Dr. Rich Edwards

JUNE 19 TCM FILM NOIR DISCUSSIONS FOR #NOIRSUMMER FOR ALL 13 FILMS

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Odd, I know, but don't own a dvr, but watching one movie after the other this Friday just has me laughing:

1- I want to call out to to "Johnny" or "Nick".

2- I expect to see the world represented in plays of light and magnificent shadows.

3- I keep waiting for the tension creating music in the background of my day.

4- I should find a beautiful 40's coupe or a '49 Ford Vicki to be parked in the driveway.

5- I thrill at the view of earlier times in different locales and cities, from Boston, San Francisco, to LA, and the Imperial Valley of California.

6- I can feel as if money has real value...10 cents for a slice of pie in the diner.

7-I will plan on dreaming dark dreams of femme fatales and missed boats, murder by plow, and all in black and white.

 

Seriously, this has been a romp. The examination of noir whether a genre, style or movement has so much to teach each of us: about class systems, politics, innocence against arrogance, goodness, outright evil and hidden agendas, pain, and romance--life.

 

Thanks to everyone for the insight, links and fun!

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The Killers (1946):

 

There wasn't a minute of The Killers that I didn't enjoy, not a scene, character, or frame in which I wasn't completely involved or and mesmerized by. High praise indeed.

 

Basic Plot: When a Philly boxer turned criminal is assassinated in a small New Jersey town, a unrelenting insurance investigator will stop at nothing to pull all the torrid, twisted pieces of the dead man's life together to find the murderer and bring a close to his tragic story.

 

At a tight 102 minutes, The Killers offers a plethora of colorful characters and excellent performances.

 

Edmond O'Brien (also in The Barefoot Contessa with Gardner, and The Bigamist) has a cop face, but he provides an interesting fusion mechanism. He has the taste for a good story which he follows to the end (like a newspaperman), is not endowed with the superiority of the law (like a private detective), but is also beholden to a certain code, personal and professional (like a cop). Jack Lambert as the thoroughly unattractive Dum Dum and Sam Levene as the steadfast police lieutenant are great supporting characters.

 

However, Charles McGraw and William Conrad as hitmen Al and Max, dominate their scene of focus. They ride the line between cartoonish 1930s gangster heavies and true menace, they have the faces of killers and I genuinely fear for the lives of those in whatever room these two monsters are in. They are dark and cold. And of course, Ava Gardner as the dark-haired moll cannot be ignored. She doesn't say a lot at first but her actions do the talking as she jumps from powerful man to powerful man, using and abusing.

 

Noir elements: Literary precursor, dozens of night settings, influence of documentary realism (i.e. diner opening, execution of caper), flashback-dependent plot (Citizen Kane style, a person interviewed equals one flashback revealing more of the plot), and the story of one man's poor decision (involving a manipulative femme fatale) which leads to his inevitable doom.

 

[NOTE: I shall go into length about Lancaster's performance in another post.]  

 

I loved this film, and it has that sort of atmosphere like Gun Crazy: infectiously enjoyable, spellbinding, and timeless.

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The Killers (1946) [CONTINUED]

 

Now, I shall dedicate an entire post to Burt Lancaster as Ole "Swede" Anderson.

 

Note: Lancaster is a brilliant, physical actor, who with his imposing height and stature, is always pleasant to look at. He's a little like Brando but without the diva personality. And he acts a lot without saying anything. Two films I suggest are The Rose Tattoo (1955) and Elmer Gantry (1960) as a great example of his physicality and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) for his ability to convey so much without saying a word.

