Dr. Rich Edwards

JUNE 26 TCM FILM NOIR DISCUSSIONS FOR #NOIRSUMMER FOR ALL 13 FILMS

163 posts in this topic

The Woman on the Beach (1947):

 

Jean Renoir's The Woman on the Beach is a fine, compact noir at 71 minutes, starring one of the many noir kings and queens, strong and silent Robert Ryan and dark and sensuous Joan Bennett.

 

Basic Plot: A haunted Coast Guard officer finds himself in a love triangle with a mysterious married woman and her husband, a former painter now blind.

 

Noir Elements: Literary precursor, some chiaroscuro lighting, emigre director (Renoir – La Bete Humaine), opens at night, dream sequences bending disturbing reality and surrealism fantasy, post-war cynicism (veteran's PTSD, mistrust of treatment), on-location shooting (Georgia), femme fatale (clearly Peggy), and an average man hero making desperate decisions that could doom him and everyone involved

 

Note: Everything about the beach is sort of surreal, a man riding a horse across it, a mysterious, silent brunette, mentions of old wrecks and ghosts, and the fog and fire.

 

[sEE OTHER POST FOR PERFORMANCES]

 

Note #2: Similarities to The Postman Always Rings Twice – A man (restless drifter vs. PTSD veteran) comes into the life of a woman and her unconventional husband (beautiful woman and older, neglectful, oblivious husband vs. beautiful woman and older, neglectful, intuitive and BLIND husband) living in a remote place (roadside restaurant vs. cabin near the beach).

 

House Style: (RKO) Eclectic (attempts to apply the French poetic and noir styles, particularly of the naturalistic-tending Renoir to the Hollywood love triangle melodrama), NY sophistication (Renoir gives it more of a European sophistication), experimental and theatrical (Did you see the dream sequences? Renoir milked that old ship and its beach for all its worth)

 

In the end, we are left with three shadows going their own ways, some together and some alone, on a fire-lit beach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Woman on the Beach (1947) [CONTINUED]

 

The best performances of the film go to Nan Leslie as Eve Geddes, and Joan Bennett and Charles Bickford as Peggy and Tod Butler. Leslie is the appropriately sweet, soft, warm and practical girlfriend of Scott prior to his meeting with Peggy. By the end, she is surprisingly strong-willed. Some of the most interesting scenes are between the bitter and unpredictable married couple. Tod is coldly bitter but also intuitive and perfectly complemented by Peggy, the haunted, dark-haired beauty who draws our hero from his intended. During their honest conversations about marriage, attraction, and the future, they reach a profundity unmatched by the rest of the film.

 

Robert Ryan's Scott Burnett is satisfactory but it seems halfway through the film, we forget that he's the main character because the better performances steal our attention. I get that Ryan works best at strong and silent, but I think that that only benefits him when his character is a little amoral, where his actions make sense but might also be considered terrible and vile. He's rough, and he likes it and so do we. He's more of a "beach cowboy" (his words), and the film can't decide whether it's characters are essentially good people or the amoral cast typical of noir.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I re-watched The Stranger last night. To be honest, I never thought of it as a noir, and always thought it was a lesser effort as a film. Nothing about it, even after several weeks of this course material, made me change my mind. 

 

Although Orson Welles was a brilliant actor, who could convey a lot of information using his handsome, plastic face alone, it is Edward G Robinson who steals the film away from him and Loretta Young. In fact it is the performances of Robinson, Welles and young Richard Long that make the film watchable. Loretta Young is so melodramatic, that it is helpful that the other 3 actors' performances have very little melodrama in them.

