennett, he was sort of an accomplice to the fatale. Obviously I don't know his filmography. 

 

That was a powerful scene. Jane has already gone too far in Danny's mind and now she wants to go even farther. I don't think he can quite believe it, or her! That is also where Jane tells him that she didn't mean to kill Alan.

 

Another interesting thing about that scene is how it begins. Danny arrives at the apartment and he's threatening her, telling her it's going to be bad for her if she pulls a double cross. Jane, already plotting to kill Kathy, tries to interrupt him. He continues trying to intimidate her; Don't you want to know why it's going to be bad? She stops him again and goes into her plan for Kathy. Danny never even gets to play out his threats, which he probably had been working on while on the way over there. 

 

Yeah, Duryea usually plays a bad guy. In Chicago Calling! He gets the lead role and is basically the good guy, luckless as he may be. That is a pretty good film to check for a different side to him. He worked a lot at Universal, so some of his films are hard to find, Another Part of the Forest and White Tie and Tails are two that would be great to see some day. Maybe TCM will get them. His guest spot on Jack Benny's program is a favorite of mine.

 

That was striking. She refers to her obsession with money. Quite open about it. The question arises, why did she ever marry Alan? He was sort of an old-fashion love story kind of guy who didn't appear to have any special aspiration for money. Or was that covered somewhere in the story, on why?

 

I don't think it was covered. I wondered about it myself. That is why I was thinking maybe they hadn't been married very long but I don't know. You would think Jane would have picked someone more greedy or at least more ambitious.

 

She lucked out on this. I don't think it occurred to her that her husband might have put a note there. The only reason she had this stray fellow pick up the bag was because she mistakenly took that other fella standing there for a cop when the latter actually turned out to be someone who was waiting for his family. Am I reading that right? 

 

Yep. That's right.

 

A interesting question from another thread, why would he pretend to be Alan's friend at the outset when he didn't know as yet that Alan was missing? Alan could have showed up and exposed him right away as a liar. In his very first scene he says to the sister that he and Alan were war buddies and learned only seconds later that Alan was missing, so that was his preliminary/provisional story going in, but in learning of Alan's disappearance he might have felt that he could punch the war-buddy story to the fullest. My thought was that, having already suspected that Jane might have killed his brother, Blake/Blanchard might have jumped to the conclusion that Jane had disposed of Alan as well, and therefore had little concern that Alan was going to just show up suddenly. Of course we couldn't have surmised this at the outset since we learn about Blake/Blanchard only at the very end.

 

I read that discussion and I think your explanation is a good one. Blake plays a key role in how the film plays out. In the end he tells Jane it's a vendetta. What if he had showed up at Jane's apartment and everything was normal? Maybe he just wanted to see her and to get a feel for what she was like and if she could have killed his brother. In the end he doesn't seem to think Jane is responsible for that death, at least not directly, but he knows what she has done. If it wasn't for "killjoy" Don she would have gotten away with everything.

 

I loved her primal scream, "IT'S MINE," referring to the money and her childish sense of entitlement to it. Look at the energy there. whew. Of course, falling over the balcony is a bit much but works better that simply having her arrested. The latter case might have been more realistic but who wants to be realistic in classic noir ... indeed, such an ending that we got is de rigeur.

 

Yes and we get the nice shot of her lifeless hand surrounded by the money. The end of Jane Palmer.

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Pardon the interruption - 

 

I watched "The Window" last night and though it was tense and had a pretty exciting climax I couldn't help but think that most of what Arthur Kennedy and Barbara Hale did as punishment for "Tommy's" lying would today put them in jail.

 

They leave him alone in an apartment. Then later they lock him in his room and leave him alone. On top of that they nail the window low enough he can't get out if there was a fire and so on. By 1947 standards I sure all seemed reasonable as he wasn't hurt.

 

Bobby Driscoll's performance is by far the best. (No one else is given anything that taxing) In typical noir tradition the suspense is all derived from the cinematography, camera angles and sound. But maybe the most fearful thing in the film is having your life in danger and no one believe you. It is bad enough no one believes you about a murder but being kidnapped and the cops think you are just misbehaving is pretty scary in itself.

 

Coming in at about 73 minutes it is a fine example of tight story telling and not wasting time. Worth the watch.