 

From scene to scene, the many facets of his character burst through. In the days before his death, he is sad, quiet, withdrawn, and afraid but resigned to his fate, but on the night Kitty leaves him, he is angry, fiery, and distraught – desperate. Then we proceed, through the memories of those who knew the Swede, from the beaten and bloodied, exhausted Philly boxer to the confused, sensitive, ready to cry but very defiant man who receives the news that his fighting career is finished. Then just moments later, he's accepting but remorseful, but clearly caught up in his dreams of grandeur as he debates his future. Through all of this, he is childlike, slow to realize but quick to anger. By the time he's about to meet Kitty, he is cynical and bit cocky, but the moment he lays eyes on her, you see the smittenness and greed in his eye, and he's ready to become a criminal. As a thug in the "numbers racket," he's gaudy and arrogant (look at that tie in the diner scene when he reunites with his childhood friend) but still naive.

 

Prison tempers him, he is quiet, content with the sacrifice he has made, a bit more mature but naive and insecure (childlike not childish). When he meets Kitty again, he is all those things but also still painfully in love. Being thrown together with her when she "belongs" to someone else, he is tough, on-edge, but pining and jealous. When he steals the money, he is impulsive, reckless, and vengeful, devolved again into the primal brute, making the choice that would decide his fate. In the final flashback, when Kitty manipulates him into thinking he's being double-crossed, the Swede turns into what could be called a "big lug," over-protective and putty in her hands.

 

Perhaps these many facets are a result of the spectrum of people remembering how they saw the Swede once. Nonetheless, Lancaster, like Cagney before him or his contemporary, Kirk Douglas, there was a fire in the eye and spirit that pulsed through bodies as they acted, such energy yet a sensitivity.

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THE KILLERS

 

"If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's a double crossing dame"

 

I have little to add to Willamsonem6's fine posts about the film, but here's a few observations.

 

Lancaster dominates the screen as the tragic Swede, but I'd like to give lots of credit to the pairing of Edmond O'Brien (Reardon) and Sam Levene (Lubinsky), who in my eyes make a great 'buddy cop' duo. Would not have minded seeing them involved in a sequel, or maybe even a series. 

 

The opening sequence in the diner is absolutely thrilling. The two hitmen Al and Max (Charles McGraw and William Conrad) are menacing to the extreme. I loved the thematic music attached to their personas, deep, grave and threatening. (I'm pretty sure John Williams was inspired by this kind of thematic motifs when thinking of his bit for Darth Vader in the STAR WARS movies).

 

The score by Miklos Rozsa is fantastic and effective. Besides the hitmen theme, also the tragic/romantic violin theme for Lancaster and Garder is great, but the best bit is in the nighclub sequence when O'Brien and Gardner have their conversation. 

During their talk you can hear diegetic music, played by a piano player in the club. It starts of in a typical non-intrusive lounge style. But then Gardner notices the elderly limping guy that has followed them into the club. At that moment the piano music picks up in pace and style, enhancing the feeling of unease and nervousness we see on Gardner's face. She tells O'Brien they have to leave the place. At that moment the non-diegetic score kicks in again, blending with the piano music in the club. At the moment the two hitmen come in with guns blazing, the orchestral score goes all out in full frenzy. Brilliant.

 

Besides the beautiful opening sequence, there is also the spectacular robbery as the center piece of this film. Notice how this is a two-minute single (!) take from the moment the four robbers enter the gate to the moment they try to get away with their cars. Even better, it's a crane shot, with the camere moving in and out, following the action from both up close and overhead. 

The narrator describes the robbery as being executed with 'detailed precision'. I'd say this shot is executed with detailed precision to mirror that. (Except for one little flaw, but let's not spoil the fun).

 

Also noticable is how most of the time, particularly during the flashbacks, the camera is used in a low angle position, but always subtle and never in an overtly grotesque way. The same goes for the lighting. The shadows are definitely there, but always nuanced and used as a means to enhance the story, never for self-serving effect.

 

And, final thought, I really liked the shape of the broche - a silvery spider. Ominous?  :)

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Gilda

 

I remembered being disappointed in Gilda before but I couldn't remember why and now I know it was the ending.

