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Noir Alley

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3 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Next week's Noir Alley film will be Bodyguard (RKO - 1948),  with Laurence Tierney and Priscilla Lane (in her final film).

Directed by Richard Fleischer,  who would direct the now classic noir, The Narrow Margin.  4 years later.

Bodyguard (RKO, 1948). Poster (30" X 40"). Crime.. ... Movie | Lot ...

saw recently & as a fairly recent Tierney fan, was disappointed......

kinda routine cop caper

:(

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14 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Ram Bam, thank you ma'am.

Oh, don't lean on her man, 'cause ewe can't afford the ticket.

(...ewe know what I mean?)

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On 7/4/2020 at 6:38 PM, Vautrin said:

Spoilerette. Though TSOTR is a pretty grim flick from start to finish, I got a kick out of the

local busybody, played by Dame May Whitty, finally being given her walking papers at

the end of the movie. Much deserved. 

LOL. Yeah, I loved that! I can't stand her. (Whitty)

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I liked Sign of the Ram. Kinda predictable plot (manipulator pulling the wool over gullible characters), but Susan Peters was excellent as was the camera work. The ending was fitting. Such a sad backstory. I knew about Peters accident, but not about her early death. Really sad.

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I enjoyed The Sign of the Ram quite a bit. In terms of visual style, it's definitely noir. Superb cinematography by Burnett Guffey. The framing and lighting of shots is expertly done, with some nice effects of lights passing across the screen. Superb performance by Susan Peters. Excellent work with her hands, with a glance here, a reaction there.  Alexander Knox is not an actor who projects much sexual charisma, but that works well enough for his character. The supporting cast is fine, and Dame May Whitty is, as usual, a delight.

I like domestic melodramas and don't really care whether it's considered noir or not. SPOILERS: It does contain an attempted murder and an attempt to drive someone to suicide, which is noirish stuff. I wonder if people would have liked the film better had it not been shown on Noir Alley. What if it had been programmed with, say, Rebecca, The Uninvited, Queen Bee, and No Man of Her Own?

 

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7 hours ago, laffite said:

.... Did the movie have a Gothic feel? Very slight, probably, but it made me recollect The Uninvited, a ghost story with a similar seaside setting.

///

Right, as I noted a few posts earlier.

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5 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Right, as I noted a few posts earlier.

Apologies, my dear MissW, I should learn to read you more closely.

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4 hours ago, Dargo said:

Oh, don't lean on her man, 'cause you can't afford the ticket.

(...ewe know what I mean?)

Yeah man, it's outta sight, she's all right.

One good thing was on the second viewing the plot was clearer. The first time around I was spending time

trying to figure out who was related to who and who wanted to get married, etc. The ending still was on

the corny side though.

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3 hours ago, Hibi said:

LOL. Yeah, I loved that! I can't stand her. (Whitty)

She was a pretty nasty piece of work hiding, not very successfully, behind the facade of the kindly old

neighbor lady. 

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19 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

I agree with the general consensus of those who've posted about Sign of the Ram here:  a bit dull and slow-moving, and more of a family melodrama than a noir.  In fact, I'm usually pretty open-minded when it comes to what films can be called "noir", I agree with cigarjoe that the definition can be pretty broad, depending on how each individual responds to a film.  However, I will say it's really a stretch to call Sign of the Ram a noir.  And I'm not sure Eddie gave a sufficiently convincing explanation for why he regards it as such.  Ok, it does have some dark themes, and lots of atmosphere with the spooky old house and the crashing waves, etc.  I might put it more in the class of "overwrought family drama plus an eerie factor"--genuinely ghostly movies come to mind, like Portrait of Jennie or The Uninvited or even The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  Of course, there's no ghost as such in SOTR, but the (supposedly) Cornish seaside and all those thunderstorms provide moody effects to compensate.  Actually, a slightly more apt comparison might be Rebecca, although in the case of Sign of the Ram, the Rebecca-type character is still alive.

Poor Susan Peters !  I knew little about her, and had no idea she'd experienced such a difficult life.  I do agree that she was quite good in this movie, quite effectively conveying a complex of emotions---bitterness, jealously, isolation, fear (of being left alone), guile - and a pleasant mask of feigned kindness to conceal it all.  In fact,  her character could give a Master Class in passive-aggressive behaviour.

Put it in the same slot with In A Lonely Place and  Sweet Smell Of Success Noir melodramas.

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13 hours ago, mr6666 said:

saw recently & as a fairly recent Tierney fan, was disappointed......

kinda routine cop caper

:(

Its got some style though showing Fleischer's potential to come.

 

 

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THE SIGN OF THE RAM has always been one of my guilty pleasures.  I mean, pipe the character names -- Leah, Mallory, Sherida, Logan.   So deliciously arch and corny.   Susan Peters' matriarch did not fool me for one minute -- practically had "Evil Manipulator" emblazoned on her fivehead.   Peggy Ann Garner's young Christine -- hoo-hah!  

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I see that tonight and tomorrow morning we're being treated to another Lawrence Tierney cinematic assault - 1948's Bodyguard.

That guy really was scary - reputably on screen and off. When he appeared on an episode of Seinfeld (playing Elaine's father) it's said that everyone was so intimidated by him that he was eliminated from all future episodes. 

