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ChiO

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Everything posted by ChiO

  1. Now youse guys are dissing in a single thread two of my favorite actors: Sterling Hayden & Timothy Carey. Hayden: Not only wonderful in "Crime of Passion", "Terror in a Texas Town" and "Johnny Guitar" (the latter two being among the oddest Westerns ever made), but his is the key performance in "Dr. Strangelove". Terrifying and absolutely hilarious at the same time, not just due to the script, but a bravura performance. His restaurant scene in "The Godfather" is my favorite scene in the movie (okay, other than the baptism scene). His performance throughout "The Killing" captures both hopefulness and fatalism. I would say he's the best actor in one of my favorite movies, "Crime Wave", but that would diminish the role of . . . Carey: "It's a conceptual thing" certainly applies here. He is absolutely unforgettable in "East of Eden", "Crime Wave", "The Killing", "Paths of Glory", and "Minnie and Moskowitz". Yes, and even in "Head" and "Beach Blanket Bingo" and several TV show episodes -- albeit, perhaps, "unforgettable" may not always be a virtue. The movie he produced, wrote, directed and starred in, "The World's Greatest Sinner", must be seen to be believed -- and then you still may not believe it. Either the worst or the most prescient movie ever made. Kubrick liked using both of them, and Cassavetes used Carey at least twice (Cassavetes called Carey something along the lines of "the Eisenstein of acting", and I believe that Carey gave a eulogy at Cassavetes' funeral). That, dear film fans, satisfies me. Acting technique, acting shmechnique. Give me a performance I can feel, for good or for ill.
  2. Gregory -- I'm working from a cloudy memory, but I believe that Ms. Longet was involved with a noted downhill skier at the time and shot him during a quarrel. What is somewhat clearer in my memory is that on SNL, Chevy Chase narrated the Claudine Longet Downhill Ski Tournament. Stock downhill ski footage was used with Chevy doing the play-by-play and, just before a skier would fall, there was a gunshot and Chevy would say, "Oh, no! Shot by Claudine Longet!"
  3. I'm looking forward to "The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg" and "I See a Dark Stranger" as well. "The Set-Up" has one of my favorite Robert Ryan performances (well -- almost every one of his performances is one of my favorites) and the cinematographer, Milton Krasner, is one of the best. After a quick perusal of September's schedule, I was shocked -- shocked, I say -- to see that he omitted Welles' "Othello" and the best non-English language talkie that I've ever seen, "Tokyo Story" (yes, I like it even better than "M"). Unfortunately, "Tokyo Story" is on at 2am (EST). Curses! It is a masterpiece and the archetype of sublime artistry. Why no one in my family has yet seen fit to buy it for me as a Christmas or birthday present is beyond me.
  4. ChiO

