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Noir Alley

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Another thought that crossed my mind while watching this film was the dynamics presented between the two criminals, and how it seemed to parallel a couple of other characters I've watched in two other films over the years.

Here, you had another case of a hapless one being introduced to a sociopath, and with the former then being dragged further down a path to ruin.

The two other films coming to my mind in this case being The Onion Field and Fargo.

(...and I'll bet there are more than a few other examples of this to be found in films made over the years too...can anyone think of any others here?)

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45 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Another thought that crossed my mind while watching this film was the dynamics presented between the two criminals, and how it seemed to parallel a couple of other characters I've watched in two other films over the years.

Here, you had another case of a hapless one being introduced to a sociopath, and with the former then being dragged further down a path to ruin.

The two other films coming to my mind in this case being The Onion Field and Fargo.

(...and I'll bet there are more than a few other examples of this to be found in films made over the years too...can anyone think of any others here?)

This isn't exactly what you're talking about, Dargo, because there is no sociopath but how about Bonnie and Clyde? Bonnie is bored and listless until she meets the excitement of Clyde. In any event it's highly doubtful that her life would have ended the way it did if she hadn't had that fateful encounter.

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I think I gave up early (without quite realizing it right away) as to verisimilitude. The Lovejoy character is way to level headed to fall for the machinations of a flaky dude like Bridges (who is laughable as a cartoon-like character). Suspension of disbelief started early. The big takeaway for me was Hazel Weatherwax. I love that hasty flipping up the Murphy bed (and that was filmed perfectly). The double date was supposed to be a cover of some kind, having women with you makes you less obvious (says Bridges). But that depiction of a lonely woman had a realistic bent that eclipsed the rest of the film in that regard (i.e. believability ). The busting in the to jail seem grossly unrealistic to me but I guess the film is vindicated by the 1933 event. Not convinced, though. The casting of Katharine Locke was perfect. Not too pretty, not to plain, wonderful face. Frank Lovejoy is not all that great with expressing anguish. I'm still getting used to Eddie Muller as I am now able to catch the show and man does he like go on and on. Most of it interesting, I guess, though I never make it through the intro as he tends to get into the film too much. 

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2 hours ago, Hibi said:

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

My mistake.  It was Shelley Winters.

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Never become pals with a guy at the bowling alley who spends more time looking into his own mirror

than drinking beer.

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There is a very nice looking copy of Try and Get Me on You Tube.

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9 hours ago, TomJH said:

This isn't exactly what you're talking about, Dargo, because there is no sociopath but how about Bonnie and Clyde? Bonnie is bored and listless until she meets the excitement of Clyde. In any event it's highly doubtful that her life would have ended the way it did if she hadn't had that fateful encounter.

Yeah, that's kind'a sort'a what I talkin' about here, Tom.

(...another one which I've just now thought of might be In Cold Blood)

 

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On 1/27/2020 at 10:42 AM, Hibi said:

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

You nailed it perfectly, Hibi -- "dapper".  That's the word I was trying to come up with but somehow missed the boat, lol.

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For anybody about to  go through Noir withdrawals during 31 days of Oscar here are the Noirs, Transitional Noirs and Neo Noirs  that did get Oscar nods that are going to be shown:

2/22/020 - 12:00 PM The Maltese Falcon (1941)

2/4/2020 - 2:00 AM White Heat (1949)

2/6/2020  - 9:15 AM Caged (1950)

2/6/2020 -  1:15 AM Crossfire (1947)

2/7/2020 - 3:30 AM Mister Buddwing (1966)

2/8/2020 - 10:00 PM Atlantic City (1980)

2/9/2020 - 6:45 AM Mystery Street (1950)

2/10/2020 - 4:15 AM The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

2/12/2020 - 10:15 AM The Harder They Fall (1956)

2/15/2020 - 10:00 PM Key Largo (1948)

2/15/2020 - 4:45 AM Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

2/16/2020 - 12:45 AM Taxi Driver (1976)

2/19/2020 - 6:00 PM The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

2/20/2020 - 8:00 PM Dr. Strangelove (1964)

2/21/2020 - 4:15 AM Pennies From Heaven (1981)

2/22/2020 - 12:45 AM A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

2/27/2020 - 6:30 AM Johnny Eager (1942)

2/27/2020 - 10:00 PM Kiss of Death (1947)

3/2/2020 - 2:30 PM The Window (1949)


3/2/2020- 4:00 PM Strangers on a Train (1951)


3/2/2020 - 8:00 PM Laura (1944)

 

 

 

 
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I have seen Mister Buddwing a couple of times and still can't quite get into it.  James Garner and very good actresses (Jean SimmonsSuzanne PleshetteKatharine RossAngela Lansbury), but sort of weird even when you know where it is leading.

From Wikiepedia:  "In his memoirs, Garner said "I'd summarize the plot but to this day I have no clue what it is. Worst picture I ever made. What were they thinking? What was I thinking?"

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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.   

Last weekend MOVIES showed Please Murder Me (right after I read this!).     Thus the station showed both of those Lansbury noir \ crime films;  A Life At Stake and PME.

