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Everything posted by sheriff34

  1. I completely agree with your thoughts regarding this film. I watched it because of Frank Sinatra and was somewhat disappointed overall. Like your grandpa, Ol' Blue Eyes was and still is one of my top favorite artists. He had an innate acting ability as well and, I could be wrong, but I don't think he was formally trained. He was superb in The Man with the Golden Arm, which I believe, could be classifed as another noir-must-see. Sidebar: My mother would regale me with stories about Sinatra and the bobby soxers...but, that is a whole 'nother story; I believe that period remains as one of the most critical turning points of his career. All in my humble opinion, of course. Enjoyed your post.
  2. Diane Dyan Biggs: Thank you for sharing your comments with me. I enjoyed reading them. We could write forever about films noir. It seems there is no end in sight. Robert Mitchum..he will never be replaced. Speaking of fedoras...I love it that men wore hats!! I am tipping my fedora to you as well and, just maybe, get another cup of coffee!
  3. I criss crossed into Noirsville. I traveled to Iverstown with Two Strangers on a Train where I got Cornered, met two killers in a diner and got caught in some Crossfire. I was Desperate, I had to get out of there fast, so I took a Detour and hopped on the outbound train with Charles McGraw. He said I was His Kind of Woman!! I took a walk up Mystery Street where I ran into Mildred Pierce and conversed with Laura. I traversed The Asphalt Jungle and wound up "just five little miles from San Berdoo" where I tripped on a statue of a black bird, found a locket and got bumped on the head...."I saw a big black hole and dived in"...right into The Big Sleep. Well, Tomorrow is Another Day. And lest we forget, The Postman Always Rings Twice. Words cannot express how much have I enjoyed this course. It has been an enormous and deep well of information. These movies have been a passion of mine for a very long time and I have come to view all of you as my "film family". I won't be vacuuming when these fantastic movies are aired. I will be viewing them in an entirely different light. They reflect our country's history and are an important part of the film legacy. A big round of applause and a standing ovation for Professor Edwards, Eddie Muller and all who contributed to the success of this venture. Criss Cross is a great movie. Dan Duryea, Burt Lancaster and Yvonne De Carlo shine. Noir all around. If you haven't seen it, I recommend setting the DVR and giving it a try. Best to all of you.
  4. You make good points. Particularly the destruction of evidence. I think the "boys in the back room" should belly up to the sink and do some handwashing themselves. If anything, they should be viewed as accomplices to Munsey's abhorrent behavior. They are cowards, complicit in his actions and equally as guilty. By not doing anything to stop it (as you pointed out), they perpetuate the savagery and brutality. They were repulsed by it but also resigned to the entire situation. "It's business as usual and we certainly don't want to become involved because the same thing can happen to us as what happened to that guy!" The "no way out" existential pattern applies here. Keep posting!
  5. Munsey vigorously washes his hands after he exacted his horrific method of interrogation in order to extract information from a prospective stool pigeon. He uses a stiff brush and really goes at it, if only for a brief period of time. Can handwashing be thought of as synonymous with ridding one's self of, not only the obvious, but of guilt? I make a reference to MacBeth and Lady MacBeth's handwashing scene where she constantly washes her hands in order to dispose of her guilt. I realize that it's a bit of a stretch but, could Munsey be subconsciously washing away his guilt? Or, could it just mean that when he washes his hands, he is marking the end of that little dirty bit of business? A drainpipe is an avenue by which unwanted material is diposed of. Prisoners in a drainpipe suggests they are considered nothing more than the rubbish that empties into it. I see a correlation here. Munsey's guilt and the remains of his reprehensible deed are also washed down the drainpipe. While I appreciate everything that went into the making of this movie, I am, typically, not a fan of prison movies. While Brute Force promises to be an "on the edge of your seat" film, I think I will take a pass. However, I will look forward to everyone's comments.
  6. Just for fun! Speaking of jungles. The song It's a Jungle Out There by Randy Newman is the score for the TV series, Monk. Around 2003 or so. Adrian Monk is a character who suffers from multiple OCD habits, which were triggered by his wife's murder, and is played by Toni Shalhaub. His OCD is so debilitating, that he has trouble going out in public as well as just getting on with his daily life. I quote Wikipedia: "The lyrics allude to Monk's plethora of fears and warn that some degree of cautiouness and attenton is necessary to stay alive, given everyday life's many dangers". I am sure some of you will recognize the series and the score. The series was a comedy, but, at the same time, could be very poignant. I thought I'd throw it out there and create a little bit of a lighter mood.