 

I don't often like happy endings in noir but especially not when I don't think the characters deserve that happy ending. I understand Gilda & Johnny did all those things to each other because they loved each other but there is a point when it goes to far (Especially what he did to her). I think if the story had ended with them realizing too late that they were wrong & they wasted all that time would have been much more fitting end to the story.

 

Also I wish the movie explained why Johnny left her the first time.

 

Rita Hayworth was of course great though

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NOBODY LIVES FOREVER

 

Like it says in the viewing guide, this Noir also has plenty of light scenes, taking place near the sun drenched Mailbu beaches.

 

Regarding what has been said in the lectures so far I think the scene at the Mission half way through the film is quite interesting.

Nick (John Garfield) and Gladys (Geraldine Fitzgerald) have decided on a little sight seeing trip and end up near a small mission. It's obviously a real outside location, so this would fit in a 'realistic' approach for the film. But several things happen that make it actually a more formalistic scene.

 

When they enter the courtyard a huge flock of doves - all white - comes flying down from the roof, landing at their feet, in a beautiful garden. This enhances the etheral, peaceful feeling of the location and is obviously symbolic for the growing love between Nick and Gladys,

 

Then they enter the church.  The sunlight comes through the window, but somehow only the far end - where the altar and the crucifix are - is fully lit. Nick and Gladys are obviously impressed and humbled by the (artistic) beauty of what they see.

 

After a brief conversation with the pastor, the filmscore fades and the sound of a choir comes in. The choir is nowhere to be seen, and the angelic voices become almost like an external force. The impact on Nick is clear. 

 

They leave the church, at first still hearing the choir singing. But then Nick starts telling about his wartime experiences oversees, and the filmscore - in the same key as the choir - takes over again. Nick tells about the destruction he witnessed: "Everything smashed (...) Maybe we forget about things to easy". 

 

He looks at Gladys - all dressed in pure white, with flowers on her skirt - and realizes he really loves her. And this becomes the moral turning point for Nick.

 

So, you've got music, architecture, art, and WW2 referenced in this one scene....

 

The entire scene - minus the doves - can be found on Youtube: 

 

 

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I DRVr'd the film Nocturne, the only one I hadn't seen, great opening Noir sequence, then conventional lighting for the most part till near the end, not bad 7/10 

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Gilda

 

I remembered being disappointed in Gilda before but I couldn't remember why and now I know it was the ending.

 

I don't often like happy endings in noir but especially not when I don't think the characters deserve that happy ending. I understand Gilda & Johnny did all those things to each other because they loved each other but there is a point when it goes to far (Especially what he did to her). I think if the story had ended with them realizing too late that they were wrong & they wasted all that time would have been much more fitting end to the story.

 

Also I wish the movie explained why Johnny left her the first time.

 

Rita Hayworth was of course great though

 

 

As twisted and tortured as their love-hate for one another was throughout the film...and before it...you can never, ever discount the toll the past takes on the present in noir...a different, more tragic ending may have been overkill in Gilda.    

 

How many times did Gilda and Johnny wish each other dead...or do each other worse?   In a way, letting their extreme attraction-repulsion continue may not necessarily have been the happy ending we suppose.   Maybe they fly off into the sunset and live happily-ever-after...

 

...then again...maybe their torment continues as they find new and better ways to draw blood.      

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The Killers

 

The pacing in The Killers was slow for me. I got a little bored with Reardon’s investigation, and that may have something to do with Edmond O’Brien as an actor. I find sometimes that his emotional range is limited. I have to admit that his performance in The Hitch-Hiker changed my feeling about him, but I thought he was almost uninspired here. The transitions in and out of the flashbacks were jarring to me, too. Here’s our story, here’s a flashback, here’s our story, here’s a flashback. . . .

