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I Just Watched...

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59 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

between this and DAY OF THE LOCUST, I can tell you one thing for sure about SCHLESINGER: HE GREW UP WATCHING AND REWATCHING AND SCREENING AT HOME ALL THE CLASSICS (and even the b-flicks and obscurities that fell between.)

Of all the films that have never (I don't think) been shown on TCM, The Day of the Locust is the one that cries out to be shown the most. It's about the old Hollywood in a way that no other film is. It's based on the book by Nathanael West, who became a screenwriter (and married Eileen McKenney, of My Sister Eileen). It features Donald Sutherland's finest performance as well as a slew of other great performances. It's a unique film, and in some ways, a terrifying one.

the-day-of-the-locust-a-1975-american-dr

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20 minutes ago, Swithin said:

Of all the films that have never (I don't think) been shown on TCM, The Day of the Locust is the one that cries out to be shown the most. It's about the old Hollywood in a way that no other film is. It's based on the book by Nathanael West, who became a screenwriter (and married Eileen McKenney, of My Sister Eileen). It features Donald Sutherland's finest performance as well as a slew of other great performances. It's a unique film, and in some ways, a terrifying one.

the-day-of-the-locust-a-1975-american-dr

Yes, yes, YES!

you nailed it, and i love this poster.

DAY OF THE LOCUST is one of the EXTREMELY rare instances where someone made a 2 1/2 hour movie out of a tiny sliver of a novella AND IT WORKED.

BURGESS MEREDITH is a revelation in this movie.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Swithin said:

Of all the films that have never (I don't think) been shown on TCM, The Day of the Locust is the one that cries out to be shown the most. It's about the old Hollywood in a way that no other film is. It's based on the book by Nathanael West, who became a screenwriter (and married Eileen McKenney, of My Sister Eileen). It features Donald Sutherland's finest performance as well as a slew of other great performances. It's a unique film, and in some ways, a terrifying one.

the-day-of-the-locust-a-1975-american-dr

YES. I would love to see it again. Havent seen it since its first release. I was impressed with it and am curious how it would hold up today. The downbeat subject matter killed it at the box office at the time, but I liked it a lot. Karen Black was robbed of an Oscar nomination.........

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On 8/17/2018 at 1:41 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I would not say the sex scenes in the first half were graphic, there is a scrnebetween Murray Head and Peter French, which focuses largely on Finchs hands over his bare  back. That seems to be something of a leitmotif  throughout the film as the exact same image appears in his scene with Glenda Jackson.

I absolutely love the bit with the telephone operator and the long shots of lines and connections, there's a very classic movie sensibility to this film. I think John SCHLESINGER really had seen and understood his classic movies. The operator bit is straight out of GRAND HOTEL  and FIVE STAR FINAL...but I did not know that that was Bessie love until Imd'd the film.

I really like Peter Finch in (what I saw of) the film a lot, in fact I really wish the first half had  focused more on him. In the 54 minutes I saw , he was more like a supporting role and most of the time is dedicated to Jackson.

 

I was reading trivia about the film on imdb and Ian Bannen was cast and filmed some scenes, but he was so nervous about the kissing scene he dropped out and was replaced by Finch. Bannen's scenes were not reshot, so that may be why Glenda has more scenes (not sure if that's true, I never noticed it anyway). Alan Bates was the original choice, but was held up filming The Go Between. The character was originally that of a younger man and the story based on Schlesinger's life (did not know any of this either).......

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31 minutes ago, Hibi said:

 

I was reading trivia about the film on imdb and Ian Bannen was cast and filmed some scenes, but he was so nervous about the kissing scene he dropped out and was replaced by Finch. Bannen's scenes were not reshot, so that may be why Glenda has more scenes (not sure if that's true, I never noticed it anyway). Alan Bates was the original choice, but was held up filming The Go Between. The character was originally that of a younger man and the story based on Schlesinger's life (did not know any of this either).......

Oooooooooh, okay. 

That makes sense about why Jackson would have more screen time.

thanks. 

