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2 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

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!

 

There is another Lansbury movie in the set.  Please Murder Me (1956) with Raymond Burr.  The plot is a little more interesting, but I don't think as much of it as I do A Life At Stake.  The quality of the DVD's may be a factor, but then Too Late for Tears, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers and Lady of Burlesque are in the set and I watch those over again.

One problem I have with picturing Lansbury as a Femme Fatale is I can't get the image of her in Poseidon Adventure out of my mind.

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4 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

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!

Don't forget James that Lansbury also played the hard-bitten type in her role in The Harvey Girls...

august2012theharveygirls50.png

(...maybe this'll help you think of her a little more in this manner)

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

There is another Lansbury movie in the set.  Please Murder Me (1956) with Raymond Burr.  The plot is a little more interesting, but I don't think as much of it as I do A Life At Stake.  The quality of the DVD's may be a factor, but then Too Late for Tears, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers and Lady of Burlesque are in the set and I watch those over again.

One problem I have with picturing Lansbury as a Femme Fatale is I can't get the image of her in Poseidon Adventure out of my mind.

You sure you're not thinkin' of Shelley Winters here, Cid? 

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And I can't help thinking about how former LATE SHOW host CRAIG FERGUSON would flash a recent photo of Angela Lansbury  whenever he'd start talking about PAUL McCARTNEY.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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On 1/22/2020 at 5:43 PM, Hibi said:

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.

I used to get John Forsythe and Craig Stevens mixed up.   Two good-looking men in a similar sort of way to me.

The only film I've ever associated Joan Camden with is THE CATERED AFFAIR.  She plays Debbie Reynolds' friend who can't afford a bridesmaid dress because her husband is out of work.

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Try and Get Me!

What a way to wrap up Noir Alley for a month. I enjoyed the beginning and middle; the down on his luck Joe getting in over his head, the escalating business of crime, the wonderfully awkward conversations and terse replies of Frank Lovejoy to Katherine Locke, just trying to start something. The fatal mistake in his declining mental state, and while it was building up tension as he was collapsing, the moment he spilled the beans it just became heavy. And then it enters the final act. That act was such a contrast to what came before, and the growing tension of setting the fuse of a powdered keg. It was gripping, engrossing, and more taught than a wire. The contrast between Frank and Lloyd in their respective jail cells, facial expressions and general demeanor, it was like the difference between a docile prisoner and a feral animal. He was just aces in that cell, just keeps you right in it. The conclusion is just so spot-on and has lost none of its punch.

I'll miss the one month wait but what a way to go! I just can't praise it enough but I'll end up rambling.

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Ampersand, I had an entirely different reaction to TRY AND GET ME!  (wish I didn't…)  I thought it was, well, ridiculous from beginning to end! (even though based on a true crime.  And with what Eddie told us of that tragic 1933 incident, I got some Leopold and Loeb vibes.  Not from the film however, although Lloyd Bridge's psycho, despite his apparent (blank)hound tendencies, gave me pause)  

I don't know why Howard and his wife didn't stay in Boston -- surely her Irish relatives could have helped him secure steady work.  But then of course, there wouldn't be a movie.   Frank Lovejoy had one expression throughout, that of a man with chronic constipation.   I'm sorry, but Howard was an idiot.  I couldn't get invested in  his character at all -- lazy, bad money management skills, and easily influenced.   Talks to himself later on in Hazel Weatherwax's apartment:  "I've never been in trouble before!" when we know he told Bridges earlier "I've done a few things in my life"  Now what those could be are a matter of conjecture, but I'm guessing some petty larceny, maybe even a stint in juvenile detention?  So it wasn't like Howard didn't have some passing connection with anti-social behavior.

Katherine Locke seemed to be in another film entirely -- maybe MARTY or THE CATERED AFFAIR.   Very Actor's Studio performance.  Her manicurist is supposed to be from Ohio but sounded very Noo Yawk to me.  (and I should know)  And I just couldn't believe she had been saving herself all that time for "the right man".  

I thought the entire production was rather ham-fisted.  The whole business with yellow journalism, mob violence and that preachy "moral center" represented by the Italian doctor just fell flat with me.   I do not agree with Eddie about the finale; it felt somehow "tacked on".   Fritz Lang's FURY has much more emotional resonance in my opinion.

 

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Try and Get Me!    Spoiler Alert!!!

I enjoyed the film and it keep my attention.   I believe it was made:  written,  directed, edited.       But there are some flaws.

The major one is Howard being so clueless in multiple areas:   one,  as noted above , is money management: Ok,  a guy wants to ensure his family is taken care of and in a bind, decides to do what he is told is fairly harmless crimes.     But when one is reluctant to do something they don't create the need to do it over-and-over again because they mismanaged the loot.      Howard had enough loot from the those first 3 - 4 crimes for at least 2 to 3 months if he managed the funds.      