 

But back to Robinson. He really was an extraordinary actor. Although I haven't seen that the course covers Double Indemnity, which is in my opinion the best noir, Robinson is in both films and he runs away with both of them. He gives very different performance in each effort. In Indemnity, he is a fast talking insurance adjuster who can sniff out a fraud a mile off. He delivers his dialogue like he is spitting bullets; every word is crisp, clear and deadly. Robinson is able to convey his deep cynicism with regard to his fellow man, as well as his deep affection for Fred MacMurray, the protagonist trapped by an amazingly cunning femme fatale. Both MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck are absolutely wonderful in the movie, and despite this, Robinson's multi-layered performance is the stand out. When he is rattling off his insurance statistics about the likelihood that Mr Dietrichson died falling off a slow-moving train, and when he is watching Walter Neff die, he is conveying so many different aspects about Barton Keyes' character. In fact, I have long thought that the true love in the film is the fraternal love that Keyes and Neff have for each other. After all who could love the embodiment of evil that is Phyllis Dietrichson?

 

As a member of a war crimes commission, in Stranger, Robinson takes an unemotional, perseverant approach to ferreting out the elusive Nazi, Kindler. After all there is no sense getting hysterical about the manhunt. He just has to doggedly follow all clues leading to Kindler, and purposefully hunt him down. Once he cottons onto the situation vis a vis KIndler and his relationship with the daughter of a prominent family, he figures out how to approach Richard Long in a fatherly, measured way, calculated to enlist the young man's cooperation. Long's performance as an earnest, dutilful brother and son is engaging. Again, this fraternal relationship is much more appealing than the marriage between Young and Welles.

 

In each film the audience is relieved that there are some decent folks left in the world.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

POSSESSED (1947)

WARNER BROS.

 

Joan Crawford plays a convincing femme fatale role as the obsessive and at times deranged woman, Louise Howell.

 

Early in the film, with the camera behind the bed post, looking up towards the doctor as he looks down upon Louise, the bars of the bed give an illusion of prison bars as to reinforce that Louise is not a free woman as if she's restrained somehow.

 

Editing technique of fading-out slowly and immediately fade-in into the first flashback worked very well.

 

Excellent story with a well constructed plot. The outstanding performances by Crawford, the two male leads supporting her and the details on all the set designs make this an "A" movie. Nothing cheap here. The melodramatic score enhanced the thrilling moments. 

 

This was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed "Possessed" much more than I thought I would. 

A wonderful way to start this weekend's films.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The High School Production of Lady In The Lake

  • Miscasting: Robert Montgomery is a decent actor when he's not completely out of his element, which he is in this film. True, he is filling some big shoes as yet another Philip Marlowe, but in trying to be convincing as a hard-boiled detective, his efforts are pitiable. The phony, deeper-than-normal voice he uses and its harsh, monotone bark at everyone is both distracting and laughable. Also, Audrey Totter (of the Evil Eyebrow) is equally unconvincing. Her emotional range appeared to be 1)Annoyed  2)Angry to 3) Annoyed and Angry. The only cast member who was at all convincing was Lloyd Nolan, the veteran character actor. Everyone else was too busy chewing up the scenery. 
  • Directing: Since Montgomery also directed this film, I assume he cast himself in the lead, just compounding the problems. In order to do both--always a tricky endeavor--he seemed to be off-screen more than he was onscreen. Sure, we say plenty of his (or someone's) hands and arms, but a little of that goes a long way.And when the sound of his squeaky shoes were added, I just laughed. 
  • POVs: Well, they were all over the map. In addition to far too many of Marlowe as the camera mentioned above, we had one that switched abruptly from Marlowe's point of view to one with Marlowe and Totter's character, side-by-side, facing the camera, then zip! back to Marlowe's POV. Finally, there was that surreal POV "kiss" between Totter and the camera. That one deserves to be enshrined in the Awkward Movie Moments Hall of Fame. (There must be one of those...)
  • Camera Angles:  Back and forth, up and down....I was expecting a 360-degree spin so we could see the crew too. 
  • Script: I didn't see a writer credit for this film; maybe I was searching for my Dramamine (sp?). No surprise, though. The dialogue was clunky, unrealistic, and often downright ridiculous: the phone conversations, the thin pretense of love between Marlowe and whatever-her-name was. And the Audrey Meadows line, "You're cute!" Really? You're going to cop a line delivered by Martha Vickers in "The Big Sleep"? Bold choice. 
  • Musical Score: The odd humming thing provided by what appeared to be a surviving Greek chorus gave the film its only genuinely scary touch. At any moment I expected them to burst forth in full operatic Carmina Burana.

