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About misswonderly3

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    old film-noirish buildings

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  1. I watched Cornered hoping I'd like it better this time (seen it twice before.) But no. The same things about it that I didn't enjoy before , I still noticed. As some of you have said, it's just too damn complicated - too many characters, too many assignations (how many in that hotel lobby, for instance?) too much to follow. And it wasn't entertaining or fun enough to make it worth the effort. I did find Eddie's background information really helpful, especially the bit about all the different writers who worked on Cornered. That explained a lot as to why the script was so murky, hard to follow, and just plain dull (kind of, a few times): first, two many cooks spoil the broth. Second, anyone who writes a screenplay with an "agenda" is going to end up with a sub-par screenplay. Whether it be a Communist , hard C "Conservative", or any other ideology, a film is going to suffer from such an approach. Messages in movies are best left out altogether, or at best, given in small and subtle doses. Look at Clifford Odets: ok, sometimes he's good (Notorious, Sweet Smell of Success...) but just as often, his "I'm a proud Socialist" viewpoint shows too obviously in his screenplays. (This is not a criticism of those 1930s and 40s left-wing writers per sec, it's a criticism of the way they thought it was good art to integrate their left-wing perspective into their work.) Note to these writers (ok, 5 decades late): Leave your political agenda OUT ! Just an example of how doing this just doesn't work: back to Cornered: The alluring Mrs. Camargo is trying to seduce and distract our guy Gerard (or maybe she's trying to do something else, like so many things in this movie, we often have no idea what the hell is going on). She asks Gerard about his lost bride, asking if she was "very beautiful", and Gerard replies that "her teeth were crooked, and she was too thin. Too thin from having not enough food between the wars..." A loving husband mourning the death of his wife of 3 weeks would not talk about her "thinness", or that it was caused by France's political and economic situation. He'd talk about something else, I don't know, her eyes, her sense of humour, her courage -- hey, we never meet her, so I don't know. But I do know that Powell's character sounds more like someone reciting polemic than like a grief-stricken lover. Good things about Cornered: nice noirish cinematography and settings, all those dark alleys and deserted cafes; and the actors, especially Walter Sleazy (that's his name, or should be) and Morris Carnovsky, who's been in a few noirs Eddie's shown on Noir Alley.
  2. I can't believe those few movie-rental places you guys speak of -- the ones that still exist -- are still open. Wouldn't renting movies be considered a "non-essential" service? (Talking about the Corona Virus lockdown, of course.) There's a pretty good movie rental (ok, DVD rental) place just down the street from me. I was always able to find something I was interested in renting. And yes, just browsing around in it was fun. The last DVD I rented from this place was "The Book Shop" (not to be confused with the wretched rubbish movie that came out around the same time, "Book Smart"-- stay away from that one.) This was around the end of February. I was way overdue returning it, finally got a phone message from the place. When I finally returned it, there was a sign saying they were closed due to Covid19 and there was no mention of when or even if, they'd reopen at some future date. I liked this place, I like being able to still rent movies. I don't "do" Netflix or any other streaming service, and so far I've not felt the need to get it. Typically, I'd rent a movie from Jumbo Video ( as it's called) about once a month, usually to catch up on recent releases that I'd missed when they were showing at the theatre ( in Ontario, it's almost all Cineplex, although that might be changing.) "The Book Shop" is a good example of what I'm talking about. Anyway, they're shut, and I'm worried that they might not be coming back. As you've all noted here, renting movies is kind of becoming obsolete. I was lucky that this place hung in there for as long as it did, plus it was just a 15 minute walk from my home. (They did tell me once, when I was telling them Iwas glad they were still around, that they made most of their money from renting video games and consoles. )
  3. Oh, I don't know about that...I miss VHS, and I mostly dislike horror movies.
  4. I wish, if they're going to feature Japanese-oriented noir, they'd show The Crimson Kimono. I looked it up, and while it doesn't appear to be actually set in Japan, it does seem to have a Japanese-based cultural theme. And it's a rare noir that I've never had the chance to see.
  5. Well, I don't know what your wife's idea of shapely legs might be, but Martha Vickers' legs in that scene are just fine, not a bit "chunky". Maybe your wife admires toothpicks.
  6. Too bad, joe, since those aren't proper, real Irish accents. Ok, I guess Barry Fitzgerald. Also that actor John Ford liked so much, Victor McLaglen (who wasn't even Irish, he was English.) But as I've said, the way real Irish people talk doesn't sound much like that Lucky Charms leprechaun at all. ....although, come to think of it, I kind of remember that ad with fondness. Remember "yellow moons, green four-leaf clovers, orange stars, pink hearts"... And remember "Trix are for kids"? I always thought that was so unfair to that poor rabbit. There was also "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs". Oh, and what about Captain Crunch? Good lord, you've really set me off here. Nostalgia for breakfast cereals of the past.
  7. I dunno, I stand by my opinion that there's a bit of a resemblance. Also, Richard Conte was attractive in his own right. Glad you're able to find re-runs of Mad Men. I thought it was a great show, and really loved it. As I recall, Sally had a crush on that guy in "The Man from Uncle", David McCallum. Come to think of it, so did I. (this is not to say that I responded to viewing him on TMFU quite the way Sally did.)
  8. Thanks for the recommendation, Bronxgirl. I looked up Ivy, and it sounds really interesting. I'd love to see it. Do you know if TCM has ever shown it?
