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  1. Crime Without Passion (1934) Dir. Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur Lee Gentry is a highly successful, albeit unscrupulous, defense attorney who takes pride in his cleverness. We quickly learn that he is romantically involved with two women and wishes to end it with one and remain faithful to the other. His first attempt to break up with Carmen Brown fails. His second attempt ends in tragedy and now he must cover his tracks. Immediately after the opening credits, the following intertitle is flashed on the screen: Beyond man’s dreams lurk the Furies-the three sisters of evil who lie in wa
  2. Jack Reacher (2012) dir. Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher, the title character in this film adaptation of British author Lee Child’s novel One Shot. Since the film mostly follows Jack, I thought it was best to let the author describe in his own words, his “iconic hero”: “He’s two things in one. On the surface, he is an ex-military cop who is suddenly dumped out into the civilian world. He doesn’t fit in, and he spends his time wandering America, seeing the things that he’s never had time to see before. He’s trying to stay out of trouble, but masterfully once a year get
  3. A film I thought of immediately is Frantic. Frantic (1988) is a suspenseful thriller directed by Roman Polanski and starring Harrison Ford. Soon after arriving in Paris, a married couple checks into a hotel. Concluding that they must have picked up the wrong luggage, the husband takes a shower and soon discovers that his wife has disappeared from the room and hotel. This film is about his search for his missing wife with little help from the authorities and involves murder, spying, and blackmail. Very Hitchcockian. PERSONAL NOTE It has been a great course and I‘ve learned plenty. I r
  4. Body Heat (1981) Dir. Lawrence Kasdan At its core, Body Heat resembles Double Indemnity (1944) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946); each begins with an illicit affair involving a married woman, followed by a plot to do away with the husband, and finally, unforeseen complications shake things up. In our film, the couple having the affair are lawyer Ned Racine (William Hurt) and Matty Tyler Walker (Kathleen Turner) who is married to Edmund Walker (Richard Crenna). 1. Chiaroscuro for black and white films, intense or muted color in movies filmed in color (In either black and w
  5. Thanks for the heads-up. I will keep an eye out for Mr. McGraw when I watch The Birds this weekend. You know, he died as a result of an accident involving a glass shower door. How eerie to learn that he played a role in a film best known for its shower death scene.
  6. Marianne, I notice several titles highlighted in purple, was this your doing? If so, what does it mean. ? Or, were these titles contributed by other members and are just carried through in their original colors sent by them? Just curious.
  7. When taken with the time stamp (In the beginning...), Marion's behavior (adulteress, "bad girl") fits well with the story of Eve and the Apple. Could this have been in Hitchcock's mind when he considered the shooting and telling of the story? Was he making a statement on the consequences of our choices- that sometimes, the end doesn't necessarily justify the means. Just a thought.
  8. In response to: [Also, did anyone else notice that the camera shifted to close-ups as soon as Thornhill was told he was seated there on purpose? I think it was because it introduced a level of intimacy to the two characters.] I went back to the clip, and I see what you mean. Your explanation is reasonable and could very well be. I also picked up this oddity- why was Roger Thornhill allowed to say, "... I have no desire to make love to her." Yet, Eve Kendall was prohibited from saying, "I never make love on an empty stomach." The Curator's Notes explains Eve's quotes but never explains Roger'
  9. Triple 9 (2016) dir. John Hillcoat A Russian mobster is serving time in a prison cell overseas, while his wife back in Atlanta is running the organization, doing all she can to get him out. The three men helping her are two former navy SEALs and one former cop. They recruit two additional cops to help carry out a heist. This is a gloomy film with sinister characters all involved in criminal activities. There isn’t a “feel good” moment, in fact I found no redeeming values in this film. Yet, the film is well made and I recommend it- only it’s not fun. With 12 of 16 characteristics, t
  10. I'm delighted that you enjoyed The Lookout. You picked up on more than I did and I thank you for sharing. Your enthusiasm leaves me wanting to see the film again, now that there are new observations and additional characteristics. This truly is a collaboration, considering that together we have given this write-up a near perfect 15 of 16. Thank you again. Two Yeses!
  11. The Devil Is a Woman (1935) dir. Josef von Sternberg The predominate characteristic below is the Femme fatale who proves detrimental to all the men who crosses her path. Concha Perez (Marlene Dietrich) catches the eye of Antonio Galvan (Cesar Romero) who follows her home, then secures a rendezvous for later in the evening. In the interim, he runs into an old friend, Don Pasqual Costelar (Lionel Atwill) who after learning that Antonio has an interest in Concha, tells of his experience with the femme fatale. “That Woman has ice where others have a heart. Not only did she wreck my life, the
  12. Marianne, I recently saw In Bruges and am in total agreement with the observations you make in your write-up. Ray, Ken, and their boss Harry are good-hearted, cold-blooded, murderers. Oxymoron? Colin Farrell is excellent and shows wide range as Ray. As the film moved forward, it became much darker than I expected and so you said it perfectly, "... a neo-noir with a dose of black humor." I enjoyed the film and the write-up. Two Yeses'
  13. U Turn (1997) dir. by Oliver Stone This film is a crime thriller with many neo-noir traits. Most of the characters and situations are absurd, yet the film, in my opinion, remains fun to watch. The fact that these actors are playing their roles without trying to by funny, adds to the absurdity and hilariousness. On his way to California, Bobby Cooper (Sean Penn) experiences car trouble near Superior, Arizona. There he comes across a nerdy mechanic, a blind veteran, a sultry yet troubled woman, her hot-tempered husband, a seemingly underhanded sheriff, a flirtatious young woman and her je
  14. The Lookout (2007) dir. Scott Frank Four years ago Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was in a fatal car accident which caused a brain injury and left him suffering from amnesia. Today he depends on his friend Lewis (Jeff Daniels) and a notepad to remind him of the daily basic requirements. This film examines how he adapts after the accident; his reluctance to get involved in a bank heist, courage to avenge the death of a friend and bravery to save the life of another. The film meets 12 of 16 characteristics on our neo-noir template. 1. Chiaroscuro for black and white films, intense
  15. Le Jour se Leve (1939) (Daybreak) dir. Marcel Carne We hear a gunshot coming from behind an apartment door, then see a man tumbling and falling down a flight of stairs; he is dead. Next, we see a blind man walking up the stairs, and hearing the commotion exclaims, “What happened? Did someone fall?” With his white cane, he traces the body. “Someone fell! Help! Is anyone there?” The murderer decides to hole up in the apartment instead of running away, and when the police arrive demanding he open the door, he refuses. After much pacing back and forth, he begins to recall the events that
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