Sorry if this assessment seems harsh, but not even Ed Wood succeeded in a completely terrible film. Well...maybe Ed. But at least his were entertaining!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The High School Production of Lady In The Lake

  • Miscasting: Robert Montgomery is a decent actor when he's not completely out of his element, which he is in this film. True, he is filling some big shoes as yet another Philip Marlowe, but in trying to be convincing as a hard-boiled detective, his efforts are pitiable. The phony, deeper-than-normal voice he uses and its harsh, monotone bark at everyone is both distracting and laughable. Also, Audrey Totter (of the Evil Eyebrow) is equally unconvincing. Her emotional range appeared to be 1)Annoyed  2)Angry to 3) Annoyed and Angry. The only cast member who was at all convincing was Lloyd Nolan, the veteran character actor. Everyone else was too busy chewing up the scenery. 
  • Directing: Since Montgomery also directed this film, I assume he cast himself in the lead, just compounding the problems. In order to do both--always a tricky endeavor--he seemed to be off-screen more than he was onscreen. Sure, we say plenty of his (or someone's) hands and arms, but a little of that goes a long way.And when the sound of his squeaky shoes were added, I just laughed. 
  • POVs: Well, they were all over the map. In addition to far too many of Marlowe as the camera mentioned above, we had one that switched abruptly from Marlowe's point of view to one with Marlowe and Totter's character, side-by-side, facing the camera, then zip! back to Marlowe's POV. Finally, there was that surreal POV "kiss" between Totter and the camera. That one deserves to be enshrined in the Awkward Movie Moments Hall of Fame. (There must be one of those...)
  • Camera Angles:  Back and forth, up and down....I was expecting a 360-degree spin so we could see the crew too. 
  • Script: I didn't see a writer credit for this film; maybe I was searching for my Dramamine (sp?). No surprise, though. The dialogue was clunky, unrealistic, and often downright ridiculous: the phone conversations, the thin pretense of love between Marlowe and whatever-her-name was. And the Audrey Meadows line, "You're cute!" Really? You're going to cop a line delivered by Martha Vickers in "The Big Sleep"? Bold choice. 
  • Musical Score: The odd humming thing provided by what appeared to be a surviving Greek chorus gave the film its only genuinely scary touch. At any moment I expected them to burst forth in full operatic Carmina Burana.

Sorry if this assessment seems harsh, but not even Ed Wood succeeded in a completely terrible film. Well...maybe Ed. But at least his were entertaining!

 

 

I don't think you're being harsh at all.   There's virtually nothing about this film to like.   You can't blame Chandler...it's a really good novel.   Steve Fisher did the screenplay.  He has quite a few credits to his name in the Forties and early Fifties before migrating to TV; including quite a few noirs...like Dead Reckoning, an adaptation of Woolrich's I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes, Johnny Angel, etc.   He also wrote the novel of one of my favorite film noir's, I wake Up Screaming (though curiously he didn't do the screenplay).  

 

In all, suspect a better director, better actors, and better decisions re the POV, etc. would have done more with the script.        

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i must be the one person who likes the Lady in the Lake in spite of all the reasons on the board. Totally agree it would be a better movie if had a different cast except Lloyd Nolan and the guy that played the police chief. If Audrey Totter toned it down, she can stay too, but despite all it's faults I still like watching this movie..

