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Noir Alley

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Night Editor is one of the movies on the Bad Girls of Film Noir, Volume 2 DVD set.

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Percy "Playboy" Helton, the unheralded Hollywood chick magnet

 

Though he was somewhat diminutive, character actor Percy Helton was big with some of Tinseltown's

most gorgeous ladies. And Helton didn't mess around with B actresses. Among his conquests were

Lana, Rita, Marilyn and many other big stars. When asked what attracted them to him Percy modestly

remarked, "I treated them like ladies. I put them on a pedestal, though really I wish they had put me on

one, literally." The ladies were disappointed and men like Gable and Flynn were relieved that Percy

stopped his wolfish ways when he married the love of his life Edna in 1931. Percy, an old-fashioned

gent would not betray his marriage vows and stayed at home. Eventually his phone stopped ringing

when women realized they would have to do without the "Helton treatment" as it was known. When

asked about it, Percy smiled and replied, "You know the old saying, good things come in small

packages." Helton gave this reporter a wink and went back to his Pepsi and grilled cheese sandwich.

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Wow, it's hard to believe "Sweetface" from BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID ever looked like that photo. Also, I would not have pegged him as a lady's man. I've got to watch WICKED WOMAN now just to see him. I've seen him in countless films and TV shows. He was a fabulous character actor on the same scale as Strother Martin who also appeared in BCATSK.

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7 hours ago, TheCid said:

Night Editor is one of the movies on the Bad Girls of Film Noir, Volume 2 DVD set.

Just watched it, thanks

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Original Shaft 8:00 PM and Super Fly 11:45 PM are both great Blaxploitation Neo Noirs check them out on TCM  tonight. 

Cant wait for the inevitable posts tomorrow of people uncomplaining about the over abundance of films with people of the black persuasion in them.

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On 4/27/2020 at 9:58 PM, Bronxgirl48 said:

I can't believe it's Percy Helton either, lol.

OMG! Percy really went to pot!

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I enjoyed Wicked Woman (hadnt seen it before) but was disappointed in the ending. Nothing really bad happens. I was expecting Egan's wife to get offed or Percy to get killed or killing Beverly. And how DUMB could Egan's character be to think she'd be two timing him with PERCY HELTON???? (and not think some sort of blackmail was going on) LOL!

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I just finished WICKED WOMEN. Eddie was correct it was pretty trashy. Like Hibi, I kept waiting for a murder. Which brings to mind another question. Can a film be classified as Noir without a murder or tragic death? I'm sure someone will remind me but I cannot think of one without a murder. 

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3 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

Can a film be classified as Noir without a murder or tragic death? I'm sure someone will remind me but I cannot think of one without a murder. 

Yes, nobody gets murdered in The Lost Weekend, The Setup, In A Lonely PlaceThe Steel Trap, The Wrong ManCaged, Clash By Night, Fourteen Hours, The Glass Wall, Jeopardy, Quicksand, Sweet Sell of Success, Pickup, and I'm pretty sure there are no murders in Ruby Gentry, The Sellout, or Nightmare Alley .

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I find out so much info from Eddie's wraparounds. I didn't realize Egan's wife played bar owner Ada Jacks on the Peyton Place tv show. I didn't recognize her. She looked better in Peyton Place! (made 10 years later).

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5 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

Can a film be classified as Noir without a murder or tragic death? I'm sure someone will remind me but I cannot think of one without a murder. 

Another one to add to the list - I had a similar reaction after watching The Woman on the Beach (1947) on Noir Alley last year.  A few events that could have (but didn't) lead to a death, and no homicides that I can remember.

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36 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

Another one to add to the list - I had a similar reaction after watching The Woman on the Beach (1947) on Noir Alley last year.  A few events that could have (but didn't) lead to a death, and no homicides that I can remember.

Yea I thought about that one also but couldn't remember for sure. There are probably a few more. How about Ladies in Retirement (1941) anybody die in that one?

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Well, that answers my question. Obviously I'm still a neophyte when it comes to the subject.  However there was a murder in IN A LONELY PLACE.  I don't think I've  seen the others mentioned except LOST WEEKEND. I never considered that film, as good as it is; to be Noir, but I guess it is. 

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2 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

  However there was a murder in IN A LONELY PLACE

But it didn't involve any of the main characters, at all, its like a Hitchcock McGuffin,  i.e., an object or device in a movie or a book that serves merely as a trigger for the plot.

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2 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

I never considered that film, as good as it is; to be Noir, but I guess it is. 

Some people will go the the extreme think a film is not a Noir if is doesn't have a femme fatale or a detective. Another poster on here insisted it wasn't a noir if it wasn't about an ex WWII GI.

If you think about it, dealing with men and  women, men are much more prone to commit violent crimes and murder. A 2013 global study on homicide by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that males accounted for about 95 percent of all convicted homicide perpetrators worldwide. Noirs involving Women would be accurate if they were about Vice, Bunko, Lareny, Forgery, Unfaithfulness, Drug Abuse, Alcoholism Suicide, Mental problems, etc., etc. 

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But then you'd have to propagate the fallacy that women don't commit murder.  And you're overlooking the obvious.

