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2 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I "hear" what you're saying (pun intended).     Too busy \ too much melody could have been a distraction to a scene instead of enhancing it.

Yea,  I wasn't expecting Joe Pass style solo guitar.   

 

No way, I agree. The audience would be listening and not paying attention to what is happening.

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Well, HELL then! The way you and the whole system treated her, it's NO WONDER why she started turning tricks then dude!!!

LOL

;)

I realize your post is in jest, but to make clear for others  it was not how I treated her.  Plus my secretary did not turn tricks.

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7 minutes ago, TheCid said:

I realize your post is in jest, but to make clear for others  it was not how I treated her.  Plus my secretary did not turn tricks.

I'm sure nobody thought so anyway, Cid. 

(...AND from the crickets I got from it, it seems nobody else found that joke all that funny either)  ;)

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When playing the piano and discovering a man behind her looking as if he about to strangle her, why didn't she freak out? You don't even have to be high-strung ;) to be perturbed about something like that.

The earlier plan was hopelessly lame. How do you know she is sleeping at 8am? Someone that nervous is liable to be up pacing about at all hours. Who can believe she would answer the door? Oh, she has just been awaken and will answer the door without thinking. Yeah, right. It is almost funny that she keeps seeing strange men suddenly show up in her apartment. She is worried about being murdered, yet she says almost casually, "Oh, who are you?." With such a force on the outside, you's think there would be a little control on the inside. Someone who might say, "Hey, don't answer the door."

I love the way Vince Edwards "lost consciousness" while walking through the movie studio. Great work.

The two "foils" got a little boring at times. I like the way though that the two had carefully defined manners about them. One very excitable. the other more circumspect. I would have liked to see a more acerbic Herschel Bernardi as he was to be in Peter Gunn. That could have really added something.

I’m still not sure about those first two hits. Posing as a barber, okay ; but posing as a medical person, whoa! That must have taken some doing. Expedience can go along way in a film like this.

The escort had a pleasingly prominent derriere.

Some of the quibbles here might be bad form. After all, the film doesn’t make any claim to greatness. Some of these little flaws are acceptable, even amusing.

 

 

///

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5 hours ago, TheCid said:

What is "right wing" about this?  What is the title of the song?

 

I thought the space between the two "paragraphs" would show that the first was distinct from the second.

I also thought that most folks would know the difference between Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. Blue

Sky is the name of the song. Well you know what they say about assume.

 

I too figured the two local yokels knew about what Kathy Browne did after the sun set and gave Vince her

phone number. I also have seen Kathy in loads of TV shows from the 1960s. A very pretty actress. She

almost married Adam on Bonanza, but then fell for his cousin. I believe she escaped the curse of the

women who were about to marry one of the Cartwright boys. She was also on Perry Mason, maybe more

than once.

 

The two guys who escorted Vince around LA had it pretty easy. Just drive the guy around and twiddle their

thumbs most of the time. Vastly overpaid. The interactions between the three of them was one of the best

parts of the picture. Of course in the end they were both killed, even Bernardi who liked Vince.

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I had never seen "Murder By Contract" until today, and I thought it was a good flick.  Sure, there are some holes in the plot and questions aplenty, but we can find flaws in some of the most favorite of our films.  I liked Vince Edwards' cerebral character in this one, as well as the interaction he had with Phillip Pine and Herschel Bernardi.  Pine was the impatient and high-strung guy, while Bernardi was a considerably low-key fellow here.   As Eddie Muller said before the picture began, this film was shot in just 7 days on a shoestring budget, so it's probably easier to poke holes in the story and find fault in some of the scenes, but overall, it was a good picture that had good pacing to it.  As for the background guitar playing throughout much of the movie, it was reminiscent of "The Third Man" soundtrack (for me anyway).  It's quite possible "Murder By Contract" borrowed on that experience when the decision was made to do it that way.  Caprice Toriel, the intended victim in this week's Noir Alley selection only made one film, and this was it.  Sort of surprising to me.  I thought she played the role of a paranoid star witness in an upcoming mob trial with great effect.