Now if you think Robert Montgomery is the worse Marlowe, I promise you, watch the Brasher Dabloon. you will change your minds... :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This week's material was packed full of great information.  I neglected my other duties to learn everything you offered.  I look forward to Fridays for a full day of Noir Films.  I've seen all of these films several times, but I'm looking at them for the first time. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i couldn't watch this at all. it was poorly done. this was my first viewing of the film, too. i avoided this film all my life because Raymond Chandler absolutely hated it, and i figured he would know best. i should have listened

 

Sorry if this assessment seems harsh, but not even Ed Wood succeeded in a completely terrible film. Well...maybe Ed. But at least his were entertaining!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watched "The Stranger" (1946, Welles) for the first time.  What an incredible film, and I noticed so many noir elements that I wouldn't have noticed but for this course: close-ups of Mary's face during moments of emotional upheaval; the film reel shadows obscuring Mr. Wilson's features when he shows Mary the Nazi footage; the recurring, ominous image of the clock figure with the sword that is a harbinger of things to come; and the double image of Mary in her bedroom when her image reflects back at an angle, denoting that something strange is going to happen.  There were, of course, many more noir elements, but these are just a handful. I loved that this film is so full of suspense, too!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Lady In the Lake in it's own quirky way, the real star of it is Audrey Totter and her various reactions. But it does have some surprising sequences Lavery's death for instance.

 

My favorite Marlowe's are the post code, pre PC, Farewell My Lovely with Robert Mitchum, and I also like wise cracking James Garner in the updated to 1969 "The Little Sister", filmed as Marlowe.

 

I mentioned before also, but surprised there was no discussion, of The Third Man's not being hampered by the Hayes Code, there is a shot where Joseph Cotton is sitting in a café with a topless dancer in full view behind him. I wonder if it got censored for it's original US release? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The High School Production of Lady In The Lake

  • Miscasting: Robert Montgomery is a decent actor when he's not completely out of his element, which he is in this film. True, he is filling some big shoes as yet another Philip Marlowe, but in trying to be convincing as a hard-boiled detective, his efforts are pitiable. The phony, deeper-than-normal voice he uses and its harsh, monotone bark at everyone is both distracting and laughable. Also, Audrey Totter (of the Evil Eyebrow) is equally unconvincing. Her emotional range appeared to be 1)Annoyed  2)Angry to 3) Annoyed and Angry. The only cast member who was at all convincing was Lloyd Nolan, the veteran character actor. Everyone else was too busy chewing up the scenery. 
  • Directing: Since Montgomery also directed this film, I assume he cast himself in the lead, just compounding the problems. In order to do both--always a tricky endeavor--he seemed to be off-screen more than he was onscreen. Sure, we say plenty of his (or someone's) hands and arms, but a little of that goes a long way.And when the sound of his squeaky shoes were added, I just laughed. 
  • POVs: Well, they were all over the map. In addition to far too many of Marlowe as the camera mentioned above, we had one that switched abruptly from Marlowe's point of view to one with Marlowe and Totter's character, side-by-side, facing the camera, then zip! back to Marlowe's POV. Finally, there was that surreal POV "kiss" between Totter and the camera. That one deserves to be enshrined in the Awkward Movie Moments Hall of Fame. (There must be one of those...)
  • Camera Angles:  Back and forth, up and down....I was expecting a 360-degree spin so we could see the crew too. 
  • Script: I didn't see a writer credit for this film; maybe I was searching for my Dramamine (sp?). No surprise, though. The dialogue was clunky, unrealistic, and often downright ridiculous: the phone conversations, the thin pretense of love between Marlowe and whatever-her-name was. And the Audrey Meadows line, "You're cute!" Really? You're going to cop a line delivered by Martha Vickers in "The Big Sleep"? Bold choice. 
  • Musical Score: The odd humming thing provided by what appeared to be a surviving Greek chorus gave the film its only genuinely scary touch. At any moment I expected them to burst forth in full operatic Carmina Burana.

Sorry if this assessment seems harsh, but not even Ed Wood succeeded in a completely terrible film. Well...maybe Ed. But at least his were entertaining!

 

 

No...I'm with you 100% on this. I've made numerous passes at trying to watch this in the past and never managed to finish it, it's such a painful viewing experience. It's certainly not the source material: I'm re-reading the book now and I find it hard to fathom that Montgomery messed the film up so badly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Set Up

 

A taut little Noir movie, notable for it being the first (I think) film to take place in "real time", which is especially interesting in that the idea isn't played up at all: no ticking clocks or sense of urgency, just the whole film taking place over a short period of time. 