 

You might be thinking that I didn’t like this movie after this beginning, but that’s not true. I really enjoyed the double-crosses, the twists and turns of the plot. The film kept me guessing until the very end. I never figured out that Colfax and Collins were behind the double cross and hired the killers to go after Swede. I didn’t recognize Colfax when he arrived at the Swede’s gas station (but the Swede sure did) and when I saw him later in the film as the same person. When Kitty Collins tells Reardon that she is married now and has a home, I never once pictured it with Colfax. She was the quintessential femme fatale: She double-crossed the Swede and then begged her dying husband to proclaim her innocence.

 

The title, The Killers, confused me a bit at first. I kept wondering why the film was named after Hemingway’s short story when the two killers in the opening sequence seemed to disappear from the movie plot. But the two killers frame the story. They heighten the tension, or they did for me because I didn’t realize that they were at The Green Cat to protect Kitty Collins. And they are not the only killers in the movie. Collins and Colfax bear just as much responsibility as killers because they hire the guns, so to speak.

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The Killers

 

The pacing in The Killers was slow for me. I got a little bored with Reardon’s investigation, and that may have something to do with Edmond O’Brien as an actor. I find sometimes that his emotional range is limited. I have to admit that his performance in The Hitch-Hiker changed my feeling about him, but I thought he was almost uninspired here. The transitions in and out of the flashbacks were jarring to me, too. Here’s our story, here’s a flashback, here’s our story, here’s a flashback. . . .

 

You might be thinking that I didn’t like this movie after this beginning, but that’s not true. I really enjoyed the double-crosses, the twists and turns of the plot. The film kept me guessing until the very end. I never figured out that Colfax and Collins were behind the double cross and hired the killers to go after Swede. I didn’t recognize Colfax when he arrived at the Swede’s gas station (but the Swede sure did) and when I saw him later in the film as the same person. When Kitty Collins tells Reardon that she is married now and has a home, I never once pictured it with Colfax. She was the quintessential femme fatale: She double-crossed the Swede and then begged her dying husband to proclaim her innocence.

 

The title, The Killers, confused me a bit at first. I kept wondering why the film was named after Hemingway’s short story when the two killers in the opening sequence seemed to disappear from the movie plot. But the two killers frame the story. They heighten the tension, or they did for me because I didn’t realize that they were at The Green Cat to protect Kitty Collins. And they are not the only killers in the movie. Collins and Colfax bear just as much responsibility as killers because they hire the guns, so to speak.

 

 

 

The Killers the film was adapted from Hemingway's short story, The Killers, one of Hemingway's 'Nick Adams' stories.   It's only ten or so pages long, and ends with the Swede refusing to move or do anything to prevent from being killed after Nick warns him.   

 

Everything else is part of the script, not the Hemingway short story.   Guess they kept the title because of the Hemingway name, and Papa seemed to like what credited screenwriter Anthony Veiller and uncredited John Huston did...believe he said it was the most faithful screenplay of any of his stories and novels.   

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Gilda

 

I remembered being disappointed in Gilda before but I couldn't remember why and now I know it was the ending.

 

I don't often like happy endings in noir but especially not when I don't think the characters deserve that happy ending. I understand Gilda & Johnny did all those things to each other because they loved each other but there is a point when it goes to far (Especially what he did to her). I think if the story had ended with them realizing too late that they were wrong & they wasted all that time would have been much more fitting end to the story.

 

Also I wish the movie explained why Johnny left her the

 

Rita Hayworth was of course great though

I don't believe their end is happy.  The water under their bridge is too deep, too dark and too swift.  It will collapse and leave them both floundering alone.

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Nocturne: I really like George Raft in this role. Wooden acting works here! Plus who ever heard of a detective who lives with his mom??

This film has one of the best openings!

But his mom is a cool mom.  A dame of a mom?

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Hollow Triumph: loved it! Never saw the twist coming, though it was obvious something was going to go awry with the scar on the wrong side of his face! Bartok seemed so uptight, it must've seemed inconceivable to Muller that, in his own way, Bartok would be in trouble every bit as deep as what he was running from! The end scene with people walking past Muller's body was quite shocking too. 