    Raw Deal

    I, too, prefer Raw Deal. Alton's cinematography is a bit more stunning in T-Men, but I think the acting and narrative is stronger in Raw Deal. Raymond Burr is at his sadistic best, plus Whit Bissell, who is my litmus test for whether I'm likely to enjoy a movie.
  5. FrankGrimes -- How embarassing. Rosenbaum's comment on Reign of Terror is from an April '06 [DVDBeaver]article. I religiously check DVDBeaver for Rosenbaum lists and, of course, I read "10 Overlooked Noirs" when it was posted. I didn't view Reign of Terror until about 15 months later. Is Rosenbaum an insidious virus that has planted ideas into my brain & caused me to forget the source, or have I just had too many martinis? I hereby post notice that I credit Jonathan Rosenbaum for anything I write of more than de minimus value and I credit martinis for the rest. Have you read his Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons? The appendix is "1,000 Favorites (A Personal Canon)". That list & some snippets from the book is at www.alsolikelife.com/FilmDiary/Rosenbaum.html The "Suspense" package is worth every penny of the $8.99. Some obvious jewels: He Walked by Night, Detour, The Stranger, Scarlett Street, as well as The Black Book (aka Reign of Terror). Another one I enjoyed [translation: no claim that it's as good as the above, but it sure is fun to watch] that was unknown to me when I bought it is Quicksand -- Mickey Rooney & Peter Lorre, how can you go wrong with that combo.
  6. FrankGrimes: I can't wait to tell my film buff friends that Jonathan Rosenbaum and I have appeared together on the internet in something I didn't write. He and Sarris are my favorite film writers. I hadn't read what he wrote about Reign of Terror, but since he presumably wrote it some time ago, I guess I'll have to say that I agree with him rather than vice versa. Of the Mann-Alton noirs that I've seen (T-Men, Raw Deal, He Walked by Night, Reign of Terror, and Border Incident), it is my favorite - and I say that with Raw Deal and He Walked by Night being two of my favorite films noir. The quality of the DVD is poor, I guess, but it doesn't matter - Alton's shooting in the dark anyway ("Black and white are colors too" and "It's not what you light - it's what you don't light" are my two favorite Alton quotes). It makes his work on Raw Deal look overlit. Slightly off-topic, but if anyone out there lives in the Chicago area, Rosenbaum will be discussing Sam Fuller's Steel Helmet after a screening at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Sept. 5.
  7. This will be of absolutely no help, but what an odd topic for a film noir class inasmuch as film noir is still out there being made and certainly being watched. But, given that that is the assignment (i.e. taking for granted that there was a demise of film noir), some factors to consider may be: (1) the decline of the studio system; (2) the related decline of double-features and the B-movie, which so many films noir were; and, (3) an apparent demographic shift with more movies being targeted to a younger (16-28 or so) audience. Nobody knew they were making movies called film noir until the golden age of film noir was almost over. Point: It was not a "movement" in the sense of a consciously organized marketing or artistic structure, and not a genre like Westerns or Gangster movies. So it is only in retrospect that one can say it ever arose or, for the sake of argument, died. There are alot of websites that discuss (and several are devoted to) film noir. Happy hunting.
  8. The Killing. And we have a winner! Take over
  9. We're hitting all around it. Another arcane clue. Clue #6: Can a live horse beat a dead horse?
  10. There are so many actors who are fun to watch but who aren't often recognized (other than their faces) because they weren't first tier stars and sometimes did not even receive screen credit. So here's a starter list. 10. Roy Roberts - Was there a movie or TV show he wasn't in? 9. Arch Hall, Jr. - I didn't say "great" (or even "good"), but "favorite". Where would the portrayal of early-60's youth be without him. And gotta dig his rock'n'roll. 8. Neville Brand - Oh, my. I got scared just typing his name. 7. Dan Duryea - OK, maybe he was a star, at least to film noir fans. But he can't be mentioned enough, and we mustn't forget Winchester '73 and Silver Lode. 6. Gene Evans - How did he avoid becoming a huge star? The Steel Helmet and Fixed Bayonets!. Your Honor, I rest my case. 5. Raymond Burr - The first time I saw Rear Window years ago, I thought "how could they make Perry Mason a bad guy?" I now know the question should have been "how did they make Raymond Burr into a good guy?". 4. John Cazale - Another quasi-star whose incredible performances are too often not discussed because they were with the likes of Brando, DeNiro, Pacino and Hackman. Can you imagine if he'd been with RKO, Paramount or Eagle-Lion in the '40's & '50's? 3. Elisha Cook, Jr. - Maybe he had the roles Cazale would have had. You know he's probably going to get deservedly smacked (or whacked), but still somehow feel sorry for him. 2. Whit Bissell - I believe that Ebert once wrote that he knew he was going to enjoy any movie with M. Emmett Walsh in it. Whit Bissell does that for me, even in arguably awful movies (did anyone mention Shack Out on 101?). A voice of reason in a world gone mad, usually in a lab coat. 1. Timothy Carey - I understand that some may consider him an emoting, scene stealing whacko. Kirk Douglas certainly thought so. But I side with Kubrick and Cassavetes who loved him. His scenes in East of Eden, Crime Wave and The Killing are a joy. And his last scene in Paths of Glory is one of my favorite scenes on film. If ever you have a chance to see The World's Greatest Sinner, drop everything and see it. It's either the worst movie ever made or a work of genius, but you wouldn't forget it.
  11. Now we're getting close. Clue #5: A sterling performance.
  12. I like that answer, but that's not it. This clue may divulge alot, if your mind is twisted in the same direction as mine (in which case, my heart goes out to you and your family). Clue #4: The future doctor kills the cook.
  13. If "overrated" means "it may be a movie well worth watching, maybe even several times, but despite the hype there are dozens of others that I find more moving and enjoyable", then Out of the Past, Laura and Murder, My Sweet top my list. I keep watching and maybe someday I'll be converted. Most underrated, given that I haven't seen it mentioned: Reign of Terror (aka The Black Book). Even though directed by Anthony Mann and shot by John Alton (my favorite combo in movie history), I avoided it because I could not imagine liking a noir set during the French Revolution starring "Love That Bob". One word after seeing it: Wow.
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