Part of me feels That the decision to make Murray Head’s character such a blank slate was deliberate...As really, the film is not so much about him as the effect he has on the lives of Finch and Jackson.

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Oooooooooh, okay. 

That makes sense about why Jackson would have more screen time.

thanks. 

Part of me feels That the decision to make Murray Head’s character such a blank slate was deliberate...As really, the film is not so much about him as the effect he has on the lives of Finch and Jackson.

 

Maybe so. I remember critics at the time finding him the the weak link in the film........

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16 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, as I said in my initial post about Funny Face, I recognize that it was not made for me, and I know it has a large fan base. Breakfast at Tiffany's is another Hepburn film that is beloved that I didn't care for at all. As Tom said, it's just not my cup of tea. I never know until I watch it if I'll like it or not, as I try to go in with an open mind even if the genre or subject matter aren't to my interests. Often times I end up not liking the film, but occasionally one will surprise me and be very enjoyable, even if all of the wrong factors are in place. And their are Audrey Hepburn movies that I do like (Roman HolidaySabrinaThe Nun's StoryCharadeHow to Steal a MillionWait Until DarkRobin and Marian), and I like many Fred Astaire movies, too. 

If it's any consolation, I love musicals, and Funny Face is decidedly NOT one of my favorites. I honestly don't remember much of it... 

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On 8/19/2018 at 10:09 PM, LawrenceA said:

Le Notti Bianche aka White Nights - Italian romantic drama from director Luchino Visconti. Marcello Mastroianni is a shy, socially awkward young man who strikes up a friendship with neurotic immigrant girl Maria Schell. Marcello hopes for romance, but Maria is awaiting the (unlikely) return of past lover Jean Marais. If one accepts Mastroianni as a guy who's desperate for, but unlucky in, love, then this is a well-acted, interestingly staged drama about the pitfalls of misplaced romantic ideals.    (7/10)

And the movie won Lionel Richie an Oscar:

;)

 

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On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 8:31 AM, Swithin said:

I haven't seen Kongo in years, but I remember vividly that IT WAS NUTS! I enjoyed it, perhaps for that reason.

 

On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 8:33 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

it may truly be the most shocking PRECODE i have ever seen.

it was the MANDINGO of its time.

I just watched Kongo on TCM on Demand.  It seemed like "Apocalypse Now" meets "Zulu" meets "Reefer Madness"...and I loved every minute of it!  Can't wait for TCM to show this one again.  (Yes, I can be a bit depraved at times).  😉

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I watched 5 today. The first two were from 1957:

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Not of This Earth - I somehow missed seeing this Roger Corman science fiction thriller until now. Paul Birch is an alien with scary white eyes who is experimenting with human blood to try and cure his planet's population of radiation-induced anemia. Nurse Beverly Garland gets hired to unwittingly help, but she starts to catch on. Also with Corman regulars Jonathan Haze and Dick Miller. This is cheap and occasionally silly (the flying umbrella monster is a highlight), but I like this sort of goofy nonsense.   (7/10)

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Operation Mad Ball - Military comedy starring Jack Lemmon as a scheming soldier trying to organize a big gathering for the enlisted men and the nurses that they are forbidden from dating. Overbearing officer Ernie Kovacs threatens to ruin everyone's plans, as he's after nurse Kathryn Grant, as is Lemmon. This was humorous if not uproarious, with things moving at an amusing level without a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. The big cast included Arthur O'Connell, Dick York, Roger Smith, L.Q. Jones, James Darren, and William Hickey. Mickey Rooney shows up for a bit in the last third, and is strenuously unfunny.   (7/10)

I broke with my watching pattern again to catch a few from other years before they left FilmStruck. These included:

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The Clock (1945) - Sweet romance with soldier Robert Walker on a 2-day pass in NYC before shipping off to Europe for the war. He meets-cute with Judy Garland, and the two end up spending a magical time together. This is nice romantic fare with real warmth and charm, and the two leads were are their appealing best.   (7/10)

