Dr. Rich Edwards

JULY 24 TCM FILM DISCUSSION FOR #NOIRSUMMER FOR ALL 13 FILMS

148 posts in this topic

This is a wonderful lineup this week. I'm a fan of so many of these films, and I provide "reasons to watch" each one in my Viewing Guide.

 

You can read my Summer of Darkness Viewing Guide in Canvas here: https://learn.canvas.net/courses/748/pages/summer-of-darkness-viewing-guide-for-july-24-2015?module_item_id=130653

 

Here's the terrific lineup, and each film title is link to their entry in the TCMDb, if you want further info:

 

6:45 AM ROADBLOCK (1951)

8:00 AM THE STRIP (1951)

9:30 AM BEWARE, MY LOVELY (1952)

11:15 AM CLASH BY NIGHT (1952)

1:15 PM KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL (1952)

3:00 PM MACAO (1952)

4:45 PM TALK ABOUT A STRANGER (1952)

6:15 PM SPLIT SECOND (1953)

8:00 PM THE NARROW MARGIN (1952)

9:30 PM HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951)

11:45 PM THE LOCKET (1946)

1:30 AM ANGEL FACE (1952)

3:30 AM ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (1958)

 

Let the discussions begin!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Steel Trap 5am isn't on the list?

 

I'm watching it now and I'm sure it should be: good guy making bad decisions, voice-over narrative, and (most interestingly for me) this is the story of a guy with a decent job, a good life, and happy marriage and a nice kid and yet somehow he's having an existential crisis: all this "good" isn't enough, he wants more!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roadblock :

Its nicely filmed by Nicholas Musuraca. From a circular neon lit clock down to a doorway carved into a chiaroscuro building. A man (Peter Brocco) steps out to the sidewalk and drifts to his car. Out of an alley shadow, Miller runs towards the sled. Peters blasts him a duce in the back, Miller dies staring at the man hunched over his trunk. Peters points his gun at the man and tells him to drive. There is a nicely hard boiled exchange between Peters and Brocco as they drive away, Brocco in fear of his life as the sole witness to murder. McGraw is oozing menace, Brocco tries to buy his life offering Peters $100,000 from a bank heist. Peters bites, Brocco drives to a cemetery mausoleum where he pries up a flagstone revealing a tin box. At that moment, returning from the dead, Miller walks in the door, money recovered case closed.
 
Another sequence is the cute meet between Peters and Femme Fatale (Joan Dixon) as Diane, I bought this a whole lot better upon second view. It all takes pace in a commercial aviation setting (a new wrinkle in Crime Films), the initial contact where Diane overhears Peters booking his ticket in the waiting room and sets her con in motion is well acted between the two leads. Diane after flirting with Peters pretends to be his wife getting a discounted ticket. Their confrontation once Peters sees through her scheme and the continuation of their "fake" marriage after their plane is forced down are equally well written. 
 
But here may be one of the films minor faults, Joan Dixon does an adequate job, but what if McGraw had been cast against Noir Queen Marie Windsor, they had some great sparks/chemistry in The Narrow Margin as adversary's there. This alternative casting might have vaulted this film immediately into top shelf noir, and McGraw - Windsor into near Bogart - Bacall territory, on first view, as is, Dixon is a dame you have to warm to over repeated watches. Miss.
 
The detectives first encounter with racketeer Kendall Webb (Lowell Gilmore) is another great sequence, it has Webb exclaiming "you got more nerve than regular cops" to which Peters snaps "thanks".
 
The finale car chase with Peters' peddle to the metal Chevy barreling almost out of control through the concrete trough of the LA River is riveting. 
 
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Strip

 

I just can't see how this is categorized as Film Noir. Perhaps this is a failed attempt at trying to cash in on the popularity of film noir by creating a hodgepodge of noir elements. However, it creates nothing more than a sappy melodrama. Mickey Rooney is just awful as he just takes himself way too seriously as a dramatic actor.

 

Technically, the noir elements just aren't there. There is no use of chiaroscuro, no close-ups, no panning, or angled shots. The director tried to play a bit with the shadows, but even that falls shorts.

 

As a story, the plot teeters between campy and sappy. I don't even think the director new how to tell a story. The mobster motif came out of left field. There just wasn't any development leading up to that realization. Perhaps the director thinks he's creating a film noir with Rooney as the conflicted, jealous boyfriend. Even that's a stretch.

