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I Just Watched...

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I've watched 

The Getaway (1941)

The Getaway Poster

In order to get the goods on mobster Sonny Black, G-man Jeff Crane has himself thrown into prison, where Black is currently doing time on a lesser charge. The FBI’s plan is to arrange a jailbreak for Crane and Black. 6/10 Source online streaming 

She Had to Eat (1937)

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A Screwball Comedy - An Arizona gas station owner Jack Haley, faces comic adventures after traveling with an eccentric millionaire to New City, where he meets up with a small-time con woman and is repeatedly mistaken for a gangster. 6/10 Source online streaming

The Long Rope (1961)

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Snoozefest Western with Hugh Marlowe,Alan Hale Jr, and  Robert J. Wilke as the bad guy. 5/10 Source online streaming

So This is Paris (1954) 

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Three sailors on leave head for Paris with one thing on their minds. Joe pursues chanteuse Colette D’Avril (Gloria DeHaven) who proves to be more than she appears; Davy is pursued by sexy cashier Yvonne; but the blonde Al rescues from a purse snatcher rewards him with kisses, then vanishes without telling him her name. Romantic complications and resolutions follow in true musical comedy fashion. One the sailors is Tony Curtis, the other Gene Nelson from Crime Wave, The third I don't remember, aborted the stream as soon as I discovered it was a musical. Source online streaming - No rating

Big Timber (1950)

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Roddy McDowell goes to work in a logging camp to fulfill a boyhood ambition and a jealous loggers rigs things to make him appear to be an incompetent bungler. Lyn Thomas is his love interest. Forget all that crap.

This film has some really great archival footage of tracked vehicle logging operations that replaced draft horse and steam engine logging trains right after WWII. This type of logging really accelerated the industry since higher and steeper terrain was now accessible. All that is obsolete now also. 6/10 Source online streaming

 

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Short Night of Glass Dolls  (1971)  -  6/10

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Italian mystery thriller from writer-director Aldo Lado. The unresponsive body of American reporter Gregory Moore (Jean Sorel) is found in a park in Prague. He's pronounced dead and sent to the morgue, only his mind is still active, and it reflects, via flashback, on the events that led to his being in the park. His girlfriend (Barbara Bach) had gone missing, and as he tried to find out her whereabouts, he finds that it may be connected to a recent murder. Also featuring Ingrid Thulin as Moore's boss, Mario Adorf (looking like Wolfman Jack and dubbed with a bad Irish accent) as a fellow reporter, Fabian Sovagovic, Jose Quaglio, Relja Basic, Piero Vida, and Daniele Dublino. Sorel looks a lot like Franco Nero in The Fifth Cord, playing the same kind of role. The mystery here is a bit complicated, and the ending is pretty bizarre. The score is by Ennio Morricone.

Source: Blue Underground DVD

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it's been too long since they had a big block of PRECODES on, I hope that changes with some of the SOTM entries.

I watched FAITHLESS, a 1932 film and a rare starring role for TALLULAH BANKHEAD. It's not good at all and I can see why she didn't have a big screen career, while she is fabulous, she is not a great actress- at least not in this- it's possible there was something more magnetic on the stage. she also had an odd nose.

ROBERT MONTGOMERY costars and is very cute, but the story is A REHEATED CHOP SUEY OF ANY NUMBER OF OTHERS RICHES-TO-RAGS STORIES, and with a rather HORATIO ALGERIAN-style to the endless obstacles faced by TALLULLAH in her FALL FROM GRACE.

She also wears the below schmatte (did I spell that right?) in a scene BEFORE HE CHARACTER LOSES ALL HER MONEY...I think this is a taste of what her SCARLET AFTER THE WAR AUDITION tape was like.

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schmat·te
/ˈSHmädə/
noun
informalUS
noun: schmatte; plural noun: schmattes; noun: shmatte; plural noun: shmattes
  1. a rag; a ragged or shabby garment.
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Cold Turkey (1971).