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Another Man's Poison (1951) - British-set crime drama featuring a devilish turn from Bette Davis as a woman who has just killed her husband in order to be with her lover Anthony Steel, who happens to be engaged to Bette's secretary. Bette's plans are upended by the unwelcome presence of Gary Merrill as a partner-in-crime to her late husband. The two weave a web of deception to trick those around them as well as each other, before it all starts coming apart. I like Bette when she's bad, and she's really bad here, and Merrill, who I'm not usually fond of, matches her.    (7/10)

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Brigadoon (1954) - CinemaScope musical fantasy about a mystical Scottish village that exists out of time. Modern-day Americans Gene Kelly and Van Johnson stumble upon it, and Kelly quickly falls for village girl Cyd Charisse. Johnson is amusing as the cynical pragmatist, and Kelly has a good dance number, naturally. This almost overcomes the hokeyness of it all. I prefer the later trash-classic that was inspired by this tale: Two Thousand Maniacs!    (6/10)

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 3:18 PM, Hibi said:

I'm hoping this means it may turn up on TCM soon!

Have yet top catch this one pal?  However she did snag her 2nd of just 3 noms for it-(WINNER: *Davis in DANGFEROUS)

 

(TRIVIA/FAX: To all fans of TCM, pay attention to her at anytime, she rarely if ever will let the right side profiler be shown?_)

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Even the posters were greater back then, huh     That's why some like Saul Bass were outrageously snubbed oif a competitive *Academy award!  Instead of this alledgedly new & asinine new 25th category coming uyp???

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Man In the Dark (1953) 3D Noir

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This was the first stereoscopic 3-D feature ever released by a major American studio, Columbia Pictures.

Directed by Lew Landers (Crime, Inc. (1945), Danger Street (1947), Inner Sanctum (1948)) the film is a remake of the 1936 Ralph Bellamy crime film The Man Who Lived Twice (1936). The adaptation was by William Sackhein the screenplay was re written by George Bricker and Jack Leonard from the story by Tom Van Dycke and Henry Altimus. The cinematography was by Floyd Crosby (High Noon (1952), Attack of the Crab Monsters(1957), The Cry Baby Killer (1958), I Mobster (1959), Night Tide (1961)).  The music was by Ross DiMaggio, musical director, and the Music Department.

The film stars Edmond O'Brien (eleven Classic Noir) as Steve Rawley, Audrey Totter (eight Classic Noir) as Peg Benedict, Ted de Corsia (six Classic Noir) as Lefty, Horace McMahon (Blackboard Jungle (1955), and Naked City TV Series (1958–1963)) as Arnie, Nick Dennis (Sirocco (1951), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), and Kiss Me Deadly (1955)) as Cookie, Dayton Lummis (four Classic Film Noir) as Dr. Marston, and Dan Riss (nine Classic Film Noir) as Jawald.  

No way was I going to be able watch this in 3D on my home screen.  Incidentally, it worked just fine in 2D. However, even without it's 3D technique, Man In The Dark with the majority of it's cast so well steeped in Classic Film Noir can definitely be considered your basic a "meat and potato" Noir. Its has it all, the cinematic memory, your classic amnesia story, this time with a medically induced twist, the forgotten cache of stolen loot, the skirt with change of heart, the iconic denouement with a roller-coaster, and all done in 70 minutes.

The film is a neat little time waster, all the principles have been in better Noirs but this one delivers what it promised. Worth a look, and a even a purchase for the  whip dream sequence and Pacific Ocean Park, High Boy (Sea Serpent) roller coaster denouement, screen caps are from a TCM presentation. 6/10 Full review on Film Noir/Gangster page

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The ending was great. Hope it turns up on Noir Alley soon.......

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5 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Man In the Dark (1953) 3D Noir

This was the first stereoscopic 3-D feature ever released by a major American studio, Columbia Pictures.

No way was I going to be able watch this in 3D on my home screen.  Incidentally, it worked just fine in 2D. However, even without it's 3D technique, Man In The Dark with the majority of it's cast so well steeped in Classic Film Noir can definitely be considered your basic a "meat and potato" Noir. 