 

Crossfire: Not, I think a particularly Noirish film with the exception of some of the cinematography but a very important film though for it's subject of the insidious nature of race hate. I thought it has a particular resonance today too in light of the recent events down in Charleston. Some superb acting too from Robert Ryan, who really owned that role as the racist killer and Robert Young as the weary detective: Mitchum, though, I thought was a little underused, which was a shame. 

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I hadn't seen Gilda before. An excellent film spoiled by its ending. The old movie cliché of the sparring couple ending up together doesn't quite fit here. The antagonism so brilliantly portrayed runs too deeply for easy reconciliation particularly after Johnny's sadistic treatment of Gilda after they marry.  For 99% of the film we seem set for a doomed relationship ending only for a deus ex machina  in the form of the  avuncular police chief to wrench a happy ending from the cesspit of their relationship.

 

The Big Sleep is an old favourite but on re-watching it I wondered to what extent it can be classified as film noir. Sure it has many of the features but at its core it is soft-boiled rather than hard-boiled.  I have just listened to the Out of the Past podcast on it and find myself agreeing with Shannon Clute's view that the film is weakened by the extent that it departs from the Chandler source novel in order to highlight the star quality of Bogart and Bacall. It's still a great movie but maybe not a great noir.

 

The Killers on the other hand has everything a good noir should have including doomed protagonists.

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I had ordered a copy of Eddie Muller's book Dark City, The Lost World of Film Noir.  It just got delivered to me and I am looking forward to reading it!!

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Nocturne

 

Art influencing film noir.

 

The opening scene (actually, the first 10 minutes of the film) I would say, was heavily influenced by photography. Every shot has a still photo effect and quality. Stunning contrast.

 

These ten minutes also reminds me of a famous Spanish painting, “Las Meninas” (1656). In the painting we see the bright whites on the girls dresses in front and behind them people in the shadows with no lighting on them and beyond that a well lit room. I see a similar arrangement in the scene where Raft is playing the piano, his right shoulder facing us. Behind him we see bright lamps illuminating the room and casting shadows on the furniture and then behind the lamps a view of the city at night through a glass window.  Take a look. 

http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/art/painters/las-meninas

 

 

 

 

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It is interesting to me that so many people like Big Sleep less on a rewatch. The opposite happened to me.

 

Although I have not rewatched it this summer yet I actually enjoy it more each time I watch it. Whereas the first time I watched I wasn't all that impressed. I found the story super confusing. I still do in many respects (although reading the novel did clear up many things) but I feel it has so many great scenes and it does everything with so much style it's just fun to watch.

 

Chandler's novel complements the movie for me. I don't prefer either. The movie is just more fun and I can't get enough of Bogart & Bacall but the book is darker and deals with issues (like pornography) that could not be mentioned in the movie. It is more Noirish to me. The movie and book together are the perfect combination.

 

Although while Big Sleep is one of those movies I can sit back and watch any time. It's like an old friend I am not sure I feel the need to revisit the book.

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I just finished watching Border Incident for the first time.  Not knowing what to expect, I wondered if I would even watch the whole thing; but it surprised me.  If you haven't seen it yet, don't miss it.  For starter's, there's John Alton's work; noir doesn't get any darker. Add to that some bad guys played by Da Silva, McGraw and Lambert.  And, there's enough nail-biting suspense that you might wish you'd worn gloves!  .  

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Listening to this week's lecture, and having recently watched The Killers again, I was thrilled to see the intersection of one of my favorite films with one of my favorite paintings (Nighthawks by Edward Hopper).

 

I love the diner scene in The Killers, from the initial tracking shot to the stark difference in lighting to the shot from within the diner of William Conrad still exercising his threat by simply glancing over his shoulder from a block away. And while I always made the connection myself, I never realized that the connection was overt and purposeful until today! I look forward to read more about how the work of Edward Hopper influenced many directors and cinematographers and vice versa.

