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  1. We did a list a while back on the recently defunct Back Alley Forums that listed all the Noirs that took place around the Christmas Holidays there are more than you'd think. What got me thinking of this was watching Roadblock which had some Christmas decorations, etc., etc. So lets make a list of Noirs that take place around the Christmas Holidays. I'll start with these: Christmas Holiday Roadblock Crime Wave I, The Jury Blast Of Silence add more as we think of them
  2. This discussion thread for proto-noir, like the Film Noir to Neo-Noir discussion thread, is based on ideas taken from the Summer of Darkness, HEYMOE, VanHazard, and me (Marianne). This discussion thread is a way to continue applying what we learned in Dr. Edwards’s course, TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir (aka Summer of Darkness: Investigating Film Noir). We are updating the list of film noir characteristics to start an investigation of proto-noir. Please use as many or as few characteristics as you like to discuss proto-noir and how a particular film could presage the coming classic period of film noir. We’re working on defining proto-noir and all its subcategories and on compiling a list of proto-noir films. I hope the discussion includes reactions to seeing some of the films. Also included (below the list of characteristics) is a list of proto-noir films; we will be adding titles to the list. The running list is alphabetized in its entirety. I will alternate between the film list alphabetized by decade and the list alphabetized in its entirety. Characteristics borrowed from film noir to define proto-noir: 1. Unusual narration or plot development 2. Flashbacks 3. Crime/planning a crime (usually—but not always—murder) 4. Femme fatale and/or homme fatale 5. The instrument of fate 6. Angst (for example, guilt, fear, self-doubt, confusion, and so on; in other words, anything that contributes to angst) 7. Violence or the threat of violence 8. Urban and nighttime settings 9. Greed 10. Betrayal 11. Philosophical themes involving alienation, loneliness 12. Psychology (hypnosis, brainwashing, manipulation, amnesia) 13. Allusion to postwar or wartime themes 14. Chiaroscuro for black and white films, or intense or muted color or tinting added to black and white films (In either case, the technique is used to enhance the mood and/or the emotional content.) 15. Unusual camera and/or lighting techniques 16. European or U.S. film influenced by European styles (for example, German expressionism, French poetic realism, and so on) 17. No stark contrast between “good” and “evil” (characters, forces, emotion, and so on) 18. Expertise triumphs, perhaps rather than “good” List of alphabetized proto-noir titles (note that some of these films may be hard to find): Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), dir. Michael Curtiz La bête humaine (1938), dir. Jean Renoir The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), dir. Robert Wiene City for Conquest (1940), dir. Anatole Litvak Crime and Punishment (1935), dir. Josef von Sternberg Dangerous to Know (1938), dir Robert Florey The Devil Is a Woman (1935), dir. Josef von Sternberg The Docks of New York (1928), dir. Josef von Sternberg Fury (1936), dir. Fritz Lang The Glass Key (1935), dir. Frank Tuttle G Men (1935), dir. William Keighley Heat Lightning (1934), dir. Mervyn LeRoy I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), dir. Mervyn LeRoy The Invisible Man (1933), dir. James Whale Le jour se lève (1939), dir. Michel Carné The Kennel Murder Case (1933), dir. Michael Curtiz The Last Command (1928), dir. Josef von Sternberg The Letter (1940), dir. William Wyler Little Caesar (1931), dir. Mervyn LeRoy M (1931), dir. Fritz Lang The Mummy (1932), dir. Karl Freund Private Detective 62 (1933), dir. Michael Curtiz The Roaring Twenties (1939), dir. Raoul Walsh Sabotage (1936), dir. Alfred Hitchcock Scarface (1932), dir. Howard Hawks and Richard Rossan Shanghai Express (1932), dir. Josef von Sternberg Smart Money (1931), dir. Alfred E. Green The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932), dir. Michael Curtiz Stranger on the Third Floor (1940), dir. Boris Ingster They Drive by Night (1940), dir. Raoul Walsh The Thin Man (1934), dir. W. S. Van Dyke Thunderbolt (1929), dir. Josef von Sternberg 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932), dir. Michael Curtiz Underworld (1927), dir. Josef von Sternberg You and Me (1938), dir. Fritz Lang You Only Live Once (1937), dir. Fritz Lang
  3. Positive that I’m not the only one who will watch the same movies over and over and over (drives my wife crazy); The big names almost everyone knows but that secondary tier and below the names get more and more obscure. Having said that one of my favorites is Steven Geray. He is the low level clerk corrupted by Zachery Scott in “The Mask Of Dimitrois” and the washroom clerk in “Gilda”. In the only film where he is the lead is the low budget “So Dark The Night” and for a B film noir it is surprisingly good ( better than some A level big budget noirs). So Dark The Night is worth tracking down or if it is seen listed dvr-ing it or setting a reminder.
