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Noir Alley

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3 hours ago, Vautrin said:

62ae364a060e50082a6c46efd577838b.jpg

Despite the differences in age and interests--he liked flower arranging and she never missed

a midget wrestling match, they fell hard for each other immediately.  They just couldn't keep

their hands off each other. Many years after it was over Mary confided to a gal pal, "Bobby,

oh dear. He made George look like Daffy Duck."

Now now Vautrin, remember here.

(...this is Mary Astor, not Barbara Stanwyck)

;)

 

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

 Good story made on the cheap. Film almost ruined by a white actress playing a black character. Didn't look black at all. And except for a slur used in one scene, wouldn't even have known she was. She disappears about half way through

I agree, but unfortunately that was a sign of the times. I feel sure there were plenty of great black actresses who could have played the part.  

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Forgot to mention this above. Eddie talked about Craig Rice, the mystery writer, who authored Underworld. He said her books are no longer in print and he seems right about that since Amazon offers none. Some titles are available on Kindle. And print books can be found on eBay and at good prices. Eddie says she (sic) is right up there with Christie and Gardner. Then why isn't she in print? I'm curious about her. She does have a flair of book titles.

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2 hours ago, laffite said:

It should not be said that Gale Storm shouldn't be in a noir, based on this movie anyway, her role was not a noir role, she is a nice girl who plays it straight, and she did fine.

Shes in another Film Noir Abandoned (1949) she plays the sister of a dead woman, trying to find out where her sisters baby is. Its not an unknown cast either,  Dennis O'Keefe, Jeff Chandler, Raymond Burr, Mike Masurki. Its watchable. Shes also in Between Midnight and Dawn (1950)

Amazon.com: Abandoned - 1949 - Movie Poster: Posters & Prints

Between Midnight and Dawn Poster

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1 minute ago, cigarjoe said:

Shes in another Film Noir Abandoned (1949) she plays the sister of a dead woman, trying to find out where her sisters baby is. Its not an unknown cast either, Jeff Chandler, Raymond Burr, Mike Masurki. Its watchable.

Amazon.com: Abandoned - 1949 - Movie Poster: Posters & Prints

TomJH mentioned this earlier. Thanks, though. Why are her eyes blacked out? Does it have something to do with anonymity (in the story)?

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7 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

I agree, but unfortunately that was a sign of the times. I feel sure there were plenty of great black actresses who could have played the part.  

Yep, you probably remember Eddie saying  in his intro that Mary Anderson was forced upon director Cy Endfield and due to the studio believing that if a black actress had been used in the role, their box office receipts in the South would have probably suffered.

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3 minutes ago, laffite said:

TomJH mentioned this earlier. Thanks, though. Why are her eyes blacked out? Does it have something to do with anonymity (in the story)?

That's the  unwed mother

Storm was in another I added to that post when I did an edit

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I haven't posted on Noir alley for some time. Even then, I have never been consistent. One thing I've notices. There are some selections that don't get much play here on the thread. Underworld is like that, it seems. Normally, it's no surprise. It's the "juicy" ones and the famous ones that draw attention. Isn't there anything to say about Underworld? My own very brief reaction doesn't say a lot but it offers something. Maybe this one just doesn't have the depth.

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I like Underworld Story. Dan Duryea effectively played it close to the line so that you couldn't be certain if his character would be a slime bucket or show integrity. But has no one anything to say about an obviously white actress, Mary Anderson, being cast as black in a 1950 film? Okay Fox did it the year before, as well, with Jeanne Crain in Pinky but that was a major part and the producers were concerned about box office.

But the Anderson character in Underworld Story is a small part. They couldn't have cast a real black actress in that role?

Okay, I just read Dargo's comment belatedly. Sad comment on Southern audiences if true.

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26 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I like Underworld Story. Dan Duryea effectively played it close to the line so that you couldn't be certain if his character would be a slime bucket or show integrity. But has no one anything to say about an obviously white actress, Mary Anderson, being cast as black in a 1950 film? Okay Fox did it the year before, as well, with Jeanne Crain in Pinky but that was a major part and the producers were concerned about box office.

