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LoveFilmNoir

Film noir runneth over on the schedule lately

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Is it me or has TCM been really spoiling those of us who like film noir? Between Anthony Mann's and Jane Russell's birthday tributes, the Joseph H. Lewis night in prime time, and Barbara Stanwyck's birthday tribute this past friday, I been in heaven. I can hardly complain about the "newer" films on the schedule because I have so much on my DVR to catch up on. I figured this would be a great thread to discuss the noirs playing on TCM this summer - or give a heads up to air times (there will be quite a few during SUTS as well!)

 

What has been played so far this month:

*Odd Man Out*

*The Third Man* (and a documentary on the making of it)

*Beyond a Reasonable Doubt*

*Nora Prentiss*

*The Locket*

*The Strip*

*The Narrow Margin*

*Born to Kill*

*The Unsuspected*

*Dark Passage*

*The Killer that Stalked New York*

*So Dark The Night*

*Gun Crazy*

*My Name is Julia Ross*

*The Strange Love of Martha Ivers*

*Cry Wolf*

*The Two Mrs. Carrolls*

*The Man With A Cloak*

*Jeopardy*

*The Phenix City Story*

 

And coming up to finish up July

 

*The Unfaithful*

*Key Largo*

*Danger Signal*

*Deception*

*Strange Bargain*

*Black Hand*

*The Bad and the Beautiful*

*Bad Day at Black Rock*

 

My DVR has been working in over time. :):):)

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When you list them like that, I realize that it is indeed a veritable cornucopia, a feast of noir this summer for noir lovers. I've not only missed a lot of the ones you listed, I'm afraid I didn't even record them.

I'm especially disappointed that I missed *The Locket*, can't even remember why. I've heard about this movie for years, and it's in my noir "bible". Not only that , Robert Mitchum is in it. If anyone's caught it

( aired 2 weeks ago??) please let my know how it was. Especially Mitch's part in it. But no spoilers, because I still haven't seen it.

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

> When you list them like that, I realize that it is indeed a veritable cornucopia, a feast of noir this summer for noir lovers. I've not only missed a lot of the ones you listed, I'm afraid I didn't even record them.

> I'm especially disappointed that I missed *The Locket*, can't even remember why. I've heard about this movie for years, and it's in my noir "bible". Not only that , Robert Mitchum is in it. If anyone's caught it

> ( aired 2 weeks ago??) please let my know how it was. Especially Mitch's part in it. But no spoilers, because I still haven't seen it.

 

I only recorded *The Locket*, I watched some parts, but I made sure not to watch the ending until I get to sit down and give it all my attention. I am particularly glad that TCM has been showing noirs that are not the usual suspects and whose prints are not the best. I hope they play some more PD films (it was good to see *Martha Ivers* )

 

The film I am looking forward to the most is Strange Bargain. I once watched an episode of "Murder She Wrote" and it basically is a continuation of the plot of the film where we find out what really happened after so many years. It would be nice for me to finally see it all gel together. I been looking out for this film for years. The original cast reprise their role in the MSW episode 30 years later so I am looking forward to the original.

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I'm embarrassed to ask this, but -how do I get the dates for all these rare movies coming up? Do you get that TurnerClassicMovies monthly guide, or do you just click on their schedule, which is on this very site, I know. So, duh, to ask the obvious, if I go to their monthly schedule for July and maybe August, I'll get the airing dates and times for all those interesting noirs you listed? (sure I've already missed some)

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The online schedule is your best bet. At this point, a brief synopsis, title, and year of release can help me sniff a noir out. Plus TCM usually classifies noir as crime or drama in their daily schedule with the primetime grid. My DirecTV guide lets you see up to 14 days of programming on all the channels. TCM is one that will have the next 2 weeks available, where as some will only have programming for the next week. Whenever TCM changes the schedule last minute, the block on the schedule may go blank and then eventually have what they are going to play (this happened for the tributes to Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper and a few others).

 

When I select the "info" button - I get the first 3 billed character's names and a one sentence synopsis along with that genre it falls under - or even all genre's the plot relates to. I have had some synopsis give away the plot (how does one do that in one sentence?!), however, I also get the year the film was released. So if I am seeing a film from say 1947 and it is classified as a "Mystery/Crime", no matter who the main actors, I look the film up in my noir guide or imdb and if it sounds more interesting, I record.

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An embarrassment of riches. Which one shall we talk about first? I kind of like *The Narrow Margin*.

 

But others I've seen recently include *Beyond a Reasonable Doubt* , *Dark Passage*, and *The Strange Love of Martha Ivers* . Let's pick one we've seen and discuss it !

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 19, 2010 10:16 PM

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

> An embarrassment of riches. Which one shall we talk about first? I kind of like *The Narrow Margin*.

>

> But others I've seen recently include *Beyond a Reasonable Doubt* , *Dark Passage*, and *The Strange Love of Martha Ivers* . Let's pick one we've seen and discuss it !

>

> Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 19, 2010 10:16 PM

 

I too have seen them all. I'll let you decide.

 

Finance....TCM hogs all my cable time. It takes up 80% of my DVR player. I have been recording several films to DVD....when will I find the hours to watch these films?

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Ok, let's go with *The Strange Love of Martha Ivers* .

First, I want to say that "filmlover" has provided some very interesting information about this film on a thread called "Oscar Noir: 15 Great Weeks..." in the forum, "General Discussions". If you have the time, scroll back a page or two and you'll find some great inside info on *Martha Ivers*.

