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LoveFilmNoir

Film noir runneth over on the schedule lately

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I forgot...there's at least one other noir in which a disfigured face plays a part. Of course! Pretty Gloria Graham getting a faceful of scalding hot coffee in *The Big Heat*. But the poor girl doesn't get a chance to check out all the local plastic surgeons before she comes to a sad end, her mink coat pulled up in a touching attempt to cover the scarred side of her face. One of her best roles.

 

finance, I said "little" noir because first, in comparison to the other movies that team Bogart and Bacall, I think this one is the least-known. That doesn't necessarily make it "little", of course. It' s just that, while I quite like it, I don't think it's a "major" film. I suppose you could say that about almost all classic film noirs, part of their charm is that they're usually "B" movies, or at least smaller budget.But in the "classic noir" cannon, *Dark Passage* would rate, "in my humble opinion", as a lesser film noir.

 

I do like it, though. Agnes Moorehead is fun - Marge who likes the colour orange.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 29, 2010 11:11 AM

so many edits because my ghost/post writer is not available this week.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 29, 2010 3:04 PM

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*(what kind of a doctor, even a decommissioned one, is open at three o'clock in the morning?),*

 

In noirs, as in crime films in general, they seem to be commonplace.

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Agnes Moorehead was always good. She was such an intense actress, she's fascinating to watch. Even her very tiny role in *Citizen Kane*, as Charles Foster K.'s mother, stays with you. I love the way she screams, at the end of *Dark Passage,* , "They'll believe *me* ! They'll believe *me* ! "

 

arturo, you're right - why are those doctors always available in the middle of the night, not only in noir but other classic films ? Well, we don't want the narrative to stop cold, so it's a good thing they are.

 

*Dark Passage* again - why is everyone in this movie so damn nosey? Like the cheap crook who initially picks Bogart up, only to cross-examine him to the point where Bogart decides to stop the ride, he wants to get off. (of course mr. nosey crook makes an inconvenient return later. Humph should have maybe been more patient.) But worse than that bit, is the scene where our man, face nicely changed and healed, stops off in an all night diner to eat and "get it together" before departing on that bus out of town. But everyone asks him too many questions -does he want to read the paper, what section, why? Why isn't he wearing a coat, where is it? I've never seen so many inquisitive people in a crummy little diner. Ok, there's only two -and the cook is sympathetic to him. But if he and the plain clothes cop hadn't peppered the poor man with pointless questions, Bogie might be still sitting there eating his ham and eggs.

 

By the way, I've never seen *Nora Prentiss*. Must have missed it last time it was on Turner.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 29, 2010 5:51 PM

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Regarding the end of Dark Passage where Anges goes out the window. Did she jump on purpose? It sure does look that way. This never made sense to me since as you noted she yells They'll believe me ! They'll believe me ! "

 

Well as she also said Perry (Bogie), had no evidence on her and he was already a convicted killer. No cop DA grand Jury would believe anything he said. So she was 100% right: They would believe her. So why kill yourself then?

 

Of course MAYBE she fell out of the window by accident, but that makes no sense either since it would take a lot of force to cause that to happen. Thus to me the ending isn't scripted and or directed well. But man I do enjoy seeing Agnes get what is coming to her.

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Moorehead could play a slightly disturbed female possibly better than any other actress. HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE and FOURTEEN HOURS are 2 examples.

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

> I like DARK PASSAGE, and Ms. Moorehead's fine performance is the high point.

 

She's great. I watched it last night and I love the scene when Bacall is telling her that she can't stay there since she had Bogart hiding out in the bedroom. When Moorehead insisted she would stay in the bedroom, Bacall kind of snapped....much innuendo was implied. I rather enjoyed it. I can only imagine how different the dialogue would have been if the film was shot in 1931.

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So did Moorehead's character kill herself at the end or not? If she did, why? As I posted below the end makes no sense.

 

Yes, the sense you mention, which includes Bennett also, if one of the best in the movie. Moorehead keeps saying how she will call Bacall and Bacall keeps saying she will be busy,,, until Bennett tells Bacall to hit her with something and maybe then Moorehead will undestand! Classic.

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I think she fell. Maybe it's not staged clearly. I should know. I've read the book. But I don't have as many brain cells as I once had. I forgot!

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I think Madge was just overwrought, ran into the window, the force of the impact broke it, and down she went. Extremely unlikely. I don't believe she intended suicide.

 

So anyway, do people agree that if poor old Vincent or Alan or whoever he's supposed to be hadn't been showered with pointless nosey questions in the all night diner where he thought he was safe, he'd have finished his breakfast in peace and caught that bus?

Did people in real life ever cross examine complete strangers like that? Would they now? Why didn't Bogart just say he didn't care what part of the newspaper he had, he just wanted something to read while he drank his coffee?

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jul 30, 2010 10:42 PM

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Yes, but what does he care whether Bogart/Vincent/Alan is wearing a coat or not? He wasn't cross-examining him in the context of an arrest or even catching him in a possible crime attempt. He was just hanging around a diner, listening to poor old Bogart/Vince/Alan ordering his breakfast. And why didn't Bogart just say he wanted to read the paper, and not get so specific about what section? he should have known -I certainly do, I don't watch these films for nothing, they help me plan my heists - when lying or trying to hide something, don't talk too much, and definitely don't give too many details.

