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Neo Noir of the late 60s/early 70s

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I have to say I like the films Frank Sinatra did in this vein:

 

TONY ROME

LADY IN CEMENT

THE DETECTIVE

 

Plus we have Henry Fonda & Richard Widmark in MADIGAN. Fonda also appears in THE BOSTON STRANGLER at this time.

 

James Garner is MARLOWE; Steve McQueen is BULLITT; Paul Newman is HARPER; and we even have POINT BLANK starring Lee Marvin.

 

Don't forget THE MONEY TRAP with Glenn Ford and Ricardo Montalban.

 

There was definitely a resurgence in noir in the 60s and 70s. Film critics call it neo noir.

 

In the 70s, we see crime films like DIRTY HARRY and BRANNIGAN that continue themes of big city corruption and violence.

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Glenn Ford, in *Experiment in Terror* 1962, so a bit earlier

Warren Beatty, in *Mickey One* 1965

 

Japanese noir was really coming on then, with films like *Tokyo Drifter*, and *Branded to Kill*, from Seijun Suzuki.

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Good points, Valentine.

 

Noir lasted well beyond the immediate post-war period.

 

A more recent example is THE GRIFTERS from 1990.

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*Blood Simple* is about as noir as you can get, so too with *Red Rock West*. I think *Memento* (2000) is probably my favorite neonoir.

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We could even create a sub-category of mid-1960s neonoirs in English set in Paris:

 

*Five Miles to Midnight* (D: Anatole Litvak), with Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins, and Gig Young

 

*Return from the Ashes* (D: J. Lee Thompson), with Ingrid Thulin, Maximillian Schell, and Samantha Eggar. This is one of the few noirs with the sexes reversed, as Schell plays an homme fatal.

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THE MONEY TRAP, even though made in the mid-'60s, for all practical purposes could have been from the late-'40s. It had the look and feel.

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I really like THE MONEY TRAP a lot. The jazz theme with Elke Sommer shimmering into view seemed very 60s, but the rest of it, like you say, is 40s all the way.

 

I half expect Orson Welles to show up and be Joe Cotten's partner in crime.

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RETURN FROM THE ASHES is on my to-see list.

 

I love the atmosphere of FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT. I think the British film THE RUNNING MAN starring Lee Remick and Laurence Harvey borrows heavily from it.

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1973's CHARLEY VARRICK and THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE would have to be considered. There's also the same year's THE OUTFIT with Robert Duvall from the author of POINT BLACK, Donald Westlake. He was also the author of the source material for THE SPLIT, a 1968 film with Jim Brown, Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine and Warren Oates.

 

The British made their contribution with GET CARTER whose director Mike Hodges came back to rib the genre with PULP, once again starring Michael Caine and vets Mickey Rooney, Lizabeth Scott and Lionel Stander.

 

Perhaps the worst one of the period was the mind-numbingly boring CHANDLER with Warren Oates and Leslie Caron. It's played on TCM a couple of times but it's not as if anyone needs to see it unless they are a completist.

 

I almost forgot THE GETAWAY with Steve McQueen teaming up with Sam Peckinpah and yielding marvelous results even if Ali McGraw is along for the ride.

 

EDITED TO ADD

One that I did forget and had to come back to add is 1968's *P.J*. starring George Peppard and Raymond Burr. This one was marketed in typical fashion by the Universal of the 60s - meaning it was dumped into neighborhood theaters along with another Universal feature on the bottom of the bill and gone by the end of the month. Far better than HARPER or TONY ROME, this John Guillerman film was unuisual for a film from the studio at that time in that they actually did some shooting in NYC although there were some obvious studio sets.

 

As far as I know it has never been released on home video and even the TV prints were not worth saving as they were edited for broadcast standards of the day and even had some alternate footage added.

 

Edited by: clore on Jul 26, 2011 10:33 PM

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Such great ones you mentioned. I especially love THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. Mitchum still had it.

 

Never heard of P.J.

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Never heard of P.J.

 

Just take a look someday at the Universal titles of the 50s and 60s that haven't seen the light of a projector in decades. Yes, the Doris Day, Rock Hudson and Cary Grant ones get played, but when was the last time that you saw WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT FEELING GOOD, ROSIE, COUNTERPOINT, SECRET WAR OF HARRY FRIGG, MIRAGE, THE WAR LORD, THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY, A COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG or A MAN COULD GET KILLED.

 

All of these had top stars in them and should have some value still today, but the suits at Universal don't seem to think of them as potentially lucrative. I recall seeing MADIGAN on TCM once about five or six years ago, but I haven't since.

 

 

In some ways I was lucky to be working part time as a theater usher in the late 60s. I got to see a lot of stuff that is rarely revived these days.

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The only titles familiar to me from your list are MIRAGE and THE COUNTESS FROM HONG KONG. Those are on DVD and available at Netflix. The others seem very obscure and probably remain in Universal's vaults.