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5 hours ago, TheCid said:

I think the legal secretary connection was to provide a valid source for the confidential information.  And of course she had to be fairly indiscreet in telling Edwards what her uncle, a DA office employee told her.

As for a legal secretary hiring herself out as a prostitute, I'm sure someone has written about that.  

In mid-70's my secretary had quit her job as a legal secretary to come to work for state government.  She said the pay as a legal sec. was only marginally better, but the hours were long and no over-time pay.  Her boss would do nothing all morning and dump stuff on her desk at 4:30 with expectation it would be on his desk the next AM.  Also, there were no benefits.

I get the overworked bit, but seemed a big jump for me for someone like that to start hooking for extra money. I know its noir and  all, but that just seemed too out there  in 58 (at least to me).

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I wondered if one or more of the scriptwriters had seen Harold Pinter's play The Dumb Waiter, which was produced in 1957, the year before Murder by Contract. Pinter's play, though less realistic, has the set-up of two hitmen waiting to learn who their next target will be. The scenes with Vince Edwards, Philip Pine, and Herschel Bernardi have certain parallels, including the dark comedy and the emphasis on waiting. The film, for all the holes that people have rightly noted, definitely kept my attention. I didn't care for the preachy preachy preachy scene where our sanctimonious hitman says he's no worse than soldiers, people who drop bombs, etc. I would guess this was an addition by Ben Maddow, whom Eddie Muller identified as an uncredited scriptwriter.

The look of the film is surprisingly arty, very Nouvelle Vague except that most of those French films hadn't been made yet. The first scene where Claude (Edwards) goes to Mr. Moon's apartment, for instance, gives us a low angle shot with Claude seated and we don't see Moon's head, only his torso. With a master cinematographer like Lucien Ballard, this has to be deliberate choice, not a mistake. I loved the location shots of 1950s LA. Most of the actors were unknown to me, but quite good. I was expecting a much more conventional film, but I'm not complaining.

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31 minutes ago, midwestan said:

I had never seen "Murder By Contract" until today, and I thought it was a good flick.  Sure, there are some holes in the plot and questions aplenty, but we can find flaws in some of the most favorite of our films.  I liked Vince Edwards' cerebral character in this one, as well as the interaction he had with Phillip Pine and Herschel Bernardi.  Pine was the impatient and high-strung guy, while Bernardi was a considerably low-key fellow here.   As Eddie Muller said before the picture began, this film was shot in just 7 days on a shoestring budget, so it's probably easier to poke holes in the story and find fault in some of the scenes, but overall, it was a good picture that had good pacing to it.  As for the background guitar playing throughout much of the movie, it was reminiscent of "The Third Man" soundtrack (for me anyway).  It's quite possible "Murder By Contract" borrowed on that experience when the decision was made to do it that way.  Caprice Toriel, the intended victim in this week's Noir Alley selection only made one film, and this was it.  Sort of surprising to me.  I thought she played the role of a paranoid star witness in an upcoming mob trial with great effect.

I made almost all of your points in some earlier posts. But it's okay, great minds think alike. But if this keeps up I may have to start creating copyright protections for all my comments.

:lol:

Jesting here. The nature of the comments both of yours and mind do not represent great critical insights. Rather obvious near all of them. Just noticing the similarities. 

Thanks.

///

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17 hours ago, nakano said:

i would like to see Jail Bait 1954 by Ed Wood on Noir Alley,Wood's attempt at Film Noir must be hysterical...

jail.jpg

Make it a double bill with The Violent Years (1956)

Poster%2BViolent%2BYears.jpg

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15 hours ago, Hibi said:

I get the overworked bit, but seemed a big jump for me for someone like that to start hooking for extra money. I know its noir and  all, but that just seemed too out there  in 58 (at least to me).

Read the actual end of Nightmare Alley (novel 1946) sometime, its really out there, lol.