  7. I love this bit of trivia. I didn't know that Burr was spliced in. Very interesting. Godzilla has been such a cult classic of the sci-fi genre and think of all the entertainment and retail value Godzilla has provided. Amazing.
  8. He was also in Japan's Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956). I have seen this a couple of times...all dubbed from Japanese to English. Burr plays a reporter who is sent there to get a story regarding some mysterious land and ocean disturbances. He seems so out of place. For obvious (and devastating reasons), nuclear testing was still fresh for Japan and it is the main subject of the movie. Of course, a current topic in the postwar 1950's films.
  9. After hearing Steve Randall being beaten to a bloody pulp, I did, for a couple of seconds, think the worst; that he would die. It is certainly true that our imagination can become exaggerated in the blinded moments. Your observation regarding the swinging lamp as a source of menace is right on the money; and, yes, it was so well enhanced by the camera angles which caught Burr portraying a moment of sadistic glee.
  10. I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding how violence is shown in today's films. Gratuitous violence achieves nothing and is far from entertaining. With what is happening in the world today, I suspect most people would "get the picture" without all the blood and gore. We are exposed to this sort of thing way too much from Hollywood. This is why your comment about current filmakers learning a lesson from these movies that we are studying rings so true. Didn't mean to get political, sorry. Guess I am sensitive to this. Great post!
  11. Wow!! Well, I am gobsmacked.! Noir all around. Heavy and dark. ! However, I will say that this clip illustrates, in no uncertain terms, the value of black and white photography. The impact of this subject could never have been achieved as well in a color medium. The teasing and tweeking of the imagination is a key factor in what makes us, the viewers, become involved in a film. The mind can play tricks and the unseen can be extremely powerful; for example, when the overhead light swings to the completely dark screen, we know Steve is being brutalized because we can hear it. When the visual aspect is taken away, our imagination kicks in; we become vulnerable, helpless and trapped. We are exposed only to the sounds which accompany the beating...struggles and fists making contact. The viewer has to rely on another sensory device...the ear. Neurologically, all our sensory organs coordinate with each other in order to supply us with the necessary messages needed to interpret our surroundings. When one of those sensory organs is eliminated or diminished, we must depend on the remaining sensory organs to give us information. Our eyesight should never be taken for granted (just a sidebar). Raymond Burr never ceases to amaze. Here, he has the range and capability to immerse himself in his role. He stays so completely in the moment as to be almost scary. He never flinches! I'm in on this one. I have never seen Desparate so I am eager to see it. I have a feeling it will not disappoint.
  12. I am happy to have been of some help. I remember that TCM broadcast with Clint Eastwood. I loved it. Regardless of how we feel about The Strip, having that movie would be fun in that you could watch it just for the music alone.
  13. Egythea_A, thank you for your comments. I had trouble understanding Carala's direct involvement with his arms dealing during the war and the connection with Indonesia and Algiers. Thanks for the valuable information about the conflict between France and Indonesia. I had no idea. It's certainly helpful to have information like that at your fingertips. It makes viewing the movie more meaningful. Julien's and Carala's conversation about Algiers and Indonesia now make perfect sense. You are right when you say that the subject would have been more familiar to French audiences than to the American audience. I'm proof of that. I understand how the French courts would have gone easier with Julien than with Florence. I suppose they would look upon Carala as a war criminal and realize that Julien, in all probability, executed him. I don't know when I have seen a film that portrays such a palpable and intense love between to people as Julien and Florence. Very moving. Thanks to you I can view it again on an entirely different level. Thank you.
