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**SPOILERS**

I really liked The Damned Don't Cry.  The only character I really sympathized with was Kent Smith's.  He was just minding his own business until he comes across Joan Crawford's floozy.  He unwittingly gets in over his head as he falls head over heels for Joan.  Then, he's in way too far and has no choice but to continue in an occupation that he is morally opposed to.

Joan Crawford's character, while I understood the motivation behind her actions, she was not sympathetic.  I sympathized with her at the beginning of the film, being married to the quick tempered Richard Egan and then losing her son so abruptly and violently.  I liked her transition from the timid woman trying to make it on her own (with no experience) to becoming a fast-talking "dress model" aka escort.  At this point in the film, I kind of thought of her as Mildred Pierce.  Perhaps this is the next part of Mildred's saga.  She leaves home to start a new life, ends up with Richard Egan and loses her son, decides to start another new life, and ends up a "model."

I thought all the men were great in this film, especially Kent Smith.  His blandness worked for him in this film.  It seems believable that he would fall in love with Crawford--as she was probably the first woman that thought of him in a romantic sense.  David Brian was great as the leader of the gang and I like that his own story paralleled Crawford's.  Steve Cochran's younger man (or at least he seemed younger) gangster was good.  I found it hard to believe he'd fall in love with Crawford, but I get the sense that he was probably using her the way she was using him.  The only man I believe that was genuinely in love with Crawford was Smith.  Crawford was using each man to obtain something for herself and the men (sans Smith) were using her right back.

I also liked the non-linear structure of the narrative.  Noir seems to use a lot of flashbacks, but it works in this sense.  I didn't like the ending, I thought that Crawford should have died there in the lawn.  Her convalescing in bed and the subsequent lines from the police men asking if she'll be out on the streets again (or something to that effect), leaves the audience with the idea that Crawford will forever be trying to get something better.  Will she re-emerge as Ethel Whitehead? Or Lorna Hansen Forbes? Or a new-alter ego?  I think Kent Smith rid himself of Crawford.  Perhaps with all the big gangsters dead, he can runaway and start a new life?

I also thought Crawford looked better as Ethel Whitehead with the longer hair.  Once she adopts the "Ethel Mertz" hairstyle (as I call it), I think it aged her 10 years at least.  Sometimes with these Crawford films, while I think she is pretty at times, other times, she strikes me as an odd looking woman.  I think the character in the film who described her as a "handsome woman" best captures my thoughts on her looks.  Later in her career, she got a little crazy with the eyebrows and the lips, and I think she moved over into caricature territory. 

Eddie Muller's introduction and closing comments were excellent, almost as good as the movie.  I like that he has genuine enthusiasm for the subject matter, it's quite obvious how much he loves these films that he presents.  

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10 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Well, now I now what our LornaHansenForbes is talking about when they say The Damned Don't Cry is vintage classic Joan. Damn ! I had fun watching this. Full-on melodrama Joan is hugely entertaining to watch, and full-strength Joan is exactly what we get in TDDC. It's fascinating watching her character transform from a typical ordinary housewife to a slightly trashy wise-cracking "model" (yeah, right), to a super ambitious social climber, to a classy gangster's "mistress"  (quaint word, that) who can identify Etruscan art with the best of them.

There was never a dull moment in this one. As (our) Lorna said, the pacing never let up, and every scene illuminated something about Ethel's ("Ethel" ? ! really? !) /Lorna's character. Poor old Kent Smith; I really liked him in this. Come to think of it, I kind of like him in Cat People too. All the men were good in TDDC. Loved the scowling David Brian as the man Ethel thinks will "give her the world". But then there's Steve Cochrane as the "low class" gangster, hanging out in Frank Sinatra's house. I've always thought Steve was one of the sexiest guys in noir. He's got a "bad boy", dark, kind of look that's very appealing.  I like the way we can't really tell which one, if any, of these three men Joan really loves. But then, she loves herself more than any of them.