For the record, it's...okay in 3-D ( http://www.store-3d-blurayrental.com/Man-in-the-Dark-3D-Blu-ray-Rental-p/2115.htm ) but as Columbia's "first" one, still gives the impression that the studio had to jump on 3-D at the last minute, and grabbed any project they could shape to fit it.   

Some nice moments with the dream scenes, the fake bats, and at the amusement-park climax, but nothing particularly gimmicky to stand out.  Nothing on the level of the full-on House of Wax-knockoff they did for Vincent Price in "The Mad Magician".

(Hey, even if you didn't buy the screens, it's not too late to get a Playstation VR!  😎 )

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The performances of both Fredric March and Harold Russell in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES have been deservedly celebrated by fans and critics over the years, not to mention both actors winning Oscars for their work.

But am I alone in thinking that Dana Andrews' portrayal of Fred Derry has been unjustly overshadowed in the process?

teresa-wright-dana-andrews-best-years-of

 

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49 minutes ago, TomJH said:

The performances of both Fredric March and Harold Russell in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES have been deservedly celebrated by fans and critics over the years, not to mention both actors winning Oscars for their work.

But am I alone in thinking that Dana Andrews' portrayal of Fred Derry has been unjustly overshadowed in the process?

teresa-wright-dana-andrews-best-years-of

 

No, you're not alone at all.  I think it's one of his best performances.

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10 minutes ago, ChristineHoard said:

No, you're not alone at all.  I think it's one of his best performances.

I also believe it is one of Andrews' best performances.    I believe the majority around these parts believe such and if that is the case his performance wasn't  'unjustly overshadowed in the process'.     I.e. we are aware of it and I assume so is anyone that knows something about the studio-era.

I don't view not being nominated for an Oscar as being overshadowed,  especially when a film has multiple first rate performances.    Note that if Andrews had been nominated for either Best Actor,  or Best Supporting Actor,   maybe no actor from the film would have won.

 

 

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I watched Brides are Like That on Anita Louise night.  The story was kind of cute and Anita and Ross Alexander were an adorable couple.  Ross' character is a charming neer-do-well who Anita marries instead of the boring doctor she's engaged to.  Money's tight and Ross would rather dream and play golf than keep a real job.  His rich uncle won't subsidize him anymore but everything turns out OK in the end when Ross comes up with an idea that will earn money.  It was nice to see Anita and Ross as a young married couple who really love each other and support each other emotionally.

I had seen Alexander in Captain Blood and A Midsummer's Night Dream but he really registered for me in his starring role here.  Good looking and funny.  Sorry to read he committed suicide a year after this came out.

Another side note:  Gene Lockhart and his real-life wife played played Anita's parents.  No wonder their bickering scenes seem so real.  They played off each other well.

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11 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

No, you're not alone at all.  I think it's one of his best performances.

The truth is Dana Andrews has always been rather underestimated as a performer, I suspect, an actor regarded as dependable but always rather taken for granted. He never quite made it to the upper echelon of stardom, his best films and roles behind him by the time the '50s struck and the quality of his films began to seriously decline.

But I feel that Andrews gave solid performances in a number of his '40s films, with Best Years of Our Lives having one of his most effective portraits. TCM also showed one of his best performances with Ox Bow Incident today, but he also steals Daisy Kenyon from both Crawford and Fonda with a characterization of more depth than most of those in his career.

There's a marvelous moment in Daisy Kenton when Crawford informs Andrews (a long time romance of hers, he being married and she the secret "other" woman in his life whom he took for granted) that she just married another man. Andrews' character has always been glib and fast with a one liner, and he makes a small smile at this news before turning his back on her.

But we then see the smile vanish from his face with this news. He stares into space for a moment and we can tell this stoic man is in shock. Andrews then turns back to Crawford, wishes her all the best and makes a departure from the room with grace. His is not a character to whimper, but we can tell from his portrayal that he is in pain. Dana Andrews makes this scene a special moment, a quiet little moment, perhaps, but in its own understated fashion, still one of the finest of his career, in my opinion.