 

A better Noir film with Rooney is Quicksand; much better than this mess of a film.

 

Great jazz numbers, though. I immediately recognized the sounds of Earl "Fatha" Hines and Jack Teagarden.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Strip (1951)

 

Thankfully, I have just now seen "The End" on this film.

 

This may sound harsh, but the only redeeming quality about this movie is the music.

 

I have always loved Louis Armstrong. No one can replace him.

 

I was disappointed to see a short scene with Rooney playing the drums with these gentlemen...what a throwback to Andy Hardy! Perhaps this was purposeful in order to showcase Rooney's "musical talent" which in my opinion could never live up to this wonderful collection of musicians.

 

No noir for me in this film. The cineamatography was weak in that it didn't produce the camera moves or lighting and shading that typifies noir. Someone also pointed this out in an earlier post.

 

I had a hard time separating Rooney from his comedic and lighter roles. He didn't pull off the dramatic role well at all. The Las Vegas tough/mobster influence is missing.

 

I could have done without the dancing sequences. Somehow they seemed out of place and unnecessary.

 

Sorry for the negative review but I just couldn't help myself.

 

There are many more films scheduled for today and the DVR is working overtime. More discussions to come!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think you would like him in quicksand better. andy rooney plays a young man who steals out of his cash register to go on a date with an older woman. it also has peter lorre in it. it's a great noir and it suits andy rooney's personality

The Strip (1951)

 

Thankfully, I have just now seen "The End" on this film.

 

This may sound harsh, but the only redeeming quality about this movie is the music.

 

I have always loved Louis Armstrong. No one can replace him.

 

I was disappointed to see a short scene with Rooney playing the drums with these gentlemen...what a throwback to Andy Hardy! Perhaps this was purposeful in order to showcase Rooney's "musical talent" which in my opinion could never live up to this wonderful collection of musicians.

 

No noir for me in this film. The cineamatography was weak in that it didn't produce the camera moves or lighting and shading that typifies noir. Someone also pointed this out in an earlier post.

 

I had a hard time separating Rooney from his comedic and lighter roles. He didn't pull off the dramatic role well at all. The Las Vegas tough/mobster influence is missing.

 

I could have done without the dancing sequences. Somehow they seemed out of place and unnecessary.

 

Sorry for the negative review but I just couldn't help myself.

 

There are many more films scheduled for today and the DVR is working overtime. More discussions to come!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was surprised about that too. Joseph Cotten starts, he has it all supposedly and he still isn't happy and it goes down the tubes from there. i love that film too

The Steel Trap 5am isn't on the list?

 

I'm watching it now and I'm sure it should be: good guy making bad decisions, voice-over narrative, and (most interestingly for me) this is the story of a guy with a decent job, a good life, and happy marriage and a nice kid and yet somehow he's having an existential crisis: all this "good" isn't enough, he wants more!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BEWARE, MY LOVELY

Without the course “Investigating Film Noir” and the Daily Dose of Darkness about this film, I’d have likely passed it up (noir in 1918?).  BUT, this is one creepy flick! 

Robert Ryan is fantastic and compelling to watch in this role.  The noir elements eventually show up and without certain clues, like the furnishings, it could have been in the late 40s or early 50s.  As always, Ida Lupino pulls it off perfectly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beware My Lovely

 

Aside from the awful tacked-on Noir-sounding title (did Chandler not think of suing?) I couldn't help but wonder whether this was really a Noir rather than a psychological horror-thriller? So much of it reminds me of Psycho - or rather, the other way around as Psycho came along 8 years later - and I don't think people claim that as Noir...do they? 

 

Oh, and what happened to the ending? It just kind of fizzled out, I suppose Ryan just moves on to terrorize someone else now! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Strip (1951)

 

Thankfully, I have just now seen "The End" on this film.

 

This may sound harsh, but the only redeeming quality about this movie is the music.

 

I have always loved Louis Armstrong. No one can replace him.

 

I was disappointed to see a short scene with Rooney playing the drums with these gentlemen...what a throwback to Andy Hardy! Perhaps this was purposeful in order to showcase Rooney's "musical talent" which in my opinion could never live up to this wonderful collection of musicians.

 

No noir for me in this film. The cineamatography was weak in that it didn't produce the camera moves or lighting and shading that typifies noir. Someone also pointed this out in an earlier post.