  14. I enjoyed this opening clip. It grabs you and takes you in. You've been set up for the rest of the film. John Huston always impresses me. Sterling Hayden is a quietly intense actor. I like the way he can almost go over the edge, but then, inwardly, holds back just a bit. I may be going way out on limb here, so, please, bear with me. Dix enters a building called the Pilgrim House. The word "pilgrim" references a traveler; someone who comes from a long distance. There used to be, and still are, pilgrim houses that house pilgrims who are on a religious pilgrimage. The pilgrimage concludes when they arrive at a specific destination. Metaphorically speaking, could this mean that Dix and his fellow thieves are "pilgrims" and that they will be taking a journey to find their end/destination? The end or destination....being the heist or something else. (Sorry for all the pilgrims and pilgrimages in the text). Gus has a curvature of the spine. He has to cut his vest in order to accomodate it. He is malformed. This makes him different. Dix is different, too. He is a career crook who has spent time in jail. Having a deformity or a criminal past is not acceptable. Certainly not in the early 1950's. They are outcasts. I believe the Pilgrim House represents those who have a common ground and it would be a sanctuary where misdirected and lonely individuals would find comfort and acceptance. Dix and Gus find refuge, commonality and acceptance within their society of criminals, so...that is their Pilgrim House.
  15. I am sorry you have had so much trouble. It's annoying at best. Unfortunately, I deleted this movie to make room for more recordings. Toward the end of the film I, too, had some interruptions so I was watching the final part in segments. I believe I got the jist: Stan tells everyone that he killed Sonny. This was to cover up for Jane whom he still cared for. He already knew Jane killed Sonny. No one believed him. He finally admits that Jane had, in fact, killed Sonny and was subsequently not charged with Sonny's murder. Stan then returns to his music career. Some else might want to weigh in on this, as well. Always open for suggestions and corrections. Keep posting!
  16. Absolutely right about always being a smoker. The first cigarette of the day with a cup of coffee was the best!
  17. Thank you very much for letting me know about Howard Rumsey. I am touched that you thought to tell me. Well, this marks the end of an era, doesn't it? He certainly lived to a ripe old age and he will be missed. The Lighthouse afforded everyone with a great opportunity to listen to cool music and then be able to reminisce about it years later. That's what it's all about. Thank you.
  18. The Elevator to the Gallows (1958) The Elevator to the Gallows is without a doubt, one of the best. I am glad this was a suggestion for the course. I am inspired to learn about the history and camera work behind foreign films. I have been reticent in the past to watch movies with subtitles, because, for me, they can be distracting. Since, I discovered that if I watch these films at least a couple of times, I can get past the subtitles. As I did with The Bicycle Thief. It is now one of my favorites. The viewing guide was helpful and informative...lots of information about the background of this movie. For example, I did not know Malle was such a Miles Davis fan. There are so many elements in this movie that I don't quite know how or where to begin. The cinematography was superb. The choker shots of Florence Carala in the phone booth, during the opening sequence, allowed the viewer to become one with her in her emotions and apprehensions. She is speaking to her lover, Julien Tavernier and finalizing their plans to murder her husband. The photographic noir element abounds in this film. The night-for-night photography was spectacular. My favorite scene is where Florence wanders aimlessly through the streets after she believes Julien has double crossed her. I felt like I was wandering with her as she weaved through the traffic and pedestrians. The parallel subplot of Louis and Veronique and their petty crime spree is ignited when Louis steals Julien's car. As Julien leaves the office and after he murdered Florence's husband, he looks up at the office building only to see the rope he used in the murder hanging from the balcony of the office. He leaves his car to retrieve the rope but gets stuck in the elevator shaft. When Julien does not return, Louis seizes the opportunity and makes off with Julien's car along with Veronique, his girlfirend. In the meantime, Florence has been waiting for Julien to arrive at their prearranged spot. She sees Julien's car drive by. The car keeps going. She only sees Veronique but cannot see the driver. She assumes Julien has double crossed her. Thinking he would be coming back, Julien had tucked his revolver in his coat pocket which he left in the car. As she and Louis are driving, Veronique discovers the gun at which time their fate turns from petty crime to murder. Louis registers them in a motel under the name Julien Tavernier. He has, in reality, stolen Julien's identity. He is a thief, after all. At the motel, Louis becomes embroiled in a verbal confrontation with German tourists. He attempts to steal their car and when the owner, Buckner, points a cigar at him, Louis thinks it's a gun and kills him with Julien's revolver. The hunt is on for Buckner's killer and here is where Florence becomes immersed in finding Julien. She has to sort through the mistaken identity and that's what becomes her albatross. She can't find him and was given information based on the wrong Julien (Louis). She and Julian are still so connected that in one scene, Julien pulls his jacket collar tighter around his neck as does Florence at the exact same time. Foretelling of the future for Julien is an element that rings out through the movie: A black cat creeps along the office balcony railing in front of Julien as he is about to, or, after he commits the murder; The gates to the building where he works resemble the bars in a jail cell; He nearly gets hanged when he's in the elevator shaft; The rope he left behind is hanging from the balcony..looking very much like gallows; The elevator becomes his temporary captor. He gets away, but not for long. Postwar antagonism was still evident as in Buckner's and Louis' conversation at the motel. Julien and Florence's arms dealing husband discussed some old WW2 subjects such Indonesia and "now Algiers". Presumably, Florence's husband was a war time profiteer skimming off the Nazi's. I don't know. I didn't get whether or not Julian had been complicit in those dealings. At the end Florence would never see Julien again and was to, possibly, receive the stiffest penalty for her part in her husband's death, according to the detective who, by the way, reminded me of Bruno Cremer who portrayed Jules Maigret in one of the many Maigret TV series. Miles Davis......well, enough said. Perfect. For those of you who have not seen this movie, I would highly recommend it. It just might be worth your while.