Norman Lear shows yet again why his material works better in a half-hour sitcom format than a feature-length movie.  This time, the satire revolves around a town that stands to win $25 million if everybody gives up smoking for 30 days.  The targets include PR people, broadcast news, the tobacco companies, and small-town fame.  Watching this, I had the same exact thought I had watching the other Norman Lear/Bud Yorkin movies Divorce American Style and The Night They Raided Minsky's: there are a lot of good ideas, but the whole is much less than the sum of the parts.  A bunch of people better known for TV work (Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, Tom Poston, Jean Stapleton, and Paul Benedict) do the best they can with the material, but needed better material.

Also the last movie of Edward Everett Horton, who I think didn't actually have a speaking line.

5/10.

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They Might Be Giants  (1971)  -  7/10

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Comedy from writer James Goldman (based on his play) and director Anthony Harvey. Psychiatric doctor Mildred Watson (Joanne Woodward) meets patient Justin Playfair (George C. Scott) a former lawyer who, after the death of his wife, now believes that he's Sherlock Holmes. Mildred goes along with the fantasy, assisting "Holmes" as he searches out his arch-nemesis Moriarty, leading to misadventures across NYC. Also featuring Jack Gilford, Rue McClanahan, Lester Rawlins, James Tolkan, Al Lewis, Eugene Roche, Kitty Winn, Paul Benedict, M. Emmet Walsh, and F. Murray Abraham in his debut. The script fails to exploit the material's full potential, and the direction by Harvey is all over the place, but the movie is still enjoyable, mainly due to the terrific performances by the two leads.

Source: Universal Vault DVD. The running time is 86 minutes, while the original theatrical release ran 98 minutes. I can find no reason for the omission of the missing 12 minutes.

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Wake in Fright  (1971)  -  7/10 until it becomes a 2/10

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Australian drama about school teacher John Grant (Gary Bond), who has just finished teaching a term in a tiny outback town. It's the Christmas break and it's a sweltering summer (it's Australia, remember?), so he's hoping to catch a plane ride to the coast and his girlfriend. However, he has a stop over in another isolated backwater, and after he loses all of his money gambling, he ends up stuck there. The locals only want to drink, drink, and drink some more, and Grant finds his grip on sanity beginning to waver. Also featuring Donald Pleasence as a drunken doctor, Chips Rafferty (in his final film role) as a local cop, Sylvia Kay, and Jack Thompson in his film debut. This has garnered a cult following over the years as it was widely unavailable, only to be rescued from obscurity in the early 00's. I was sort of interested in the depiction of small-town malaise and Grant's journey into unwitting self-destruction, but there's a scene about 75 minutes in when several characters go out into the wilderness and hunt kangaroos, and actual animal killings are shown, including running them over with a car, while several others are shot. I was too disgusted to continue, and I no longer cared what happened to any of the characters and took the disc out.

 

 

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

it's been too long since they had a big block of PRECODES on, I hope that changes with some of the SOTM entries.

I watched FAITHLESS, a 1932 film and a rare starring role for TALLULAH BANKHEAD. It's not good at all and I can see why she didn't have a big screen career, while she is fabulous, she is not a great actress- at least not in this- it's possible there was something more magnetic on the stage. she also had an odd nose.

 

The only thing I've ever seen Tallulah Bankhead in was that episode of THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR where she played herself.  In the episode Tallulah moved next door to the Ricardos in Connecticut and Lucy talks her into appearing in a PTA production. Bankhead was quite funny caricaturing her own flamboyance.

 

 

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If that's all you've seen Bankhead in, you need to see Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat.

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1 hour ago, HoldenIsHere said:

The only thing I've ever seen Tallulah Bankhead in was that episode of THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR where she played herself.  In the episode Tallulah moved next door to the Ricardos in Connecticut and Lucy talks her into appearing in a PTA production. Bankhead was quite funny caricaturing her own flamboyance.

