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52 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I enjoyed Suspense. Not only does it have the expressionistic noir photography in many scenes but it's the only noir hybrid I know of to blend double crosses with double axels.

What, you missed the White Trash Tragedy On Ice?

 

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29 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

What, you missed the White Trash Tragedy On Ice?

 

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I loved I, Tonya.  That was a great movie.   I also grew up in Oregon during the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal, so fellow Oregonian Tonya Harding's ordeal was front page news.  The 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics  were hands down the best Olympics ever.

I haven't watched Suspense yet, but it combines two of my favorite things: Film Noir and Figure Skating.  I'm looking forward to it. 

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8 minutes ago, TomJH said:

To my ever lasting shame.

 

Directed competently and stylishly by Craig Gillespie. The film was written by Steven Rogers and based on the sometimes contradictory interviews with all the participants. I, Tonya sort of depicts a modern take on the type of small time racketeering that in Classic Hollywood would have focused on boxing or horse racing.

One of the bennies of watching a lot of Film Noir is that you become very familiar with a large range of actors from the classical period Noirs through the transitional Noirs to our current era of  Neo Noir who seem made for certain parts and they easily slip into certain shady characters like one would slip into a comfortable pair of slippers.

When you think of low rent, cheap, sleazy, slimy, weaselly crooks you think of Classic Noir actors Zachary Scott or Dan Druyea. In this film Zachary would get the nod he looks like the real Jeff Gilhoolie. Dan Seymore or Victor Buono would have made a good Shaun, Doro Merande or Agnes Moorhead as Tonya's mother, Tonya would have probably been played by Belita (the star of our ice skating Noir Suspense) but, if they could skate, I could see Shelly Winters or Barbara Stanwyck, in it or Joan Crawford with blonde hair.

Anyway, projecting the past performers upon this film in no way diminishes it. Chek it out.

 

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"He should have stuck to  his nuts"

I daresay.

The only mystery (to me) is Eddie's obsession with Belita.   Zero charisma as an "actress" and frankly, while the skating presentations were interesting (I liked the Desi Arnaz-ish Cuban singer), frankly I wasn't that impressed with her as an ice dancer.  (I know, she was in the Olympics but still...)  

Albert Dekker caresses his black cat the way Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone does with that other feline.    Midway, when we wonder if Dekker is dead or alive, things get kind of creepy and yes, suspenseful, but then I'm guessing those cheapskate King Brothers decided to cut a few meaningful scenes.  We unfortunately have to hear Sullivan's description of what eventually transpires.

Bonita's wardrobe was hideous.  I'm assuming this was intentional to heighten her tawdry character.  Ugly make-up, too.  They really trowelled on that lipstick.

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18 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

"He should have stuck to  his nuts"

I daresay.

The only mystery (to me) is Eddie's obsession with Belita.   Zero charisma as an "actress" and frankly, while the skating presentations were interesting (I liked the Desi Arnaz-ish Cuban singer), frankly I wasn't that impressed with her as an ice dancer.  (I know, she was in the Olympics but still...)  

Albert Dekker caresses his black cat the way Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone does with that other feline.    Midway, when we wonder if Dekker is dead or alive, things get kind of creepy and yes, suspenseful, but then I'm guessing those cheapskate King Brothers decided to cut a few meaningful scenes.  We unfortunately have to hear Sullivan's description of what eventually transpires.

Bonita's wardrobe was hideous.  I'm assuming this was intentional to heighten her tawdry character.  Ugly make-up, too.  They really trowelled on that lipstick.

meow

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On 11/28/2020 at 12:07 PM, Dargo said:

I believe Eddie presented this film just a couple of years ago, did he not?

I seem to remember looking up the history of the old Hollywood Polar Palace skating rink (destroyed by fire in 1963) which the watching of this film prompted me to do, anyway.

This reminds me of the Pan Pacific Auditorium which was used in SUSPENSE.  This beautiful Streamline-Modern design was burned in the 1980s by an arsonist; the surrounding neighborhoods had many people who didn’t want it restored, due to traffic it brought when there was an event there.  All that were left were the iconic sails in the facade.  I remember the week it burned, I saw a movie at a theater in the general vicinity, and there was a scene which used the actual bldg as backdrop, and even included people holding up signs saying “Save the Pan-Pacific”.  There was a collective groan from the movie audience.   Don’t remember the name of the film, but it dealt with the end of the world.   Specifically as it was experienced on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax in LA, near where I was watching the film.
 

