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Barton_Keyes

Noir Alley

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tonight 1-18

12:15 AM (ET)
B/W - 91 min
 

Synopsis: A small-town newspaper editor defies threats to expose the mob.
DirRobert Wise CastJohn Forsythe , Joan Camden , Harold J. Kennedy .

 
" The Captive City effectively skirts the line between film noir and documentary, making it a difficult movie to categorize. Certainly the visual mood created by lurking shadows and murky street lamps lends a noir-ish feel to the flick, while the intro and outro footage of Kefauver frame the story within a realistic context. .......
 

LEONARD MALTIN REVIEW:    
 

😧 Robert Wise. John Forsythe, Joan Camden, Harold J. Kennedy, Marjorie Crosland, Victor Sutherland, Ray Teal, Martin Milner.

Small-city newspaper editor Forsythe gradually learns that the Mafia has taken over bookie operations formerly run by corrupt local businessmen. Based-on-fact drama is earnest and intelligent, with fine noir-style photography by Lee Garmes. Sen. Estes Kefauver provides an afterword.

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14 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I've never seen Captive City

Neither have I, but I heard it's 'captivating'...😉

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10 minutes ago, midwestan said:

Neither have I, but I heard it's 'captivating'...😉

:rolleyes:

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Is there a list somewhere of movies that have been shown on Noir Alley?  If so, could you point me to it?

My wife and I often discuss the weekly Noir Alley film, which inevitably leads to our wondering if some other noir-ish movie has been featured.

Thanks!

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I'd never seen Captive City either. One thing I really like about Noir Alley and Eddie's picks is, he often shows noirs that I've never seen.  Whether I love the selection he airs or not, if it's one that's new to me, that in itself is a treat.

Captive  City, for me, was in the "fine" category.  It was fine; I didn't love it, but I didn't dislike it either. It kept me entertained - the number 1 duty of any filmmaker.  I did enjoy all the no-name actors, especially the women  (like Mrs. Nelson and  and Mrs. Sirak, two realistically unglamourous actresses.) I also liked Joan Camden as the newspaper editor's wife.  She reminded me a bit of the young Cloris Leachman in Kiss Me Deadly -- both had similar styles, sort of thin and willowy with that short '50s 'do.

The film was, as one of the write-ups quoted earlier says, a bit of a cross between noir and documentary-style. In fact it was a bit like the type of noir known as a "procedural", only instead of the police doing the investigating it was the newspaper guy. There is a sub-genre of noir that I would call the "Newspaper procedural", which would include Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, While the City Sleeps, and Call Northside 777. Many others besides .  (I think maybe Cigarjoe started a thread about this noir sub-genre once.)

Anyway, it was an entertaining little movie. Like a lot of "procedurals" about clearing up organized crime, it was framed by a serious speaker (politician in this case, but sometimes it's a government guy or a police inspector), sonorously lecturing the audience on the perils of crime.  I find these bits kind of funny, in a good way (albeit unintentionally so.)

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16 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I'd never seen Captive City either. One thing I really like about Noir Alley and Eddie's picks is, he often shows noirs that I've never seen.  Whether I love the selection he airs or not, if it's one that's new to me, that in itself is a treat.

Captive  City, for me, was in the "fine" category.  It was fine; I didn't love it, but I didn't dislike it either. It kept me entertained - the number 1 duty of any filmmaker.  I did enjoy all the no-name actors, especially the women  (like Mrs. Nelson and  and Mrs. Sirak, two realistically unglamourous actresses.) I also liked Joan Camden as the newspaper editor's wife.  She reminded me a bit of the young Cloris Leachman in Kiss Me Deadly -- both had similar styles, sort of thin and willowy with that short '50s 'do.

SPOILER ALERT for Captive City:

I also found Captive City very entertaining.    The pace was good and the story moved along.      I did get a little annoyed at how the reporter was rather naive.   Yea, I get that was part of the plot,   but after the detective was killed and he learned a mob boss was in town known for use of violence,   it was kind of annoying to hear him still say "this is Kennington,  not Chicago".     Also the detective;   He had a licence as a PI and I assume that meant he could carry a gun.   Allowing Mrs. Sirak to leave the reporter's house after her husband paid a visit (and thus one knows the mob knows the wife did also),   was just beyond belief.        So at that moment I was yelling at my T.V.  (she is going to be killed tonight you fool),  but hey,  it didn't do any good!      

