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Noir Alley

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4 hours ago, kingrat said:

I was able to borrow Ride the Pink Horse from the library. Really, 1939 gets all the hype (and I do love GWTW), but 1947 has far more films of continuing interest to me. I loved Ride the Pink Horse, an oddball, offbeat film noir that fits perfectly into 1947.

I just got “Ride the Pink Horse” from the library today as well! I haven’t watched it yet though. Tonight I went out to an arcade/club with my friend. I look forward to seeing “Pink Horse” as well as “Thieves Highway.” 

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I've seen "Thieves Highway" many times previously on FXM.  It was good.  It was one of the rare Jack Oakey performances where he's not portrayed as a comic foil for someone, and Richard Conte, as usual, was very good in his role.  Eddie Muller's wrap-arounds were informative and interesting, but the ending got messed up a little when he said Valentina Cortesa was still with us, when in fact, she had died less than 3 weeks ago.  So now we have an idea how far in advance some of these movie wraps are shot by the TCM hosts!

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10 minutes ago, midwestan said:

I've seen "Thieves Highway" many times previously on FXM.  It was good.  It was one of the rare Jack Oakey performances where he's not portrayed as a comic foil for someone, and Richard Conte, as usual, was very good in his role.  Eddie Muller's wrap-arounds were informative and interesting, but the ending got messed up a little when he said Valentina Cortesa was still with us, when in fact, she had died less than 3 weeks ago.  So now we have an idea how far in advance some of these movie wraps are shot by the TCM hosts!

Yea noticed that also, I'm sure they probably do all the intro's & outro's in one shot in advance of the scheduled showing. It's like the In Memorial clips towards the end of the year. If someone passes after the final edit they are sometimes sol. 

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10 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Yea noticed that also, I'm sure they probably do all the intro's & outro's in one shot in advance of the scheduled showing. It's like the In Memorial clips towards the end of the year. If someone passes after the final edit they are sometimes sol. 

Speaking of which, CJ...I think the Vegas odds are still strong that the last person shown in this year's TCM Remembers tribute will be Doris Day.

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Sorry I'm late posting, but I was somewhat disappointed in WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS. I thought Eddie's comments after the showing were on target and I'm glad he explained why he showed the film in the first place. It was a great cast, but the story just didn't seem to display their talent.  Here hoping THIEVES HIGHWAY is better. 

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My short review for Thieves Highway (1949) back when I first saw the Criterion DVD excellent noir about the fruit market  business in California, with Richard Conte actually playing the good guy for once, wasn't quite convinced about Cortese playing a hooker or Cobb an Italian, lol, but a very nice Criterion release 8/10

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41 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

My short review for Thieves Highway (1949) back when I first saw the Criterion DVD excellent noir about the fruit market  business in California, with Richard Conte actually playing the good guy for once, wasn't quite convinced about Cortese playing a hooker or Cobb an Italian, lol, but a very nice Criterion release 8/10

I'm kind'a surprised you of all people and with your vast knowledge of noir said "for once" here, CJ.

As I'm sure you really know, Conte many more times than once played a good guy. The films The Blue Gardenia and another film he starred in with the word "Highway" in its title, Highway Dragnet, come readily to mind just for starters.

Bet ya just said that for emphasis, didn't ya. ;)

(...and FWIW, Richard Conte was always one of my favorite actors back in the day)

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Dargo said:

I'm kind'a surprised you of all people and with your vast knowledge of noir said "for once" here, CJ.

As I'm sure you really know, Conte many more times than once played a good guy. The films The Blue Gardenia and another film he starred in with the word "Highway" in its title, Highway Dragnet, come readily to mind for just starters.

Bet ya just said that for emphasis, didn't ya. ;)

(...and FWIW, Richard Conte was always one of my favorite actors back in the day)

 

 

 

Conte was the most decent male family member in Fox's House of Strangers (directed by Ben's uncle in 1949).

He also was on the right-side in The Brothers Rico and Whirlpool. 

But for me the Conte roles that first come to mind are those from  Cry of the City and The Big Combo.    

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15 minutes ago, Dargo said:

I'm kind'a surprised you of all people and with your vast knowledge of noir said "for once" here, CJ.

As I'm sure you really know, Conte many more times than once played a good guy. The films The Blue Gardenia and another film he starred in with the word "Highway" in its title, Highway Dragnet, come readily to mind for just starters.

Bet ya just said that for emphasis, didn't ya. ;)

(...and FWIW, Richard Conte was always one of my favorite actors back in the day)

 

 

 

Well Dargo, I did say "back when I first saw the Thieves Highway Criterion DVD " and that was January 13, 2010, I wasn't up to snuff on all of Conte Films Noir back then.

I've now since seen The Big ComboThe Blue Gardenia, The Brothers RicoCall Northside 777, Cry Of The City, Highway Dragnet, House Of Strangers, New York Confidential, The Raging Tide, The Sleeping City, Somewhere in the Night, The Spider, and Whirlpool.

I don't think I've ever seen Hollywood Story, The Big Tip Off, or Under The Gun that makes 17 wonder where Eddie is getting the 18 count?