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Hey there Movieman,

 

I watched "The Window" last night and though it was tense and had a pretty exciting climax I couldn't help but think that most of what Arthur Kennedy and Barbara Hale did as punishment for "Tommy's" lying would today put them in jail.

 

They leave him alone in an apartment. Then later they lock him in his room and leave him alone. On top of that they nail the window low enough he can't get out if there was a fire and so on. By 1947 standards I sure all seemed reasonable as he wasn't hurt.

 

Yes I thought the same thing myself. Particularly nailing the windows. Tommy was pretty smart though. He got the key out of the lock and was trying to get it under the door but then he got surprised!

 

Bobby Driscoll's performance is by far the best. (No one else is given anything that taxing) In typical noir tradition the suspense is all derived from the cinematography, camera angles and sound. But maybe the most fearful thing in the film is having your life in danger and no one believe you. It is bad enough no one believes you about a murder but being kidnapped and the cops think you are just misbehaving is pretty scary in itself.

 

Driscoll was very good and putting myself in Tommy's shoes, I felt bad for him. He didn't have anyone to turn to. That's pretty scary and especially when you're a kid and you know a couple of murdering adults are after you. The ending in the abandoned tenement was done really well. It was wonderfully shot and a great climax.  

 

Hello again Laffite,

 

A couple of things I forgot to mention about Jane and Danny from Too Late for Tears in my last reply.

 

I know when Danny gets on the boat with Jane and sees what happened he does mention bailing out there too. Maybe that was when he said the money wasn't worth it.

 

Also I liked how Jane really wanted to know about where the money came from. How did Danny get it? I think she wanted to make sure that nobody else would come along and get in her way as well as maybe wondering if she would be able to spend it without any trouble. Once Danny reveals this all to Jane, I think he becomes more disposable in her eyes. Plus he was really becoming a drunken mess at the end there. :)

 

Just a thought.

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I just watched The Window. A cry wolf story morphs into home alone and after awhile it was obvious that this was a tired old formula. The kid has to survive big odds against two adults. I know the kid liked to tell stories but I soon became annoyed with all the adults not believing him and I think we were supposed to. I'm glad it was a short movie or I probably wouldn't have been able to hang on. Not that there wasn't a bit of suspense here and there. We knew generally how it was going to turn out and it was for me a little dissatisfying. I wanted a scene where the parents would look at each other and say, "What idiots we are." I loved the part when the bad mother can't bear to see the child fall off the fire escape. Was there something de rigeur about that? Are the storytellers reluctant to show a woman being so heartless to a child? Did I detect a scruple there? I would have loved an ending where it came right down to that situation, that just when it's all over for the kid, he runs to the woman remembering her earlier sympathy for him and pleads with her to save him, and she does, much to the chagrin of Stewart, but I guess that's another movie. It could have been a statement how a woman would rescue a child---any child, not just her own---even at her own expense, due to innate motherly instincts. Even as is, we got a touch of that. (I'm sure that movie has been made).

 

I agree about the child abuse, you don't leave a nine-year-old alone. How about Stewart belting the child in the cab? The kid was sure the star of the show. Okay, this will no doubt sound crazy but the expression on this face made me think several times of Orson Welles. Before you laugh, take a look and see. He even had the smirk. A great face. He did a terrific job.

 

This is a cautionary tale of sorts and I wonder if children watching this film might learn something. I mean it is rather graphic, the loneliness and the fear. Don't tell stories and don't lie.

 

Barbara Hale certainly was pretty as the good mom, if you can call her good. To the kid, they probably seemed like monsters, all of the adults.

 

"Oh look, there goes Tommy's parents, a couple of idiots."

 

:P

 

Just kidding, not a bad little film. Still glad it wasn't too long.

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Hey guys,

 

A good number of interesting films for tomorrow.

 

I know I have seen both Roadblock and The Strip but it has been too long. 

 

After that Ida Lupino hires off balance handyman Robert Ryan in Beware My Lovely.

 

Ryan again with Stanwyck, Marilyn Monroe and Paul Douglas in Clash By Night. Pretty sordid but pretty good too.

 

MissGoddess has already mentioned Kansas City Confidential with John Payne. Definitely worth seeing.

 

Macao is next up and it is a pretty entertaining tale. Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell are fun to watch. Plenty of interesting characters populate an exotic locale. Gloria Grahame in another of her memorable supporting roles.