Eddie's comments about Robert Wise and Aspen were interesting.     Always learn something watching Eddie.   

 

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Pretty entertaining, if not that original. Reminded me a bit of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

A town is increasingly menaced by a force it at first doesn't  recognize and ends with the two

main characters running for their lives. Uncle Ira is no longer mowing the lawn, he's running

a bookie joint.  Yeah, many of the people didn't seem to understand that the mafia plays for

keeps and doesn't fool around. But all's well that ends well. I liked the scenes that illustrate

the power relations of small city politics. As Eddie mentioned, Keufauver hoped that appearing

in this flick might help his political campaign for the presidency. But Adlai Stevenson wasn't

about to be fooled. Adlai played a piebald horse in High Noon. Checkmate.

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43 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

Pretty entertaining, if not that original. Reminded me a bit of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

A town is increasingly menaced by a force it at first doesn't  recognize and ends with the two

main characters running for their lives. Uncle Ira is no longer mowing the lawn, he's running

a bookie joint.  Yeah, many of the people didn't seem to understand that the mafia plays for

keeps and doesn't fool around. But all's well that ends well. I liked the scenes that illustrate

the power relations of small city politics. As Eddie mentioned, Keufauver hoped that appearing

in this flick might help his political campaign for the presidency. But Adlai Stevenson wasn't

about to be fooled. Adlai played a piebald horse in High Noon. Checkmate.

 I had exactly the same thoughts. It reminded me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers too.

The movie also hit fairly close to home for me.  I was raised in a small town and back in the late 60s several "respectable" small businessmen were dealing drugs on the side. Everyone suspected it, but no one spoke up until a  young newly elected sheriff decided to do something. He wasn't able to get the businessmen. However, he was able to bust the unsavory guys that were their suppliers and destroy their drug lab. Unfortunately, not before a couple my former high school buddies who got caught up in the ring  were murdered.  I was off in college when most of this happened  so I don't know if the sheriff was ever able to prove the dealers killed my friends.

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3 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

 I had exactly the same thoughts. It reminded me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers too.

The movie also hit fairly close to home for me.  I was raised in a small town and back in the late 60s several "respectable" small businessmen were dealing drugs on the side. Everyone suspected it, but no one spoke up until a  young newly elected sheriff decided to do something. He wasn't able to get the businessmen. However, he was able to bust the unsavory guys that were their suppliers and destroy their drug lab. Unfortunately, not before a couple my former high school buddies who got caught up in the ring  were murdered.  I was off in college when most of this happened  so I don't know if the sheriff was ever able to prove the dealers killed my friends.

Just substitute organized crime for aliens and leave out the seed pods. I'm sure there are quite a few small towns

and small cities where hidden things are going on, if not as serious as what occurred in the movie or what you

experienced.  Now it's often about opioids. 

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You're right.  Small communities are often controlled by a wealthy family or a company that employs a large majority of the residents. When greed takes over, these controlling forces sometimes subvert the law and the residents are powerless to do anything about it.  They just go along to get along. There have been countless novels, movies and TV shows about this dynamic.

However. many think Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a thinly veiled statement about the spread of communism. I can see that take as well.

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I enjoyed Captive City and Eddie referenced The Phenix City Story (1955)  in his intro.  Both  are very similar movies and Phenix City shows up periodically on TCM.  It is actually about Phenix City AL in the 1950's and fairly accurate.  When I was a kid we would drive through there on vacations and my father always made sure to stop in Columbus GA so he would not have to stop in Phenix City. 

I don't see the connection to Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

 

I don't see the connection to Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

I was referring to the one man against the whole town aspect.  Also the fact that Forsythe was chased out of town by the gangsters reminded me of Kevin McCarthy's fleeing from the pod people.

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I can see that then.  Racists are a lot like "pod people", regardless of WHICH end of the color spectrum they belong.  Assuming of course, y'alls not dumb enough to believe that only WHITE folks are the only ones who are racist.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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3 hours ago, TheCid said:

I enjoyed Captive City and Eddie referenced The Phenix City Story (1955)  in his intro.  Both  are very similar movies and Phenix City shows up periodically on TCM.  It is actually about Phenix City AL in the 1950's and fairly accurate.  When I was a kid we would drive through there on vacations and my father always made sure to stop in Columbus GA so he would not have to stop in Phenix City. 