In addition Howard was reading about his crimes, so he knows that Jerry was using excessive violence.  That Jerry lied to him about that and that Jerry was somewhat "off" in this regard.    It isn't logical that Howard would make the leap from hit-and-run robberies to kidnapping.     Howard makes a comment about what happens if they are caught (I assume it was life-in-prison for kidnapping,,, but either way,  a lot more time in the slammer for that then robberies).     Even with Howard's mismanagement of money he didn't need 20K.  

I was concerned when Eddie mentioned the Dr. Simone character being the moral compass of the film and his speeches.   Oh, no that gets old, very quickly.     But they were short and placed in the right spot,  so for me they didn't drag the film down.    Same with the yellow journalism and mob violence.    The concepts were NOT beat to death (well hung out to dry would fit more),  but well placed in the contexts of the narrative.    

As for Locke:  I like oddball noir characters.    So I found her interesting and not alloying.

 

 

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Try and Get Me.  Spoilers.

I found it kind of boring, although Bridges did play his role very well in a one-dimensional way.   I like Lovejoy, but somehow he just didn't bring this off.   Probably too strong a word, but I'll use it anyway in that he appeared to be a loser.  He was out of work, but he continued to do dumb things.  I'm sure that was how the role was written and directed, but Lovejoy just didn't seem to bring anything to it. 

As for the kidnapping, Lovejoy should have known as soon as they got the kid without wearing masks, it was obvious they would have to kill him.  And he knew they were going to kidnap someone.

I think Richard Carlson made a 180 from, do whatever the boss wants to sell papers, to, we should not have done this.  Not believable at all.

As for the Dr. Simone character, what was he in there for anyway.  Definitely not a Noir part.  He was too preachy, too pedantic and parts were far too long.

I am glad for Eddie's intro and outro as they explained a lot about the movie.  Really helpful that he pointed out the extensive use of locals and college students.  This explained all the young males in university shirts in the riot scene.  Although I assume the university was fictitious. 

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3 minutes ago, TheCid said:

As for the kidnapping, Lovejoy should have known as soon as they got the kid without wearing masks, it was obvious they would have to kill him.  And he knew they were going to kidnap someone.

I forgot to mention the no masks thing;  Jerry was planning on taking the young man to that shed that no-one-ever-uses.     I guess Jerry's plan from the get-go was to kill him and leave his body in the shed.    Howard believing that Jerry was just going to leave him there alive until they get the money is beyond belief. 

I see that you viewed the film differently than I.   I assume you watched it this morning?   (I watched it at 9 PST yesterday).    Maybe that makes a difference (ha ha).    

Maybe I did have a case of rose colored glasses:  I enjoy the genre so much and it is very rare I get to see something I have never seen before.   So that newest,  the night type vibe and some nice wine,,, well,   it can sometimes color those glasses!

   

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I sort of liked that scene at the diner (The Top Sirloin) with Jerry cheerily splashing ketchup on his fried onions while reading a newspaper's grim headline of the crime -- psychopaths always have hearty appetites.   Howard comes in, sits down next to him but can't eat a thing, then we see a montage of the chef pounding a steak, harkening back to the gruesome murder.   Yet Lovejoy's basic expression never changes.   He winces a lot, though.

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Two movies for the price of one. A meat and potatoes crime flick that transforms into a social message flick

about the evils of yellow journalism and the social and economic roots of crime, per Dr. Vito. Bridges wears

silk shirts and platinum cuff links, yet he lives in a dumpy motel. Obviously he doesn't have a steady income.

I can understand Lovejoy joining in the crime spree as he is desperate for cash and he's just the wheel man, which

means that Lloyd takes all the chances. I'm surprised a egotistic nutcase like Lloyd lets him take half the proceeds. 

But yes ,these guys are pretty stupid when it comes to crime. Lloyd leaves the ransom note in a menu. D'uh. I

thought the manicurist was kind of cute, though obviously very needy. Be fun to see how she would be in a

true relationship. I know the jail break in by the mob is based on a true story, but the whole idea of these guys

breaking into this fortress like jail seemed not very believable and I really can't buy it. On the whole it's a pretty

decent movie, with the message ending not doing too much to ruin the overall story. I didn't find it that grim,

because it's so obviously contrived. Same with Bridges' psycho character. And yes, Lovejoy should have at

least been able to get a job as a Boston cop and then collect a penchin, as one of the salesman says in the

documentary Salesman. 

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I began to wonder while watching it why Lovejoy was cast in the role in the first place.

Although I thought he was fine in it, it seems to me he was a bit miscast in the role, as when I think of Lovejoy the actor, he always seemed to be best cast as more of the steady, dependable and responsible sort, and often playing some sort of military officer. I mean, SOME actors can only stretch so far, ya know!

(...and btw...what was once again with Bridges and his whole gum chewing shtick in THIS noir TOO?...was it ALWAYS a bad day for him to quit smoking or some other bad habit like sniffing glue, and a la Airplane?) ;) 

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5 hours ago, Dargo said:

(...and btw...what was once again with Bridges and his whole gum chewing shtick in THIS noir TOO?...was it ALWAYS a bad day for him to quit smoking or some other bad habit like sniffing glue, and a la Airplane?)