 

Talk About a Stranger is next. Frank and I were talking about this one in the torture thread. I think we both agree this is one you might like. Not a conventional noir but another tale told from a child's point of view. Some wonderful and rather dark imagery too.

 

I haven't seen Split Second.

 

The Narrow Margin is a tight thriller with the action taking place on a train. Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor are very good here.

 

His Kind of Woman is definitely worth a look. A great cast with Mitchum, Russell , Vincent Price, Charles McGraw, Tim Holt Marjorie Reynolds and more. There is a lot of humor in this one. Quirky and a bit too long but a favorite of mine.

 

Not sure if I've seen The Locket.

 

Up next is Angel Face. Mitchum gets mixed up with Jean Simmons and she turns out to be not so angelic.

 

I haven't seen Elevator to the Gallows.

 

Not sure what you have seen but I hope you can catch some of these Ro. A lot of good ones tomorrow. 

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A good number of interesting films for tomorrow.

 

I agree!  I think the line-up is very watchable.

 

I know I have seen both Roadblock and The Strip but it has been too long. 

 

I enjoyed Roadblock.  This is another picture that features Miss Goddess being portrayed. :D  Love Charles McGraw.  I wasn't too crazy about The Strip.  But I do feel Mick usually plays a sap very well.

 

After that Ida Lupino hires off balance handyman Robert Ryan in Beware My Lovely.

 

A Jackie fave!  It would make a great double-bill with On Dangerous Ground, as Ida and Robert are at it again.  Ryan gets to play another fascinating character.  This one isn't about story but characters and scenario.

 

Ryan again with Stanwyck, Marilyn Monroe and Paul Douglas in Clash By Night. Pretty sordid but pretty good too.

 

One of my very favorites.  Quiet Gal would like it because she gets to see the QT and me in the same pic!  Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz.

 

MissGoddess has already mentioned Kansas City Confidential with John Payne. Definitely worth seeing.

 

I'm pretty sure Quiet Gal has seen this one.  I do like it.  Love Payne.

 

Macao is next up and it is a pretty entertaining tale. Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell are fun to watch. Plenty of interesting characters populate an exotic locale. Gloria Grahame in another of her memorable supporting roles.

 

Breezy fun!  I enjoy it.  Gloria is adorable.

 

Talk About a Stranger is next. Frank and I were talking about this one in the torture thread. I think we both agree this is one you might like. Not a conventional noir but another tale told from a child's point of view. Some wonderful and rather dark imagery too.

 

An underrated film noir.  I see it as Disney noir.  One to catch.

 

I haven't seen Split Second.

 

Miss G pointed me to this one.  I like it.  It's an atomic era film noir directed by Dick Powell.  It plays similarly to The Petrified Forest. Love Jan Sterling and Alexis Smith.  What a combo!

 

The Narrow Margin is a tight thriller with the action taking place on a train. Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor are very good here.

 

Definitely one of the best.

 

His Kind of Woman is definitely worth a look. A great cast with Mitchum, Russell , Vincent Price, Charles McGraw, Tim Holt Marjorie Reynolds and more. There is a lot of humor in this one. Quirky and a bit too long but a favorite of mine.

 

One of the best mish-mash films noir you will see.  This is another breezy flick with a serious tone squeezed in the middle.  It's almost like a film noir with a Love Boat kind of feel.  Rather unique.

 

Not sure if I've seen The Locket.

 

More Mitchum!  I'm not that fond of this one but I know it has its fans.  A very different kind of Laraine Day pic, without a doubt.  Is she a femme fatale or a woman to be sympathized?

 

Up next is Angel Face. Mitchum gets mixed up with Jean Simmons and she turns out to be not so angelic.

 

Even more Mitch!  And this is one of the best.  Jean plays one of my very favorite femmes fatale.  Jean Simmons!

 

I haven't seen Elevator to the Gallows.

 

Me, either.  But I need to.

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Howdy Molo.. 

 

I hope you can catch some of these Ro. A lot of good ones tomorrow.

 

It looks to be a lucky day for me to be able to be home tomorrow. I have seen a few on the list though, but there are still  plenty to choose from that I have not seen yet, so will look forward to catching several I hope. 