But the Anderson character in Underworld Story is a small part. They couldn't have cast a real black actress in that role?

Okay, I just read Dargo's comment belatedly. Sad comment on Southern audiences if true.

When Eddie mentioned that Molly would be in blackface, I winced. When I actually saw Molly enter the room and declare herself a negro, I was near overcome with disgust. The makeup was rather slight, wasn't it. Not that it makes any difference. What happens to Molly BTW? Oh well, she was only a negro. Seriously, her story arc is incomplete, isn't it? Or we can assume she goes to jail, or dies? Did the film end abruptly?

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I think it's clear that Molly will be freed, since the D.A. now knows who really committed the murder. But yes, she disappears from the film, and Mary Anderson looks as white as, well, Jeanne Crain in Pinky. Yvonne De Carlo in Band of Angels was a little more believable, and someone like Dorothy Lamour would also have been more believable.

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Excellent acting all around in The Underworld Story, however still for my money, Howard Da Silva's wisecracking but ruthless mob boss Carl ("I'm really not such a bad guy...hee hee hee") Durham is always the performance that sticks with me of any of 'em.

(...and this was probably the third or fourth time I've watched this one)

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Now now Vautrin, remember here.

(...this is Mary Astor, not Barbara Stanwyck)

;)

 

I guess Bob was a cougar magnet. I had forgotten about Barbara Stanwyck. She liked his boyish good looks

and he liked her big valley.

Getting back to Noel Neill for a minute. I thought she looked pretty similar to Phyllis Coates, the other actress

who played Lois Lane. 

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

I guess Bob was a cougar magnet. I had forgotten about Barbara Stanwyck. She liked his boyish good looks

and he liked her big valley.

Getting back to Noel Neill for a minute. I thought she looked pretty similar to Phyllis Coates, the other actress

who played Lois Lane. 

Actually, I never thought the two Lois Lanes on the '50s "The Adventures of Superman" series looked all that much alike, Vautrin.

I always thought Phyllis Coates had a more mature and patrician appearance, and whereas Noel Neill always looked to me as if she could still almost play juvenile roles at that time and with a much softer appearance.

(...I believe Noel was much more diminutive than Phyllis, also)

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8 hours ago, laffite said:

I haven't posted on Noir alley for some time. Even then, I have never been consistent. One thing I've notices. There are some selections that don't get much play here on the thread. Underworld is like that, it seems. Normally, it's no surprise. It's the "juicy" ones and the famous ones that draw attention. Isn't there anything to say about Underworld? My own very brief reaction doesn't say a lot but it offers something. Maybe this one just doesn't have the depth.

I liked some of the cinematography, I didn't think I'd seen it before but remembered once it got going that I had,  its like you say not that memorable.

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8 hours ago, laffite said:

When Eddie mentioned that Molly would be in blackface, I winced. When I actually saw Molly enter the room and declare herself a negro, I was near overcome with disgust. The makeup was rather slight, wasn't it. Not that it makes any difference. What happens to Molly BTW? Oh well, she was only a negro. Seriously, her story arc is incomplete, isn't it? Or we can assume she goes to jail, or dies? Did the film end abruptly?

If Anderson hadn't been referred to as black, I would have thought she was a Caucasian character.

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8 hours ago, Dargo said:

Excellent acting all around in The Underworld Story, however still for my money, Howard Da Silva's wisecracking but ruthless mob boss Carl ("I'm really not such a bad guy...hee hee hee") Durham is always the performance that sticks with me of any of 'em.

(...and this was probably the third or fourth time I've watched this one)

Da Silva is, indeed, very good in his role. This was one of his final film roles before he was blacklisted by the Hollywood right wing paranoia of the time.

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13 hours ago, TomJH said:

I like Underworld Story. Dan Duryea effectively played it close to the line so that you couldn't be certain if his character would be a slime bucket or show integrity. But has no one anything to say about an obviously white actress, Mary Anderson, being cast as black in a 1950 film? Okay Fox did it the year before, as well, with Jeanne Crain in Pinky but that was a major part and the producers were concerned about box office.

