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Everything posted by riffraf

  1. Also, I wanted to go on record as saying that I have tried to put a photograph of myself on my profile, etc. but it hasn't happened...can't get it to download, upload, or whatever load. It just won't load!!! DIANE DYAN BIGGS Uploading a picture from your computer to use as your avatar is not working at the moment. Please upload to one of the many image hosting sites (many of which are free), and use the URL to get your chosen picture in here.
  2. I love this film & have seen it many times & I too wonder why the director chose to add the whistles and sound effects whenever the San Francisco women are within eye-shot of this character. I'm wondering if the thought was to underscore and make the "attraction factor" and/or the"arousal" more pronounced or timeless? Timeless whereas hairstyles, fashion, body language etc. can change quickly but with this verbal cue...we know these women are suppose to be fashionable and attractive or Frank Bigelow is definitely interested in female companionship?
  3. First hit the "Quote" button. You can then write a comment below the quoted post. Or you can highlight only part of the post that you want to focus on and delete the rest!
  4. All four of the opening scenes we have reviewed this week start us off with a mostly darkened screen. The darkness of night is the backdrop for D.O.A., Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker while Cage opens within the confines of a darkened prison van. Fear and dread are consistent in all four clips as is "the disoriented individual facing a confused world". Existentialism is well represented within these films, what remains is for us to follow the characters in their respective dilemmas, watch fate deal the hand and observe the repercussions and outcomes for each. Just a personal observa
  5. The opening scene in Caged seemed designed to put the viewer in the same frame within the prison van along with Eleanor Parker much the way the audience was forced to be a participant in Kill Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker. Right away we are moved to understand the motives at play (or at least try to) in what was probably one of the first women's prison films and a complete turn-around in noir gender roles. What we learn from this scene is a perfect example of Robert Porfirio's definition of existentialism. Eleanor Parker is the disoriented individual facing a confused world she cannot accep
  6. I agree The Hitch-Hiker was filmed in a very tough and realistic manner from start to finish thanks to the talented Ms Lupino. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this movie left me exhausted and a bit un-nerved as this could happen to any of us. A filmed notion of reality keeping us aware of our ever-present vulnerability. I like the movie and appreciate the cinematic accomplishments it achieved but it's not one I can watch over and over again like Out of the Past, Postman Always Rings Twice or The Third Man. That could be the cultural shift the 1950s brought to film noir. In your face fea
  7. Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy will wish they stayed home & played golf instead.
  8. You're right! It's been a few years since I saw the entire film but I remember eagerly getting into "the moment/mood" of the movie and by the time it ended, I felt exhausted! You endure the total helplessness and torment experienced by the other characters. It was an ordeal to watch.
  9. Maybe if William Talman had been barefoot and wearing only a trench-coat, O'Brien and Lovejoy would have kept on driving, I would have! Or maybe they were just more trusting back then. If Tarantino had made the film, O'Brien and Lovejoy would have stopped, beaten and robbed Talman.
  10. I too was only familiar with William Talman when he was a clever (or not so clever) attorney going up against Perry Mason. I was very surprised to see him playing a heavy. But look out, he is BAD to the bone!
  11. The opening scene in The Hitch-Hiker is similar in many ways to the opening in Kiss Me Deadly. First off night-for-night shooting out on an open road. Starting with a low level close-up shot of the hitchhiker's feet and cutting to a wide shot of a car's headlights coming out of total darkness. In comparison to Kiss Me Deadly's opening with a close up of Cloris Leachman's feet running down a darkened highway eventually cutting to the lights of oncoming cars appearing out of the dark of night. They both work as excellent examples of how to open a film noir as they put the audience in the r
  12. Good point concerning his level of commitment! I think that's exactly what the director wanted us to take from that scene!
  13. I have to admit I don't think I would have picked her up either. If I saw her the way Mike Hammer first saw her in the middle of the road, she looked more psychotic than what she was. Maybe she just boiled the pet rabbit on the stove and now wants to slash somebody...and I didn't think she was without clothes until Mike mentions it, so I totally missed any erotic or sexual signals there. I could only see visions of Glenn Close flipping out!
  14. Actually the title sequence was George Lucas tribute to the style used in the 1930s Flash Gordon serials.
  15. In the opening scene of Kiss Me Deadly we observe that the character of Christina Bailey (Cloris Leachman) is running away from something out of fear. She's breathless, barefoot, clothed only in an overcoat and is desperate to flag down a car. Private eye Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) we learn is man who keeps his cool in spite of "this woman" who caused him to run off the road. He likes his slick sports car, listening to cool jazz and doesn't like being bothered but obviously has an aptitude for staying cool, at least for now. By the time the two of them reach a police road block we clearly
  16. Good call on the dialogue and actors! I too loved Alida Valli's performance and after viewing this multiple times and having trouble trying figure out her character and why she was the way she was. By looking at her role as an "actor" and searching the script for a handle on how she should be played, I finally caught it. When Cotten goes backstage to her dressing room he eventually asks her if she was in love with Harry, she replies she doesn't know...she doesn't know anything anymore, she only knows "she wants to be dead too!" No wonder she has no interest in Cotten's advances. She's as m
  17. Good call! You'll find some of the Criterion extras includes an introduction by Peter Bogdanovich sharing some of his points of conversations with Orson Welles, abridged recording of Graham Greene's treatment read by Richard Clarke, documentary footage of the real "sewer police of Vienna", trailers and more...you'll love it!
  18. What makes Harry Lime's (Orson Welles) entrance so effective in this scene from The Third Man is the use of the key film noir tools, light, shadow and music. The man in black is more effective by remaining hidden in the shadows keeping the suspense high and the motives unknown. Is Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) in danger? Could this be a messenger? Countless possibilities especially considering the cast of players and suspects the film has introduced up to this point. It's the cat's meow that alerts Holly to the figure lurking in the shadowed doorway across the dimly lit street. As Holly
  19. Excellent point! And not too far off topic: I was fortunate enough to have met another film fan, the very down to earth Quentin Tarantino at one of his film fests in Austin, Texas where the newspaper had quoted his comments about film audiences and their behavior. I shared with him an experience I had at the Rice Media Center during a screening of The Wild One. There too a younger audience were laughing at the film's characters using slang of 50s, "cool", "crazy" etc. I felt incensed that these people were not allowing themselves to get lost in the moment and appreciate the movie magic. No
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