 

I have seen The Locket, Kansas City Confidential and Clash By Night (at least I have seen most of that one.. I think I missed part of the beginning, but it was a while ago) And I have also seen The Narrow Margin. In fact.. if you go all the way back to my very first opening post in this thread TNM is the film I used to start things off. I used it to ask a lot of questions about "what makes a noir a noir" and the movie actually IS a very good example of what I think MOST folks think of when they think Film Noir... so it was a fun chat and I remember I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. 

 

The Locket has it's moments.. but overall not a huge favorite. (but oh me. it does have it's moments) and I l-o-v-e LOVED Kansas City Confidential. I remember chatting on that one in this thread too, several years ago, I believe. 

 

As for Clash By Night... well.. 

 

The Grey Dude says: 

 

Quiet Gal would like it because she gets to see the QT and me in the same pic!  Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz.

 

HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not.. so very not. YOU may be in this movie..  but the QT?? He's not in this movie.. He's Sean Thornton.. he's out looking for that "nice stick" to use on me any day now. ha. It's the only way he can keep me in line. ha. :D

 

Meanwhile, after reading some of the comments on here tonight.. the ones I think I am most looking to catch tomorrow would be Macao (that one I have heard about before and for whatever reason I always seemed to have missed it) and then also Talk About a Stranger, and His Kind of Woman. 

 

I'm also trying to catch up on a few that I missed that are on youtube.. PLUS, I also got a copy of Out of the Past (woo hoo) that the library ordered for me. Not sure I am going to make it for ALL of that this weekend, but will give it a try and see how far down into the "darkness' I can plunge tomorrow. ha. 

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Well hello all you "noir amblers' ha. Hope you are all enjoying another day of Summer Darkness. :)

 

You now, I mentioned last night that The Narrow Margin was the very first film that I opened this thread with.. It is a pretty good movie and one that I think is a great example of what makes for a truly fun "Film Noir"   I remember how much I enjoyed writing about it all and chatting with you on it, so many years ago.

 

So just for fun I went in and took a look at my original post. And after reading through it last night.. and now as I am watching it again this evening, ha.. I have to pop in here just to make a comment, ha..

 

Because it's been  almost 6 years since I started this thread and I STILL remember writing this below..

 

And what about the FASHION? ha. I LOVED the "LOOK" these folks had goin' on. Even the clothes everyone wore had a certain NOIR feel about them. The ladies all wear form fitting dresses (yes, I know it was the era for that, but still... ) And the men all have on suits and ties. (Even the lowest of the low armed thugs). Ha, but I gotta ask. If YOU were hired to tail someone, and if you wanted to keep a LOW profile, would you ever in a million years wear such a LOUD jacket as THIS one? Ha.

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Even way back in the 30's and 40's a coat like that had to just SCREAM "bad guy" ha.

 

 

 

Ha!! And now after seeing that portion of the movie again tonight.. I just have to say. yep.. that jacket is so loud.. I had to turn the volume down on my tv just to look at it, Ha! :D

 

Ok.. I confess.. I've seen worse. I am no "fashion police".. but seriously.. there he was standing in line.. with all these other folks wearing solid dark colored suits and his coat is just screaming "Hey buddy!! Look at ME!" ha :D

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Hey there Ro,

 

Ha! I guess his own personal fashion sense over took his common sense.

 

So how did your day of darkness go?

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HELLO there Madhat! 

 

Ha! I guess his own personal fashion sense over took his common sense.

 

Ha!! Boy I could write a BOOK about people I have seen who do THAT!! :D  

 

 

But who am I to point fingers. ha. (did I mention I am not the fashion police?) I better keep myself to myself about THAT topic, ha. 

 

Meanwhile... 

So how did your day of darkness go

 

I had fun! I was able to catch several yesterday. I wish I had time to chat more on it, but for now will just say that I watched: 

 

TALK ABOUT A STRANGER,  SPLIT SECOND,  THE NARROW MARGIN, HIS KIND OF WOMAN, THE LOCKET, and  ANGEL FACE . 

 

I enjoyed all of them overall. (probably some more than others) The Narrow Margin and The Locket were "re-watches" for me as I had seen those two before, but the others were all new, so it was fun getting to see a few new films in the mix.

 

I TRIED to watch Macao.. ha. but alas. Sadly, I have to confess that yesterday I discovered Jane Russel's singing REALLY gets on my nerves.. ha. Sing, sing, sing.. every time I turned around that is all she was doing. ha. I don't know what it was that bugged me. she's got a decent enough voice, but ha.. I just got tired (sick and tired) every time she belted out a tune and I just gave up. (silly me) I was pretty worried when she started singing in His Kind of Woman too. ha. But it did not seem as much (or at least the songs weren't as long) so I was able to hang in there.

