Dr. Rich Edwards

June 5 TCM Film Noir Discussions for #NoirSummer for All 13 Films

320 posts in this topic

Thanks! I'm loving all these blogs. Nice to get other points of view.

Since all of you are obviously fans of great movies and we are all taking the Film Noir course, I thought I would welcome all of you to check out my movie blog which I call Jessie's Old Fashioned Revue.  I started my blog almost three years ago because I love movies and decided to share that love with others.  Each week I pick a different movie and give a little description of the movie and what it is about.  Also, I always post a trivia question or trivia fact that can always come in handy if you like to play trivia games with friends.  I hope all of you will give my blog a look.  Here is the link.  http://jessiesrevue.blogspot.com/

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It's really a gangster film. But that's where you get a huge part of film noir from. Hard hitting,fast talking,gun moll,car conversation,and the male protagonist with a bleak ending.

A classic gangster flick, yes, and I grant you it has a bleak ending, but I find it hard to see many (any) elements of the classic  Noir...it's far too sunny for a start! And the femme is definitely not fatale, she's just far too supportive and loving.

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This has been a great first week.  I have eespeically enjoyed the clips associated with the Daily Doses.  Great stuff.  Watched a little more of M this morning.  Caught about 25 min of Scarlet Street.  Edward G Robinson is one of my faves.  Recording a couple of Summer of Darkness movies to watch later.  I am pumped.  This is tremendous.  Honored to be part of the 14,000.  

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It's really a gangster film. But that's where you get a huge part of film noir from. Hard hitting,fast talking,gun moll,car conversation,and the male protagonist with a bleak ending.

 

The book Film Noir (Silver \ Ward),   mentions why this early 40s picture is more than just a 30s type gangster film.    One is the contrast between Bogie's and Lupino's quest for freedom.    To break away.  This theme starts from the opening shot with Bogie released from prison and walking outside in the sunlight and continues to the end when Lupino mutters 'free' over and over to herself.  

 

Walsh's sense of a cruel inexorable fate, viewed in the film with a mordant humor is also a noir conception.   e.g. Velma's defection after Roy has turned her life around, Big Mac's badly timed death, and the wind's disposal of Roy's note absolving Maria - all seem like hideous practical jokes perpetrated against the film's helpless protagonist. 

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I just finished Stranger On The Third Floor, solid film. I loved Lorre's character and how menacing and just plain strange he was. Mike's dream sequence as he feared he would be accused of the murders was wonderfully shot and had an air of desperation to it that I really loved.

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I agree with some high sierra doesn't look very film noir. But now that I've watched it again I see the "doomed and no way out" noir aspect. Earl is not as focused on crime and escape as other gangsters for example even his own Duke Manteen in the Petrified Forest. He wants to "bust out" but gets sidetracked by falling in love twice and adopting a little dog~ Bogart's own I found out today - thanks Sir David. The High Sierra is a great setting for the movie because he is literally and figuratively wanderng into the wilderness. But I agree it is a long stretch to film noir

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I am very interested in seeing ideas about the question you have posted here. In Eddie Muller's article on Noir from GreenCine, he describes Noir this way: "Here's my take: If a private eye is hired by an old geezer to prove his wife's cheating on him and the shamus discovers long-buried family secrets and solves a couple of murders before returning to his lonely office - that's detective fiction. If the same private eye gets seduced by the geezer's wife, kills the old coot for her, gets double-crossed by his lover and ends up shot to death by his old partner from the police force - I can say with complete assurance: you are wallowing in NOIR."  Great start to a discussion, I think. Thanks so much for your post!

I love that definition, and perhaps that's why I have such difficulty seeing High Sierra as Noir: Bogart's character seems to be dogged by extreme bad luck more than anything in this movie; maybe he has a certain fatalism common to many of these movies, but then I'd see that as a prerequisite in a hardened gangster! 

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I watched The Letter this morning. It's been quite a while since I saw it. Bette's line that she lived the man she killed at the end..... She was great in her role. I find myself paying a lot more attention to opening scenes already. I can't wait to watch this again after the entire course is finished.

I am paying special attention to the openings as well, thanks to our Daily Doses. I love seeing these films again with new eyes.

