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Everything posted by bluesbaby

  1. Walter Brennan, who was in everything... One of the greatest character actors ever Donald Crisp, who was in most everything and started in the silent movies (he was the "bad father" in Broken Blossoms) Hattie McDaniel, who was the maid in everything John Carradine One of my personal favorites (and I have a cat named after him to prove it) Nigel Bruce One of my favorite ever female character actors is Mae Robson Either a Star of the Month for character actors or a month like major stars. Definitely.
  2. What's that rather awful film from the early Sixties where the guy wants to be a sculptor but has no talent so he discovers he can kill people and make sculptors out of them? And they ALL hang out at a coffee house? That is set in the beat generation culture and it's "in the moment" rather than after the fact. Another film that has a beat generation undertones is Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn. She is a beatnik in the beginning. More stylized than realistic, but you'll get the gist. Another person who could channel beat to perfection was Frank Gorshin, a comedian, celebrity impersonator
  3. Rod Steiger was a very good actor. If you really want to see something, though, watch him in The Loved One....
  4. If you’ve ever seen Now Voyager you’ve seen the use of smoking as a synonym for sex. Every time Paul Henreid lights TWO cigarettes at once and hands one over to Bette, that’s supposed to represent their intimacy. Bette Davis was a heavy smoker also (almost a chain smoker) and puffed away in most of her movies. Just as there is product placement today, there was product placement then. Seeing actors smoke on screen implied it was hip. And, smoking and drinking were two of the things you could finally do as a sign you were grown up. Girls used to smoke to look older and more sophisticat
  5. While the City Sleeps is a particular favorite of mine. It's an ensemble piece where every character, by way of the story line, gets a good amount of screen time and they are all worth watching. Ida Lupino was especially fun, playing a reporter who would do just about anything to get what she wants. John Barrymore, Jr., is also featured in this. Whether or not it is a true noir, or a crime drama, or just a good story probably bears witness to the fading out of the film noir movie. But, don't forget, while the sun was setting on film noir, Anthony Mann was making westerns with James Stewart and
  6. Absolutely -- and, it's one of the few in color that actually works in color. Gene Tierney is downright scary (if you can believe that).
  7. Post #2 - I am very pleased to see all the comments on Raymond Burr. I was going to say something but everyone picked up on him. I literally "grew up" with him - when I was little, "Perry Mason" was my bedtime, so I'd sneak a peek (my mother watched it) and then go to bed where I could still hear it, and listen to the program. I've watched it in syndication ever since, and do today. I mentioned before about seeing all the Forties character actors on the original show and what a hoot that is. I had the reverse reaction, though: he was always a good buy then discovered he was always the BA
  8. -- Discuss how the opening of this film exemplifies the noir style and substance. Night, city dark, lit only by street lamps. Aerial shot high over city moves away from downtown probably westward, camera is moving downward as it travels, with the street lights getting scarce and the neighborhoods in more darkness. Our noir couple is caught in an embrace by car headlights in a parking lot. The femme fatale, Anna (DeCarlo) is doing most of the talking - fast talking - and by now we ought to know the patter –“I’m so worried about you, I’m almost sick inside.” “If only it was this time tomo
  9. I can’t turn up the volume at work today so I’m commenting based only on what I remember of the film and what I saw rather than heard in the clip. -- What role does music (especially the record playing Wagner) play in the intensity of this scene? Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883), a gifted German composer of operas who was extremely anti-Semitic, became a favorite of Hitler’s and became inextricably identified with and symbolic of the Nazi Party and, in particular, its treatment of the Jews. It was Wagner’s writings that made him a Hitler favorite. Many movies use Wagner’s music to convey
  10. You have to see Edmond O'Brien in either The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance or Seven Days in May. Then you will see what a great character actor he became. Then, for chuckles, look at him in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (yes, he's there!) with Charles Laughton.
  11. -- Describe how this scene uses cinematography to accentuate the brutal beating of Steve Randall (Steve Brodie). A single hanging lamp is the only light source for the room. It has a conical shade that casts an inverted “V” of light – limiting what is seen in the room. As this lamp swings crazily around the room, it acts as a spotlight shining only on what we are meant to see, leaving the rest in pitch dark. We see Walt and Shorty’s faces, as they watch Steve get beaten. We only hear the sounds of the beating, and don’t see Steve at all, until he is thrown back on the cot. There are tw
  12. -- Discuss how this film depicts and utilizes this "unnamed city." Additionally, why do you think the film is entitled "The Asphalt Jungle?" How many times have you heard or read, “It’s a jungle out there.” You’re going to year it a lot more today. Jungles are notorious fodder for story telling – full of dangerous animals, even more dangerous native tribes (especially if cannibalistic or worshiping strange large animals or Pagan Gods who horde treasure), and also usually host to adventurous white men (the big white hunter) along with even more deadly white men seeking not adventure, but
  13. I have to say "Too Late For Tears" - since I'd seen it so long ago. What a wonderful movie. I've seen just about all of them and this was one I didn't remember.