 

Things I like about this film noir:

Performances.All these actors are terrific in this. Apparently it was their first film for both Lizabeth Scott and Kirk Douglas. What a great start for both of them. Lizabeth, as the misunderstood good/bad girl, lends an air of sweetness and sadness to the role. I can't recall seeing this actress throughout the rest of her career play anyone as vulnerable, almost "needy", as Toni. The scene in which she resigns herself to losing Sam to Martha Ivers is played with such genuine pathos. I'm almost crying along with Toni.

 

Van Heflin as Sam. I love this guy! (Van, not Sam) I can't think of a performance he's given or a film he's been in that I haven't enjoyed. Always hovering just under "A" movie status - but he's so much better than a "B" actor. He never got beyond, shall we say, B+. In *Martha Ivers* he gives a flawless performance. He's such a great combination of tough and kind. And he plays a variation of a character type I like that appears a lot in classic films - the ramblin'. gamblin' man.

 

As for Barbara Stanwyck, like Heflin, I've never seen her give a poor performance. This film, along with *Double Indemnity* of course, stands as one of her great noir roles. She's got such an interesting face, not traditionally beautiful, but strong and expressive. Her scenes with Van Heflin , especially the one on the hilltop, demonstrate what thoughtful film casting can achieve. I think the article filmlover posts on his thread goes into some detail on the casting of this film.

 

Kirk Douglas is very good, too. I think it's ironic that he plays a character in his first movie role that he rarely if ever played again - someone weak and easily dominated. Quite the opposite of what he does for most of the rest of his career!

 

I have a feeling, after all this gushing over just the actors in this movie, that I'd like *The Strange Love of Martha Ivers* for the cast alone. But there's a lot more to this great noir than its fantastic cast.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 21, 2010 7:56 PM

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 21, 2010 8:00 PM

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The only thing that kept Heflin from "A" status was lack of leading-man looks. He certainly had an impressive career........Douglas' "strongman" persona was cemented for all time with CHAMPION, three years later. I don't recall him ever playing a "weakling", even between IVERS and CHAMPION. In I WALK ALONE and OUT OF THE PAST, he was pretty assertive. In A LETTER TO THREE WIVES, he was "neutral".

 

Edited by: finance on Jul 22, 2010 1:13 PM

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Well, actually, there is a connection: It's a little -known fact that Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck formed a business partnership to run a dating service when things were slow for them in their chosen profession. They skirted the ethics of the field at that time by plastering photos of themselves around the office, suggesting that it was they who would be dating the prospective mate-seeker. Many clients were disappointed, and demanded a year's supply of popcorn in compensation.

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

> This time a noir thread is being sidetracked into a dating service.

 

 

A date with a noir dame could be your last - Kathie Moffat, anyone?

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*Now accepting new applicants*

 

 

tumblr_kxsue5z6qp1qzu1fpo1_500.jpg

*The Phyllis Dietrichson Two on a Match Confidential Dating Service*

 

All inquiries are confidential. We accept only the most respectable persons

as clients, to serve your particular companionship needs. Stanford alums are

entitled to a 15% discount. No phonies, no weirdos, no sickos, no players,

all services provided are done so with the highest of ethical considerations.

Nothing is hidden, everything is straight down the line.

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325659919.jpg

"Van and I are taking some well-earned time off this flick to work on our

dating service business, something a wuss like you wouldn't understand.

If you don't like it, you know what you're gonna get."

 

 

Now that I've got your attention, I have a question: Is there anyone who would actually like to talk about this film, *The Strange Love of Martha Ivers* ? I think it's worth a comment or two.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 25, 2010 9:51 AM

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 25, 2010 9:53 AM

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No thanks. I use the same dating service that was used in FRENZY. I recommend it highly with one proviso. If you are a female, you stand a reasonable chance of getting murdered.

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tumblr_kxsue5z6qp1qzu1fpo1_500.jpg

 

 

This is what is known as a caption rich photo.

 

"Geeze, what a dope. She went right past the 2 for 1 macaroni sale."

 

 

"Attention shoppers. Murder plot in progress in aisle 12. Please hurry

to aisle 12. Thank you for your patronage."

 

 

"Oh brother Neff. How did I ever get hooked up with a dame like this."

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I'll do a little whirl with Martha. I hadn't seen The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

for ten or fifteen years when I watched it a few months ago on Internet Archive, mostly

just for old times' sake. I suppose it's one of the few noirs that follows the characters

from childhood into adulthood, and where the old "as the twig is bent" idea is carried

out, the three retaining the traits they had as children into their adult lives. And yes,

Kirk with his glasses and passive-aggressive attitude is still quite the wuss, even as a

grownup. While it had most of the noir trademarks, it went on for a little too long,

and had a certain soap operish quality that wasn't particularly appealing to this critic.

And though Barbara is fine as Martha, the character is pretty much the paint by numbers,

out for herself femme fatale that we have all grown to love to hate or love to love.

It still has some fine noir moments, so all in all, I'd give it a B-.

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I would recommend the Frenzy dating service highly too. I believe the best

description of it would be lovely...lovely...lovely.

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Forgive me, dear lady, but I couldn't help myself.

 

 

 

325659919.jpg

I don't mind a few kinky things, that goes with the territory, but if you think

you're going to bring your gay thing in here, you've got another think coming.

And no, I wasn't happy to see you.

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C.Bogle claims that *The Strange Love of Martha Ivers* " had a certain soap operish quality that wasn't particularly appealing to this critic." Not surprising, as I recall, you do seem to hold the conviction that a lot of noir is "melodrama".

 

Still, some of the scenes when these characters were kids are truly interesting. The boxcar in the rain, the sycophantic father of the future Kirk Douglas, and the horrible aunt. Confess, if you had a mean unfeeling nasty old aunt who mistreated your beloved kitty, wouldn't you be tempted to toss her down the stairs too?

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