Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Lisa D

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Lisa D

  1. Hi everyone. Tonight the film I am most looking forward to seeing is Criss Cross. I have only seen it once before and it really is worth another look. Lang's newsroom trilogy I recorded some time ago and I plan to keep those films on my DVR for a while longer. Oh, and one of the characters in "While the City Sleeps" was played by Drew Barrymore's father.
  2. As I watched the opening scene from "Criss Cross" I thought a great deal could be summed up in the line said by the waiter about "the rotten class of people you have to deal with". In so many instances, such is film noir. Then I got to thinking about my favorite "rotten people". The femme fatales. Phyllis Dietrichson, Kathy Moffet, Brigid O'Shaughnessy, Helen Grayle, Annie Laurie Starr, Norma Desmond, Kitty Collins, Gilda and so many more. Briefly, I started to miss them but then I realized they were just moments away. Fortunately, I have their films in one form or another. The Dail
  3. As this scene opens a guard is standing behind a seated prisoner who is being interrogated by someone assumed to be the warden. The guard is holding a nightstick (billy club, baton, sap , etc,) which is an implied threat. The warden is wearing an A-shirt, also pejoratively known as a "wife beater". Being unsuccessful, the warden closes the shades, the guard leaves, the music is playing, the warden picks up a club and the scene is set. We hear the beating rather than see it as do a group of people in another room. Although they are obviously disturbed by the sounds they do nothing. At on
  4. What was it about Raymond Burr that said this actor would be great playing a sociopath? "Red Light", "Raw Deal", "His Kind of Woman" and now "Desperate". I'm sure there are others. When he walks through the door and you hear his distinctive voice you know that there is a good chance the scene will be violent. We see his face through the use of a swinging light during the beating. It's coldness and the sounds of the beating produce graphic images in our minds, although the action is in the shadows. The threat with the broken bottle is chilling. Burr owns the scene. This from the actor w
  5. In the opening of "The Asphalt Jungle" we are shown a maze of decayed, urban streets, filmed in a part of 1950's Cincinnati. There is one scene where the buildings are crumbling and it is reminiscent, to me, of Vienna in "The Third Man". A lone man is making his way through the streets and rubble when a police patrol car arrives, looking for someone, but making no attempt to hide it by blaring their radio. When the character of Dix is arrested at the diner it appears to be an expected event. Then there is the lineup. His rap sheet is read, which tells us a lot about the character. Pe
  6. A couple having a phone conversation in whispers. There is unhappiness in their voices but they are also conspiratorial. When Miles Davis' trumpet enters the scene it not only reinforces what we have already heard but gives the scene a sensuality and an ominous feeling. A musical score should always support, not overwhelm, a scene. Add to, not detract from. This is done beautifully here. The combination of film noir and jazz is the perfect partnership between two art forms. Although, "Elevator to the Gallows" is not considered to be film noir, being a fan of jazz and Moreau, I can'
  7. "Beware, My Lovely" does not start out as a typical film noir. We are told it is 1918 and the Christmas season. The Salvation Army Band and the sign reading "From the Kindness of your Heart" and "Christmas Cheer" does not generate tension. A man is seen cleaning a screen. He could be the home owner. There is a shot of a calendar on the inside of the screen which reinforces the date, December 1918. Once the character enters the house he start to call for Mrs. Warren. We know he has been hired to do work by the money that is left for him and that his name is Howard. As Howard continu
  8. In the opening of "The Narrow Margin" we see a train approaching and as it nears the light becomes blinding. This is a film noir. After the train arrives Walter Brown disembarks from it and surveys his surroundings. He is there on business. As far as the dialogue, it is derivative of Raymond Chandler's. Okay, perhaps they are trying too hard but I don't have a problem with that. Marie Windors's character is described as "A sixty-cent special. Cheap, flashy. Strictly poison under the gravy." What's not to like?
  9. A heist is a good subject for film noir because it is a situation that has built in tension, which clocks help to create. Timing is everything. Everyone has a job to do and when to do it. It has to be planned to accommodate the actions of others unrelated to the heist. And, if they are smart, unplanned events. Of course things can still go wrong. Then there is the exception in "Gun Crazy". No clock involved in that bank robbery. The actors were lucky to find a parking space. Still, plenty of tension. Clocks are used in other ways in film noir to build tension. For example, at the
  10. The clip opens by showing the boxing match from a film perspective. There are low angles and close ups, especially of Ernie. Then we see Ernie in front of a TV set, as close as he can sit, not just seeing but also hearing the commentary about the moment that changed his life. For Pauline, that moment represents his ultimate failure. The ensuing discourse between the two reveals that not only have they lost the "American Dream" but they no longer share the same dream. This marriage is not just headed for the rocks but on the rocks.
