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ChiO

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Posts posted by ChiO


  1. 1. Robinson - the versatility and ability to totally change his characterizations from evil to good, from sympathetic to unsympathetic, from dramatic to comic.

     

    2. Bogart - close on Robinson's heels. *In a Lonely Place* says it all.

     

    3. Cagney - arguably my preference when he's at his best, but he has more valleys for me than Robinson and Bogart.

     

     

     

     


  2. Some other noirs, not mentioned below, based on Woolrich stories:

     

    *The Leopard Man*

    *The Mark of the Whistler*

    *Fear in the Night*

    *The Return of the Whistler*

    *The Bride Wore Black*

    *Martha*

     

    Beyond reading his stories and watching the movies based on them, I recommend reading Cornell Woolrich: First You Dream, Then You Die, a biography by Francis M. Nevins. His life is just as noir as his writings.


  3. _Fred_ said: Everybody knows that already, everybody but kids.

     

    I wish you were correct, but adults often complain about the "inaccuracy" of fiction films, such as the portrayal of Hearst and Davies in *Citizen Kane* (to stay on the Welles theme).

     

    P.S. Given your love for F for Fake, you should avoid Nicholas Ray's *We Can?t Go Home Again* (1976) at all costs.


  4. And before splurging, I suggest sending an email to Warners (or whichever studio you're purchasing from), tell it the brand and model of your player, and ask if the product will play on it.

     

    When Warners was having a sale, I bought several DVDs and none of them would play. I then sent the email and, in response, I received a laundry list of models under my player's brand name that will not play the Warners Archives product.


  5. No, *F For Fake* was not Welles' greatest. I prefer *Citizen Kane* and Touch of Evil. Which puts *F For Fake* somewhere in my 50 favorite films.

     

    An exploration into what constitutes Art and "reality" vs. "perceived reality". A combination of fiction, documentary and essay. And a huge homage to Welles' fascination with film as magic.


  6. *I just happened across the wikipedia article on Film Noir. It is informative and engaging. I recommend that noir fans check it out. It has lots of interesting information. One thing I learned is that the term "film noir" was coined in France in 1946, not by Francois Truffaut in the 50s, as I had read several other places.*

     

    James Naremore, author of More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts (2008 ed.) (not just my favorite book on noir, but my favorite on film), contends that the term "film noir" was used by French writers in the late '30s to describe French movies such as Pepe le Moko, *Hotel du Nord* and Le jour se leve. Then, in 1946, French writers started using the term to describe certain movies coming out of Hollywood.

     

    Film noir is both an important cinematic legacy and an idea we have projected onto the past. -- James Naremore


  7. I'm recalling a movie similar to this. Was it an '80s movie? Was the older sister in about her mid- to late-20s and the younger sister in her teens? Did they jump on a train, or just walk down a railroad track into the night?

     

    My first thought was that Susan Sarandon portrayed the older sister, but looking at her credits convinced me I was wrong.

     

    Even if it's not the same movie, trying to think of the title of the one I'm remembering is driving me nuts.


  8. Eagle Lion is an interesting case as to whether it was a Poverty Row studio. PRC (definitely Poverty Row) was taken over by Eagle Lion, owned by J. Arthur Rank (not Poverty Row), in 1947 in order for Rank to expand his U.S. distribution. Eagle Lion put out B-movies, mostly noirs. Then, in 1950, it was taken over by United Artists.


  9. Acton, to the best of my knowledge, was larger than Boggstown then and now (even discounting the annexation by Indianapolis). And, Acton has no college and, to the best of my knowledge, had no college. I think Ms. Main went to a -- as they were known -- teacher's college in Lexington, Kentucky.


  10. Heck...Acton is purd near a big city in the big county of Marion. She may have been born there, but she growed up in her teenage years in Boggstown, Sugar Creek Township, Shelby County (right down the road a piece a few mile from our farm -- turn right at the big stump acrost from Ol' Man Reese's place). We'uns from them parts were right proud of her.


  11. Very nice summation, KR. I have a number of Losey's films (including The Criminal, but which I haven't watched yet) and need to re-submerge myself in them. If *The Criminal* is anywhere near The Prowler, then I must do this soon. Losey said that *The Prowler* was his favorite film from his early (U.S.) period and that *The Criminal* was his favorite British movie. *M* is the one I am most curious about.

     

    In the "But Is It Really Meaningful" category, Losey and Nicholas Ray were both born in and attended (though two years apart) the same school in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Is it the weather, water, or beer?


  12. *Friday, Dec. 3 at 1:45 EST (10:45 PST) is KNOCK ON ANY DOOR. This film presents an interesting problem in film criticism. Take two films, each with the same great star (Humphrey Bogart), the same talented director (Nicholas Ray), and a solid script. Both are made about the same time. One of them, IN A LONELY PLACE, is much admired, even considered a masterpiece by some, including me. The other, KNOCK ON ANY DOOR, not so much. Why the difference in quality?*

     

    John Derek vs. Gloria Grahame is one possibility. It was Derek's first sizable movie role, he's not the greatest actor of all time, and his character -- unlike most major characters in Ray movies -- is one-dimensional. That Ray and Grahame were married while filming *In a Lonely Place* likely adds considerable flavor to the proceedings.

     

    Ray himself expressed some disappointment with Knock On Any Door: I wish Luis Bu?uel had made *The Young and the Damned* (1950) before I made *Knock on Any Door* (1949), because I would have made a hell of a lot better film.

     

    Perhaps the key difference in Ray's approach to the two movies is that Ray said that *In a Lonely Place* was his most personal film. That can make a world of difference.


  13. No, *The Strange Woman* isn't the first Ulmer movie one thinks of, but when his directing credits include *Menschen am Sonntag*, *The Black Cat*, *Bluebeard*, *Strange Illusion* and *Detour* (and other work on *Der Letzte Mann*, *Sunrise*, *Tabu* and -- according to Ulmer, but not Lang -- *Metropolis*, *Die Nibelungen*, *Spione* and M) there's good reason. I find Ulmer always interesting to watch if for no other reason than to see how creative he could be with minimal budgets and time. Quite a journey from UFA to PRC.

     

    About Lamarr, Ulmer said (with, perhaps, some puffery): Beautiful picture. It nearly got Hedy Lamarr an Academy nomination. It's the only picture where she ever had to act.

     

    IMDb lists Douglas Sirk (oh, my!) as an uncredited director and Eugen Schufftan as a co-producer. Given the relationship between Ulmer and Schufftan, and the latter's list of uncredited camera work (as I recall, he did not belong to the union, so he wasn't given credit on many of his U.S. '40s movies), I bet he did much of the cinematography on *The Strange Woman*.

     

    Edited by: ChiO on Dec 3, 2010 9:13 AM

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