 

Which was good.. because if I had given up I would have TOTALLY missed Vincent Price. and ha.. HE made that show for me. I kept wishing the movie was more about HIM than Mitchum and Russel. ha. 

 

GOOD golly.. he was the best part of that whole story. (probably my stand out favorite for the entire day of darkness.) ha.  I mean.. I KNOW it was the "Summer of Darkness" and it was supposed to be all about the "tough guys' ha. but he was just so doggone HILARIOUS, I l-o-v-e LOVED him.

 

He was a great "accidental" hero in this one.. ha. not your "standard" noir type of guy, for sure.  It was a fun twist that he got to be tough, quote Shakespeare, AND make me laugh all at the same time... even if he didn't get he girl. alas. ha. 

 

Hey.. maybe he was more of a Noir hero than Mitchum in that one afterall, ha :D

 

OH.. and ps: What about that Raymore BURR??? Speaking Italian and practically SVELTE! I almost did not recognize him. He didn't get nearly enough time on screen, but woo.. when he DID.. I was glad to see him GO!! (but I mean that in a good way)   :D

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Hey there,

 

I had fun! I was able to catch several yesterday. I wish I had time to chat more on it, but for now will just say that I watched: 

 

TALK ABOUT A STRANGER,  SPLIT SECOND,  THE NARROW MARGIN, HIS KIND OF WOMAN, THE LOCKET, and  ANGEL FACE .

 

Wow! You had a good run of films there. I know you have a busy week ahead but hopefully you can chat about some of these when you get a chance.

 

I TRIED to watch Macao.. ha.

 

Oh good grief!

 

but alas. Sadly, I have to confess that yesterday I discovered Jane Russel's singing REALLY gets on my nerves.. ha. Sing, sing, sing.. every time I turned around that is all she was doing. ha. I don't know what it was that bugged me. she's got a decent enough voice, but ha.. I just got tired (sick and tired) every time she belted out a tune and I just gave up. (silly me) I was pretty worried when she started singing in His Kind of Woman too. ha. But it did not seem as much (or at least the songs weren't as long) so I was able to hang in there.

 

I don't even remember Jane's singing in Macao. It has been a while since I saw it. I tend to like Jane whether she is singing or not. You missed Gloria though!

 

Which was good.. because if I had given up I would have TOTALLY missed Vincent Price. and ha.. HE made that show for me. I kept wishing the movie was more about HIM than Mitchum and Russel. ha. 

 

GOOD golly.. he was the best part of that whole story. (probably my stand out favorite for the entire day of darkness.) ha.  I mean.. I KNOW it was the "Summer of Darkness" and it was supposed to be all about the "tough guys' ha. but he was just so doggone HILARIOUS, I l-o-v-e LOVED him.

 

He was a great "accidental" hero in this one.. ha. not your "standard" noir type of guy, for sure.  It was a fun twist that he got to be tough, quote Shakespeare, AND make me laugh all at the same time... even if he didn't get he girl. alas. ha.

 

I do remember liking Price in this one. Again it has been a long time, but I will watch it again so I can be more up to speed.

 

I was going to watch Macao again but I guess I can give that a pass now! 

 

Where is that eye rolling thingy? Ah! Here you go. :rolleyes:

 

I did re-watch Talk About a Stranger. That film is nice and short. So I can talk about that one

 

Give me a minute here...

 

Well okay I did take a look at Jane's songs in Macao and I didn't much care for You Kill Me.

 

This one was fine:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey, lafitte!  Yes, I did see TOO LATE FOR TEARS.  It just occurs to me, thinking about it, that every movie Duryea is in, even when Dan isn't playing seedy characters but relatively "dapper" ones like a Nazi spy (MINISTRY OF FEAR) or a Southern ne'er-do-well (THE LITTLE FOXES), I always get a kind of "downward" vibe from him.  He never truly looks happy, but, again, those kinds of parts aren't exactly cheerful, lol.

 

I recorded CLASH BY NIGHT, which I've seen in bits and pieces over the years.  There's a line I half-remember from Robert Ryan, when he's talking dismissively to Stanwyck.  It's something like, "Begone, dust!"  I'd like to believe this comes directly from the brow of bitter, pathologically conflicted Clifford Odets, lol.