  4. Hello everyone. I have mentioned several times that I am a Glenn Ford fan and that I want to see every movie he ever made. I have a high percentage of movies seen from his big screen career-past 85%. I thought it was time to start a favourite forum thread on Glenn Ford. Here are some of my favourite Glenn Ford movies in no particular order except the first film: Gilda, which is the first film I saw with him and in my opinion is the sexiest movie I've ever seen. Here are *some* of my favourites: GILDA 3:10 TO YUMA THE GAZEBO THE TEAHOUSE OF THE AUGUST MOON TORPEDO RUN THE BIG HEAT DON'T GO NEAR THE WATER EXPERIMENT IN TERROR THE MONEY TRAP THE FASTEST GUN ALIVE DEAR HEART THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER IMITATION GENERAL THE SHHEPMAN IT STARTED WITH A KISS COWBOY RANSOM INTERRUPTED MELODY and many more. What are yours?
  5. Hello all, Are the materials for this course still online somewhere? (Or is there a kind soul who may be able to provide them?) A recent trip to Los Angeles inspired me to revisit film noir in a comprehensive for the first time in a decade and Summer of Darkness is perfect for what I want, but obviously long since passed. I’ve emailed TCM with the same question but haven’t received a reply. Any tips out there, even if it is just a syllabus? All I’ve found is the TV schedule. Many thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  6. Does anyone agree with me that the MGM film Party Girl was the final Film Noir after Hollywood gave goodbye to this mysterious yet unique genre. You are most welcome to either agree or disagree with this topic.
  7. Not a made-for-TV movie. Probably a 1940 film noir. "The poster remembers the plot like this: a man and his mistress have either just killed, or are about to kill, the man's wife. The wife was about to go on a train trip, so the mistress impersonates the wife to create an alibi, etc. The man also sent a fake letter to himself, pretending it to be from the wife. However, some passengers on the train somehow figured out the mistress wasn't the wife, and the train was stopped, the police started investigating the missing wife.The poster thinks the movie was black-and-white but gave a range as wide as 1930-1970. Naturally, I leaned towards 1940-1960 as the plot seemed apt for a film noir.In fact, the plot as described sounded to me like a mixture of the off-screen plot Thorwald comes up with in Rear Window and the on-screen murder plot in Double Indemnity, but the original poster insists it's neither of those. I did some searching and came up with the '47 film noir They Won't Believe Me, which I haven't seen but which, according to Wikipedia, has a similar plot, but the poster said that wasn't it either. Anyone happen to know this one?" Not: The Kennel Murder Case, Libeled Lady, The Falcon Takes Over, The Saint's Vacation, Evelyn Prentice, Double Wedding, Reckless, Topper Returns,and My Man Godfrey. They Won't Believe Me, Columbo: Prescription Murder, Postman Always Rings Twice
  8. This discussion thread is based on ideas taken from the Summer of Darkness, HEYMOE, VanHazard, and me (Marianne). We’re working on defining neo-noir and all its subcategories and on compiling a list of neo-noir movies. This first post is simply a way to continue the discussion, which got started under the discussion thread called “Irrational Man: Neo-Noir Masquerading as a Film About Philosophy?” I hope the discussion includes reactions to seeing some of the movies. Borrowings from film noir to define neo-noir and modern neo-noir: 1. Chiaroscuro for black and white films, intense or muted color in movies filmed in color (In either black and white or color, the technique is used to enhance the mood and/or the emotional content.) 2. Flashbacks 3. Narration 4. Crime/planning a crime (usually—but not always—murder) 5. Femme fatale 6. The instrument of fate 7. Angst (for example, guilt, fear, self-doubt, and so on) 8. Violence or the threat of violence 9. Urban and nighttime settings 10. Allusion to post–World War II themes (optional) 11. Philosophical themes (existentialism in particular) involving alienation, loneliness 12. Psychology (hypnosis, brainwashing, manipulation, amnesia) 13. Greed 14. Betrayal 15. No stark contrast between “good” and “evil” (characters, forces, emotion, and so on) 16. Expertise triumphs, perhaps rather than “good” Early examples of neo-noirs: Underworld U.S.A. (1961), dir. Samuel Fuller, b&w Cape