But the Anderson character in Underworld Story is a small part. They couldn't have cast a real black actress in that role?

Okay, I just read Dargo's comment belatedly. Sad comment on Southern audiences if true.

I commented about it too.

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12 hours ago, laffite said:

When Eddie mentioned that Molly would be in blackface, I winced. When I actually saw Molly enter the room and declare herself a negro, I was near overcome with disgust. The makeup was rather slight, wasn't it. Not that it makes any difference. What happens to Molly BTW? Oh well, she was only a negro. Seriously, her story arc is incomplete, isn't it? Or we can assume she goes to jail, or dies? Did the film end abruptly?

Yeah, not much was done to make her look black. She sort of disappears half way through when the newspaper campaign takes over. We are to assume she's freed. But I agree, her story isnt fleshed out well.

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I think I am getting a lot more enjoyment from reading all of your posts about a movie I have not seen than I would from watching said movie.

ps- JEANNE CRAIN in PINKY really annoys me.

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4 hours ago, TomJH said:

If Anderson hadn't been referred to as black, I would have thought she was a Caucasian character.

She actually identifies herself as a "negro" in her first scene. Which makes everything about the issue worse.

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I think it was enough to get an Alabama girl to take that kind of role.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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In the opening comments of Noir Alley, Eddie M. mentioned the whole white woman playing a black woman thing.  This is one of the problems I have with the remake of Imitation of Life.  In the original, Freddie Washington (a light skinned black) played the daughter.  I believe the actress committed suicide.  Hollywood didn't know what to do with light-skinned blacks (great SNL skit with Julian Bond and Garret Morris (?) about stereotypes of light vs. darker skinned blacked).  I also find the Lana Turner remake demeaning to Juanita Moore.  In the original, it is Louise Beavers' pancake recipe.  Also prefer Colbert to Turner.  Ava Gardner with darkened skin does a horrible job in the Show Boat remake (which also changed the story line).  Back to the remake, I believe the actress who played Juanita Moore's daughter wasn't black.

As for the movie, great cast and I'm a huge fan of Dan Duryea.  I love listening to the backstories on TCM.

On a side note.... Jeff Chandler (Jew) played an Indian (as did many non-Native American actors) and Rita Moreno played Tuptim (not sure if that is the character's name) in The King and I - she is Puerto Rican (Asian actors and Native Americans also struggled to find parts).

Sorry to go off topic and please excuse typos.

 

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I wonder why Eddie didn't mention that word was the deciding factor for Mary Anderson being picked to play the Molly role in this thing was because its producer had once seen her in a traveling road show production of Imitation of Life ???

(...nah, not really, but hey Susan Kohner in the '59 version doesn't look any more "black", and whatever THAT would mean, than Mary Anderson does in this movie, wouldn't ya say?!)

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13 minutes ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

In the opening comments of Noir Alley, Eddie M. mentioned the whole white woman playing a black woman thing.  This is one of the problems I have with the remake of Imitation of Life.  In the original, Freddie Washington (a light skinned black) played the daughter.  I believe the actress committed suicide.  Hollywood didn't know what to do with light-skinned blacks (great SNL skit with Julian Bond and Garret Morris (?) about stereotypes of light vs. darker skinned blacked).  I also find the Lana Turner remake demeaning to Juanita Moore.  In the original, it is Louise Beavers' pancake recipe.  Also prefer Colbert to Turner.  Ava Gardner with darkened skin does a horrible job in the Show Boat remake (which also changed the story line).  Back to the remake, I believe the actress who played Juanita Moore's daughter wasn't black.

As for the movie, great cast and I'm a huge fan of Dan Duryea.  I love listening to the backstories on TCM.

On a side note.... Jeff Chandler (Jew) played an Indian (as did many non-Native American actors) and Rita Moreno played Tuptim (not sure if that is the character's name) in The King and I - she is Puerto Rican (Asian actors and Native Americans also struggled to find parts).

Sorry to go off topic and please excuse typos.

 

There will also be this  casting job:

Jeanne Crain, 1945 | Jeanne crain, Classic hollywood glamour ...

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