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I did a little research on Vince Edwards. I did not realize he was fairly active in movies prior to his role as Ben Casey on TV. I most remember how  his character in that show was  almost the direct opposite of Richard Chamberlain's Doctor Kildair. Both medical shows were very popular in the early 60s. 

As a personal note: The actress Bettye Ackerman also appeared in Ben Casey. She was from South Carolina and her brother, Dr. Robert Ackerman,  was a history professor of mine at Erskine College.

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22 hours ago, laffite said:

This is a superficial link but I could not help thinking of the famous music score played by the sitar where a man tries to escape via an underground sewer system, and this one with the use of a guitar and a man trying to escape via an underground pipe.

 

Yes, I thought of "The Third Man" too.  And of course, yes, as you say, the similarity of both films with the fugitives trying to escape through an underground passageway is obvious;  but I actually thought of "The Third Man" as soon as "Murder by Contract" began.  The guitar music is very much like  the famous "Third Man" theme, not just the tone of the instrument   (it's a very zither-like sounding guitar ) but also the theme, the style of the music. 

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21 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

While I liked the overall effect of the solo guitar score sometimes I found the playing a little too pedestrian.      Even my wife said;  hey sometimes you sound better than that!

 

Maybe, but the point of music in films is not to display the virtuosity of the musician.  It's to create, mood, atmosphere, tension, whatever is needed.  And in that respect, the music to this film serves it very well.

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5 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Yes, I thought of "The Third Man" too.  And of course, yes, as you say, the idea of both films with the fugitives trying to escape through an underground passageway is obvious;  but I actually thought of "The Third Man" as soon as "Murder by Contract" began.  The guitar music is very very similar to the famous "Third Man" theme, not just the tone of the instrument )it's a very zither-like sounding guitar ) but also the theme, the style of the music. 

Yeah, I suppose.

(...but it reminded ME more of what you might hear while being seated at an outdoor Italian wedding reception in Tuscany and waiting for the lasagna to be served)  ;)

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1 minute ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, I suppose.

(...but it reminded ME more of what you might hear while being seated at an outdoor Italian wedding reception in Tuscany and waiting for the lasagna to be served)  ;)

I know you're joking, as usual, Dargs.  But honestly, the theme music in "Murder by Contract" bears a lot more similarity to the music in "The Third Man" than it does to anything in "The Godfather"  ( either wedding, - the opening one or the one with Michael and Appolonia in Sicily.)

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2 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I know you're joking, as usual, Dargs.  But honestly, the theme music in "Murder by Contract" bears a lot more similarity to the music in "The Third Man" than it does to anything in "The Godfather"  ( either wedding, - the opening one or the one with Michael and Appolonia in Sicily.)

Well, you have to remember here MissW that the Corleone's could readily afford a whole band ensemble and including a mandolin.

(...and whereas I WAS speakin' more of the low budget type of Italian wedding reception here ya see, and with just one lone little paisan pickin' away on his guitar over in the corner) 

;)

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The Third Man main theme might be a tad more arty (or perhaps catchy might be a better term) than the Murder By Contract theme. This latter is not that much more than a squiggle, but as MissW points out it's for accompaniment for the action and doesn't need to be a grandiose theme. As mentioned before, it was used only sparingly and good thing, the music isn't "good" enough and might have been tedious.  I downloaded the complete Third Man music which as everyone known contained much more than the main theme. Listening to the soundtrack alone almost drove me batty. Nonstop zither can get on your nerves. 

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On 6/15/2020 at 11:22 AM, laffite said:

The Third Man main theme might be a tad more arty (or perhaps catchy might be a better term) than the Murder By Contract theme. This latter is not that much more than a squiggle, but as MissW points out it's for accompaniment for the action and doesn't need to be a grandiose theme. As mentioned before, it was used only sparingly and good thing, the music isn't "good" enough and might have been tedious.  I downloaded the complete Third Man music which as everyone known contained much more than the main theme. Listening to the soundtrack alone almost drove me batty. Nonstop zither can get on your nerves. 