 

I had a hard time separating Rooney from his comedic and lighter roles. He didn't pull off the dramatic role well at all. The Las Vegas tough/mobster influence is missing.

 

I could have done without the dancing sequences. Somehow they seemed out of place and unnecessary.

 

Sorry for the negative review but I just couldn't help myself.

 

There are many more films scheduled for today and the DVR is working overtime. More discussions to come!

 

My review was just as harsh and I had the misfortune of viewing the whole film. I completely agree with everything you wrote. This movie's only saving grace was the jazz music.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Strip (1951)

 

Thankfully, I have just now seen "The End" on this film.

 

This may sound harsh, but the only redeeming quality about this movie is the music.

 

I have always loved Louis Armstrong. No one can replace him.

 

I was disappointed to see a short scene with Rooney playing the drums with these gentlemen...what a throwback to Andy Hardy! Perhaps this was purposeful in order to showcase Rooney's "musical talent" which in my opinion could never live up to this wonderful collection of musicians.

 

No noir for me in this film. The cineamatography was weak in that it didn't produce the camera moves or lighting and shading that typifies noir. Someone also pointed this out in an earlier post.

 

I had a hard time separating Rooney from his comedic and lighter roles. He didn't pull off the dramatic role well at all. The Las Vegas tough/mobster influence is missing.

 

I could have done without the dancing sequences. Somehow they seemed out of place and unnecessary.

 

Sorry for the negative review but I just couldn't help myself.

 

There are many more films scheduled for today and the DVR is working overtime. More discussions to come!

I'm glad I read this: I never liked Mickey Rooney movies and really was debating whether to give this one a miss, you may well have just made up my mind!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beware My Lovely

 

Aside from the awful tacked-on Noir-sounding title (did Chandler not think of suing?) I couldn't help but wonder whether this was really a Noir rather than a psychological horror-thriller? So much of it reminds me of Psycho - or rather, the other way around as Psycho came along 8 years later - and I don't think people claim that as Noir...do they? 

 

I thought it was more of a psychological thriller. There were some technical noir elements particularly when Lupino was hiding out in the basement. (I also thought the title sequence was rather close to Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely.)

 

What I really disliked about this film was the blatant anachronistic wardrobe. This is supposed to be 1918, and the men are wearing clothing straight out of the 50s! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was more of a psychological thriller. There were some technical noir elements particularly when Lupino was hiding out in the basement. (I also thought the title sequence was rather close to Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely.)

 

What I really disliked about this film was the blatant anachronistic wardrobe. This is supposed to be 1918, and the men are wearing clothing straight out of the 50s! 

I never understood why they didn't just say it was 1950: nothing else would have had to change and I'm sure no-one would have been any the wiser! 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did too, like cause for alarm, it was one of those menaced woman thrillers.  I like when Robert Ryan acts mentally unstabled, he's good at that. I really liked the film.. I think both Ida and Ryan did a great job..I also liked when the teenage girl was bothering him, talking about Ida needed a good looking handyman around for once. lol!

I thought it was more of a psychological thriller. There were some technical noir elements particularly when Lupino was hiding out in the basement. (I also thought the title sequence was rather close to Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely.)

 

What I really disliked about this film was the blatant anachronistic wardrobe. This is supposed to be 1918, and the men are wearing clothing straight out of the 50s! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clash By Night

 

I'm really enjoying this film. Barbara Stanwyck is great in any role, and this one is no different. This film is an example of what I call "femme noir" (like Mildred Pierce) where we have have the female lead who is conflicted. Robert Ryan plays the homme fatale brilliantly.

 

I must say, though, I've never been a fan of Marilyn Monroe; too much of a dim bulb for me. Her acting skills aren't that great here either, but at least she has a minimal role in this film.

 

 

Follow up Edit: A bit of a Shakespearean influence? The relationship between Jerry and Uncle Vince reminds me of that between Othello and Iago; always talking in his ear about his wife and friend thus driving him crazy.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never understood why they didn't just say it was 1950: nothing else would have had to change and I'm sure no-one would have been any the wiser! 

 

Agree.   Beware My Lovely had the look and feel of a post WWII piece.   Could they have set it in 1918 in a poorly veiled attempt to prevent the audience from overtly viewing WWII veterans returning home with PTSD or related psychological issues as being potential Howard's?   If so, they didn't do such a hot job.           