Holden, if you haven't already, you should read about the background of producing the Tallulah Bankhead episode of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.  It's quite interesting.  Not surprisingly, Bankhead was difficult to work with. 

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Zatoichi Meets the One-Armed Swordsman  (1971)  -  7/10

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22nd entry in the long-running Japanese film series. Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) finds himself escorting a little boy, as well as a one-armed Chinese warrior named Wang Kang (Jimmy Wang Yu), after the latter two are targeted for assassination by a yakuza gang. Also featuring Watako Hamaki, Michie Terada, Koji Nanbara, and Toru Abe. This was a rare instance of a Chinese film character (and actor) appearing in a Japanese film. Jimmy Wang Yu had risen to stardom in The One-Armed Swordsman (1967), becoming one of the first international martial arts film stars. At times this almost seems like two films spliced together, as the Zatoichi scenes play like traditional samurai action set-ups, while many of Wang Kang's scenes utilize Chinese kung fu and "wire fu" techniques. There's also the language barrier, with the two leads not speaking or understanding the other's language, providing some humor. An interesting installment in the series.

Source: Criterion Blu ray

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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

For me, Abbas Kiarostami is the least interesting filmmaker in the past 20 years that's considered by critics to be a major talent. Perhaps I haven't seen the right movies (I still haven't seen Taste of Cherry), but what I have seen (Close-UpCertified Copy) has left me cold, and usually extremely bored. The one exception is The Wind Will Carry Us, which I hated for the first 75% of the movie, but felt it came together to say something interesting by the end. From the prior descriptions, and based on Kiarostami's other works, 24 Frames sounds absolutely dreadful. 

But not everything is meant for everyone's tastes, and I should resign myself to this particular director's works holding no appeal for me.

It's way too long but I thought it was very visually beautiful. Like looking at a painting in movie form. That said, it really, REALLY would work better at a shorter length.

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G.I. Blues (1960) & Roustabout (1964) - 👍/👍

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Thanks to Viacom now part-owning PlutoTV, and giving us an entire 24/7 channel of classic vintage Paramount-Orphan movies, I've found myself surfing streaming late at night and wandering into any one of a number of early-60's color Elvis musicals (and searching them up later on library DVD)--It would be an understatement to say that I didn't consider myself to be the target audience, and maybe it was the late hours, but that's probably why I didn't expect to like them so much.  When I was growing up, the King was in his tubby, sequined Las Vegas years munching on peanut-butter and bananas, the words "Elvis fan" conjured up swooning over-madeup trailer-park housewives from Texas, and by the time I was in my pre-teen years, Elvis's death had started a campy industry for kitsch merchandise and equally tubby Vegas imitators.  My teen years missed out on why a generation found the young version, whose hips were banned from Ed Sullivan, such an influence.

In his B&W years, Presley was still playing the back-alley "Hoodlum with a heart of gold" in "Jailhouse Rock" and "King Creole" (which I also looked up for the Michael Curtiz pedigree), but after the Army, he'd been seen to have been "tamed" into a more mainstream young-people's-favorite for the studio, like Pat Boone with a beat.  GI Blues is often snubbed by fans as "the movie that Killed Elvis" (and all I knew about his years in Germany came from "Bye Bye Birdie") but maybe I'm just square enough to like the new version.  The color films were often kidded for reducing the same formula to different locales and backdrops (qv. Val Kilmer in "Top Secret")--the blue-collar car-mechanic or boat captain who just happens to solve any problem by picking up a guitar, and wants to raise the money his stubborn girlfriend needs to realize her dream--and Presley was starting to realize fluffy studio musicals wouldn't make him the smoldering, breakout Marlon Brando he wanted to be, but his earnestness comes across and gives a believable, approachable screen image at playing the well-meaning panhandle goof who doesn't quite have the background to live up to grownup society but knows how to handle things his own way.  In "Blues", he fictionalizes his West German army years, as his character's army buddies play Cupid with Juliet Prowse for a bet, and while core Elvis fans might cringe to see the King singing with a puppet show, or having to handle babysitting, he handles the studio humor as well as he handles his music.