 

What was striking to me the film's portrayal of the underbelly of post-war America, a not particular portrayal either, for that matter. Grifters, good-time gals, fight-fixers, barkers, and the audience for the fight who are all pretty mean and vicious in their lust for blood. It's not a side I'd seen portrayed before and it was all the more fascinating for all that. 

 

The film was Noir certainly in it's filming and feeling of hopelessness, but unusual that the boxer protagonist, Stoker Thompson (Rex Ryan), was an innocent guy that bad things happened to, and his femme...well, she was far from fatale, instead she was loving and supportive: indeed the film had an almost anti-Noir ending in that the two ended up together, loving and (one hopes) going on to live a good life in the future. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of the films that I had not seen before, I think I enjoyed "THE SET-UP" the most. The sport of boxing lends itself to noir style. This is especially so during the 1940's and 1950's when the sport was possibly the most corrupt. This film has a sense of despair and hopelessness from the beginning where Stoker's wife is pleading for him to stop fighting, to inside the arena locker room where all the has been, punch drunk prelim fighters are all crowded into this small space, and finally, when he wins a fight that he was supposed to throw because his manager made a deal with a gambler, the gambler has him worked over. The lighting of the  night street scenes and the alley scene where Stoker is beaten are done perfectly. A nice touch is at the end of the beating the camera pans up the wall of the alley where the shadow of a loud playing jazz combo is shown.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of the films that I had not seen before, I think I enjoyed "THE SET-UP" the most. The sport of boxing lends itself to noir style. This is especially so during the 1940's and 1950's when the sport was possibly the most corrupt. This film has a sense of despair and hopelessness from the beginning where Stoker's wife is pleading for him to stop fighting, to inside the arena locker room where all the has been, punch drunk prelim fighters are all crowded into this small space, and finally, when he wins a fight that he was supposed to throw because his manager made a deal with a gambler, the gambler has him worked over. The lighting of the  night street scenes and the alley scene where Stoker is beaten are done perfectly. A nice touch is at the end of the beating the camera pans up the wall of the alley where the shadow of a loud playing jazz combo is shown.

 

 

Also worthy of note, in addition to everything you mention, is Wise's masterful capture of reaction shots of select fans watching the fight from the stands: the gluttony of the one fat guy who's constantly eating something new every time he's on screen; the blood lust of the one guy with the pale eyes and clenched teeth; the guy totally ignoring his girl friend beside him as he mimics the moves of the fighters in the ring, the older woman who badgers the fighters to keep up the hot action, and of course Little Boy's changing expressions as the outcome he's 'paid for' unravels, as well as he's moll's boisterous side-bets with the guy one row in front.   

 

Equally deserving of note is the high-tension rubber-band that Julie (Audrey Totter) is on as she deliberately stays away from the ring, even tearing up her ticket, torn between her love of Stoker and desire to be there for him and her total revulsion to a fight game that she believes will tear them apart and ultimately kill him.    And Wise balances Julie's deliberate absence with repeated shots to the empty seat that Stoker keeps looking towards throughout the fight, desperately hoping Julie hasn't run out on him.  

 

Wise isn't necessarily known for noir, but he sure had his hand in a lot of good ones.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lady in the Lake

This first-person point of view (POV) may have been revolutionary, but on this, my first viewing of Lady in the Lake, I did not like it all. The other actors play to the camera, which seems to make the camera shots much more static. Montgomery’s voice was echo-ey, the dialogue sounded forced, the camera movements (as Marlowe’s movements) were too, too slow. It shouldn’t take a detective that long to walk from the curb to a front door and push a doorbell! I bet technology advances and modern sensibilities make this movie much more difficult to enjoy today. Maybe it was more effective on a big screen.