I suspect he will be perhaps best remembered, though, for the most effective of his screen teamings with the beautiful Gene Tierney in Laura. Hard to forget that image of a tough cop, falling into a restless sleep beneath the portrait of a woman he never met but with whom he has somehow fallen in love.

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The movies that I watched today ran the gamut from terrific to terrible:

225px-Kameradschaft_poster.jpg

Kameradschaft aka Comradeship (1931) - German drama from director G.W. Pabst about a coal mine disaster on the border between France and Germany. Resentment lingers from the first World War, and there's a serious rivalry among the miners on the French side and the miners on the German side. When an explosion leads to a cave-in on the French side, many of the Germans volunteer to help. This was meant to foster goodwill between the two countries, although we all know how that eventually turned out. The performances are generally good and realistic, and the scenes within the mine are appropriately miserable and claustrophobic.   (7/10)

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The Breaking Point (1950) - John Garfield is a charter boat captain who hits on hard times and takes on some less-than-legal work, leading to even more trouble. There has been a lot of discussion about this movie around here in the past year, so all I'll add is that I thought the movie was fantastic, the best that I've seen in some time, and one of the best of its year. The performances are outstanding (Garfield, Phyllis Thaxter, Patricia Neal, and Wallace Ford show some of their career best work), and director Michael Curtiz shows a lot of style. Highly recommended.    (9/10)

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Touchez Pas au Grisbi aka Honor Among Thieves (1954) - Excellent French crime drama starring Jean Gabin as an aging career criminal looking to retire after a big score. He soon learns he's a target for crooks, so he methodically sets out to find out who they are, what they want, and to deal with them once and for all. Gabin once again illustrates why he's my favorite French actor, combining suave charm, jaded cynicism, and believable menace when necessary. The supporting cast, including Rene Dary, Lino Ventura (in his debut), Dora Doll, Marilyn Buferd, and Jeanne Moreau, is spot on. Director Jacques Becker lets things play out with a matter-of-fact realism. Recommended.   (8/10)

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Wind Across the Everglades (1958) - Half-baked period drama set in the title locale, where naturalist Christopher Plummer tries to fight the illegal hunting of birds for their feathers. This brings him into conflict with swamp-dwelling weirdos led by Burl Ives. Plummer is awful in his first leading role, and he didn't work on film again for 6 years. Ives yells and blusters a lot. The supporting cast includes the film debut of Peter Falk as one of the swamp rats. Original director Nicholas Ray was fired by writer-producer Budd Schulberg who finished the movie and supervised the terrible editing. Nature footage is frequently inserted throughout the proceedings with seemingly no effort to make the scenes match. I found the whole thing a sloppy mess.   (5/10)

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The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969) - The fifth and final Fu Manchu movie starring Christopher Lee. This time the "yellow peril" super-villain blackmails the world from his castle in Istanbul. He's threatening to use a freezing technique to disrupt the world's waterways. Richard Greene is the hero. This is dumb, poorly-made trash from director Jesus "Jess" Franco, the master of dumb, poorly-made trash. It bears his usual hallmarks: nonsensical plotting, baffling editing, and some of the worst cinematography in film history. Whether it's out of focus, awkward close-ups, random zooms, or repeatedly placing actors behind things (glass, curtains, jail bars, etc.), Franco never misses a chance to make things look terrible.    (2/10)

 

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

The truth is Dana Andrews was always been rather underestimated as a performer, I suspect, an actor regarded as dependable but always rather taken for granted. He never quite made it to the upper echelon of stardom, his best films and roles behind him by the time the '50s struck and the quality of his films began to seriously decline.

While we're on the topic of Dana Andrews, I read this bit of trivia on his IMDb page: 

Trained as an opera singer, but was rarely--e.g. in The North Star (1943)--allowed to use his fine singing voice in the movies. In the one musical he did make, State Fair (1945), his voice was dubbed because the studio was unaware he was a trained singer. He later explained that he didn't correct their mistake because he felt the singer dubbing him probably needed the money. 