The station as been adding some not-often-show films to their noir Thursday and Sunday night line-up.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Last weekend MOVIES showed Please Murder Me (right after I read this!).     Thus the station showed both of those Lansbury noir \ crime films;  A Life At Stake and PME.

The station as been adding some not-often-show films to their noir Thursday and Sunday night line-up.

 

 

We lost MOVIES! about a year or so ago.  Local station replaced with one of the other OTA's.

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11 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

For anybody about to  go through Noir withdrawals during 31 days of Oscar here are the Noirs, Transitional Noirs and Neo Noirs  that did get Oscar nods that are going to be shown:

2/22/020 - 12:00 PM The Maltese Falcon (1941)

2/4/2020 - 2:00 AM White Heat (1949)

2/6/2020  - 9:15 AM Caged (1950)

2/6/2020 -  1:15 AM Crossfire (1947)

2/7/2020 - 3:30 AM Mister Buddwing (1966)

2/8/2020 - 10:00 PM Atlantic City (1980)

2/9/2020 - 6:45 AM Mystery Street (1950)

2/10/2020 - 4:15 AM The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

2/12/2020 - 10:15 AM The Harder They Fall (1956)

2/15/2020 - 10:00 PM Key Largo (1948)

2/15/2020 - 4:45 AM Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

2/16/2020 - 12:45 AM Taxi Driver (1976)

2/19/2020 - 6:00 PM The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

2/20/2020 - 8:00 PM Dr. Strangelove (1964)

2/21/2020 - 4:15 AM Pennies From Heaven (1981)

2/22/2020 - 12:45 AM A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

2/27/2020 - 6:30 AM Johnny Eager (1942)

2/27/2020 - 10:00 PM Kiss of Death (1947)

3/2/2020 - 2:30 PM The Window (1949)


3/2/2020- 4:00 PM Strangers on a Train (1951)


3/2/2020 - 8:00 PM Laura (1944)

 

 

 

 

Thanks for this.  Without it I would be in "Noir Alley Withdrawal" all month.

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6 hours ago, TheCid said:

I have seen Mister Buddwing a couple of times and still can't quite get into it.  James Garner and very good actresses (Jean SimmonsSuzanne PleshetteKatharine RossAngela Lansbury), but sort of weird even when you know where it is leading.

From Wikiepedia:  "In his memoirs, Garner said "I'd summarize the plot but to this day I have no clue what it is. Worst picture I ever made. What were they thinking? What was I thinking?"

Garner obviously didn't get it, lol but he plays it confused just as an amnesiac should, lol.

Mister Buddwing (1966) Jazz Noir

Mister Buddwing is one of those Transitional Noirs that are on the cusp between Film Noir and Neo Noir. Sort of a psychological noir rather than a “crime” noir. A melancholy film that plays with time, space and your mind as the various vignettes overlap, it's eerie and noir-ishly suspenseful, but at times darkly comic. It requires multiple viewings to fully comprehend.

Oscar-winning film director Delbert Mann ( The Outsider (1961), Marty (1955) - TV, Playhouse 90, Goodyear Playhouse, Omnibus, Producers Showcase, Playwrights ‘56, Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, Schlitz Playhouse, Masterpiece Playhouse) adapts Evan Hunter’s novel “Buddwing” and with the cinematography of Ellsworth Fredericks (Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Seven Days in May (1964)) and a great original jazzy score by Kenyon Hopkins (composer for Baby Doll (1956), 12 Angry Men (1957), The Fugitive Kind (1959), The Hustler (1961), to create a stylized “Jazz Noir”.

Opening Sequence

The film stars James Garner in a role that really displays his acting chops in a performance far removed from his wisecracking Bret Maverick (disregard his contention that this is his worst film, he sells himself way too short). Garner plays one of Film Noir’s touchstone tropes the amnesiac. The film opens with an unfocused shot of the sky sliced diced and fragmented by bare branches . As the frame focuses and our view pans we see the branches are trees, we see buildings, and Central Park at the corner of 59th and 5th. In an homage to Robert Montgomery‘s The Lady In The Lake and the beginning of Dark Passage, the film displays an intriguing POV sequence that begins when hands “rub” the eye of the camera, it also begins a faint jazz heartbeat increasing in tempo and volume as “we” the character sitting on a park bench search frantically through out suit pockets (for identification) combing out a train timetable, a scrap of paper with a phone number and some pills. A ring on his finger has an inscription “from G.V.”. The POV sequence continues until we stumble into a mirror at the Plaza Hotel when Garner is revealed. He has neither money or ID but he does remember the name of a woman, a woman named Grace.

Using a lobby phone and giving a fictitious room number he calls Gloria (Angela Lansbury) to try and discover his identity. Gloria a divorced floozy with a heart of gold, takes pity on him and gives him money so that he can find himself. So begins his jazz odyssey through the streets of New York.

In his continuing quest for Grace, Garner meets three more women, Janet (Katherine Ross), Fiddle (Susanne Pleshette), and The Blonde (Jean Simmons), each of the women he at first mistakes for Grace. So at first we see Garner interact with each woman in their true identities and at some point they become a vivid flashback to his relationship with Grace at different stages of his life with Grace, the starry eyed young love stage, the struggle with real life, and the consequences of wrong decisions made. All this makes the viewer a little disoriented, a little lost, exactly how James Garner's character feels throughout the movie.