  11. This scene shows three adults meeting for the first time since childhood. It shows a confident Sam, who is there to ask a favor, a very nervous Walter, and an overjoyed Martha. Her joy comes from seeing Sam again. Martha and Walter are married. Happily? Walter certainly isn't happy about seeing Sam and tries to avoid the meeting between Sam and Martha. Walter emits a feeling of dread and tension. He observes their reunion and doesn't like what he sees. There is a hint from Martha that all is not well as Sam leaves. They may be unhappy but they are the biggest fish in that particular po
  12. A car parks on the side of the road. The driver's face is obscured in darkness except for a lit lower half. We cannot identify him but we know he is waiting for someone. Another car approaches with a couple in conflict. Jane expresses feelings of economic inferiority in a social situation they are about to attend, to the point she almost wrecks the car trying to get her husband to turn around. This seems like a hint of instability in her character. A bag is mistakenly thrown into their car and they discover it is full of money. Jane brightens. Another car approaches and Jane jumps i
  13. From the opening of "Strangers on a Train" we are given information about the personalities of the characters by the showing of their shoes. One is certainly more conservative and an athlete. Not only is criss cross shown by using train rails (Hitchcock liked to use trains in his films) but in the accidental meeting of the two characters by the crossing of legs. There will be other examples throughout the movie. What makes a Hitchcock film different is his use of humor. In this film it is primarily through the character of Bruno's mother but there are other touches in the film. I rea
  14. In this opening scene we see the main character walking into a police station. We only see him from the back as he walks down the corridors like a man with a purpose. Tiomkin's music helps to reinforce this and add to the suspense. We do not see the man's face until he responds "I was". The set up of this scene is very dramatic and effective with lighting, dialogue, and of course the music. In the Daily Dose today it states that "we are beginning to find ourselves, over and over again. at the end of the line in the 1950's". It reminded me of that trolley car ride in "Double Indemnity"
  15. From the title of "Caged" through the opening scene we know what the subject of this film is going to be. The atmosphere is claustrophobic inside the van and probably won't be better once they enter the prison. Seeing a terrified Eleanor Powell, we can surmise this film will be about her adjusting to her "new normal". Why she is there is not revealed. Being Warner Bros. we know this is going to be a film about prison reform or a cautionary tale about criminal behavior and paying a debt to society. Probably both. I suspect this is going to be a very depressing film.
  16. This is a film that I haven't seen but from the beginning I know it is going to be full of tension. Unlike "Kiss Me Deadly", the opening is sinister, not sexual. The use of lighting is used to maximum effect. The revelation of the gun and the hitch-hiker's face is very dramatic. We know he is in total control. Lupino's direction and Musaraca's cinematography work together beautifully. I would like to mention a couple other films that benefited from Musaraca's cinematography, "Cat People" and "The Spiral Staircase".
  17. This opening scene is certainly a memorable start to Cloris Leachman's film career. As she runs panting, barefoot and nude under the trench coat we know this character is trying to escape something. After she almost causes Hammer to wreck his car he decides to gives her a lift. Her gasping can be heard over Nat King Cole's song during the opening credits. To add to the sexuality of the situation Hammer acknowledges that she is nude under the coat. When they reach the roadblock she holds his hand and puts her head on his shoulder and for whatever reason Hammer protects her. After seeing t
  18. This scene makes dramatic use of lighting, shadows, Dutch angles, location shooting and zither music. Tension is built up before the revealing of Lime and when he is finally revealed the look on his face is one of bemusement. It's a "gottcha!" moment, but it's not Martins getting Lime, it's Lime getting Martins. A daughter of Orson Welles has a blurb on TCM where she talks about seeing "The Third Man" for the first time with her father. She said it was the only time she could remember him wearing his real nose on screen instead of a fake one.
  19. Frank is a rover. He sees a "man" wanted sign. Not "help" wanted. This of course has a dual meaning. Nick wants him to take the job but Frank is not willing to commit. Not until that lipstick rolls across the floor. What an entrance Lana Turner has! As Cora, she stands there in her all white ensemble of shorts, midriff top, white open toe pumps, and last, but certainly not least, that turban. She looks at herself in the mirror and holds out her hand expecting Frank to return the lipstick. He makes her come to him. Her movements are minimal and nonchalant. She walks back, applies her
  20. Both Lorre and Greenstreet enter the room casually, only Greenstreet is holding a gun. The room is wrecked. There are two lit lamps in the room. The larger one is kept between the two men as they stand talking to each other. When the camera is focused on Lorre alone it is reflected in the mirror behind him. As Greenstreet talks about Dimitrios the camera gradually moves in closer on him. It is also shooting upward at him, as in the "Maltese Falcon", but not at as steep an angle. When Lorre speaks he just doesn't sit but is partially reclined and the camera shoots downward at him. This
  21. Since I have seen this film many times and it is one of my favorites, it is hard for me to separate this one scene from what preceded it and what follows. In this scene Kathie makes her entrance out of the bright sunlight into the darker coolness of the cantina. Kathie casts a shadow on the wall as she is seated. Both Kathie and Jeff are distinct but the background is blurred. Both characters fence with each other. You surmise Jeff is looking for her and she seems to know who he is and why he is there. When she tells him about another club she frequents she seems almost resolved to
  22. We see the brief nod to the first person perspective when the Sternwood door is shown and Marlowe's shadow is cast on it. Then we see Marlowe's hand press the buzzer. Marlowe, as portrayed by Bogart, seems to be more laid back than Sam Spade. He cracks wise and has a sense of humor. We find out in his conversation with Gen. Sternwood that he can be insubordinate. He is also a good listener. Hawk's shows the temperature in the hothouse through Marlowe. Sternwood is wrapped up like it is freezing. Marlowe is given permission to remove his jacket, which he does. Then during the cou
  23. The voice over narration is used to impart information to the audience about a situation many may not have been familiar with at the time, if they did not live in the southwest. It is the set-up for the film. I did not get the "feeling" of film noir, but I have yet to see the movie.
  24. The dramatic use of light and shadow is especially evident when Nick leaves the diner and races to warn Swede that he is in danger. As he is jumping the fences fog is indicated by diffused lighting. Swede and Nick's conversation is shown mostly in shadows. The cinematographer was Elwood Bredell, who also worked on "Phantom Lady". Rozsa's music was later used in the TV series "Dragnet".
© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...