SPOILER   I think the ending would have been more effective if Lorna had actually died when Castleman shot her. After all, how much further can her life story go after all that? Instead, we find her, somewhat anti-climactically, recovering in her childhood home, her ancient parents peering anxiously at her as she smiles wanly at them. Definitely would have been a better ending if she'd been killed by Castleman's gunshot.

 

SPOILER COMMENT

 

 

 

I agree. But you cant kill off Joan Crawford! (only she can do that a la Humoresque!)

Also agree about Steve Cochran. Always thought he was HOT! (and he could act too, when warranted)....

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1 hour ago, Looney said:

Definitely agree on the "superficial matter."

THE DAMNED DON'T CRY - I enjoyed it.  I found it to be a little dull until the transformation into Lorna occurred.  I thought Crawford was great.

So here is something I felt, and if I missed someone else saying this please let me know, but isn't this a Noir movie from the Femme Fatale's point of view?  That is what I kept thinking. It was a movie where you see where the Femme Fatale is coming from and why she is the way she is.   Am I wrong?  Have others been discussing this and I missed it?  She basically destroys three men's lives and her own, unintentionally but for selfish reasons.

I can't say I loved this movie, but I do feel like it is a must see just because it focuses on a female lead in this type of story.  I thought the script was great and it was well made.

Yes. Eddie explained that a little bit in his wraparounds per joan.

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I finally got around to watching Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).  This is a taut thriller with great acting.  The three main performers are all damaged: Robert Ryan as a self-loathing racist drifter; Harry Belafonte as an inveterate gambler in debt to gangsters and separated from his loving wife and daughter; and Ed Begley as the trio’s ring leader, a disgraced cop planning a robbery not so much for the money but to relieve the crushing monotony of his life.

The performances are beautifully understated. Ryan’s character taunts Belafonte and Belafonte responds in kind, but it’s all controlled, the actors knowing when to stop to avoid caricatures.    The bleak but beautiful photography by Joseph Brun mirrors the film’s fatalistic message.  Robert Wise’s flawless direction, a crackling script by blacklisted writer Abraham Polonsky, and the evocative score, juxtaposing breezy jazz and symphonic dread make this a terrific film.  As noted by Eddie Muller, this was editor Dede Allen’s first film, and she went on to have an illustrious career, with three Academy Award nominations for editing.

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15 minutes ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

The bleak but beautiful photography by Joseph Brun mirrors the film’s fatalistic message. 

Brun's next two Noirs were Girl of the Night (1960), and  Who Killed Teddy Bear (1963). 
 

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Maybe Joan and Kent Smith got together when she recovered. (Joan sees the light!) The movie seems to forget about him in the end. Did he go to jail for shooting Brian or was it self defense?

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2 hours ago, Hibi said:

Maybe Joan and Kent Smith got together when she recovered. (Joan sees the light!) The movie seems to forget about him in the end. Did he go to jail for shooting Brian or was it self defense?

Maybe self defense because wasn't he going to shoot him and Joan? Or maybe Kent Smith decided to play vigilante and avenge Steve Cochran's murder? 

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The way it was depicted, I'd say it was definitely in self-defense.

Remember, after David Brian tussles with Joan and she's shot, Kent then appears on the porch with a gun and Brian looks up to see Kent and aims his gun at him(and I think fires off one shot) and which Kent then fires at Brian, mortally wounding him.

(...btw, and speaking of Kent Smith...I remember as a teenager back in the late-'60s being a supermarket box boy, and one day during a slow period asking one of the 'older lady' checkers--probably all of 35 or 40 y/o at the time--who her favorite actor was...when she replied with something like "You probably wouldn't know of him, but it's Kent Smith" and then said she always thought he was very sexy...I couldn't believe my ears...I then replied back with, "Yeah, I know who Kent Smith is. He's on TV all the time in guest roles and is a regular on Peyton Place, and I've seen him in some old movies too. And sorry here, but I'm having a little problem thinking THAT guy is or was ever 'sexy'. He's kind'a bland, I think"...needless to say, I then got a nasty look and a 'Hrumph' from that 'older lady' checker...AND, nothing I've ever seen him in since that day has ever changed by opinion about the guy)

 

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6 hours ago, Dargo said:

The way it was depicted, I'd say it was definitely in self-defense.