 

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969) - The fifth and final Fu Manchu movie starring Christopher Lee. This time the "yellow peril" super-villain blackmails the world from his castle in Istanbul. He's threatening to use a freezing technique to disrupt the world's waterways. Richard Greene is the hero. This is dumb, poorly-made trash from director Jesus "Jess" Franco, the master of dumb, poorly-made trash. It bears his usual hallmarks: nonsensical plotting, baffling editing, and some of the worst cinematography in film history. Whether it's out of focus, awkward close-ups, random zooms, or repeatedly placing actors behind things (glass, curtains, jail bars, etc.), Franco never misses a chance to make things look terrible.    (2/10)

Lee makes a good Fu (better than Peter Sellers', anyway), but this movie became infamous among MST3K fans as a movie where absolutely nothing coherent happens for ninety minutes, and even the above description gives the story and pacing too much credit.  One of the few movies the series considered truly painful to sit through, without hope of heckling.

 

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Live Fast, Die Young (1958) Tail Fin Noir

Live_Fast%252C_Die_Young_movie_poster.jpg

I was expecting low budget junk but the film was surprisingly well made.

Directed by Actor Paul Henreid (who appeared in Now, Voyager (1942), Casablanca (1942), Hollow Triumph(1948), and Rope of Sand (1949), and directed A Woman's Devotion (1956), and Girls on the Loose(1958) a sort of thematic companion to this film, along with Dead Ringer (1964) and lots of 50s and 60s TV fare. The screenplay was written by Allen Rivkin and Ib Melchior, from a story by Ib Melchior and Edwin B. Watson. The Cinematography was by Philip H. Lathrop (Cry Tough(1959), Lonely Are The Brave (1962), The Americanization of Emily (1964), who continued to give us Neo Noirs, Experiment in Terror (1962), Point Blank(1967) and They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969).

The film stars Mary Murphy (The Turning Point(1952), The Wild One (1953), Hell's Island (1955)) as Kim Winters who also provides the voice over narration, Norma Eberhardt as Jill Winters her younger sister. Mike Connors (Sudden Fear(1952), Mannix TV Series (1967–1975)) as Rick, Sheridan Comerate as Jerry, Peggy Maley (The Wild One (1953), Human Desire (1954), The Brothers Rico (1957)) as Sue Hawkins, Troy Donahue (A Summer Place (1959)) as Artie Sanders, Carol Varga (Dyesebel (1953)) as Violet, Joan Marshall (Mike Hammer TV Series (1958–1959), Homicidal (1961) and played Wilma in The Twilight Zone (TV Series) episode - Dead Man's Shoes (1962)), as Judy Tobin, Gordon Jones who played Mike the Cop in The Abbott and Costello Show TV Series (1952–1957), as Pop Winters, Robert Karnes  (Road House (1948) and twelve other Classic Noir) as Tommy "Tubbs" Thompson, Robert Carson (three Classic Noir) as Frank Castellani, John Harmon (six Classic Noir) as Jake, a Hobo, and Norman Leavitt (four Classic Noir) as Sam, a hotel clerk.


Another Beat Generation, juvenile delinquent Noir, but this one is sans most of the hip slang with hardly any references to the beats, but it does emphasize Norma's penchant for Jazz. It's all pretty "Code" tame and doesn't push any boundaries. Henreid does a good job of keeping the pace moving, though the ending seems a bit rushed. Could use a restoration. 6/10 Available online.

Full review in Film Noir/Gangster pages.

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Green Light (1937) - A kind of drippy film in which everyone is nauseatingly noble.  I'm an Episcopalian, but I go to church on Sunday; I don't need sermons interrupting my views of the young and gorgeous Errol Flynn.  Anita Louise is pretty, but pretty characterless.  I spent the flick rooting for the feistier Margaret Lindsey.  However, if I were heading toward death and my last vision was like Spring Byington's, of good doctor Errol in his scrubs, I'd die a happy woman.

 

Errolgreenlight.jpg

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