 

I have a framed treasure in my office containing two equal sized prints, one above the other: Nighthawks and the clever takeoff Boulevard of Broken Dreams (see below). As much as it is a parody of Hopper's original work - and lord knows there are tons, from Simpsons to Star Wars - I feel this one retains the feeling of lonely isolation that the subjects experience (despite Elvis' smirk). Especially in modern times, fame is attained at a cost of human dignity and privacy. Of course, Heinwein (the artist) was paying sad tribute to the death of four beloved celebrities, so my impression was really a step short. :)

 

I've often wondered if and how  famous people would ever know whether a new acquaintance was genuine or just someone attracted to their celebrity. I've read that many famous people who appear carefree are privately lonely and isolated souls who often turn to something else for the esteem their primary art once gave them unconditionally. I have had that feeling of lonely isolation myself, and if you have as well, you know that it can be soul-wrenching. Maybe I'm being more fatalistic than Hopper, but I think he nailed that loneliness.

 

640px-Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942.j

 

ksAGO.St.117.jpeg

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Nocturne (1946):

 

Nocturne, defined as a musical composition evocative of the night: what a perfect title for a noir, especially since the opening murder also takes place at night with a dark-haired woman in total shadow, other than her legs of course.

 

It was an enjoyable enough film and a decent noir, but without many eye-catching visuals or dynamite performances. I however enjoyed it more than Crack-Up and Nobody Lives Forever.

 

Basic Plot: Unrelenting Los Angeles detective Joe Warne goes to great lengths to prove an assumed suicide is actually the work of a devious killer who planned the perfect murder. Using brute force and sheer cunning, he mingles with Hollywood actresses and nightclubs singers, all while evading his own department to solve the case and nab the murderer (or murderess?).

 

Noir elements: Urban location (Hollywood, notice the Brown Derby), night crimes and activities (opening is dark murder late at night), appearance of cool and sassy "dames" (blonde Susan and dark-haired beauty Frances), femme fatales (Frances and Carol), formalistic flourishes (such as Joe's nightmare sequence), and a hero with the badge of a cop but who operates like a private detective.

 

Note: Two references to the artifice of show business – Shawn's photography studio and Frances's movie set.

 

George Raft as Joe is acceptable. He has a history of insubordination and stubbornness in closing cases, using whatever ruse that gets him farther in the case (including mail fraud, intimidation, and dancing lessons). Joe’s like Reardon in The Killers if he were working a less interesting case. He's tough but quiet and intuitive amidst the other incompetent fools they call cops. However, his living situation, with his wisecracking mother (reminiscent of Spade's secretary in The Maltese Falcon), reveals more about his character – he's a good guy but definitely not a straight arrow.

 

There were moments in the film that definitely reminded me of others already screened. Frances's neighbor was the frantic maid from Laura, the interview with the first "Dolores" had traces of the diner scene between Reardon and Kitty in The Killers (particularly the use of mirrors), and the presence of a scheming kid sister that's more involved with the crime than the icy, high society sister reminded me of none other than The Big Sleep. Also, the presence of Torp recalled Mike Mazurki's Moose Malloy in Murder, My Sweet. Unrelated but Carol's appearance and mannerisms mirrored those of another blonde femme fatale some forty years later, Elsa Schneider in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

 

It would have been more interesting if they had gone into Vincent's methods. Apparently, he destroys these women's lives. The first "Dolores" – Clara – was once beautiful and coveted but she looks miserable and utterly defeated in that diner (and her skeevy relationship with the greasy owner, yuck). One of the "Dolores" actually took her own life. [Note: Brownie points for trying very hard to be clever with the staged suicide and the "surprise" killer]. Also, the love story between Joe and Frances didn't quite gel with me. It reminded me of the forced chemistry between Bogart and Bacall in The Big Sleep, especially when Dorothy Malone as the bookstore owner provided a more electric performance and better report. Susan gave me a Gloria Grahame in The Big Heat and Ida Lupino in High Sierra kind of feel, strong, snappy, but soft on the inside. It would have given Joe more to work with in comparison to the wooden Frances. Lastly, they really tried to incorporate music into the film, but little was really done with the Nocturne in the end.