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Well tomorrow is the final day of our Summer of Darkness.

 

A few I'll mention:

 

The Big Heat: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin. Anyone who hasn't seen it yet should get up early or set the DVR.

 

The three I have my eye on are:

 

The Harder they Fall, Party Girl and Criss Cross. I know I haven't seen the first one and I don't think I've seen the last two.

 

 

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I recorded CLASH BY NIGHT, which I've seen in bits and pieces over the years.  There's a line I half-remember from Robert Ryan, when he's talking dismissively to Stanwyck.  It's something like, "Begone, dust!"  I'd like to believe this comes directly from the brow of bitter, pathologically conflicted Clifford Odets, lol.

 

One thing I like about the film is the way Marilyn Monroe plays a regular girl. Nothing fancy, exotic or terrible sexy. I find it interesting triangle with Stanwyck, Ryan and Douglas. 

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Came home from shopping, switched on TCM without really knowing the Summer of Darkness schedule for today, then headed to my kitchen to unload groceries.  Just then I heard a familiar sounding yell coming from my living room television set and concluded this bellowing could only be Lee J. Cobb.  And sure enough, it was.  (PARTY GIRL)

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Well hello my fellow "Noir" friends (and backyard bbq enthusiasts) :)

 

It's been a GREAT time walking along through the Summer of Darkness with you all. Thanks again to the TCM programming gurus for such a fun series of films.

 

I still have a few leftovers that I want to try and get to soon (a few that I missed are on youtube, and I still have one more DVD that I found at the library that I was not able to catch when it was on TCM) but overall.. may I just say.. wow!!  I am overwhelmed just thinking of all the "new" films (or at least they were new to me!) that I was able to catch as a result of the Summer of Darkness series. I am glad I had enough extra time on my hands the last few weeks to get a chance to see so many great films.

 

 

I have had a pretty busy week this week, though, and yesterday was the hardest day for me to be able to watch, so unfortunately I wasn't able to just sit down and catch very many of them all the way through until later in the evening. (I watched Desperate and The Asphalt Jungle all the way through) but I only got to see bits and pieces of a few of the others that were on earlier.

 

But gee.. who could complain for all the OTHER ones I was able to catch in the previous weeks offerings. wowsa. (did I mention it's been fun?) :)

 

Meanwhile, Molo says: Well okay I did take a look at Jane's songs in Macao and I didn't much care for You Kill Me. This one was fine:

 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!  NO more Jane.. singing!! (why do I suddenly feel like the Grey Dude sitting down in front of a plate of healthy vegetables???)   :D

 

I just don't know WHAT it is about her. She's lovely.. she has a lovely voice.. I still just can't take her singing. ha. Silly me.

 

Meanwhile.. I will try to pick a "top 5" or maybe even a "top 10"  for all the new noirs I caught this past few weeks. Hope some of you will chime in and list some of your favorites too. (ha.. and ps, it may take me a while.. because, well... as I have proven so often before, I am NO kind of list-maker. ha. (so yeah.. I know.. be afraid.. be very afraid. she's actually going to try and make a LIST!!) :D

 

And while you are waiting.. I HAVE to  mention how much I have enjoyed our backyard BBQ family reunion too.. it's been great to have so many friends popping by.. some that have been dearly missed for such a long time too. So I hope that you will CONTINUE to drop in and chat some more.. and in the meantime.. here is a little "after dinner" treat to follow up on all that BBQ goodness we had going on.. Grilled peaches and ice cream for everybody!!! 

 

 

grilled%20peaches%20and%20icecream_zpsef

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Hi everyone!

 

First, let me say I'm sorry for jumping in excitedly a couple of weeks ago, then disappearing right after! I don't even have an excuse for not getting back here in a timely fashion.

 

Now to the Summer of Darkness Wouldn't that phrase sound great bellowed out by Raymond Burr in an echo chamber?