 

MADIGAN was on the Encore Mystery channel not long ago and I recorded it. I think they may have it scheduled again.

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I'm avoiding the Encore channels but only because I'm paying enough extra for premium channels that I barely watch. A year ago my system put FMC on a premium tier and the only way that I could get it was to also take the Encore channels.

 

Well, I'm not about to be forced to take anything I don't want and pay a premium for it. If Encore wasn't a pan-and-scan channel, it might have been different, but I can't see paying extra for a channel that is going to frustrate me.

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You're right...all the Encores show pan-and-scan. Maybe this is why I am a little more tolerant of p&s, though I don't like it, since I am just glad to be able to see the films. When some of the same titles come up on FMC and TMC and are in letter box, then I re-record over the p&s copies.

 

FLIX and Cinemax also show p&s. It seems to be the nature of the cable beast.

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It's funny how HBO has only shown AVATAR in a letterboxed print (probably a Cameron contractual demand), but if you watch HBO's original programming, it's all widescreen.

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You're right about P. J. Even I missed it. And I went to a lot of movies! It was marketed as a throwaway.

 

I'm familiar with most of the movies you mentioned because I saw them upon release. The fine MADIGAN does deserve more attention. COUNTERPOINT? Not so much. THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY should be shown to torture political prisoners!

 

But I don't think your point was, these are all good movies. They're forgotten. Except by those of us who were there. What about NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY? THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST? The westerns FIVE CARD STUD and ROUGH NIGHT IN JERICHO?

 

Sorry to veer from the topic at hand. Just sharing recollections with somebody who obviously logged a lot of theatre time in the same era!

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You're absolutely right redriver, I wasn't trying to say that these were all good movies. But with names such as Heston, Newman, Brando, Roz Russell attached to them, they should at least be in circulation.

 

5 CARD STUD is another good example - even in 1968 I considered it lackluster and only someone who never saw a movie before wasn't going to figure out the "surprise" ending. But if we're only going to keep the "good" Mitchum movies, that's really only about a dozen of them. Even Mitch called himself "the bad film champion."

 

But for the purposes of star-themed programming, maybe someone out there wants to see Brando in one of his Universal movies rather than one of the more obvious titles that get played constantly. Perhaps someone would like to see Newman and Woodward in WINNING or in SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION.

 

And I'm not picking on TCM here, most of these titles haven't been seen anywhere since the days in the late 80s when AMC showed just about every Universal movie made. When was the last time that you saw something with Jeff Chandler that opened with the Universal logo? THE TATTERED DRESS is too good to keep in the vault.

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>It's funny how HBO has only shown AVATAR in a letterboxed print (probably a Cameron contractual demand), but if you watch HBO's original programming, it's all widescreen.

 

That is very possible. I don't think Cameron would stand for it to be shown in pan-and-scan. Otherwise, why go to all the expense and trouble of rendering an artistic film when a fair percentage of the image it is going to be lopped off during its broadcast.

 

However, other directors/auteurs/artists do not have the kind of clout he and Spielberg have.

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Some of these are being shown...5 CARD STUD airs on Encore Westerns. I recorded SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION off FLIX. I was glad to be able to see that (and it has Henry Fonda and Lee Remick in addition to Newman). WUSA gets shown, and it's a guilty pleasure of mine.

 

The one that I think TCM should try to air is THE BROTHERHOOD, a Paramount gem with Kirk Douglas. It is not on the September schedule when he is SOTM, and what a shame it isn't.

 

Jeff Chandler and Orson Welles were on the Encore Westerns station today in Universal's MAN IN THE SHADOW. That is a great western with shades of noir.

 

But like you said, there are so many more.

 

I would like to see BANNING with Bob Wagner and Jill St. John. That is a rather obscure Universal title from the mid-60s.

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Spielberg had such clout that he was able to get CBS to air "E.T." intact - and that meant the use of the phrase "**** breath" was heard on national TV on Thanksgiving night.

 

He later got NBC to run SCHINDLER'S LIST without cuts.

 

I worked for Columbia Pictures TV in the 80s and saw the contracts - Preminger's deal with the studio mandated that if ANATOMY OF A MURDER was to air on TV, it was to be unedited. It went to syndication in the mid-60s rather than to a network for that reason.

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Well, Preminger had been through the war on THE MOON IS BLUE...so he was not about to let any of his art ever be compromised. He's a trailblazer in more ways than one.

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

> If Encore wasn't a pan-and-scan channel, it might have been different, but I can't see paying extra for a channel that is going to frustrate me.

 

Encore HD is NOT pan-and-scan. I watched Terry Gilliam's *The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus*, and Tim Burton's *Alice in Wonderland* both this week, both in WS.

 

They do have a few good films on other Encore channels, some that were made in 4x3. I catch some of them. If I see a WS film listed on an SD Encore channel that I would like to watch, I check the guide to see if it will eventually run on Encore HD, and program to record it in HD.

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