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great way to start off my morning!!  Beware, My Lovely, was a great noir film.  The last part of the film was so nerve racking as Howard's mental state kept fluctuating!!  When he went back upstairs without her knowing it, I thought Helen was doomed.  I loved the way Howard was reflected in all of the Christmas tree ornaments as he came down the stairs!  What a great shot!!!  I really thought that was it for her.  And then he turned out to be meek as a lamb....

 

I will admit, though, that there were times I wondered why the kids and especially the delivery boy didn't say something to the adults around that there must be something wrong because they all knew there was something "off" with her behavior and the general situation.  Even if the adults didn't take them seriously at first, you would think that they would become worried when there was no answer on the phone.  After all, as the kids said, "she's always home."

 

The twist of the movie for me was that I actually felt a little sorry for Howard.  Yes, I know he bumped off who knows how many women, but he seemed so pathetic at times.....

 

I am definitely going to get a copy of this for my DVD collection.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree.   Beware My Lovely had the look and feel of a post WWII piece.   Could they have set it in 1918 in a poorly veiled attempt to prevent the audience from overtly viewing WWII veterans returning home with PTSD or related psychological issues as being potential Howard's?   If so, they didn't do such a hot job.           

Good point: when we watched this as part of the Daily Dose I thought Ryan was a WW1 Vet with PTSD, the Salvation Army representing the military and their cymbals clashing perhaps triggering his actions but I never considered quite the effect that might have on a post WW2 audience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The twist of the movie for me was that I actually felt a little sorry for Howard.  Yes, I know he bumped off who knows how many women, but he seemed so pathetic at times.....

 

 

Howard was a total psychopath and that's what they do; manipulate others to feel sorry for him. Robert Ryan's acting  in this role was superb.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clash by Night

 

Great acting performances throughout in a Realist movie, but it seemed to be to be all melodrama (and how!) and no Noir. 

 

I wonder if Fritz Lang hadn't been the director, whether this movie would've ever been on a list of Noirs, because,for me - apart from the potential Existential angles of the movie - there was little to place it in the genre/style/movement. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

California Noir vs Mexico Noir. Both locations r a character in the films. In San Francisco the city streets r important. In LA the suburbs r important. In the California Noirs there is air and distances and weather (trench coats). Spade walks the SF streets hiding from the gunman. In 99 River St driving a cab around the city is part of the conflict. In Woman On Pier 13 the docks r part of the mise en scene. In Postman Always Ring Twice & The Hitchhiker, hitching along the open road drives the plot. In Dark Passage & In A Lonely Place the local apartment complexes house most of the action. The Mexico Noirs have Mexico as a hideout-a place to wait. The spaces r confined. The characters wear white & sweat a lot. In Out of the Past Cathy steals the money & hides in Mexico. In Kansas City Confidential the pay off & secret of the heist is revealed in Mexico. In His Kind Of Woman the face exchange is to take place in Mexico. In Where Danger Lives the guy & girl flee to Mexico to escape a murder. Mexico is only a temporary resort & safe haven. It is never the final paradise. In California life goes on after the drama unfolds & life's routine resumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

California Noir vs Mexico Noir. Both locations r a character in the films. In San Francisco the city streets r important. In LA the suburbs r important. In the California Noirs there is air and distances and weather (trench coats). Spade walks the SF streets hiding from the gunman. In 99 River St driving a cab around the city is part of the conflict. In Woman On Pier 13 the docks r part of the mise en scene. In Postman Always Ring Twice & The Hitchhiker, hitching along the open road drives the plot. In Dark Passage & In A Lonely Place the local apartment complexes house most of the action. The Mexico Noirs have Mexico as a hideout-a place to wait. The spaces r confined. The characters wear white & sweat a lot. In Out of the Past Cathy steals the money & hides in Mexico. In Kansas City Confidential the pay off & secret of the heist is revealed in Mexico. In His Kind Of Woman the face exchange is to take place in Mexico. In Where Danger Lives the guy & girl flee to Mexico to escape a murder. Mexico is only a temporary resort & safe haven. It is never the final paradise. In California life goes on after the drama unfolds & life's routine resumes.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so agree, i know people like that in real life, not killers, but people that do bad things to you and you end up feeling sorry for them.

robert ryan owned that role, he's a nut, but i can see why ida fell for that, he played that sympathic nut job role

Howard was a total psychopath and that's what they do; manipulate others to feel sorry for him. Robert Ryan's acting  in this role was superb.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us