Fear (1962), dir. J. Lee Thompson, b&w The Manchurian Candidate (1962), dir. John Frankenheimer, b&w Shock Corridor (1963) dir. Samuel Fuller, b&w The Naked Kiss (1964), dir. Samuel Fuller, b&w Point Blank (1967), dir. John Boorman, color Modern neo-noirs: Chinatown (1974), dir. Roman Polanski Taxi Driver (1976), dir. Martin Scorsese Body Heat (1981), dir. Lawrence Kasdan Blade Runner (1982), dir. Ridley Scott Blood Simple (1984), dir. Joel Coen Blue Velvet (1986), dir. David Lynch House of Games (1987), dir. David Mamet Miller’s Crossing (1990), dir. Joel Coen Red Rock West (1992), dir. John Dahl Se7en (1995), dir. David Fincher The Usual Suspects (1995), dir. Bryan Singer Fargo (1996), dir. Joel Coen L.A. Confidential (1997), dir. Curtis Hanson Memento (2000), dir. Christopher Nolan Mulholland Drive (2001), dir. David Lynch Brick (2006), dir. Rian Johnson Additional noir film ideas (dates, directors? Just to be consistent and to avoid confusion, not required): The Two Jakes Dark City Mulholland Falls Bound The Black Dahlia Devil in a Blue Dress The Last Seduction Palmetto The Last Seduction Angel Heart U-Turn Deep Cover Manhunter Klute Stormy Monday Romeo Is Bleeding
  9. Classic Film Lovers, I would like to introduce you to my latest project, Chalk. It's a comedic film noir with all the classic film noir tropes and even more laughs. We pay homage to classic noirs, while bringing a fresh, youthful spin. A tongue and cheek comedy that touches on sensitive subjects such as gentrification, urban displacement, and self-identity. It's a city of chalk slowly being replaced by dry-erase. Our lead detective is trying to solve a string of murders that have left the city on edge. It's most recent loss, the celebrated mayor of Chalk City. The suspect, the mayors beautiful and shrewd wife, Mrs. Chalk. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" meets "The Big Sleep" - http://www.thechalkmovie.com Eric Whitten (Producer | Writer | Director)
  10. I appreciate the lecture on film noir by Dr. Edwards. It gives clarity to what makes film noir "film noir." I have seen a number of the better known and lesser known films noir, courtesy of TCM, especially when the theme of the evening or month is film noir. That said, I feel the Dr. Edwards is trying to prove a point that isn't there. Hitchcock has long been a sort of genre or type of film unto himself. If I were to put a film noir such as "Kiss of Death" or "Double Indemnity" side by side with any of Hitchcock's films (and let's use "Shadow of A Doubt"), I would be hard pressed to see the similarities. The typical film noir lives in a world of darkness (and I don't just mean lighting, though that contributes strongly to it). Hitchcock's characters for example, don't inhabit the same world of "The Killer's" Swede, or "Kiss of Death's" Tommy Udo. These characters live in a dark world, and are doomed from the start; or they are so unrepentantly bad as to deserve their fate. More importantly, these characters are usually the central focus of the film. Hitchcock rarely had characters such as these, with maybe the exception being Uncle Charlie in "Shadow of a Doubt." But I can't think of any other examples of character such as him - and having them as a central focus. You would never believe Cary Grant as a bad character, "Suspicion's" suspicions notwithstanding. Even in that film, there's always been the rumor that Grant's character was indeed supposed to murder his wife, but that Hitchcock and / or the studio balked at that ending. To that end, the vast majority of Hitchcock's leading characters were the innocent "wrong man" or "the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time." See "Sabotage," "North By Northwest" or either of the productions of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" for typical examples of that scenario. There's also a gritty realism to films noir that Hitchcock never worked in. (Well, maybe "The Wrong Man," which does have a procedural realism to it. But even there, Henry Fonda is the typical Hitchcock "wrong man" character.) Hitchcock was more interested (as we have seen in the prior lectures) in creating his own reality (not realism) in his films. After too many years of watching film, especially Hitchcock and numerous examples of film noir, I'm going to stick with the belief that Hitchcock films were a genre unto themselves, and that it's too much of a stretch to consider them related to film noir.