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I love that definition, and perhaps that's why I have such difficulty seeing High Sierra as Noir: Bogart's character seems to be dogged by extreme bad luck more than anything in this movie; maybe he has a certain fatalism common to many of these movies, but then I'd see that as a prerequisite in a hardened gangster! 

I also like Muller's point about protaganists who are "immoral and unredeemed." That is such a perfect description of Bette Davis' character in The Letter. I missed Maltese this afternoon but plan to stream it this weekend. One of my favorites, but even better now because of these discussions. I think I will see much evidence of Muller's point in that one. Watching Johnny Eager for the first time this evening. Love Van.

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Having a great time today watching some old favorites (The Letter, Maltese Falcon, High Sierra), getting reacquainted with some old friends (Johnny Eager, M, Dark Passage) and seeing some for the first time. The DVR is getting a workout today because I'm probably going to go back and rewatch some of them again during the week.

 

Great line-up and great course. I'm looking forward to some really great discussions.

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Just saw The Letter. Wish we could have seen the earlier version, too, to compare. I really liked the use of filming her shadow as she left her room and through the garden at the end of the film.

The 1929 version is available on DVD from Warner Archive. I have never seen the film so I am not sure how it compares. Maybe that is another course, comparing original and remakes.

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I just finished watching "M" and all I can say is "Wow!"  The ending just made my jaw drop.  It's almost preaching about watching closely our children, and isn't that the same today?  Peter Lorre's acting was superb.  His monologues in the basement when being tried by criminals was outstanding.  It was so emotional, and gut-wrenching, much more than the parts he got in Hollywood later.  Great movie!  It makes me feel film noir, not just watch it.  The lighting, the shadows, the stark scenery, the sounds and sometimes the lack of sound, all added to the elements of Film Noir.

 

A 1931 film that can still draw the viewer in and hold his/her attention.  Remarkable.

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A classic gangster flick, yes, and I grant you it has a bleak ending, but I find it hard to see many (any) elements of the classic  Noir...it's far too sunny for a start! And the femme is definitely not fatale, she's just far too supportive and loving.

It's actually a Film Soleil, films of the sun, those sun baked, filled with light Noirs, other examples:

 

 

Films Soleil (a lot of light in these comparatively) 
 
Ace In The Hole 
The Hitch-Hicker 
High Sierra 
Gun Crazy 
Bad Day At Black Rock  (color)
Highway Dragnet 
Roadblock 
Inferno (color)
Desert Fury (color)
Niagara (color)
The Naked City 
Violent Saturday (color)
Nightfall 
The Lineup 
Suddenly 
Down Three Dark Streets 
The Breaking Point 
Cry Vengeance 
The Phenix City Story 
Jeopardy
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A classic gangster flick, yes, and I grant you it has a bleak ending, but I find it hard to see many (any) elements of the classic Noir...it's far too sunny for a start! And the femme is definitely not fatale, she's just far too supportive and loving.

It's not a classic noir as we think of noirs...it's a gangster flick,based on a criminals from newspaper headlines. But it's what film noir roots are grounded in is what I'm saying. The bleakness,the harshness,the unhappy endings,the gun molls,the guy not getting the girl he wanted,(Joan Lessie led him on,and turned out to be a real you-know-what) the double crosses,the "who can I trust?" elements...ect.
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It's actually a Film Soleil, films of the sun, those sun baked, filled with light Noirs.

_____________________________

 

I never heard that term. Ineresting. I learned two new things today thanks to this forum.

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I just finished watching "M" and all I can say is "Wow!"  The ending just made my jaw drop.  It's almost preaching about watching closely our children, and isn't that the same today?  Peter Lorre's acting was superb.  His monologues in the basement when being tried by criminals was outstanding.  It was so emotional, and gut-wrenching, much more than the parts he got in Hollywood later.  Great movie!  It makes me feel film noir, not just watch it.  The lighting, the shadows, the stark scenery, the sounds and sometimes the lack of sound, all added to the elements of Film Noir.

 

A 1931 film that can still draw the viewer in and hold his/her attention.  Remarkable.

I also watched the whole movie after seeing the opening and agree with you!