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With regards to the diner scene, I assumed that detective was out there at that time of night morning because he was assigned to find Vincent Perry. In other words he was there to observe people in all night places like the diner. Thus anyone that didn't 'fit in' and had a general appearance like Perry he should ask them questions. I assume this because otherwise the dick was too nosey to be asking questions like that to someone so well dressed and why would he be hanging out in the joint at that time unless he was part of the manhunt for Perry (and it was a major manhunt since the movie made a point about before).

 

 

Moorehead just fell? Yea, is someways that is more logical than her killing herself but it also is a one in a million type of fall. If those windows were so weak the buliding would of been condemed since Moorehead wouldn't of been the first to die that way!

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It sounds as if you are very sensitive to 4th and 5th amendment issues (or whatever is the Canadian equivalent). You sure you're not a lawyer?

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In San Francisco, you might expect people to mind their own business. In a small town, they want to know your mother's maiden name! "What are you doing out so late? Is that your car? What did you pay for it? Where do you work? What do you do there? Is that your coat? What did you pay for it?"

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Well, I guess I'll discover how "nosey" Kentuckians are later on this summer. I don't know about nosey, but every time I''ve been in the States I've certainly found them friendly (Americans in general).

 

 

So...on LoveFilmNoir's original post, one of the films she lists is *The Bad and the Beautiful*. I've seen this several times, so didn't catch it when it was on -was it last Friday? Any thoughts on this one? I know it is technically a film noir - at least, it's in my noir Bible (the Book we've talked about a few times here) - but I've always seen it as more of a melodrama. And Joan Crawford's not even in it!

 

 

Confession: I just checked the Noir Encyclopaedia, and *The Bad and the Beautiful* is not in it, not in my edition anyway. I could have sworn it was. Well, anyway, this film does have some noir elements.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 1, 2010 11:30 PM

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I agree that THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL is not a noir. Very few noir elements. Lots of bad behavior by Jonathan Shields, but none of it could have landed him in jail.

 

Edited by: finance on Aug 2, 2010 10:54 AM

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For the sake of argument, one could make a case for *The Bad and the Beautiful* being a quasi-noir. A semi-noir. Let's see, it's got: a cast that features almost everyone who played at least one major role in a noir film, so they've sort of earned their noir "chops". Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Dick Powell, Gloria Grahame. It's got a more or less dark world view, it's quite cynical in parts. It's got a controlling, power-obsessed central character. And it's certainly got a full dose of melodrama. It's also got that tough voice-over narrative thing going, not unique to noir but used a lot. Maybe we could call it an "honourary noir".

Having said that, it's not a favourite of mine, whatever genre you want to call it. The best part are the Dick Powell/Gloria Grahame scenes.

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If it had been set in East Watertower, Kansas, it might be a full blown noir, but

being set in Hollywood, it's just another industry, expose the "real deal", insider flick.

It always seemed to promise more than it ever delivered, and really doesn't amount

to much. And that corny Shields logo. Good grief. I was a bit surprised that Gloria

Grahame was nominated, not because she wasn't good in the movie, but her part

seemed so small. Maybe that means she made quite an impression even with her

short amount of screen time.

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*The Bad and The Beautiful* is definitely more melodrama if anything else. If the actors were over the top I would have thought it was directed by Douglas Sirk. I too don't understand how Grahame was nominated (and won) even though I did love her short role. I don't understand the logic of Academy voters. Lana Turner's acting was surprisingly very good and I enjoyed every second Dick Powell was on the screen. I think he provides the cynical piece to the film - and he's great.

 

The story is so realistic to me. Look at how Kirk Douglas chews and spits people out. Whenever I watch the film I can't help but think someone is taking a few shots at Darryl F. Zanuck. It's amazing how much backstabbing and backbiting goes on in this industry. I'm sure directors these days would kill to have a studio contract and be able to build their talents up instead of shopping around every project to producers. Back then, directors wanted out of their contracts. Oh the irony!

 

In other news, *Double Indemnity* and *Some Like it Hot* were both on HBO this morning. Always good to see *Double Indemnity*, and I'm sure TCM regulars would appreciate that *Hot* won't air for a while as it makes its rounds on HBO.

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

> But as I said before, nothing beats that plastic surgery scene in *Dark Passage*. The sinister office (what kind of a doctor, even a decommissioned one, is open at three o'clock in the morning?), the almost jeering speech the doc gives Humphrey, I guess just to reassure him ("I could make a man look like a baboon..." ), and best of all the weird dream sequence, with Bogart swirling through a vortex of bizarre, mocking faces and escape cars. And when it's all over, he still wants to smoke!

>

 

What kind of a doctor? A crooked doctor, with criminals for patients. I don't think that part is so odd.

 

Yeah, the doctor's (Houseley Stevenson) speech and the dream sequence are favorites of mine, as well.

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

> THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL is actually my favorite film about the "industry".

 

I think it is mine too. The dialogue is so clever and I am glad the film had the actors it had, everyone was believable - especially Dick Powell. He could have been Oscar nominated alone for the way he delivered the "drop dead" line.

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