  11. Hello fellow film noir fans, Like all of you I love film noir - grew up watching it and even wrote several plays inspired by it (all published and widely produced). I also taught a college course in it. So, I’m the author of a new book with a totally different look at film noir, “Film Noir production: the Whodunit of the Classic American Mystery Film” from Routledge. Focal Press. I know – another book on Film Noir, really? Well, yes. Because as a member of the Mystery Writer’s of America, an award winning screenwriter/playwright and a working professional in the film/TV industry in lighting and cinematography, I felt I needed to write a book enlightening readers about all the wonderful and interesting people who worked in the shadows behind creating what would become known as “film noir”, who are so often glanced by other books. I talk about the Hollywood studio chiefs and the original mystery novels the films were based on, the staff screenwriters and the film factory producers, the contract actors and studio cinematographers, the art directors, costume designers and music composers – what they all did and how they all together with the directors created one of the most popular forms of mystery films . So I wrote about the noir themes, character types, dialog style, imagery, cast and public reception of these classic films and how the films were made from the perspective of someone who works in the film industry and is a published mystery writer. It’s a fun, conversational read rather than an academic thesis. I’m trying to get the word out about it. I wish they had allowed me to put in more pictures, but - oh well. I did lots of research including at the Academy of Motion picture Arts & Sciences document room and on this wonderful TCM website. Its available on Amazon and on the publisher's page. So here’s a link to my book https://www.routledge.com/Film-Noir-Production-The-Whodunit-of-the-Classic-American-Mystery-Film/Landau/p/book/9781138201484 and on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Film-Noir-Production-Whodunit-American/dp/1138201480/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484514436&sr=8-1&keywords=film+noir+production Hope you give it a look and hopefully enjoy it. Happy new year all. David Landau
  12. Noir City returns to San Francisco's legendary Castro Theatre and the theme and schedule has been released. ---> http://www.noircity.com/ 10 Days of Heists, Hold-Ups, and Schemes Gone Awry There are some great films on the bill such as Criss Cross, Asphalt Jungle, Rififi. There are also some neo-noir films, too. I'm very disappointed that they left Heat (1995) off the bill. THAT I would've loved to see on the big screen again.
  13. Hello there! I need help remembering the name of a movie I watched on TCM the week of June 11th. It was a black and white film, later 30s to mid 40s, set in England. There was a male character who arrived at a rich woman's house and ended up killing her. The subplot was there were people dying in the town, which he was responsible for. The elderly woman was in a wheel chair, but could walk. The main actor in the final act, cut telephone lines. He also flirted with the elderly woman's granddaughter. At the end of the film, he smothers her with a pillow. The lead actor had an Irish accent, and I know he went on to be a well-known actor. He had brown/black hair. I'm trying to remember this film so I can gift it to my noir-loving sister. I had it written down, but alas, I can't find the paper. Argh. Many thanks!
  14. I've noticed some similarities between film noir & slapstick that previously I'd never seen. Primarily they involve subversion: class, age, social norms, morality, violence, exaggeration,& others. I'd love to learn how others may think about this, to me, previously non-considered similarities.
  15. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Castro Theatre is hosting the final run of the I Wake Up Dreaming Film Noir Festival every Wednesday in August. http://iwakeupdreaming.com/2016/07/i-wake-up-dreaming-2016-august-at-the-castro/
  16. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Castro Theatre is hosting the final run of the I Wake Up Dreaming Film Noir Festival every Wednesday in August. http://iwakeupdreaming.com/2016/07/i-wake-up-dreaming-2016-august-at-the-castro/
  17. I can't remember any useful details about this movie, except that it may have aired on TCM sometime from November 2015 to January 2016. Black and white. The setting is tropical or at least very hot and humid. Possibly on an island but I'm not sure. I think someone travels to the tropical place because they get a letter from a person there (a friend or in-law maybe) but the sender turns out to be either dead or missing when they arrive (I realize this sounds like the plot of The Third Man, and therefore I don't fully trust the recollection). There's general suspicion. I think a woman goes on several dates with a man to get close to him, or to maintain a ruse, but I can't be sure. There's a great deal of rain, which at one point factors into the plot I think. The specific bit I DO remember is that she goes to a party at the bad guys' place, though there was some doubt as to whether she would or perhaps as to whether it would be safe. She goes off to a sort of guest house to search it for evidence, is nearly caught but escapes, but she leaves behind what I believe was a handkerchief. I think there was something distinctive about the handkerchief, like perhaps it came from the man she wasn't supposed to be seen with? But again I can't be sure. I also think the bad guys were smuggling something? Or in any case there was some degree of rush because their plane or boat was leaving and they needed to be caught before that happened. Does this ring any bells for anyone? I know it's not a lot to go on but this vague recollection is sticking with me and driving me nuts. Many thanks if you've got any ideas!