Watch for Joe Mantell’s cab driver character’s hilarious monologues then pay attention for its echo with the 2nd cab driver Billy Halop, the original leader of the Dead End Kids. Watch for Nichelle Nichols appearance as a dice player, Raymond St. Jacques as the tout for the crap game, and Jack Gilford‘s interaction with Garner in a lunch counter.


The cinematography during the crap game sequence is excellent, I don't recall a crap game segment, as well done for is length, taking time to visually introduce each of the participants. It does recall the boxing sequence and the ringside vignettes from Robert Wise's The Set Up (1949).

Available on DVD from the Warner Brothers Archive Collection. 9/10

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2 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

 

I do remember that Garner got his temporary name by seeing a Budwiser delivery truck and the wing of an airplane and or something like that.  Hence Buddwing.

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12 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

For anybody about to  go through Noir withdrawals during 31 days of Oscar here are the Noirs, Transitional Noirs and Neo Noirs  that did get Oscar nods that are going to be shown:

2/22/020 - 12:00 PM The Maltese Falcon (1941)

2/4/2020 - 2:00 AM White Heat (1949)

2/6/2020  - 9:15 AM Caged (1950)

2/6/2020 -  1:15 AM Crossfire (1947)

2/7/2020 - 3:30 AM Mister Buddwing (1966)

2/8/2020 - 10:00 PM Atlantic City (1980)

2/9/2020 - 6:45 AM Mystery Street (1950)

2/10/2020 - 4:15 AM The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

2/12/2020 - 10:15 AM The Harder They Fall (1956)

2/15/2020 - 10:00 PM Key Largo (1948)

2/15/2020 - 4:45 AM Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

2/16/2020 - 12:45 AM Taxi Driver (1976)

2/19/2020 - 6:00 PM The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

2/20/2020 - 8:00 PM Dr. Strangelove (1964)

2/21/2020 - 4:15 AM Pennies From Heaven (1981)

2/22/2020 - 12:45 AM A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

2/27/2020 - 6:30 AM Johnny Eager (1942)

2/27/2020 - 10:00 PM Kiss of Death (1947)

3/2/2020 - 2:30 PM The Window (1949)


3/2/2020- 4:00 PM Strangers on a Train (1951)


3/2/2020 - 8:00 PM Laura (1944)

 

 

 

 

Only Kris Kringle could beat out Tommy Udo for Best Supporting Actor. And thank you for this! I can keep the shakes off with a constant stream of classic noirs.

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On 2/1/2020 at 6:03 PM, TheCid said:

I do remember that Garner got his temporary name by seeing a Budwiser delivery truck and the wing of an airplane and or something like that.  Hence Buddwing.

I think it was  a bird flying over.

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I wish I could remember the title of a movie that I always confuse with MR. BUDDWING.   I can't even recall the actor or anyone else in the cast.  Guy is suffering from some form of amnesia; there are flashbacks of him going down stairs during a power outage....he's having an argument with his boss near a window....

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7 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

I wish I could remember the title of a movie that I always confuse with MR. BUDDWING.   I can't even recall the actor or anyone else in the cast.  Guy is suffering from some form of amnesia; there are flashbacks of him going down stairs during a power outage....he's having an argument with his boss near a window....

MIRAGE. With Gregory Peck. Made in the mid-60s.

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No problem! I know how frustrating that can be. Happens to me sometimes.

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TCM has posted the Noir Alley schedule for the next few months:

http://noiralley.tcm.com/schedule

Some of these have been mentioned before but here is the complete list of upcoming films:

Mar 07 - Ride the Pink Horse (1947)
Mar 15 - I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
Mar 22 - Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
Mar 29 - Crime Wave (1954) (repeat)

Apr 04 - Address Unknown (1944)
Apr 11 - Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
Apr 18 - Witness to Murder (1954)
Apr 25 - Wicked Woman (1954)

May 02 - Fallen Angel (1945)
May 09 - Mildred Pierce (1945)
May 16 - The Crimson Kimono (1959)
May 23 - Cornered (1945)
May 30 - A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

Jun 06 - The Underworld Story (1950)
Jun 13 - Murder By Contract (1958)
Jun 20 - Underworld U.S.A. (1961)
Jun 27 - The Lady From Shanghai (1948)

Jul 04 - The Sign of the Ram (1948)
Jul 11 - Bodyguard (1948)         
Jul 18 - Three Strangers (1946)
Jul 25 - The Breaking Point (1950) (repeat)

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July is interesting I don't believe I've seen  The Sign of the Ram (1948),  Bodyguard (1948), or  
Jul 18 - Three Strangers (1946).
 

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I wonder if the repeat of The Breaking Point will literally be just a repeat or if Eddie has filmed a different intro for it.

I honestly wouldn't mind if they added some repeats of the series.  I missed a bunch of the films during the early days of Noir Alley when it was only once a week at 7am on Sunday!

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