 

Miss G - I'm so glad you like Lady Without a Passport! Atmospheric is definitely the right word for it. I love The Bribe as well for its moodiness and the non-judgmental treatment of the characters- Ava, John Hodiak and Robert Taylor all do things that seem wrong, and yet they have their reasons. They try to do the right thing in the end. The setting is appropriately steamy. Touch of Evil always gets me in the details...the more potboiler parts don't much interest me. Of course, Calleia blows my mind, and I like the scene with the young Mexican kid who is railroaded by Hank. Unfortunately now, this depiction of corruption in a police department seems all too real. Marlene is awesome, as always, and Welles is just grand... (Not Grande!) Anyway, you have a knack for comparing films, and these all have a distinctive flavor as you say...you can almost taste them. ???? Oh, and thanks for the backup on Barry Sullivan. He sometimes gets short shrift, like in The Bad and the Beautiful. He's not bad or beautiful, lol, and he gets the lamest storyline. But he's a smart actor, like you noted, and I bet Bronxie likes straitlaced Barry.

 

Bronxie - I know what you mean about Duryea's looks in Too Late for Tears, but I think Molo and Laffite really covered his disintegration well. He just couldn't handle the guilt and stress of being on the run with all that money. He looked considerably more disheveled as the movie wore on. I found it actually rather attractive, as we are used to seeing Dan as a smooth operator, slicked back and suited. Here he was more modern looking, less slimy and more sympathetic. Well, kind of. ???? But I know you like your fellas a little square and well groomed.

 

As for your comments on D.O.A., yes! The five second scene in front of the LIFE magazine rack captures everything. What you wrote was terrific.

 

Molo, I will just say I LOVED Too Late for Tears. It was fun, suspenseful, and had everything a noir should have, including a poor, put-upon heroine. I felt so sorry for Lizabeth Scott here, she really was just a lost little girl.... Hahahahaha! Oh I loved this murderous, money loving gal! It was really fun watching her weave her web, seeing how far she would go. My mouth dropped open a few times in this movie. I too was thinking about how noir supporting characters really should not go out in boats! Don DeFore added suspense, and I liked him a lot in this. He wasn't stuck playing a big doofus here. But really it was Duryea and Scott's film...it made me decide that Lizabeth has been rooked all these years as an actress..she was terrific in TLFT. One thing I like about noir heroines, or femmes fatale,they always have issues I can rwlate to. They just take it too far. I can certainly understand her want of MORE, growing up poor as she did. I think Scott nailed her insecurity and feelings of being inferior (mostly in her scenes with the sister). It set up the whole story. And I liked her bug eyed excitement, almost sexual, when the money fell into their laps. She reminded me of two of my favorite femmes, Annie Laurie Starr and Ellen Berent. If you look closely at all three, you find some things to sympathize with. They all are dealing with feelings of powerlessness. Killing starts to make sense when you see how they have had to deny their true instincts in front of their men. I don't think any of these women ever forgot any slight they ever got, and kept a little list in the back of their mind of just who deserved a come-uppance. This is real meat and potatoes noir for me, filling and juicy. I can't get enough of it. I guess I love black widows in the movies.

 

I understand your feelings about TENSION very well. I think I felt very much the same way the first time I watched it. Somehow, it is more fun or interesting once you've seen it- you can let go of plot and concentrate on details in the acting, which for me is tops and elevates rhe whole thing. Here's another dissatisfied female...that I love...to hate. Once again, she has her reasons which wr can, at least obliquely, understand. But the film itself is a bit flawed. Still it keeps you on the edge a bit. I think maybe the last part is drawn out just a little too long. But the final scene is so Maltese Falcon, I forgive and happily forget the flaws. Barry makes a pretty good Sam Spade, and Audrey Totter is a magnificent Brigid.

 

 

James- I really felt you 'got' why Duryea in TLFT was ao atrung out...like he switched roles with Eddie G.in Scarlet Street and was in the process of going off the deep end. Funny how paranoia can take you down faster than a killer dame.

 

Laffite- I just LOVED your description of Duryea! His characters in general and then how he differs from them in TLFT.

 

Perhaps Jane married Alan because she needed a weaker man to mold and push forward. A lot of femme fatales follow this pattern...Martha Ivers for one. Because they can't directly seize power, they need a patsy to shove into the role they so desperately want. Or maybe she actually liked Alan. I'd have to go back to the film to look.

 

I too liked Scott's animal scream "It's mine!" and I bought the balcony fall. It was satisfying. Having now watched DESPERATE, I can tell you, that's a movie with a fall at the end that was just plain BAD. I never thought I'd say that an Anthony Mann film was awful...but it was. Makes Too Late for Tears look like a masterpiece!