Anyway, as to TCM showing Bodyguard this week,  we're getting the official 62 minute edition as I'd expect. But I have to admit I would so love to see - just once (to confirm it's real) - the 75 minute "director's cut" that I've read from a number of sources is rumored to exist.

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11 hours ago, SadPanda said:

I see that tonight and tomorrow morning we're being treated to another Lawrence Tierney cinematic assault - 1948's Bodyguard.

That guy really was scary - reputably on screen and off. When he appeared on an episode of Seinfeld (playing Elaine's father) it's said that everyone was so intimidated by him that he was eliminated from all future episodes. 

Anyway, as to TCM showing Bodyguard this week,  we're getting the official 62 minute edition as I'd expect. But I have to admit I would so love to see - just once (to confirm it's real) - the 75 minute "director's cut" that I've read from a number of sources is rumored to exist.

I didn't know about that, thanks for the heads up. I just happened to watch it a few weeks ago along with Fleischer's second Noir The Clay Pigeon so I'll wait till Sun AM for Eddies intro.

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I laughed out loud when Eddie said "I can't be sure if Tierney was a contributing factor, but after this film Priscilla Lane retired from acting"

Apart from the kinky pleasures of seeing kick-**** Larry on the silver screen, plus the always youthful Priscilla in what might be described as her signature persona of the supportive and charming girlfriend/sidekick (She had a cute Nancy Drew-ish vibe here), I have to agree with mr6666 -- I thought BODYGUARD, although tautly directed and moderately entertaining, was nevertheless fairly routine.

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On 7/5/2020 at 10:59 PM, Hibi said:

I liked Sign of the Ram. Kinda predictable plot (manipulator pulling the wool over gullible characters), but Susan Peters was excellent as was the camera work. The ending was fitting. Such a sad backstory. I knew about Peters accident, but not about her early death. Really sad.

Overall, I think RANDOM HARVEST is a bit silly, but one thing about it that really works is the performance of SUSAN PETERS. A LOT (98%?) of that movie is PURE ARTIFICE AND GLOSS (not entirely in a bad way) but she is coming from a very real place and the role is well-written too.

I tried watching THE SIGN OF THE RAM on youtube a long time ago, but something about it felt a little exploitative...or maybe discomfitting...she died either right before or right after the release of it if i recall correctly**

 

**note: author does not always recall correctly

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I actually quite enjoyed Bodyguard. I found the two leads  (Priscilla Lane and Yes !  even Lawrence Tierney ) to be likable and sympathetic.  Lane's role reminded me a little of Lucille Ball's in Dark Corner - the devoted girlfriend /assistant who proves to be smart and capable, effectively helping the framed protagonist prove his innocence. And as for Tierney, although I'm not that big a fan, and am definitely not a fan of his more famous noir,  Born to Kill, in  this outing I found him to be, as I said, kind of likable. At least he was interesting, which for me is a major assest in noir  (the lead characters don't have to be "good", just interesting...)

I like the film's brevity-- get in , tell the story, and get out, all in less than 90 minutes.  That said, I would like to see the slightly longer version cigarjoe mentioned above.  *

You can almost always say a crime film is "routine";  if by "routine" one means the usual narrative involves some kind of crime and an innocent protagonist bent on proving their innocence, yes, Bodyguard was "routine".  But for me it's not the story itself that matters so much as the telling of the tale.  It's the details like bit characters, atmospheric settings,  and pacing.  And I found Bodyguard surprisingly entertaining on all those levels.  

Probably helped that I'd never seen it before, nor even heard of it.  And viewing a fresh noir for me is always a treat.

ps:  I want to say again, contrarian that I am, that I liked this Lawrence Tierney film much more than the more well-known Born to Kill.  But I suspect that that opinion is the minority one here.

*Edit:  apologies to the poster SadPanda; it was they who mentioned the longer version of this film  (not cigarjoe ---who may indeed be aware of such a version, but was not the person who wrote about it here.)

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9 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I would like to see the slightly longer version cigarjoe mentioned above.

cigarjoe?

That makes me a sad panda.

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4 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

cigarjoe?

That makes me a sad panda.

Eek !  Sorry, Sad Panda, I did something that always annoys me when it happens to me, ie, I credited somebody else for information that another poster gave, in this case, you.

Full acknowledgement:  It was you, not cigarjoe, who mentioned the 72-minute version of Bodyguard.  I should have read the last few posts more carefully before commenting myself.

Looks like you're a new poster here, so welcome to the TCM boards.  I will try not to make an oversight like that again.

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Just now, misswonderly3 said:

 It was you, not cigarjoe, who mentioned the 72-minute version of Bodyguard.  

75.

Quote

Looks like you're a new poster here, so welcome to the TCM boards.  

Thank you.

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1 minute ago, misswonderly3 said:

75 minute version.  Right.

After all this, I hope it actually exists.

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5 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

cigarjoe?

I think that was me.

SadPanda.

Yes it was you.

I like all of Larry's Noirs that I've seen, the two I haven't seen are Shakedown and Kill or Be Killed

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7 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I like all of Larry's Noirs that I've seen, the two I haven't seen are Shakedown and Kill or Be Killed

Did you enjoy Eddie's wraparound talk today?  I did.

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1 minute ago, SadPanda said:

Did you enjoy Eddie's wraparound talk today?  I did.

I caught his intro got to still watch the outro.

 

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