  19. Agree. Don't forget he married Ava Gardner!! Of course, this is his personal life and not relative to the character he portrayed in The Strip. Apparantly, Rooney was the movies' hot ticket item at the time and Gardner was on the rise. The studio approved and promoted their marriage. Undoubtedly, the studio could possibly have seen a good bottom line here?
  20. The Locket (1946) To me, this movie was a cinematic feast for the eyes. It is loaded with low-key lighting, chiaroscuro, choker shots and what I believe to be a hint of German Expressionism. Dark shadows and lights played off each other so well. I loved it. Total noir. A flashback within a flashback within a flashback is something I haven't experienced in a film prior to this one. The plot was not as complicated to follow as I thought it might be. Laraine Day did a superb job portraying her character, Nancy. Nancy is a complex character at best and Day had the range to take us from one persona to the next with ease. She could be naive, innocent, manipulative and quietly hard edged. Without reiterating the whole film, suffice it to say, it was replete with subject matters ranging from tattling and betrayal to false accusations. It addresses the power of the mind to repress memories and how impressionable children are. As a child, Nancy is wrongly accused of stealing a locket. That accusation had a profound effect upon her. As an adult, she becomes a kleptomanic and goes into a downspiral where she winds up being accused of murder. We are taken on a psycological ride into Nancy's past and are kept in suspense as to her guilt or innocence in the murder. And, did she willingly steal from others? Only after the locket resurfaces do we know the truth. Admittedly, I will need to see The Locket again for I know I have missed so much.
  21. Sorry I wasn't more upbeat. I completely understand your thoughts and I get it for sure. I thought she was a little dense about their relationship or at least she was able and willing to shrug things off.... a little too quickly. There is no sunshine with this one.
  22. I recall that scene with Monroe and Andes. I feel that by "strangling" Monroe, Andes's character was exerting his dominance and control over her. She obviously didn't like it or think it humorous. She tried to ply herself away and said that he was hurting her (as I remember). I understand how you would interpret his comment about marrying her. However, I thought the comment a veiled threat. He gives her the opportunity to leave now, but would he let her go? I felt she might be cowed by this. If she married him, and eventually wanted out of the marriage, for whatever reason, there would be trouble for her because she wasn't in it for keeps. Then, he would no longer have control. Anyway, this is a woman's perspective and from today's standards, as well. I enjoy your posts. Please let me know your thoughts.
  23. I agree with your comments on this movie. I thought I would be the only one who disliked it. I saw spousal abuse written all over it; or would that be a subtext.? Anyhow, the only noir element I could get out of it was that of Robert Ryan's woman hating character. Just not into it with this one.
  24. I agree with your thoughts about Macao. I love this movie if only to see Mitchum and Russell play off each other. Don't forget Thomas Gomez as the corrupt policeman. He always steps up to the plate. Totally, noir in my opinion as well. BTW: Macao was colonized by Portugal in the mid 1500's and was returned by Portugal to China in 1999. The small amount of research I did indicates the movie was filmed in Macao and Hong Kong. I'm not sure if that's accurate. I could find very little about the main shooting location of the film. Maybe somebody who knows this could weigh in?
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