 

I have to admit that I thought the Christmastime setting was hilarious. The opening was rather clever: We hear a Christmas carol medley, with saccharin-sweet vocals, and we see a series of Christmas postcards for the credits. One hand after another takes the cards away one by one, with the last one being moved to reveal a handgun. Later in the movie, on Christmas Day, Marlowe and Fromsett listen to the radio, to A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. What better holiday than Christmas to get the full noir treatment! I was a little surprised, to be honest, that a saccharin-sweet caroler didn’t get the full murder treatment!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Third Man (1949)

London Films

 

This classic noir showcases how, "Film noir falls somewhere between an objective realism and a subjective formalism." We see the layout of Vienna through it's architecture, cobbled stone streets, the four divided sections, the military presence of an international police, and war-torn buildings. This then is contrasted with scenes of interior beauty as in the scene where Holly (Joseph Cotton) learns about a third man.

 

Holly and Anna (Alida Valli) go question the porter in their quest to determine if Harry's death was an accident or an intentional act. The scene begins with the porter at the window describing to Holly what occurred below surrounding Harry's death, while Anna a few feet away her back to the men, is disinterested. As the men continue to talk, Anna (with the men in the foreground) walks into the bedroom and turns on the light. The camera follows her and the men slowly disappear from the shot.

Pause it there and we see the edge of a square doorway on the right, an archway with a window beyond, a mirror on the wall surrounded by 4 mounted lamps, a dresser, three chairs, a bed and a phone- all perfectly position as she stand exactly at the center. This room is lavishly decorated. We do not expect to see such a room in a war-torn city. She sits and combs her hair - Then Cut to the two men talking. This gives the illusion of a long conversation without the viewer having to hear it all. Director, Carol Reed uses oblique angles and diagonal shots to emphasize the porter's turmoil in wanting to help but not getting involved. 

 

There is one more scene that shows how Reed was not interested in conventional directing. In the scene where Holly and Anna are in a nightclub and he is introduced to the Romanian Popescu, one of the men that helped carried Harry on to the car. As the men walk side by side past the panning camera they come to a stop and we notice that Popescu ends up facing somewhat toward the camera and Holly has his back towards it, but neither is in front of each other. How odd I thought. They continue talking while holding their positions and then Holly walks around him all the while Popescu does the same until they stop and their positions are inverted. They talk a bit more then walk to their seats. I kept repeating this scene to see if there was something the director wanted us to see. I did not see it if there was something. So I am guessing that Reed was suggesting that Popescu was literally and figuratively talking in circles. In any event it was a unique and clever way of filming this conversation. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Postman Always Rings Twice: Film Noir or Comedy?

 

I bet I’m in the minority, but I had a hard time believing that The Postman Always Rings Twice was a film noir. It all started in the hospital room. Cora is trying to talk to her barely conscious husband Nick, but Frank and D.A. Sackett are trading several sidelong glances (and stealing the scene). So funny. Then, before I know it, I’m watching what I call the Cat Sequence. Here are a few of the funniest lines:

Cop: “Cats are poor dumb things.”

Frank: “Yeah. They don’t know anything about electricity.”

Cop: “The cat’s deader than a door nail.”

D.A. Sackett: “Yes, the cat’s dead all right.”

When the cop and D.A. Sackett exit right, the camera lingers on Frank. The look on Frank’s face is priceless. He’s just standing alone in the center of the screen, watching them walk away with a grim look on his face. I couldn’t stop laughing during this whole exchange. I’m laughing as I write this! I kept thinking that John Garfield would have made a great sketch player on SNL.

 

We do get a glimpse of the dead cat, and it’s definitely dead, fried by electricity. What does the cop say? “Sure is a cute cat.” Proving that Frank wasn’t the only one with the best lines.

 

Maybe the humor actually started for me when Nick comes home drunk. He’s clutching the package of clothes that have been dry-cleaned and he keeps tripping over himself. He reminded me of Buster Keaton. By the time he starts up the stairs, the wrapping is in tatters. By now, the clothes are strewn over the floor at the bottom of the stairs, and Nick is bumbling his way up the stairs, holding on to shredded pieces of paper and nothing else.