Remember, after David Brian tussles with Joan and she's shot, Kent then appears on the porch with a gun and Brian looks up to see Kent and aims his gun at him(and I think fires off one shot) and which Kent then fires at Brian, mortally wounding him.

(...btw, and speaking of Kent Smith...I remember as a teenager back in the late-'60s being a supermarket box boy, and one day during a slow period asking one of the 'older lady' checkers--probably all of 35 or 40 y/o at the time--who her favorite actor was...when she replied with something like "You probably wouldn't know of him, but it's Kent Smith" and then said she always thought he was very sexy...I couldn't believe my ears...I then replied back with, "Yeah, I know who Kent Smith is. He's on TV all the time in guest roles and is a regular on Peyton Place, and I've seen him in some old movies too. And sorry here, but I'm having a little problem thinking THAT guy is or was ever 'sexy'. He's kind'a bland, I think"...needless to say, I then got a nasty look and a 'Hrumph' from that 'older lady' checker...AND, nothing I've ever seen him in since that day has ever changed by opinion about the guy)

 

 He ain't exactly June Allyson or Edward Arnold, but to each his own.  (Sorry; I couldn't resist.)  ?

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Eddie said Joan and Steve Cochran may have had a dressing room dalliance maybe to make Vincent Sherman jealous.  Shame on Joan if she didn't - Steve was HOT!

On a superficial note I like the longer hair on Joan, too.  I don't know what it was about post-war hairdos around 1950 but a lot of actresses cut their longish locks around that time.  On another superficial note, I liked Joan in her swimsuit and cover-up and I definitely liked Steve in his swimwear.

I looked up the actress who played David Brian's wife.  Edith Evanson also played the housekeeper in ROPE.

Serena Royle as Joan's "guide" Patricia Longworth was an interesting role.  Was there more going on there?  I could see her showing Joan the ropes on how to be a society dame but then she never leaves.

Kent Smith was a nice looking guy and decent actor and quite good in this role (he is in CAT PEOPLE, too), as everybody was (great casting).  He sort of reminds me of Bruce Bennett - a serviceable, dependable actor.

I liked David Brian.  I remember him from INTRUDER IN THE DUST.  Quite the contrast.

Joan ran the gamut in THE DAMNED DON'T CRY.  There's the struggling housewife/mother Joan, then Joan working and "modeling" to try to get ahead and then Joan going full-blown with the rich lifestyle and the men.  I liked it.

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in re: JOAN'S HAIR in THE DAMNED DON'T CRY

CRAWFORD did numerous publicity stills for the movie and even appears on the film's posters and lobby cards with a sleek, EVA PERON-like chignon, I think it would have been the best choice for her CAFE SOCIETY alter ego as it is both flattering and says "money."

i have no idea if she wore it in a scene or scenes that were deleted from the film...she does weAR a chignon on screen in FLAMINGO ROAD.

53ca1db13976d9820e3edb2adbdd0cd6.jpg

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5 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

1. Eddie said Joan and Steve Cochran may have had a dressing room dalliance maybe to make Vincent Sherman jealous.  Shame on Joan if she didn't - Steve was HOT!

2. I looked up the actress who played David Brian's wife.  Edith Evanson also played the housekeeper in ROPE.

3. Serena Royle as Joan's "guide" Patricia Longworth was an interesting role.  Was there more going on there?  I could see her showing Joan the ropes on how to be a society dame but then she never leaves.