  14. I, too, watched "Darkness After Dawn" faithfully every Sunday. Best title and logo TCM every did for a program and I wanted a tee shirt!!! There isn't any. I posted a request for that several years ago.
  15. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who read and "liked" my ramblings. I enjoyed this program and will miss the Daily Doses. It's the first "course" I've done in over 20 years and I forgot how much I like learning. Richard Edwards did a great job with the Notes and everything. Oh - I wanted to ask, is anyone else having a hard time watching "normal" movies now? Are they boring? Unexciting? Uninteresting? "What? Nobody's dead yet and the main characters are still in one piece (both emotionally and physically)?" Bah!!"
  16. -- In what ways does Miles Davis' score (improvised while watching scenes from the movie) work with and contribute additional layers of meaning to Louis Malle's visual design? Miles Davis’ solitary trumpet echoes the moods of the man and woman talking on the phone. She is isolated in a phone booth, he is isolated in his office. There is a camera shot of him at the window which then moves out to reveal the modern office building that appears to be empty except for him. Miles Davis plays throughout this scene but stops when the camera again shows them talking on the phone, seeming to cares
  17. -- Describe the noir elements, in terms of style and substance, in this opening sequence. The noir elements don’t show up until late in this scene, when Howard opens the closet door. He is seen just prior to that in the mirror– a small reflection, a symbol of a double or alternate identity. As soon as Howard looks into the closet everything changes. Howard’s face shows pure shock and panic. As he runs off, we see inside the closet, where Mrs. Warren (is it Lauren or Mrs. Warren??) has been left, dead on the floor. Howard runs across town into the railroad yard, another classic noir el
  18. I think it could be some of the scene when Pat O'Brien retraces his steps on the train. One of the articles we were assigned mentioned the re-use of scenes as a money saver and how they would patch together montages at a very fast pace so the audience didn't get time to recognize the scenes (too funny).
  19. I almost opened my notations with "thanks, now I can't get the Johnny Cash song out of my head" but I can't find/remember what song it is!? Do you know?
  20. She did Perry Mason, too. If you watch the original Perry Mason series, like I do (and have done literally all my life) you will see a parade of character actors from the movies. Especially Film Noir - it's too, too fun! Also, Bette Davis did one!! She played an attorney filling in for Perry while he was laid up in the hospital. As did Michael Rene - a very good episode.
  21. -- Do you see evidence, even in the film's opening scenes, for Foster Hirsch's assessment that the dialogue in this film sounds like a "parody of the hard-boiled school" or that "noir conventions are being burlesqued"? In the words of Jeff Markam in Out of the Past, “Baby, I don’t care.” I agree with Richard Edwards that this is, indeed, a “splendid” B movie. Mr. Hirsch, when he says it is a “parody of the hard-boiled school”, refers to the character of the mobster’s widow and her behavior. He is also referring to the other female character when he refers to the “inverted noir molds” an
  22. I made a point of watching (and recording) this again and paying close attention to the ending. Martha does indeed pull the trigger while Walter holds the gun against her - she puts her finger over his on the trigger. Then Walter shoots himself. So, I guess I have to eat my words a little about that ending. I agree that Sam is the only person sympathetic to Walter - Sam is the only sympathetic character in the story - everyone else is suffering one way or another. I've always like the twists and turns in this one.
  23. -- Discuss the role of time and timing in this scene. Everything in this “dry run” goes off perfectly and according to schedule. The timing is very tight and crucial. I immediately noticed the similarities between the Bank truck and the Florist truck – they look almost identical. Given the “smirk” on Preston Foster’s face, and the fact that the Florist truck’s arrival and departure schedule is included on the list, I assume his character is aware of this as well. -- What are the film noir elements (style or substance) that you notice in the opening of this film? I think the e
  24. I was born in 1951. My childhood experiences were different due to a very strict upbringing (and a rapid rebellion) but I agree with these comments. There was a reason the Sixties happened -- it was the Fifties. It was Vietnam. It was the draft. It was college women realizing there was more to life than being a Stepford Wife. Hippies and the antiestablishment culture did not just sprout out of the ground from nowhere. There were so many facets to the Sixties and only one or two of those facets ever get mentioned (and usually in a derogatory manner) nowadays. All that does is warp what act
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