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A crooked produce peddler noir or the poor man's version of The Wages of Fear. The last twenty

minutes or so were pure Hollywood cornpone. All of a sudden Polly, who seemed okay, turns into

a money hungry shrew. I guess that's so Conte can marry the wisecracking pro with a

heart of gold.

Sorry, doesn't pass the smell test. Other than that it was pretty good, though nothing

very special. Even Lee J. Cobb didn't go full bore. I got a laugh out of how, at the end,

Jack Oakie makes sure to keep together the money that Cobb has scattered on bar. Here's

a man with his head screwed on right. I seem to remember another film about crooked

produce peddlers and truckers, though I can't remember the title.

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34 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I seem to remember another film about crooked

produce peddlers and truckers, though I can't remember the title.

They Drive by Night (1940)

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3 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

They Drive by Night (1940)

I've seen that one but I think the one I recall isn't TDBN. I'll have to do a little checking

and see if I can come up with a title.

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8 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

My short review for Thieves Highway (1949) back when I first saw the Criterion DVD excellent noir about the fruit market  business in California, with Richard Conte actually playing the good guy for once, wasn't quite convinced about Cortese playing a hooker or Cobb an Italian, lol, but a very nice Criterion release 8/10

My thought as well. She came across to much like exotic, sophisticated, worldiness to play a loose woman (much less a prostitute) who hangs around back street markets doing dark-side favors for people like Figlia (Cobb). But it's forgiven because it is Hollywood, it's 1949, and they had her on contract and they needed to put her in a picture. That helps make suspension of disbelief easier and she was very good. It would not be quite right to stay she stole the picture, she was too much a front runner for honors to begin with, with all due respect for Conte and Cobb, who also did well.

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15 minutes ago, laffite said:

My thought as well. She came across to much like exotic, sophisticated, worldiness to play a loose woman (much less a prostitute) who hangs around back street markets doing dark-side favors for people like Figlia (Cobb). But it's forgiven because it is Hollywood, it's 1949, and they had her on contract and they needed to put her in a picture. That helps make suspension of disbelief easier and she was very good. It would not be quite right to stay she stole the picture, she was too much a front runner for honors to begin with, with all due respect for Conte and Cobb, who also did well.

Hope Emerson also adds a nice jolt of energy, doesn't she?

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8 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Well Dargo, I did say "back when I first saw the Thieves Highway Criterion DVD " and that was January 13, 2010, I wasn't up to snuff on all of Conte Films Noir back then.

I've now since seen The Big ComboThe Blue Gardenia, The Brothers RicoCall Northside 777, Cry Of The City, Highway Dragnet, House Of Strangers, New York Confidential, The Raging Tide, The Sleeping City, Somewhere in the Night, The Spider, and Whirlpool.

I don't think I've ever seen Hollywood Story, The Big Tip Off, or Under The Gun that makes 17 wonder where Eddie is getting the 18 count?

Ah, that 'splains it then. Thanks for the clarification here, CJ.

Knew there had to be some good reason.

(...btw, here's a weird little thought I had about Conte while watching Thieves Highway again last night...he started reminding me of a combination between Kirk Douglas and John Garfield...like I said, weird huh...or maybe not)

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1 hour ago, kingrat said:

Hope Emerson also adds a nice jolt of energy, doesn't she?

Gosh, I had to put the library copy (specially borrowed for this thread) back in the machine looking for Hope. (I always seem to be doing that, ha)). I only watched the movie once (no excuse, Hope, I know). "Jolt" is right. After watching her little gig there, my thought is that if it is Golden Delicious she wants, then Golden Delicious she gets.

Perhaps a word about Barbara Lawrence would not be out of place. She has one brief scene with Valentina, but such a bland one, a comparison of relative merits would not be considered. I'm thinking of a movie where Marlene once starred in a picture with Jane Wyman (you guys and gals would which one immediately) where a scene that they had together was a no-brainer no-contest scene as a scene ever was with Wyman being denuded of any relevance whatsoever. Barbara acquits herself okay but Valentina would be a formidable opponent in any scene of more dramatic import. Her character in Thieves sure gives up early, doesn't she? They probably needed to rush the plot to satisfy time constraints. It was a big glitch with Valentina being there and all but I thought she might have tried harder to keep her man, that is, if this were real life. The movie doesn't give her the opportunity.

Out on a limb here, probably ... but did anyone else feel any surprise, even a teeny weeny one, that Conte asks her to marry him. Well, no surprise in the sense that it was predictable because it is that kind of movie, but again, if this were real life, I would think he might have some doubts about her. When he accuses her of diverting him for Figlia and later of being set up with the two goons, she "agrees" in a sort of jocular, flippant way. There is irony in her response that should be noted but not necessarily by Conte. The fact he takes that step is not a W T F moment, but there was, for me, a bit of a false note and mild surprise.

 

//

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I'm going to miss Noir Alley for a month. I'd forgotten about SUTS  month. I wasnt feeling well, so I recorded Thieves  Highway to watch another time. I'd seen it once before, but I've forgotten parts of it.