4. I liked David Brian.  I remember him from INTRUDER IN THE DUST.  Quite the contrast.

 

1. AGREE re: STEVE COCHRAN. Also plus for the hairy chest.

2. OOOOH! So that's where I know Mrs. Castleman from! She is TERRIFIC in ROPE, one of my favorite performances in the movie. She's good in THE DAMNED DON'T CRY, but it is such an ODD PART in an ODD MOMENT of the movie that ends up being something of a non sequitor with regard to the plot and outcome of the movie.

3. "PAH-TREE-SHUH! PAH-TREE-SHUH!"

4. The most jarring thing about THE DAMNED DON'T CRY, and maybe why it was not a bigger hit, is that DAVID BRIAN and CRAWFORD have a relationship dynamic very similar to their roles in FLAMINGO ROAD, she the hungry up and comer- he the powerful man she latches onto out of ambition and not love, but his character in THE DAMNED DON'T CRY takes such a dark and brutal turn by the ending- it's almost unsettling if you've seen FLAMINGO ROAD first.

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I also bring this up CONSTANTLY, but in re: the ending to THE DAMNED DON'T CRY

There was an hour long radio adaptation done for THE SCREEN DIRECTOR'S PLAYHOUSE starring CRAWFORD and it is better than the movie- sharper and more focused. Her character also dies at the end in this version, which is done SO EFFECTIVELY.

I bet you anything it was in the script that the character die, but JOAN'S ego got in the way and she demanded she live. I have read about one time in the past where she turned down a role saying "I don't die onscreen."

(although she did a couple times before and after this.)

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13 hours ago, Dargo said:

The way it was depicted, I'd say it was definitely in self-defense.

Remember, after David Brian tussles with Joan and she's shot, Kent then appears on the porch with a gun and Brian looks up to see Kent and aims his gun at him(and I think fires off one shot) and which Kent then fires at Brian, mortally wounding him.

(...btw, and speaking of Kent Smith...I remember as a teenager back in the late-'60s being a supermarket box boy, and one day during a slow period asking one of the 'older lady' checkers--probably all of 35 or 40 y/o at the time--who her favorite actor was...when she replied with something like "You probably wouldn't know of him, but it's Kent Smith" and then said she always thought he was very sexy...I couldn't believe my ears...I then replied back with, "Yeah, I know who Kent Smith is. He's on TV all the time in guest roles and is a regular on Peyton Place, and I've seen him in some old movies too. And sorry here, but I'm having a little problem thinking THAT guy is or was ever 'sexy'. He's kind'a bland, I think"...needless to say, I then got a nasty look and a 'Hrumph' from that 'older lady' checker...AND, nothing I've ever seen him in since that day has ever changed by opinion about the guy)

 

LOL!!! I remembered him too from Peyton Place, before I knew he'd been in films.......

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6 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

Eddie said Joan and Steve Cochran may have had a dressing room dalliance maybe to make Vincent Sherman jealous.  Shame on Joan if she didn't - Steve was HOT!

On a superficial note I like the longer hair on Joan, too.  I don't know what it was about post-war hairdos around 1950 but a lot of actresses cut their longish locks around that time.  On another superficial note, I liked Joan in her swimsuit and cover-up and I definitely liked Steve in his swimwear.

I looked up the actress who played David Brian's wife.  Edith Evanson also played the housekeeper in ROPE.

Serena Royle as Joan's "guide" Patricia Longworth was an interesting role.  Was there more going on there?  I could see her showing Joan the ropes on how to be a society dame but then she never leaves.

Kent Smith was a nice looking guy and decent actor and quite good in this role (he is in CAT PEOPLE, too), as everybody was (great casting).  He sort of reminds me of Bruce Bennett - a serviceable, dependable actor.

I liked David Brian.  I remember him from INTRUDER IN THE DUST.  Quite the contrast.

Joan ran the gamut in THE DAMNED DON'T CRY.  There's the struggling housewife/mother Joan, then Joan working and "modeling" to try to get ahead and then Joan going full-blown with the rich lifestyle and the men.  I liked it.

I think the Longworth character was there to keep an eye on Joan and see that she stays out of trouble....