  18. JOHN GARFIELD: DEAD BEFORE HE COULD REACH 40, THE AGE HE BELIEVED ACTORS BECAME GREAT ACTORS. John Garfield was a major movie star during the studio system era. He was an activist and campaigned for a role in Gentleman's Agreement opposite Gregory Peck about anti-Semitism. He won the role. Garfield was himself Jewish. Garfield was ready to join the fight in WWII and showed up only to fail the medical - 4F - like a lot of Hollywood stars did - because of heart problems. But Garfield wanted to contribute to the war effort as best he could and joined Bette Davis in starting Hollywood Canteen - a place where military personnel of any branch could stop off each night and be entertained by the most famous actors, actresses, dancers, singers and comedians every night. He and Bette Davis later played themselves in the movie version Hollywood Canteen. edit: Tom has pointed out that it was Bette Davis who was the actress behind Hollywood Canteen. No problem. Everyone wanted to help out. His signature movie is The Postman always Rings Twice. But other favourites of mine - I mean my top 5: Between Two Worlds Destination Tokyo They made Me a Criminal The Sea Wolf I've seen 17 of his films so far. Considering he died at 39 - he made a lot of films. The only film I tried to watch and could not get through was Dust Be My Destiny. Maybe it was a bad day for me. Maybe I just don't like this film. I'll have to try it out again.
  19. http://www.ultimatemovierankings.com/film-noir-movies/ Many thanks to ClassicMovieRankings for completing my requested page for Film Noir on his Ultimate Movie Rankings website. I love it Bruce. I have seen 186 movies listed with plenty on my to-see list. What an Easter present for me.
  20. It's that time of year. Starts tonight through the end of the month. http://noircity.com
  21. Last night I watched Rififi that french film directed by Jules Dassin. Recall from our class that Jules was one of those 10 Black listed Hollywood writers, directors, etc. from House Unamerican Activities Commission times of the late 1940's and early 50's. Rififi is heist story and very well done. I highly recommend it. This was on Blu-ray and so there was some extras. There was an interview with Dassin from 2000 and he tells stories of Hollywood, the Blacklist, and the process of making the film.
  22. I remember watching a movie on TCM (don't we all) maybe 5 to 6 years ago. I believe it was a film noir, but it could have been a spy/war film. It was in black and white and was probably made post WWII (but maybe not). The scenario that sticks in my mind deals with a good guy who is captured by the guys, then held captive in a room and drugged. Somehow he clears up from the drugs enough to hide in the room and when one of the bad guys comes in the room, he knocks him out and gives him drugs they were going to give him (I think). Then he puts the bad guy in the bed in his place and covers him up with a blanket. A little later another one of the bad guys comes in a stabs the guy in the bed thinking he was the good guy. I can't remember any of the actors, but I keep thinking it was someone like Robert Montgomery, or Dick Powell. But when I looked up their filmographies, I did not think any of their films were the one I was thinking of, so it is very likely not either of them. Any help will be appreciated.
  23. This is very vague, but I remember seeing a bit of a movie a long time ago, and I have no idea what it was... I remember that there was a murder and the body was dumped in some kind of construction area and ended up being covered in cement. I think someone witnessed this happening through a window. It was definitely a black and white movie. I've tried googling it and I've never come up with anything. Any ideas? (Also, for some reason, I was convinced Jimmy Stewart was in it and played a lawyer, but I may be mixing that up with some other movie.)
  24. Although I didn't get a chance to see as many films noir as I would've wanted during #NoirSummer, one thing that the course did do was to pique my interest about many, many films. I mean, I'm sure I will check out In a Lonely Place soon after Eddie Muller's enthusiastic thumbs-up! One of the sources for that curiosity were the Daily Doses. With most of those short clips, I found myself intrigued as to what would happen next, and I'm sure I will check out most of those sooner or later. So to keep it contained to a certain amount of films, choose your five favorite films from the 32 Daily Doses that we learned about during the course. Maybe that can help me or others choose which ones to check first. M La Bete Humaine The Letter Dark Passage Laura Murder, My Sweet Ministry of Fear Mildred Pierce Gilda The Killers Border Incident The Big Sleep Out of the Past The Mask of Dimitrios The Postman Always Rings Twice The Third Man Kiss Me Deadly The Hitch-Hiker Caged D.O.A. Strangers on a Train Too Late for Tears The Strange Love of Martha Ivers 99 River Street Kansas City Confidential The Narrow Margin Beware, My Lovely Elevators to the Gallows The Asphalt Jungle Desperate Brute Force Criss Cross The ones in Bold are the ones I'm most curious about, and italics are the ones I've seen.
  25. Would any of you like to continue discussing film noir or other topics after this course has expired? If so, I noticed there's a "Film Noir-Gangster " thread under the "Genre Forum" on this TCM Message Board. Mayhaps we can continue there?
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