I was going to leave it at just the one review, but then Paramount's streaming Orphanage also happened to dig up Roustabout, from his later "Singing Temp" formula:  It's a little closer to the cliche'd image of the default story--our hero's motorcycle breaks down in a small town, he gets a job with a carnival, is discovered as a singing barker, and then gets to show off his cycle skills--but this one threw a little something extra into the mix.  Most of his movies never put a big star up against him--usually just a new discovery like Prowse or Ann-Margaret--but here we get silver-fox Barbara Stanwyck as the carnival's tough-cookie (of course) struggling owner, who takes on the job of tough mentor to Presley's character, and puts a challenge up against the bankable star.  It's rare that we ever watch anybody else in a Presley musical, but having the young would-be actor up against an old pro, you can't take your eyes off of either.

By 1960, the fluff no-commitment variety of original big-studio musicals for Frank Sinatra or Fred Astaire was starting to be considered extinct, and if studios thought that giving the new teen idols studio stories was "appealing to the young people", they actually ended up helping preserve it--Ten years earlier, we'd have seen an old Astaire trying to help the girl, only he wouldn't be driving a race car in the climax to do it.  Of course, by '64, four British lads would come along with their comedy-musical, bring in a new clean parent-friendly image of Teen Rebellion and change everything, but here, we should give Paramount's no-longer-teen star some credit for helping keep musical variety in the movies.

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4 hours ago, HoldenIsHere said:

The only thing I've ever seen Tallulah Bankhead in was that episode of THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR where she played herself.  In the episode Tallulah moved next door to the Ricardos in Connecticut and Lucy talks her into appearing in a PTA production. Bankhead was quite funny caricaturing her own flamboyance.

 

 

Gosh, what a great clip!  Marvelous writing ... er, excuse me, mah-velous writing, dahling. I haven't seen a Lucy clip in ages but of course I remember (Oh no, laffite, i can't believe you're gonna say this) seeing the debuts of these many episodes every Monday night back in the day. What struck me watching this was not only the inherent, real talent of Lucille as a comedienne but the fact that it all comes out of the portrayal of A REAL PERSON. She doesn't enter and preen about TRYING TO BE FUNNY but she intent on being Lucy first. What's that? Oh, you all knew this already? Got it ... never mind.

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Notice the way Lucy gradually becomes aware that she has sat on paint. And after realizing that, the way her facial expression goes from dismay to angry suspicion. BTW, I think Tallulah wins the argument. She has the better comebacks (not necessarily in the delivery but in substance, credit the writers). It wasn't a KO but she wins on points.

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Tallulah, all the way on the right:

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Back Street (1961).

Thank god Ross Hunter continued to produce pictures after Douglas Sirk decamped to Europe.  This overheated potboiler stars Susan Hayward playing a version of Mahogany, meeting John Gavin's lifeless Marine Mr. Allison on and off for 15 years, even though nobody in the movie ages apart from a streak of gray added to Gavin's hair.  Vera Miles co-stars as Gavin's wife, taking a page from Deborah Kerr's role in Edward, My Son once Kerr has to become a raging alcoholic.  Of course, none of this is what Hunter wanted audiences to think.

6/10, for the comedic value

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I've seen this version of Back Street numerous times, first on television as a teen.  What draws me in every time since is the vision and performance of Vera Miles.  I don't think she ever looked as spectacular and of course, was never as malevolent.  (Well, she was nasty in Autumn Leaves also.) She more than holds her own against Hayward.  The car crash scene haunted me for weeks!

In fact, I read somewhere that Hayward initially didn't want to do the film; if she was to, she would have preferred the secondary female role which she knew was juicier.

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10 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I was too disgusted to continue, and I no longer cared what happened to any of the characters and took the disc out.