Actually laffite, I understand TTM's zither only score is quite often many people's complaint about this great film.

Evidently it gets on their nerves too.

(...me?...well, maybe a little here and there)

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I had never seen Farewell, My Lovely and was glad to see it last night. The Jazz Spotlight has been outstanding this month. I enjoyed seeing actors like Robert Mitchum and John Ireland who began their careers in the 1940s doing such solid noir work in the 1970s. Eddie Muller noted that the success of Chinatown probably made this film possible. I would have liked the cinematography better if so many dramatic shows on TV today didn't follow the same darkened reddish-brown basic color scheme. It wasn't a cliche in 1975, but it is now. Like many a film noir, the story is convoluted to a fault, but the mood is right and the cast is capable. Eddie Muller noted that because Mitchum is tall, they needed to find someone even taller to play Moose Malloy. (I believe Jack O'Halloran gets an "and introducing" credit.)

Although I always like Charlotte Rampling's performances, I had to laugh when the dialogue talked about her having curves in all the right places. The typical noir gal, yes, but Rampling looks undernourished on screen. Her thinness, sometimes even greater than in this movie, seems like part of the neurotic energy she projects so vividly on screen.

Monty Alexander highly praised the score by David Shire, especially the beautiful theme heard over the opening credits.

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14 minutes ago, kingrat said:

I had never seen Farewell, My Lovely and was glad to see it last night. The Jazz Spotlight has been outstanding this month. I enjoyed seeing actors like Robert Mitchum and John Ireland who began their careers in the 1940s doing such solid noir work in the 1970s. Eddie Muller noted that the success of Chinatown probably made this film possible. I would have liked the cinematography better if so many dramatic shows on TV today didn't follow the same darkened reddish-brown basic color scheme. It wasn't a cliche in 1975, but it is now. Like many a film noir, the story is convoluted to a fault, but the mood is right and the cast is capable. Eddie Muller noted that because Mitchum is tall, they needed to find someone even taller to play Moose Malloy. (I believe Jack O'Halloran gets an "and introducing" credit.)

Although I always like Charlotte Rampling's performances, I had to laugh when the dialogue talked about her having curves in all the right places. The typical noir gal, yes, but Rampling looks undernourished on screen. Her thinness, sometimes even greater than in this movie, seems like part of the neurotic energy she projects so vividly on screen.

Monty Alexander highly praised the score by David Shire, especially the beautiful theme heard over the opening credits.

Check out Hammett (1982) Its also pretty good.

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23 hours ago, laffite said:

The Third Man main theme might be a tad more arty (or perhaps catchy might be a better term) than the Murder By Contract theme. This latter is not that much more than a squiggle, but as MissW points out it's for accompaniment for the action and doesn't need to be a grandiose theme. As mentioned before, it was used only sparingly and good thing, the music isn't "good" enough and might have been tedious.  I downloaded the complete Third Man music which as everyone known contained much more than the main theme. Listening to the soundtrack alone almost drove me batty. Nonstop zither can get on your nerves. 

laffite,  I also meant , in response to your comments about  "Murder by Contract" and "The Third Man",  to mention another noir which is often  compared to "The Third Man"  :  "He Walked by Night".  I believe Eddie has shown this film on Noir Alley,  but it was quite a while ago.  

Although there's no "Third Man" type music in "He Walked by Night",  there's certainly a scene reminiscent  of that famous movie;  the hunted man tries to take refuge,  escape, in a series of tunnels underneath the city.  What's kind of interesting about comparing those two films though is, "He Walked by Night" was actually made a year before  "The Third Man".    ( "He Walked by Night", 1948   ;   "The Third Man",  1949).

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On 6/13/2020 at 11:23 PM, Dargo said:

Yeah, or maybe even worse Bronxie, R.J. sittin' down with Ben Stein for a little chat.  ;)

lol  You're right, Dargo!

"Anyone?  Anyone?"

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