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Just so nobody here has to go with Noir withdrawals during SUTS here are the Noir/Noir-ish films scheduled for August.

The Long Night (1947) Noir

The Wrong Man (1956) Noir 

A Streetcar Named Desire(1951) Drama Noir-ish 

The Fugitive Kind (1960) Transitional Noir

The Killers (1946) Noir

Marlowe (1969) Neo Noir

Cry Terror! (1958) Noir

In the Heat of the Night (1967) Neo Noir

The Big Knife (1955) Noir

The Harder They Fall (1956) Noir

Wait Until Dark (1967) Neo Noir

The Maltese Falcon (1941) Noir

A Kiss Before Dying (1956) Color Noir

Blood On The Moon (1948) Western Noir

Deadline at Dawn (1946) Noir

They Won't Believe Me (1947) Noir

House of Strangers (1949) Noir

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) Noir

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I was just thinking, will it come to a point when Eddie Muller has run out of noir to feature on his series? Will he end the series? Will he do repeats with new intros and closings? 

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My Spencer Shelby's Dark City - The Film Noir has 490 Film Noir listed of the Classic Era. That's not counting the  The French Noirs, The British Noirs, South American Noir or the off Crime Genre Noirs.

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On 7/21/2019 at 1:53 PM, misswonderly3 said:

This must have been the third time, I think, that I've seen While the City Sleeps. I know I've said this before, about other Noir Alley titles, but once again, I enjoyed the film much more on this go-round than the other times I've watched it.

I don't care if a film isn't "noir" enough ...if it's entertaining, then I'm in. And I was entertained by this late Fritz Lang film, mostly by the actors and how they portrayed their characters. As some of you have noted, Vincent Price is always worth watching. There's just something inherently likable - I'll go so far as to say funny, in a good way - about this actor.  Then there's George Sanders, again, always amusing, and as usual, there he is playing a bit of a calculating cad, but a witty and urbane one. Ida Lupino is always good. And compare her performance here to the gentle blind woman we saw recently in On Dangerous Ground (aired a few weeks ago on Noir Alley). True, While the City Sleeps was made four years later, but seeing Ida in both these very different movies shows her range. I love Ida Lupino. And that scene where she tries to seduce Dana Andrews' character is hilarious- theyr'e both so drunk and so cynical and so lustful - but Ed, fortunately, is too drunk to do anything about the lust !  Just as well .

I recognized Sally Forrest as Ed's "nice girl" fiancee, but couldn't say where I'd seen her before. I looked her up, and sure enough, I'd seen her in a few films, usually as a minor character. She's good in While the City Sleeps, and that's very much to her credit, since it's kind of hard playing the straight nice girl when you've got women like Ida Lupino around (who're you going to remember more?)  

Women like Ida Lupino and Rhonda Fleming. Interesting, I'd just seen Rhonda in Cry Danger (I own a copy of it and had just watched it the other night.) I enjoy the way Rhonda always seems to play conniving "bad" women - not really femme fatales, more just deceitful and manipulative. So, does she end up unhappily ever after with husband Vincent Price?  Looks like she dumps her lover Harry to stick with Kyne. Poor James Craig as Rhonda's lover Harry doesn't really get much to do, except wind his arms around Rhonda and sulk when he's criticized. 

Anyway, I found While the City Sleeps quite entertaining, more so than the other times I've watched it. Almost a comedy, actually. Eddie's right, comedy definitely isn't something you associate much with Fritz Lang.  But in WTCS, there's a lot of sharp witty dialogue - and, as I said, I just find a lot of the characters funny in their own right.

Some of you have complained that the film pays more attention to the newspaper rivalry story than the murder story - but that's just it, it's much more about the former than the latter. The murder mystery is really just a McGuffin for the newspaper characters to go at it. And by the way, speaking of the murderer, damn, what was up with Robert Manners, who played the psycho killer? Maybe the hammy-ness of his dad John Barrymore rubbed off on him, because I actually had to laugh at the way he kept snarling and scowling and generally mugging, as though to signal to the audience what a nut case he was. And his shouting at the poor frumpy mother. All wildly over-done. To the point where I found that funny, too (probably the humour I found in that aspect of the film was unintentional.) 

I agree with so much of what you've said and I also wanted to give a small shout out to Howard Duff's performance in While The City Sleeps. Not as flashy as some of the other performances but just a great, solid job (and he seemed relatively sober throughout!)

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15 minutes ago, Joe Gillis said:

I agree with so much of what you've said and I also wanted to give a small shout out to Howard Duff's performance in While The City Sleeps. Not as flashy as some of the other performances but just a great, solid job (and he seemed relatively sober throughout!)

Duff and Lupino were married at the time (and remained together until 1966,  divorcing in 1984).

Maybe she keep her husband in check.

(it is Andrews that was drinking a lot when this film was made,,,, on and off screen).

 

 

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What, no love for Thieves Highway? It was the Noir Alley feature right? I can't watch but I looked at the schedule. Anyway, no surprise, perhaps. It's seem competent but may lack some of the juicer elements of vintage noir.

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