I don't see the connection to Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Uh,   any "connection" to Invasions,,  or other films is based on paranoia.     That something has taken over the city causing harm to the citizens.   

Mob infiltration resulting in political corruption,   racism,    aliens, etc...    

There are certain scenes early in the film that clearly have a "look" similar to that of Invasion.     All one has to do is open their mind to see it. 

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8 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

You're right.  Small communities are often controlled by a wealthy family or a company that employs a large majority of the residents. When greed takes over, these controlling forces sometimes subvert the law and the residents are powerless to do anything about it.  They just go along to get along. There have been countless novels, movies and TV shows about this dynamic.

However. many think Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a thinly veiled statement about the spread of communism. I can see that take as well.

Yes that theme of a small town being run by a few families or a company has been popular for a long time, maybe

because it's something that a lot of people can recognize from their own experience. There can be two opposite

takes from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (besides others). It's about communism or it's about McCarthyism.

Take your pick. Even on its own it's a very good film.

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21 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Uh,   any "connection" to Invasions,,  or other films is based on paranoia.     That something has taken over the city causing harm to the citizens.   

Mob infiltration resulting in political corruption,   racism,    aliens, etc...    

There are certain scenes early in the film that clearly have a "look" similar to that of Invasion.     All one has to do is open their mind to see it. 

:rolleyes:  Oh, yeah...... like;

"There goes the neighborhood!;) 

And, ask me,that last sentence does sound a bit "pod people"-ish to me.  B)

Sepiatone

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Count me in as another who saw an IOTBS parallel.

Eddie's recounting of how Bernard Herrmann implored the director to hire him was amusing.  After being offered the apparently paltry sum of $10,000:  "I've never been so insulted in my life!"  I'm glad he refused because I did love the score by the composer they eventually chose.

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Liked the film. And was mesmerized over how HANDSOME John Forsythe was! Of course, I've seen him for years, but never THAT young! (He was ALWAYS handsome no matter what his age!). What a beautiful NOSE. Perfectly shaped. He didn't have a bad angle anywhere. SIGH.

 

I've seen Joan Camden before. Maybe on tv. She did remind me of Cloris Leachman too.

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Try and Get Me is the Noir Alley presentation for Sat., Jan 25 and Sun, Jan 26 and is followed by a couple more crime movies:  The Underworld Story and Hell Drivers on Saturday Night.  Midnight till 6:00 AM.  Although the movies are about 90, 90 and 100 minutes per TCM site.

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I haven't seen Try and Get Me. Hope it's good.

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MOVIES-TV is now showing the  U.C.L.A. restored version of Too Late For Tears as part of their Thursday or Sunday night noir programming.     

Last night the final film was A Life at Stake.    I didn't watch it since it was on too late.    The film stars Angela Lansbury and Keith Andes. 

Wiki also says it is a noir film.      It runs 78 minutes and was independently produced.      

Has anyone seen this film?       

ALifeAtStake1954Poster.jpg

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Don't remember this at all. From the 50s?

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

MOVIES-TV is now showing the  U.C.L.A. restored version of Too Late For Tears as part of their Thursday or Sunday night noir programming.     

Last night the final film was A Life at Stake.    I didn't watch it since it was on too late.    The film stars Angela Lansbury and Keith Andes. 

Wiki also says it is a noir film.      It runs 78 minutes and was independently produced.      

Has anyone seen this film?       

ALifeAtStake1954Poster.jpg

I have it on a collection, Dangerous Dames Collection (6 movies).  It's Ok, but nothing great.  I would give 2/5.  It was made in 1954.   Too Late for Tears is in the same collection.  The quality of the DVD's is not so good so that may affect my judgement.

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43 minutes ago, TheCid said:

I have it on a collection, Dangerous Dames Collection (6 movies).  It's Ok, but nothing great.  I would give 2/5.  It was made in 1954.   Too Late for Tears is in the same collection.  The quality of the DVD's is not so good so that may affect my judgement.

Thanks for the feedback.    Yea,  I assumed the film was only OK,  and that is why it isn't well known.   But I was curious to see Lansbury in such a role.    Dangerous Dames,,,,  nice title but not how I typically view Lansbury.

Of course she was very dangerous in The Manchurian Candidate.   One of the most evil dames on film.    But she wasn't a femme fatale.    More like a mommy fatale!

 

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