 

Agree that The window had a tired formula, but this movie was redeemed slightly by good camera work and performances by Driscoll and evil Paul Stewart. I also really liked the killer mom at the end. Her slight depth was sorely needed in the film.

 

Chris, which are worse? The murdering adults upstairs in The Window, or the neglectful, completely idiotic parents who nail the kid into his room, ensuring his death by one means or another? ????

 

Frank, Beware My Lovely IS one of my faves. Ida matches Ryan for talent, and manages to stay soft while being strong. I think she is really pretty here as well as skillful. Ryan just kills me in this one (ooh, bad choice of words!), he is sooooo vulnerable! He just keeps turning on a dime, and I've seldom been as freaked out by a character. He's truly, deeply frightening to me. And tragic. And what's more tragic is how easy it is for him to drift into another town, another job. Because he doesn't give off any suspicious vibes...he doesn't know he's a killer. This story COULD NOT WORK without an A performance from the male lead. Ryan gives an A+++.

 

Kansas City Confidential is jyst great! A nice tight fitting puzzle, with all actors going on all cylinders. Payne really surprised me, he's got a couple of roles in the fifties that are so visceral, you can hardly believe it's him.

 

The Narrow Margin- I once told you I didn't care for it. I've revised my opinion slightly. I like it. I like Macgraw, Windsor, but this time I REALLY liked the fat man, Paul Maxey. I just loved him. I've seen him for years in bit parts in musicals, and it was SO good to see him get some attention and camera time in this movie. I also really liked Jacqueline White as the blonde love interest. She gave a nice down to earth performance.

 

You know I love The Locket. It's flawed, but it has rhe sort of atmosphere I like, The way it is filmed it almost could've been one of those ghost stories of the late forties. It kind of still is- it's about a woman who is two people, haunted, like so many people of that time, by her past. Even more haunted are the men who cone in contact with her. I like seeing Mitchum thwarted at every turn, in a little more vulnerable role.

 

See Elevator to the Gallows!

 

Angel Face. Yes! I like it a lot. It has some weird plot stalls, where theres buildup but nothing happens, but it works anyway. Jean makes another entitled yet insecure femme fatale like the ones I mentioned above. I love Mitchum in this movie...maybe more rhan in Out of the Past. Don't know why.

 

Ro- I think you need to imagine that loud jacket on the guy from Narrow Margin paired with Cary's HAT from Only Angels Have Wings. Now if that doesn't paint a picture, I don't know what does. ????

 

I loved watching His Kind of Woman with you! Same with Red Light. Vinnie Price just endeared me to him.... Perhaps this is about the time he became a star? He seemed so relaxed on camera. Itvwas a fantastic part and he completely stole the film.

 

I was shocked that Raymond Burr was... CUTE! What is this world coming to????

 

Criss Cross is a great film. This time instead of drooling over....er...I mean appreciating Burt Lancaster, I really concentrated on Yvonne De Carlo. Man, she is so good! Just unbelievably excellent. She fits the character as if it had been written for her. Tom Pedi KILLED it as Dan Duryea's henchman/watchdog...he was a comic character who was also menacing. It was a pleasure to watch this film again.

 

I Died a Thousand Times ticked me off when I realized it was a remake of High Sierra. I stupidly stopped watching.

 

Brute Force is great, especially for those of us who love big supporting casts. This time through, Howard Duff looked like Marshall Thompson's older more savvy brother. Burt in a t-shirt! Art Smith, oh man, he's so great as the sadder but wiser doc. and the psychosexual scene where Hume beats Sam Levene is horribly frightening, mainly because Levene looks scared and not noble, but still, says nothing to betray his pals. Dassin is such a crisp director, I'd watch a snail crossing a road if he decided to film it. Somehow, he would imbue it with suspense.

 

Ro, you must tell me what you thought of The Asphalt Jungle. I didn't like itvtge first time through, the pace was so deliberate and slow. But the next time I loved it! Huston just sets things up, one at a time, in order to knock them all down. It's like a pendulum, if it swings one way, it's got to swing back. Great cast, acting, direction. I'll tell you my favorite things about it if you'll just tell me whether you liked it.

 

Whew! Sorry for hogging the page. It has really been a joy walking down noir street with you guys. Even if I don't reply, I always love to read what you all have to say.

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