We're discussing movies here.  Not documentaries on homicide statistics.  ;) And I'd also say....

Probably more women hire hit MEN to do away with their spouses than men hire hit men to do the same, which might  account for that 95%.

Sepiatone.  ;) 

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27 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Some people will go the the extreme think a film is not a Noir if is doesn't have a femme fatale or a detective. Another poster on here insisted it wasn't a noir if it wasn't about an ex WWII GI.

If you think about it, dealing with men and  women, men are much more prone to commit violent crimes and murder. A 2013 global study on homicide by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that males accounted for about 95 percent of all convicted homicide perpetrators worldwide. Noirs involving Women would be accurate if they were about Vice, Bunko, Lareny, Forgery, Unfaithfulness, Drug Abuse, Alcoholism Suicide, Mental problems, etc., etc. 

Well said.   And that was a 2013 global study.   Stats for the USA during the classic noir period show that men committed the vast majority of crimes and over 99% of murders.

During that period of our history only on T.V. or in the movies were there so many women  that were the murderer instead of the victim.

 

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I wish there was a noir in which Byron Foulger played a henpecked husband who hired Hope Emerson to knock off his wife (Faye Emerson). Richard Conte would be Byron's gay lover. Complications ensue when Hope falls in love with Byron's wife, but Faye has the hots for Conte (and tries to convert him). This would be Gay Hit Woman Noir.

Film Highlight Moments:

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"I could have married any man. Instead I got a wimp, a wimp, a WIMP who couldn't make REAL money!"

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"Don't tell me how you're going to do it. Just get it over with."

ssemerson3.jpg?w=584

"Oh, you're a sweet little thing. I could snap your neck in a second with my man hands."

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Fallen Angel tonight, if I remember right it has the old style roads signs as credits. Here's another diner/lunch counter scene where people invariably order a hamburger and a cup of joe,  rather than a Coke. 

 

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2 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Fallen Angel tonight, if I remember right it has the old style roads signs as credits. Here's another diner/lunch counter scene where people invariably order a hamburger and a cup of joe,  rather than a Coke. 

 

Yea,  I notice in many of these films people drink a cup of joe,  regardless of the hour,  and then as the scene is ending say they are going to retire for the evening.

 

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6 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yea,  I notice in many of these films people drink a cup of joe,  regardless of the hour,  and then as the scene is ending say they are going to retire for the evening.

 

Maybe it was a way of avoiding having to pay the Coca Cola company for using their product along the lines of say using a song and having to pay a royalty. 

When exactly did the product companies begin to pay for product placement I wonder .

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2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Fallen Angel tonight, if I remember right it has the old style roads signs as credits. Here's another diner/lunch counter scene where people invariably order a hamburger and a cup of joe,  rather than a Coke. 

 

I know, right? BARF- and I'm a huge fan of coffee.

I'm not, however, a huge fan of FALLEN ANGEL, which is weirdassed movie that starts out sort of aiming to be ALICE FAYE in HOLD BACK THE DAWN then decides it wants to be LOW RENT LAURA, then just throws up its hands, says "I just don't know why I even bother!" and calls it a day.

Love the fact that DANA ANDREWS's character in this movie wears a suit and tie and six ounces of pomeade in his hair to the beach.

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FALLEN ANGEL has a lot in common with another un-focused 20th Century Fox noir that also underwent retooling, studio meddling, edits and script revisions, I WAKE UP SCREAMING.

Ironically, I can see how use of the song SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW would have actually worked in FALLEN ANGEL though.

 

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6 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I'm not, however, a huge fan of FALLEN ANGEL

Too bad.

It's a Noir with all of the right ingredients. An out of money drifter named Eric who gets thrown off a Pacific Coast Highway bus in a California seaside flyspeck called Walton. He has one dollar to his name, the fare to San Francisco is $2.25. Out a luck buddy.

He walks to a beanery called Pop's. Pop is an old **** infatuated with his sultry waitress, a doll named  Stella. Another patron under steamy Stella's spell is an ex NYPD cop named Mark Judd.

Stella's character is embodied with a ton of subtext. To have that many guys hanging and sticking around her, is not simply because she's just a very desirable woman. The way it's depicted is as if she's a cat in heat. They way I read it, as a man, is that, this  dish Stella is, to put in the terminology of the day "a broad who's good for a blast, a cookie who likes to make it with the whoopie, basically  "putting out.," To what extent exactly she is doing so or letting get done to her is never spelt out, but she seems to be a tough cookie, juggling various horney tomcats.

A free spirit up to a certain point. She'll let any dreamboat eager beaver have a shot at it. A "hotsy totsy, hot  diggity dog!, a  share-crop, Wow!" You can, in the best noir tradition, let your imaginations run wild.

Getting back to Eric. After a cup of joe, he then heads over to a local dive hotel and cons his way into the room booked by a traveling "Spook Show," by claiming he knows Professor Madley the spiritualist. And this in turn leads to Eric worming his way into the good graces of two rich spinsters June and Clara Mills. The chiaroscuro cinematography throughout the film is breathtaking.

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