  9. I guess I'm just a grouch. Nobody else seems to be annoyed about bumping regular TCM scheduling for a cobbled-together substitute "virutal" TCM Festival, which is just a bunch of clips and replays from earlier festivals. If I could ever afford to attend one of those TCM Festivals, I would. They sound like so much fun, and so interesting. But watching bits on TCM from previous festivals obviously isn't anywhere near the same thing, and I kind of wish, since obviously they had to cancel the real one this year, that they'd just carried on with their regular programming. I'll have to get my husband to tear himself away from SNL tonight (of course it'll be a repeat anyway) long enough to see if Night and the City is a Noir Alley feature, in which case I'd want to at least hear Eddie's intro, or, as james suggests, it just happens to be what they're programming on Saturday night (so, does that mean that at one point Night and the City was part of a TCM Film Festival's program? )
  10. Agree, lav, I always thought Conte was quite attractive too. Here he is in "The Big Combo": I think he looks a little like John Hamm.
  11. Aaargh ! I'm annoyed with TCM's scheduling this weekend. Although they're still airing Noir Alley in its Saturday night slot, they're bumping the Sunday morning one for their "virtual" TCM Festival. Dear god, Lawrence of Arabia, for the thousandth time. I hate Lawrence of Arabia, along with that other huge long David Lean epic, Dr. Zhivago. I do like a lot of Lean's earlier work, before he got all earnest and full of himself and decided that a movie wasn't worth making unless it was at least 3 hours long. But I digress. My point is, I'm disappointed and annoyed that the Sunday morning slot for Noir Alley has been pre-empted for this useless substitute "TCM Festival" (since of course the actual Festival was cancelled this year.) I don't want or need bits culled from earlier festivals to replace the one they couldn't have this year. And I want to see Night and the City at 10 a.m. this Sunday morning, NOT Lawrence of frigging Arabia ! ! Ok, I know ...."Why don't you just watch it Saturday night?" you ask. Because, even though Saturday night is obviously a much more appropriate time to watch a noir movie, my husband loves Saturday Night Live, even the repeats (of course they're all repeats now), and we only have one television set. Plus, I've kind of gotten used to the Sunday morning Noir Alley time. Oh well, I think I might have a copy (but only on videotape, unfortunately) of Night and the City kicking around somewhere. I'll have to try and find it.
  12. I realize it. I don't know why Richard Conte is not more well-known. Yes, he was in loads of noirs, most of them good. And Conte was an actor who was equally effective at playing either the sympathetic protagonist or the villain. I love his performance in The Big Combo, for one. I wish Eddie would show that one, it seems to be rare or something.
  13. I should preface this by saying, 1) I'm a bit uncomfortable analyzing and critiquing the appearance of women in movies in a way we don't seem to do so much with men. I'm not rabidly "activist" about it, but I am aware, every time I talk about how a woman looks in a film, that we tend to do it a lot more than we do the equivalent for male actors. Still, we all know that women in film, no matter how talented they were, were also set up for "the male gaze". Ok, enough undergrad cinema studies type blather. 2) I actually really like Joan Fontaine, look how good she was in films like Rebecca (her best work, in my opinion) and The Constant Nymph, and the under-rated Letter From an Unknown Woman. What's kind of interesting about her appearance throughout her career is, she was able to play female lead characters who were much younger than her age (in The Constant Nymph, Joan's 26 and is playing, quite convincingly, a girl in her teens) until, well, she wasn't. I do think if, in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt , if they'd given Joan a softer hair style and more flattering clothes (maybe that emphasized the slimness of her waist, but nothing "matronly" ) she would have looked better and younger. It's not so much that she doesn't look attractive, in a snooty kind of way, it's that she looks severe. I know it's to contrast with the stripper girls, but they didn't need to go to such lengths for such a contrast. By the way, like all the "strippers" in classic noir, nobody actually strips; they just kind of prance around, at the most they remove some kind of "tail feather" thing at the end of their act (remember the unfaithful "stripper" wife, Adele Jergens, in Armoured Car Robbery.) As for Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, it's one of those movies that impresses you until you start to think about it, after it's over. SPOILER SPOILER Like, did Dana Andrews' character kill that woman before he and Spencer (the anti-capital-punishment newspaper publisher) had talked about capital punishment? That plan they came up with, did Tom Garrett (Andrews) know about that plan even before he murdered his estranged wife? The more you start to think about it, the more improbable it all becomes. I think they just hoped the audience would be so shocked at Tom's revelation , 5 minutes before the film's ending, that they wouldn't stop to think about how unlikely it all would be. ps: Back to Joan Fontaine: looking up her filmography, I see that she was in Kiss the Blood from My Hands. Despite the over-the-top and off-putting title, this is one I've always wanted to see. I think it's pretty rare, never known it to be aired on TCM.
  14. I agree, Joan Fontaine does not have an appealing look in this film. She was very slim (some might say downright skinny), but instead of making her look "svelte", she just looks kind of harsh. They give her unflattering gowns that show how thin she was, and then make it worse by putting her hair in a bun, an "up-do". Now, it's common in old films to signal if a woman is elegant or "classy" by giving her that kind of hair-style (like "Madeleine's" in Vertigo, who wears her hair in an elegant chignon to show how mysterious and upper-class she is). Notice the burlesque women wear their hair long.
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