WOW-that's the first time you've ever aborted watching a movie, Lawrence. You've sat through some of the most insipid, boring, disgusting drivel....now we know you draw the line at violence towards animals.

I'm also assuming you were disgusted because it was real, not "acting" as in most movies.

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Frankly, it makes me more curious to see the movie.

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11 hours ago, HoldenIsHere said:

The only thing I've ever seen Tallulah Bankhead in was that episode of THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR where she played herself.  In the episode Tallulah moved next door to the Ricardos in Connecticut and Lucy talks her into appearing in a PTA production. Bankhead was quite funny caricaturing her own flamboyance.

 

hey, welcome back! was just thinking of you the other day.

i know TALLULAH largely from THE BLACK WIDOW episode she did on the BATMAN TV SHOW, DIE! DIE! MY DARLING! aka PUH TREE SHUH, and from the radio broadcast below:

she's very good at the end of the broadcast where she warns BETTE DAVIS to stop talking about her "or I shall tear every hair from her mustache" which was the "I don't know her" of its time.

TALLULAH is also the only SOUTHERN actor (born and raised in ALABAMA!) I can think of who never ever once sounds remotely southern to me. I would guess MidAtlantic OR long-since relocated British ExPat.

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"Swann In Love" - Volker Schlondorff - 1984 -

starring Jeremy Irons,  Ornella Muti and Alain Delon -

exquisitely realized portrait of an upper-class gentleman, Charles Swann, who becomes obsessed with a courtesan with a very dubious sexual history, Odette -

it is very freely adapted from Marcel Proust's first novel -

Charles confides a great deal in his homosexual best friend, Baron de Charlus -

the obsession is quite real and totally consuming -

the filmmakers make you feel the weight of such an obsession -

it practically immobilizes you - 

and drives you to ridiculous extremes -

in the end, Charles Swann gets something he wasn't expecting -

marriage, a child and a totally conventional life -

there's a highly charged sex scene that's one-of-a-kind, I'd say -

it's mostly a lot of whorehouse gossip -

a film this exquisite and rarefied -

could not have been an easy accomplishment -

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(obsessions, straight and gay)

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8 hours ago, laffite said:

Notice the way Lucy gradually becomes aware that she has sat on paint. And after realizing that, the way her facial expression goes from dismay to angry suspicion. BTW, I think Tallulah wins the argument. She has the better comebacks (not necessarily in the delivery but in substance, credit the writers). It wasn't a KO but she wins on points.

Talullah is fantastic in this episode.  Towards the end of the episode, she performs in a play with Lucy and Ricky.  By this point, Lucy and Talullah's feud is ON.  Lucy finds out that Talullah is allergic to strawberries.  There is a scene in the play where Talullah's character is supposed to eat a slice of pie (or something, I haven't seen this episode in awhile).  Lucy swaps whatever flavor pie Talullah was supposed to eat, with a slice of strawberry pie.  Talullah eats it and then starts breaking out in hives while performing.

There is another funny scene in the beginning of the episode where Ethel, pretending to be Lucy's maid, becomes completely entranced by Talullah.  Ethel says something about having seen Talullah in The Little Foxes 10 times (or whatever, I cannot remember the actual number, but it was a lot).  Lucy says "Ethel Mae, you're boring Miss Bankhead." And Talullah goes: "When Miss Bankhead is bored, Miss Bankhead will tell you." Then Talullah implores "Ethel Mae" to tell her more about seeing her in The Little Foxes

I think originally either Bette Davis or Claudette Colbert were supposed to appear as "The Celebrity Next Door," but something happened and Talullah stepped in. 

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13 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Wake in Fright  (1971)  -  7/10 until it becomes a 2/10

 

I assume that the Australian film industry didn't have any regulations when it came to animal cruelty in the early '70s. What you wrote about the kangaroos sounds horrible. Hopefully that has changed by now. I wonder if horses were the greatest victims of all animals when it came to making countless westerns. No animal should ever be injured or killed in the making of a film. It's only a GD movie!

