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Rickspade

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About Rickspade

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  1. > {quote:title=mrroberts wrote:}{quote} > How about "Night and the City" with Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney? That's a great one, one of the best noirs of all time. I think Widmark gives perhaps his most nuanced performance in any noir, and the entire supporting cast is terrific (although Gene Tierney, as great as she is to look at, seems a bit miscast). In addition, Dassin uses the London backdrop to great effect, as well as any director ever used any American city. I highly recommend this one.
  2. > {quote:title=tomagain77 wrote:}{quote} > One of the best ever - period. I wanted to correct some glaring typos in my last post. The last sentence in the first paragraph should read: He even more than held his own in every scene he had in Patton with that larger-than-life actor, George C. Scott.
  3. > {quote:title=tomagain77 wrote:}{quote} > One of the best ever - period. I agree; he had this terrific talent of turning just about every character he played into something very substantial, from the sympathetic friend in Streetcar to the priest in Waterfront; from the warden in Birdman in Alcatraz to the dealer in The Cincinnati Kid. He even more than held his won in every scene he had in Patton with that larger-than-life actor that George C. Scott. One little interesting bit of Malden trivia: as a tribute to his family heritage and name (and as a bit of superstition), Malden always tried to somehow work his family name of Sekulovich into whatever movie he made, usually in just a throwaway line. For example in one scene in Birdman of Alcatraz, he shouts out to one of the prison guards, "Hey, Sekulovich, take this prisoner over to the infirmary." Malden managed to work his real family name into many of his movies; years ago I started to watch and listen for it, the way people always look for Hitchcock's brief cameo appearances in all of his films.
  4. > {quote:title=redriver wrote:}{quote} > I'm so glad you shared that. I've never met anyone else who's read it! You can add me to the list of those who have also read it; in fact, as a big Woolrich fan, I can proudly say I've read his entire "Black" series of six novels, (as well as several others of his books)five of which have been turned into films noir, with varying degrees of success. Most noir fans know these films, but for those who may be unfamiliar with them, the title and adaptations are: The Black Curtain= Street of Chance (1942), with Burgess Meredith as the amnesia victim. Black Alibi=The Leopard Man (1943) The Black Angel=Black Angel (1946)-w/ Dan Duryea; probably the best adaptation of any of the "Black" series books The Bride Wore Black(1968)=film of same title The Black Path of Fear=The Chase(1946) To my knowledge, the only one in the series that was not adapted for the screen is Rendezvous in Black, which is basically the same story as The Bride Wore Black, only this time it's the prospective groom seeking revenge for the death of his bride-to-be. Of course, all Woolrich fans are well aware of the other films noir made from his wonderful stories of suspense, including the terrific Phantom Lady, Nightmare, Night Has a Thousand Eyes, and Hitchcock's classic, Rear Window. Woolrich was a great source for some classic noirs.
  5. > {quote:title=RainingViolets101 wrote:}{quote} > And not a word about her stunning performance in "SUDDEN FEAR" as Irene Neeves > > she and Palance plot to do in Joan, and she is glorious in the courtroom scene... Hi RainingViolets, I recently saw Sudden Fear and completely agree with you...Gloria is stunning. However, what "courtroom scene" are you referring to? There is no courtroom scene in the movie. Are you perhaps confusing it with another Grahame movie?
  6. Hi Dewey, I just wanted to chime in and say I was able to make it into the City for two of the double bills and thoroughly enjoyed all four films. I caught the Saturday matinees for Raw Deal and Railroaded and then The Burglar and Witness to Murder. I hadn't seen any of the four, and all of them were definitely worth seeing, especially in a theater with excellent prints. Raw Deal lived up to FrankG's' (and some other noir fans) praises, in story, excellent performances, and John Alton's great cinematography. Railroaded and The Burglar had fine performances, right down to all the supporting roles, as well as some really good location shots, and Witness to Murder was suspenseful, brilliantly shot, and featured great work by Stanwyck (who in my opinion, was incapable of ever giving anything less than a terrific performance), Sanders, and Gary Merrill. I asked for you both days I went to the theater, but the few employees who were there said they hadn't seen you. I guess you made your appearances later in the day or for the evening shows. Anyway, you did a great job putting together this program, and I'm certainly glad I got the chance to check out those four films. Regards, Rick
  7. > {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote} > [u> > What's up, Rick? -- > > To quote one great line from Chandler's essay where he extolled the virtues of Hammett's writing in comparison to the authors of earlier 20th century mysteries, Chandler wrote, > "Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley; it doesn't > have to stay there forever, but it looked like a good idea to get as far as possible from > Emily Post's idea of how a well-bred debutante gnaws a chicken wing." > > That's definitely more my speed. I get the feeling film noir is more masculine while mystery > is more feminine. Laura is one of those films that attempts to mix the two. What is > your take with that? >I agree completely about Laura; it tries to "have it both" ways. . .and succeeds greatly. The whole "multiple suspects" angle, and the world of high society and high culture in which Laura travels is almost never part of the traditional film noir milieu, but the circumstances of Laura's "death," McPherson's obsession with her, and the deviousness of some of the characters are straight out of noir. That makes for a deadly, and wonderful, combination >I haven't been around this thread for several days, and what happens while I'm gone? A five or six-way discussion breaks out, complete with magnificent images, of FrankG's #1 film noir (and my #3). >Note to CineMaven: Hope by the time you're done with Scarlet Street you come to the same conclusion that Frank and I reached long ago: the film belongs in the pantheon of film noir. By the way, I too am a big Margaret Lindsay fan; she was a very underrated actress, and in case you haven't already, you should make a point to catch her in those early-to-mid-1930s Warners' films with Cagney: Lady Killer (1933), Devil Dogs of the Air (1935), Frisco Kid (1935) and 'G' Men (1935); they had a terrific rapport together. Obviously she spent a big chunk of her career relegated to playing the best friend and or rival to such stars as Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck, which is a shame. Warners should have give her better opportunities to shine in the lead. In some roles she reminded me of a brunette Ann Sheridan, a good combination of wholesomeness and feistiness.