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6 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

Serena Royle as Joan's "guide" Patricia Longworth was an interesting role.  Was there more going on there?  I could see her showing Joan the ropes on how to be a society dame but then she never leaves.
 

Her character just shows up randomly too.  I don't know if she was enlisted, or how she found out about "Lorna Hansen Forbes," but I couldn't really see how she fit into the story.  Maybe Joan kept her around so that she could support Joan and help her keep her high society facade up?

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47 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

1. AGREE re: STEVE COCHRAN. Also plus for the hairy chest.

2. OOOOH! So that's where I know Mrs. Castleman from! She is TERRIFIC in ROPE, one of my favorite performances in the movie. She's good in THE DAMNED DON'T CRY, but it is such an ODD PART in an ODD MOMENT of the movie that ends up being something of a non sequitor with regard to the plot and outcome of the movie.

3. "PAH-TREE-SHUH! PAH-TREE-SHUH!"

4. The most jarring thing about THE DAMNED DON'T CRY, and maybe why it was not a bigger hit, is that DAVID BRIAN and CRAWFORD have a relationship dynamic very similar to their roles in FLAMINGO ROAD, she the hungry up and comer- he the powerful man she latches onto out of ambition and not love, but his character in THE DAMNED DON'T CRY takes such a dark and brutal turn by the ending- it's almost unsettling if you've seen FLAMINGO ROAD first.

Yeah, the relationship is the same.......

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2 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Her character just shows up randomly too.  I don't know if she was enlisted, or how she found out about "Lorna Hansen Forbes," but I couldn't really see how she fit into the story.  Maybe Joan kept her around so that she could support Joan and help her keep her high society facade up?

I think she "worked" for Brian. Tutoring Joan and keeping an eye on her too. It's through her that she meets the Cochran character which is what Brian wanted.

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Just now, Hibi said:

I think she "worked" for Brian. Tutoring Joan and keeping an eye on her too. It's through her that she meets the Cochran character which is what Brian wanted.

I must have missed the Patricia-Cochran connection.  I thought Joan had seen him via the meeting that she and Kent Smith attend toward the beginning of the film.  Then Brian, upset about the way Cochran is handling the West Coast part of their racket, sends Joan out there as a mole to see what's going on. 

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There was a brief scene when Joan meets Cochran. Patricia is there with Joan, when they pair up, the scene ends with Patricia smiling...

 

I cant remember now if Joan saw Cochran at the mtg. but they weren't introduced or anything......

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8 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Her character just shows up randomly too.  I don't know if she was enlisted, or how she found out about "Lorna Hansen Forbes," but I couldn't really see how she fit into the story.  Maybe Joan kept her around so that she could support Joan and help her keep her high society facade up?

Not sure if you have seen MRS. PARKINGTON (1945)- but AGNES MOOREHEAD plays rather a similar role in many ways, I think the PUHtreeSHUH character in THE DAMNED DONT CRY was there as a suggestion of that.

I seem to recall a line that alludes to some gambling debts her character has incurred and thus why she is indebted to Castleman, but it's not hard to think of a connection.

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I just re-watched Where The Sidewalk Ends, with Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merill, Karl Malden, and Craig Stevens. And I was impressed again with Gary Merill's performance as the hood Tommy Scalise. So I got to checking IMDb. He did make quite a few more noirs right after Where The Sidewalk Ends but we never see them, that I can remember on TCM.

Another Man's Poison (1951) with Bette Davis, and Emlyn Williams

Phone Call from a Stranger (1952) with  Bette Davis, Shelley Winters, Michael Rennie, Keenan Wynn, Warren Stevens, and Craig Stevens

Night Without Sleep (1952) with Linda Darnell and Hugh Beaumont.

The Human Jungle (1954) with Jan Sterling, Regis Toomey, Chuck Connors, and Emile Meyer

Others that I have seen are  A Blueprint for Murder (1953), Witness to Murder (1954) and the Transitional Noirs The Savage Eye (1960), and The Incident (1967). 

 

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