 

The banter between D.A. Sackett (Lean Ames) and the lawyer Arthur Keats (Hume Cronyn) is also funny. I didn’t find them cold-hearted; instead, I felt like I was watching two characters spoofing ambulance chasers. Sackett even chases (he says “follows”) Frank, Cora, and Nick on the night when Nick is killed. If he hadn’t done that, Frank and Cora wouldn’t have been caught and I think we would have had a film noir.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Set Up

 

A taut little Noir movie, notable for it being the first (I think) film to take place in "real time", which is especially interesting in that the idea isn't played up at all: no ticking clocks or sense of urgency, just the whole film taking place over a short period of time. 

 

 

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, the previous year, was entirely real-time. With the conceit that it was made to look like one continuous take. There's also a German film from the 30s, 90 Minute Stopover, also concerning boxing, that was done in real time. It's one of the earliest examples, for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope, the previous year, was entirely real-time. With the conceit that it was made to look like one continuous take. There's also a German film from the 30s, 90 Minute Stopover, also concerning boxing, that was done in real time. It's one of the earliest examples, for sure.

Thanks...that's what I love about this course and the TCM boards: you learn so much! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also worthy of note, in addition to everything you mention, is Wise's masterful capture of reaction shots of select fans watching the fight from the stands: the gluttony of the one fat guy who's constantly eating something new every time he's on screen; the blood lust of the one guy with the pale eyes and clenched teeth; the guy totally ignoring his girl friend beside him as he mimics the moves of the fighters in the ring, the older woman who badgers the fighters to keep up the hot action, and of course Little Boy's changing expressions as the outcome he's 'paid for' unravels, as well as he's moll's boisterous side-bets with the guy one row in front.   

 

Equally deserving of note is the high-tension rubber-band that Julie (Audrey Totter) is on as she deliberately stays away from the ring, even tearing up her ticket, torn between her love of Stoker and desire to be there for him and her total revulsion to a fight game that she believes will tear them apart and ultimately kill him.    And Wise balances Julie's deliberate absence with repeated shots to the empty seat that Stoker keeps looking towards throughout the fight, desperately hoping Julie hasn't run out on him.  

 

Wise isn't necessarily known for noir, but he sure had his hand in a lot of good ones.   

I liked the lady who, as they waited outside, was querying why she was brought along as she was squeamish and had to watch through her hands. Of course, as the fights go on, we see her standing and yelling out for the fighters to kill 'em, get up and be a man, hit him, etc, all the while her man is casting sideways glances at her! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i must be the one person who likes the Lady in the Lake in spite of all the reasons on the board. Totally agree it would be a better movie if had a different cast except Lloyd Nolan and the guy that played the police chief. If Audrey Totter toned it down, she can stay too, but despite all it's faults I still like watching this movie..

Now if you think Robert Montgomery is the worse Marlowe, I promise you, watch the Brasher Dabloon. you will change your minds... :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

I've not seen the Brasher Dubloon but I find it hard to believe there's a worse Marlowe than Montgomery...I'd even take Elliott Gould or Dick Powell over him (I like Mitchum, but I'd rather have seen him in Out of the Past era as Marlowe)! Come to think of it, why has there really not been a standout Marlowe in Cinema's long history?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not seen the Brasher Dubloon but I find it hard to believe there's a worse Marlowe than Montgomery...I'd even take Elliott Gould or Dick Powell over him (I like Mitchum, but I'd rather have seen him in Out of the Past era as Marlowe)! Come to think of it, why has there really not been a standout Marlowe in Cinema's long history?

There are actually very few classic Film Noir that feature private detectives as main characters, go figure, right.

 

Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon

Phillip Marlowe in, The Big Sleep, Murder My Sweet, Lady In The Lake, and The Brasher Doubloon

Mike Hammer in I, The Jury, Kiss Me Deadly, My Gun Is Quick.

Jeff Bailey in Out Of The Past

Bradford Gault in the Dark Corner

Arnold Arnett in Born to Kill

 

There may be one or two more but not more than a handful, even though PIs are strongly associated with Noir. You do get a few insurance investigators that act in sort of the same capacity. I know Charles McGraw played them in Loophole, and in Roadblock, Alan Ladd was a Postal inspector in Appointment With Danger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us