Chewing gum was frowned upon among some people, in elementary school I remember the nun's would make you spit it out, lol.

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On 1/25/2020 at 2:38 PM, Bronxgirl48 said:

I used to get John Forsythe and Craig Stevens mixed up.   Two good-looking men in a similar sort of way to me.

The only film I've ever associated Joan Camden with is THE CATERED AFFAIR.  She plays Debbie Reynolds' friend who can't afford a bridesmaid dress because her husband is out of work.

Yes! I remembered her from that later. They are similar looking dapper gents! (John and Craig).

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I enjoyed Try and Get Me until it switched gears and became a message movie. That sequence was chilling but seemed from a whole different movie. And what was the point of that long double date sequence? I loved Lovejoy's "date" but it slowed down the plot and seemed out of place. Bridges was afraid if one of them went to the town to mail the letter they might be noticed, so they go there on a double date so they wouldnt??? HUH? Unless it was a one stop light town, who is going to notice someone mailing a letter? And Lovejoy WAS noticed by that busybody new father. So much for people not noticing if you are couples. The whole sequence was weird. The film never recovered (for me) after that.

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On 1/25/2020 at 2:38 PM, Bronxgirl48 said:

I used to get John Forsythe and Craig Stevens mixed up.   Two good-looking men in a similar sort of way to me.

The only film I've ever associated Joan Camden with is THE CATERED AFFAIR.  She plays Debbie Reynolds' friend who can't afford a bridesmaid dress because her husband is out of work.

Speaking of lookalikes. I always confuse Hugh Marlowe and Richard Carlson.

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On 1/24/2020 at 5:41 PM, TheCid said:

There is another Lansbury movie in the set.  Please Murder Me (1956) with Raymond Burr.  The plot is a little more interesting, but I don't think as much of it as I do A Life At Stake.  The quality of the DVD's may be a factor, but then Too Late for Tears, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers and Lady of Burlesque are in the set and I watch those over again.

One problem I have with picturing Lansbury as a Femme Fatale is I can't get the image of her in Poseidon Adventure out of my mind.

Angela was in The Poseidon Adventure? Did she get killed off early?

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21 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Ampersand, I had an entirely different reaction to TRY AND GET ME!  (wish I didn't…)  I thought it was, well, ridiculous from beginning to end! (even though based on a true crime.  And with what Eddie told us of that tragic 1933 incident, I got some Leopold and Loeb vibes.  Not from the film however, although Lloyd Bridge's psycho, despite his apparent (blank)hound tendencies, gave me pause)  

I don't know why Howard and his wife didn't stay in Boston -- surely her Irish relatives could have helped him secure steady work.  But then of course, there wouldn't be a movie.   Frank Lovejoy had one expression throughout, that of a man with chronic constipation.   I'm sorry, but Howard was an idiot.  I couldn't get invested in  his character at all -- lazy, bad money management skills, and easily influenced.   Talks to himself later on in Hazel Weatherwax's apartment:  "I've never been in trouble before!" when we know he told Bridges earlier "I've done a few things in my life"  Now what those could be are a matter of conjecture, but I'm guessing some petty larceny, maybe even a stint in juvenile detention?  So it wasn't like Howard didn't have some passing connection with anti-social behavior.

Katherine Locke seemed to be in another film entirely -- maybe MARTY or THE CATERED AFFAIR.   Very Actor's Studio performance.  Her manicurist is supposed to be from Ohio but sounded very Noo Yawk to me.  (and I should know)  And I just couldn't believe she had been saving herself all that time for "the right man".  

I thought the entire production was rather ham-fisted.  The whole business with yellow journalism, mob violence and that preachy "moral center" represented by the Italian doctor just fell flat with me.   I do not agree with Eddie about the finale; it felt somehow "tacked on".   Fritz Lang's FURY has much more emotional resonance in my opinion.

 

I agree. The film had a split personality and it just didnt work.

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I enjoyed Try and Get Me but I agree with those who said it felt like two different films cobbled together. Having said that the scenes in the jailhouse at the end were still very powerful (all the more so with the knowledge that the film is based on a real 1933 event). I also thought that Lloyd Bridges was a great psycho.

But one part of the film that had me shaking my head in disbelief is when Frank Lovejoy's character, after initially participating as the get away driver in a series of petty ante convenience store holdups, is suddenly involved in a kidnapping. I can believe that Bridges would do it because he's a wild unpredictable guy and we don't really know what he's about until he does it (including acts of violence), but Lovejoy is established as a family man just doing these relatively small crimes out of desperation to bring in some money for his wife and kid that he loves. He's not a hardened criminal and a loon like Bridges. Why would he agree to being involved in a kidnapping which is a major capital offence and could draw major years in the slammer away from his family? Sure his counterpart in real life agreed to it but the screenplay of this film doesn't in any way prepare us for this act on his part.

When I saw that they were going to kidnap that kid I was shocked and shouted, "Kidnap? Lovejoy, are you nuts?" With Bridges I didn't have to ask about the nuts part because I already knew the answer.

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