  8. > {quote:title=feaito wrote:}{quote} > Definitely Barbara Stanwyck. That says it all. . .in just three words.
  9. > {quote:title=Dewey1960 wrote:}{quote} > Rick, if you should make your way to the Roxie for this show, make sure you say hello! You too, Holly! Dewey, I guess I've been in "the dark" here (sorry, bad pun), but I had no idea until a few minutes ago that you're the curator of this program. Congratulations, you've put together a terrific series. I'm going to try to make it up at least once or twice, especially for Raw Deal, which I've never seen, and which FrankG has raved about (and I believe you as well). Anyway, I'll make sure and take a minute or two of your time and say hello. It will be a real pleasure.
  10. > {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote} > HGL, > > If you go, I hope you'll post about it. They have some very rare noir films in the line-up. Hi lzcuutter, You're right, it looks like a great program. I'm hoping to catch at least a few of the titles, since I'm just down the road from the Roxie. Anyone else posting here planning to attend?
  11. > {quote:title=HollywoodGolightly wrote:}{quote} > > { > Hi Rick, > I've only watched Murder on the Orient Express only once, but I enjoyed it quite a bit for what it is. Nonetheless, I would agree it's very different from noir. Where can I find this Chandler essay you mention? Is it in some collection somewhere? Can it be found online? I'd really like to read that one of these days. Hi HollywoodGolightly, The Chandler essay has been printed a few times in book form, both in trade and quality paperback, over the past several decades. The Simple Art of Murder contains the essay, as well as several of Chandler's short stories, such as Spanish Blood, The King in Yellow, and Pearls Are a Nuisance. I believe any decent size library with a good mystery collection should carry it; in lieu of that, you could probably pick up a cheap copy in a used book store. I have no idea if you can read it on-line. (It runs about 20 pages in book form.)
  12. > {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote} > > > Well, there have been a lot of them over the years, also called "drawing room mysteries." > The characters are so clever, erudite, and loquacious...and very boring. And the plots have > some of the most incredible coincidences and off-the-wall solutions that they make most > films noir look like the most logical crime plots you've ever seen. > > Ohhh, now I get it. So would you call films like The Thin Man to be on this > level? What about the Chan flicks? I always think of "mystery" films to be "non-threatening," > and this invites a wider audience. I generally view film noir to be mostly a male audience. > Yes, I'm dropping generalizations all over the place here. > Well, I would personally put The Thin Man a large notch above the average drawing room mystery; it's Hammett (although not nearly up to Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, or his Continental Op novels), and of course the banter between Powell and Myrna makes the whole thing more than worthwhile. I haven't seen a Charlie Chan movie in more than 30 years, although I got a big kick out of them when I was very young; I have no idea how I'd react to one today. I think the ones I find most objectionable are the ones with British origins, where both murderers and victims alike were so damn polite, well-mannered, clever...and as I've said, boring. To quote one great line from Chandler's essay where he extolled the virtues of Hammett's writing in comparison to the authors of earlier 20th century mysteries, Chandler wrote, "Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley; it doesn't have to stay there forever, but it looked like a good idea to get as far as possible from Emily Post's idea of how a well-bred debutante gnaws a chicken wing." > One case in point, in the more modern era, is Murder on the Orient Express (1974), a > Hercule Poirot boring mess. (I'm sure I'll hear from some Agatha Christie fans, but I don't > suspect too many hard core noir fans are big fans of Christie.) > > I've never seen it. My attraction to it would be Ingrid Bergman. > > > No one can ever go wrong seeing a movie just for Ingrid Bergman...at any age. Besides, no matter how old she got, she will always be Ilsa Lund to me. Forever. > > Thanks for the great screen shots of Widmark. Each actor brought his special talents to the genre, (Mitchum, Lancaster, Conte, Andrews) but Widmark could do one thing better than anyone: he had the best _smirk_ of any actor...ever. > > > > >
  13. > {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote} > Your listing of top 25 film noirs is excellent, but how about 'The Dark Corner" and "The Big Heat"? Hi finance, Glad you liked my list. I think very highly of both The Dark Corner and The Big Heat. Both would definitely make my top 50 (probably between 30-40), although it's been so long since I've seen The Big Heat I'd have to see it again to pick the right spot for it. Why don't you get on board and let us see your top 25? (or Top 10, or 50, or whatever)