 

Some of the parts I enjoyed included the initial repartee between Joe and Frances, the reveal of Fingers with the slow pan, and any moment Myrna Dell was on screen as Susan Flanders. Also, the lack of fear in showing violence as well as the gruesome deaths (i.e. the buildup to Vincent's murder, Shawn's hanging body, and especially, the brutally beaten Susan) added tension that was greatly needed. Unfortunately though, I don't think the film ever surpasses the tension of the murder and the first moments at the crime scene.

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I have not found a way to respond to individual posts through TCM, but loved the reference to NightHawks. Maybe we can agree NightHawks is a Noir painting? The loneliness and isolation, and sometimes making bad choices out of isolation seem to be noir themes. At least in some films. For example, Gun Crazy, from a week ago.  I had seen "the Killers" before, and it was better this time around. Very "you can't cheat fate" message, although am not sure I believed Ava Gardner as capable so much deceit.

George Raft was good in Nocturne, agree with the person said wooden acting worked in this film. I liked the ordinay house, live with his mother aspect of the protagonist in Nocturne. It contrasted with the composer's house and lifestyle, and reinforced the humble middle or working class situation of most noir detectives.

The surprise ending was the best part of Hollow Victory for me. I couldn't get into this film as much, even though normally like this actor. But the character was pretty unlikable to me. I thought the protrayal of the patients was good, was making a generally noirish point about how absurdly self centered people are. And obviously, most noir characters are not angels, but usually there is SOMETHING likable about them. Like the protagonist in Gun Crazy, who was naive, gullible, but you at least felt sorry for him.

I thought Crack Up was interesing because I had never seen a noir film about a curator in an art museum. (Unless maybe in a European jewel heist film...) The best part of the film for me were the train sequences, and the way ordinary people were filmed to make them seem suspicious at best, criminal at worst. That's something Hitchcock did a lot, and it always works for me. I don't know if Hitchcock's films are considered noir or not. What do others think?

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I have not found a way to respond to individual posts through TCM, but loved the reference to NightHawks. Maybe we can agree NightHawks is a Noir painting? The loneliness and isolation, and sometimes making bad choices out of isolation seem to be noir themes. At least in some films.

I think you have a great point, but I don't know if we have to see it as a noir painting.  There are some articles that note the influence of German Expressionism on Edward Hopper, and one I've seen that also looks at the surrealist aspect of Hopper's work, including  Nighthawks (see "Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks", Surrealism, and the War Gail Levin and Edward Hopper

Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 22.2, Mary Reynolds and the Spirit of Surrealism (1996), pp. 180-195+200, which brings me to another idea: surrealism in film noir.
     The link between German Expressionism and film noir has been well developed.  How about surrealism, the attempt to portray the dream world in art, or portray art as a dream, in the Freudian interpretation of the dream?  I think that this is also a big influence in film noir.  It is represents the psychological underpinning of noir.  It explains why so much of noir has a dreamlike quality to it, or nightmarish quality.  What do you all think?  And the use of Expressionism does not negate Surrealism.  In a way, they complement each other.

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his mom almost upstaged everyone in nocturne. i lover her

But his mom is a cool mom.  A dame of a mom?

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Mystery Street

 

Is it possible to see a film with intensions of looking for film noir moments and then get caught up with 

the story and forgotten to take notes? It happened to me. In fact, it has happened twice before.

The story here never drags as I was engrossed from the start.

 

I did not need notes to have taken in the cinematography or to have recognized a couple of on-location shots in Boston, although I have never visit there. 

 

Elsa Lanchester's performance was a knockout.

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