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Criss Cross (1949) 

I borrowed this film from the library based on the recommendations from posters here.  This movie was fantastic. I loved it. And the ending, wow! The only problem with films containing such an intense ending is that the ending can only have that wow factor once.  Once you've seen the ending, you know it's coming, so it doesn't have as big an impact.  This film, White Heat, and Sorry Wrong Number are three films that I can think of with such amazing endings, that can really only have that major impact upon that initial viewing.

In this film, Burt Lancaster stars in this film as Steve, a man who returns to LA to find his ex-wife, Anna, portrayed by Yvonne DeCarlo.  It seems that Lancaster and DeCarlo were only married for a few months.  It seems like one of those relationships where they were passionate about one another but couldn't be married to one another.  Lancaster is still in love with DeCarlo.  DeCarlo on the other hand, has moved on and is now married to gangster, Slim, played by Dan Duryea.  Lancaster ends up finding DeCarlo dancing with a young, uncredited, Tony Curtis at a club.  They reunite and meet up secretly for various rendezvous.  They end up meeting up at a club when Duryea walks in.  Duryea and Lancaster end up in a scuffle.  It is here when Lancaster, to cover up his affair in DeCarlo, tells Duryea that he was planning on letting Duryea in on a heist he has planned.  Lancaster works as an armored truck driver.  He tells Duryea that he has a plan for an inside job to rob the armored truck.  Duryea agrees to the plan. 

The rest of the film is where the title Criss Cross comes in.  There are multiple crosses committed between the characters in the film.  The heist scene I thought was really interesting.  I liked how the smoke bomb completely obscured the scenery.  The action of the heist took place against a smoke screen, leading to a very bleak, almost dystopian scene--especially with the characters donning gas masks.

I loved the dance scene with DeCarlo and Tony Curtis.  I loved the way that the scene was shot and the frenetic energy.  It was fantastic.  This was the first film of DeCarlo's I'd seen.  I really only knew her from The Munsters and from her name being dropped in an episode of I Love Lucy as a potential co-star in Ricky's Don Juan film. I thought she was great.  She was about 15 years younger, but instantly recognizable as Lily Munster.  She had a deeper voice than I would have expected. 

Criss Cross was a fantastic film and I look forward to finding my own copy and seeing it again.

I've found that I love Robert Siodmak's work.  Criss Cross was excellent, as was The Spiral Staircase. I really enjoyed The Killers as well. 

Next up on my "Noir Borrowed From the Library"  list:

-Brute Force

-The Racket

-Caught

-Ride the Pink Horse

-Clash By Night

 

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31 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Criss Cross (1949) 

I borrowed this film from the library based on the recommendations from posters here.  This movie was fantastic. I loved it. And the ending, wow! The only problem with films containing such an intense ending is that the ending can only have that wow factor once.  Once you've seen the ending, you know it's coming, so it doesn't have as big an impact.  This film, White Heat, and Sorry Wrong Number are three films that I can think of with such amazing endings, that can really only have that major impact upon that initial viewing.

 

I don't quite agree with your statement about films with big endings only having an amazing impact upon you the first time you see them, Speedracer. Oh, sure, on a second or third viewing you know what's coming, of course, but, if the filmmakers involved have done their job well that amazing ending can still have the effect of an adrenaline rush upon you even with repeat viewings, I feel, even if they may not knock your film watching socks off quite the same way as in the first viewing.

Certainly the three films you named all have memorable endings (outside of Kiss Me Deadly, difficult to think of another noir with an ending quite as fatalistically bleak as that in Criss Cross). I'm not a particular fan of Sorry Wrong Number (despite its ending) but any time I have a repeat viewing of either Criss Cross or White Heat (perhaps the Raoul Walsh film, in particular, with the intensity of Cagney's performance, his legendary last line of dialogue and that final atomic imagery) I marvel that those endings have still lost none of their power for me.

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