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Hello All TCMers, Kudos to TCM for their upcoming June/July "Summer Of Darkness" film noir festival, starting in June on Friday nights, with a free online course concerning the noir era available as well!! Excellent idea, especially for those of us who would love to buy every film from that era, but can't afford to do so. Onto "Confidential Agent": Perhaps it does not fit entirely into the noir definition, as there are no evil masterminds, no double crossing lovers, no gangsters per se, but still I think it fits the bill pretty well. My interest in the film arose from my love of Lauren's early work, and there is such precious little of it, this was her last film on my list to purchase. As far as audio and video quality, it surpasses "The Big Sleep" disc in the 4 film "Bogart/Bacall Collection" Box Set. That was such a disappointment video wise, the film's quality is annoyingly uneven, some scenes like Bogie playing surgeon in the basement are B&W at its best, while other parts are grainy and lacking definition, with soft blacks. What "C.A." lacks in substance, it makes up for in quality of presentation and of course, Lauren at her sassy, spoiled rich girl, visually arresting best. The shots of her, some full length showing her at her statuesque prime, I suspect had Boyer wearing booster shoes, as did Bogie. The film's plot has the trappings of the one thing Lauren's character professes to hate, perhaps a bit of melodrama. I then remind myself of what was still happening in the world at the time of its filming,(1944 for a 1945 release?) and all is forgiven. I won't spoil the ending for any who might not have seen it, but I suspect all of those that had envisioned the final outcome, only left wondering what the circumstances around it would be. Peter Lorre is his usual personification of a weasel, the only character that stretches credulity a bit is "the human observer", as played by Dan Seymour. Mr. Seymour was blessed with a much more credible part to play in Bogie and Bacall's premier, "T.H.A.H.N." Overall, Lauren's youthful beauty and the way she carries herself render any meaningful criticism of little import. My biggest regret is the paucity of Lauren's appearances on film from this era. Thanks for listening, and thanks again to TCM for the upcoming noir festival and the online lecture course. Well Done TCM, Mac
More sad news to report everyone; Lauren Bacall passed away today at the age of 89. Another classic star and timeless beauty has left our midst. No one combined that sense of earthiness and cool, controlled emotion like Bacall, and she will be terribly missed. She had such class, and her warmheartedness and sense of humor were well-known to all who worked with her. I'm so heartbroken over the great ones that are leaving us.