  14. > {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote} > > So you like 'em bleak, huh? I also like the very dark ending to Scarlet Street. I think > it's absolutely brilliant and I'm amazed it passed the Code. I agree, I'm very surprised, too, because in addition to forbidding explicit sexual content, the Code also had a very strict adherence to people paying the ultimate penalty if they committed serious crimes, i.e. murder. And of course at the end, Edward G. gets away with it; the only thing I can think of is that it passed through because he's such a broken, half-crazed man, the audience will come away thinking he really didn't get away with anything. It looks as if he's probably headed for suicide. > > (2) the plot of Window involves peripheral characters and developments that remind me > more of an Agatha Christie story than a film noir...and I'm not a fan of Christie mysteries > at all. > > That's a very interesting point. I'm not sure if I've ever seen an Agatha Christie mystery. Well, there have been a lot of them over the years, also called "drawing room mysteries." The characters are so clever, erudite, and loquacious...and very boring. And the plots have some of the most incredible coincidences and off-the-wall solutions that they make most films noir look like the most logical crime plots you've ever seen. One case in point, in the more modern era, is Murder on the Orient Express (1974), a Hercule Poirot boring mess. (I'm sure I'll hear from some Agatha Christie fans, but I don't suspect too many hard core noir fans are big fans of Christie.) If you haven't already read it, read Raymond Chandler's great essay, The Simple Art of Murder. It provides a wonderful persepctive comparing the literary drawing room detective mystery with the more realistic American detective novel that pretty much originated with Hammett. It's Chandler at his best, writing about the birth of American hard-boiled crime fiction, which as we know, ultimately provided much source material for film noir. > > > > > 1. Double Indemnity > 2. Out of the Past > 3. Scarlet Street > 4. Pickup on South Street > 5. Sweet Smell of Success > 6. Nightmare Alley > 7. Night and the City (1950) > 8. Fallen Angel > 9. The Asphalt Jungle > 10. The Maltese Falcon > 11. Criss Cross > 12. D.O.A. > 13. The Woman in the Window > 14. Touch of Evil > 15. The Night of the Hunter > 16. Angel Face > 17. In a Lonely Place > 18. On Dangerous Ground > 19. Gun Crazy > 20. Where the Sidewalk Ends > 21. The Big Sleep > 22. The Killing > 23. No Way Out > 24. Force of Evil > 25. Laura > > Your list is pretty close to mine. You are doomed. What struck me most was your liking > Fallen Angel as much as me. Boy, I really need to see Night and the City. It's > a film that just screams out to me. Angel Face is a film that keeps climbing my > list. I'm glad to see you ranked it so well. I'm also pleased to see > Where the Sidewalk Ends on your list. More Preminger. I was also impressed with > your inclusion of No Way Out. You gotta love Widmark. He sure doesn't hold > anything back, does he? > > So, we're pretty much in this together, huh? Sounds as if we're both driving down a dark and dangerous road, and I don't know about you, but I'm not stopping for any hitchhiker, because if it's a dame, it will turn out to be Ann Savage, and if it's a guy, he'll look a lot like Lawrence Tierney. And yes, you MUST see Night and the City; make it a top priority. And finally when it comes to noir, you can never have too much Widmark. (The film with his most famous role missed out on my list, mainly because the rest of the cast in Kiss of Death leaves me somewhat cold. Besides, Widmark's characters in the three films I've included are more fascinating to me than Tommy Udo. How about you?)
  15. > > As for "Macao"...who'm I kidding, we're talking about Gloria. Hell, how lucky was Robert Mitchum? He was luckier than Gable in "Mogambo" don'cha think?? Hi Cinemaven, Well, let's think about that for a second. Considering that Mogambo was a remake of Red Dust, I'd say Gable was a pretty darn lucky fellow. The first time, he wound up with Jean Harlow, after dallying with (and then rejecting) Mary Astor; then, he wound up with Ava Gardner, after dallying with (and then rejecting) Grace Kelly. And to top it off, he was 21 years older on the second-go-around. . .and of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, three of his women were in their early to mid 20s, and Ava was only 31. I'd call that hitting the jackpot. But, I'll admit, Mitchum did all right for himself, too!
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