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It's not a classic noir as we think of noirs...it's a gangster flick,based on a criminals from newspaper headlines. But it's what film noir roots are grounded in is what I'm saying. The bleakness,the harshness,the unhappy endings,the gun molls,the guy not getting the girl he wanted,(Joan Lessie led him on,and turned out to be a real you-know-what) the double crosses,the "who can I trust?" elements...ect.

 

Is Out of the Past a 'classic noir'?   It has many outdoor scenes in the sun.      My point being,  that terms like 'classic noir' are not very meaningful.   i.e. no film is a so called true or pure noir.    Instead films have a degree of noir traits;  e.g. some films have very noir settings,  visuals,  props,,  while other noirs are more focused on the characters and what motivates and guides their actions.   

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Yes innocent. She also had a Betty Boop vibe going for her.

"Betty Boop" is a great description.

I thought Simone Simon was perfectly cast. Her face is so expressive, and she's lit wonderfully -- Gabin, as well.

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A great TCM lineup of some of my all time favorites (High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon) and some new ones that I've been meaning to see (Journey Into Fear, about a third of the way through Johnny Eager). I thought Journey Into Fear was excellent, particularly the action driven sequences that carry some heavy Wellesian influence (even though Norman Foster technically directed it). Keep a particular eye out if you're a Blade Runner fan, as the rainy building bound finale will carry some striking similarities down to the exact shot.

Also taking a bit of a detour here, but does anyone else not get a film noir vibe from High Sierra? It's an amazing movie and both Bogart and Lupino are heartbreaking in the lead roles, but for me director Raoul Walsh just can't escape the gangster bound ties of the story despite his great attempt. Coupled with You Only Live Once (1937), Dead End (1937), and They Drive by Night (1940), I think this group of great pictures represents the transition period of crime drama from hardened 30's gangsters to 40's tortured antiheroes. They aren't fully one or the other, which makes for a fascinating blend of tropes and styles that is still great to watch. In short, I love High Sierra, but I'm not fully convinced that it's a noir through and through.

I'm gonna get back to Robert Taylor and Van Heflin shooting verbal barbs at each other now, have a good one guys!

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"It's a Fake, It's a Fake" I found it ironic that Syndey Greenstreet sounded fake delivering that line in the Maltese Falcon.

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I'm on the fence on High Sierra as a noir. Yes, Mad Dog is doomed. But I'm struggling real hard with this one. My reasons, Ida Lupina is too much in love with Bogie in this film. She'd never do anything to hurt him. The atmosphere is not noirish. It's a great movie. Didn't have that opinion before.

But if Mildred Pierce can be a woman's noir I guess High Sierra can be an action noir.

I say High Sierra is 69.9% noir.

 

 

 

 

A great TCM lineup of some of my all time favorites (High Sierra, The Maltese Falcon) and some new ones that I've been meaning to see (Journey Into Fear, about a third of the way through Johnny Eager). I thought Journey Into Fear was excellent, particularly the action driven sequences that carry some heavy Wellesian influence (even though Norman Foster technically directed it). Keep a particular eye out if you're a Blade Runner fan, as the rainy building bound finale will carry some striking similarities down to the exact shot.

Also taking a bit of a detour here, but does anyone else not get a film noir vibe from High Sierra? It's an amazing movie and both Bogart and Lupino are heartbreaking in the lead roles, but for me director Raoul Walsh just can't escape the gangster bound ties of the story despite his great attempt. Coupled with You Only Live Once (1937), Dead End (1937), and They Drive by Night (1940), I think this group of great pictures represents the transition period of crime drama from hardened 30's gangsters to 40's tortured antiheroes. They aren't fully one or the other, which makes for a fascinating blend of tropes and styles that is still great to watch. In short, I love High Sierra, but I'm not fully convinced that it's a noir through and through.

I'm gonna get back to Robert Taylor and Van Heflin shooting verbal barbs at each other now, have a good one guys!

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Is Out of the Past a 'classic noir'? It has many outdoor scenes in the sun. My point being, that terms like 'classic noir' are not very meaningful. i.e. no film is a so called true or pure noir. Instead films have a degree of noir traits; e.g. some films have very noir settings, visuals, props,, while other noirs are more focused on the characters and what motivates and guides their actions.

That how you want to view films,from an overly analytical academics point of view. I don't.

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