As for SUSPENSE, I had never seen it, but I enjoyed it, cliches and ice revues and all.  Both Belita and Bonita were lookers, and I agree that the latter could’ve been better utilized.  Never been a big Barry Sullivan fan, but something about him makes him perfect for noir; his smarmy presence makes one nervous.  Good thing they repeated it this morning, as I fell asleep while watching it last night, not due to the film, but the tryptophan from my leftover thanksgiving dinner.

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23 minutes ago, Arturo said:

 

As for SUSPENSE, I had never seen it, but I enjoyed it, cliches and ice revues and all.  Both Belita and Bonita were lookers, and I agree that the latter could’ve been better utilized.  Never been a big Barry Sullivan fan, but something about him makes him perfect for noir; his smarmy presence makes one nervous.  Good thing they repeated it this morning, as I fell asleep while watching it last night, not due to the film, but the tryptophan from my leftover thanksgiving dinner.

You and Eugene Pallette, Arturo. Well, maybe it wasn't from tryptophan from a turkey but Pallette was certainly falling asleep in the party scene. This was Pallette's last film and I wish that Eddie had said something about what happened to him after that. He returned to LA after spending two years at his Oregon "fortress" but never resumed making movies again. Pallette always added (not just talking about his size here) to any of the films he was in, whether it was dramas or comedies, and it was good to see him providing solid support in Suspense. His career extended back to an uncredited part as a Union soldier (he was slim in those days) in The Birth of a Nation.

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Seems that Belita had one of those stage mothers who pushed her into this career.  Belita hated cold and ice, and only skated for the money, not love of the sport.  Was glad to read that towards the end of her life she was able to reside in the warm and sunny South of France.

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I wasn't that impressed with SUSPENSE.  A lot of it seemed far fetched. I get it was the 40s and one shouldn't overly analyze these films.   No offense to those that liked it. It just didn't do much for me. 

It was interesting Eddie mentioned Albert Dekker's death. That was discussed on this thread earlier.

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On 11/24/2020 at 4:17 PM, Looney said:

So I am about to buy PITFALL (1948) on Blu-Ray, but I can't remember what I thought of it.  I decided to stop by and read what I said when I saw it on NOIR ALLEY.  Scanned all my posts and PITFALL didn't catch my eye.  .....

Anyone remember what I thought of it? ..... 🤣😂🤣

 

I hope everyone is doing well, or as well as they can be.  Sorry I didn't read through the hundred or more pages since my last post to catch up on what I have been missing.  (I'm just glad my login still worked.)

Nice to see you back,  Looney !

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SPOILERS AHEAD,  DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T YET SEEN THIS FILM.

I liked Suspense well enough, mainly because it was a Noir Alley offering I'd never seen before. It's always fun to see a new  (new to me) noir.  Although, in this case, it didn't really get very noirish til the third act;  up to Dekker's  (the husband of Belita's character) apparent death in the avalanche, it was more a melodrama, or a romance triangle, or whatever you want to call it.

Although I did enjoy the ice skating scenes, they did make the movie quite a bit longer - it seemed like the kind of film that should have been no more than about 80 minutes long.  I thought the last 20 minutes or so, although the most noirish -looking part, dragged a bit.

I also think we, the audience, were twisted  ( as in cheated, ripped off, disappointed...).  The movie makes a big deal about something Sullivan's character did a while ago, in New York.  Granville's character finds out what it is  -- but we don't !  I know some might say,  "it doesn't matter, the point is, it was something bad, something Ronnie could hold over him".  Nope, not good enough.  I want to to know what the guy did. For one thing, it would help give me a little more insight into his character, which, for all he's in almost every scene, is not that well-developed.

But even more frustrating, something I felt really twisted on,  was, we never get to see Frank Leonard again.  We know he's alive , that he escaped the avalanche.  And true, it's wonderfully creepy, almost eerie  ( as in, has this turned into a ghost story?)  when he starts lurking around, drops his ring into Joe's drink, etc.  Very atmospheric.  But then, when he finally appears in Joe's office, that's it !  We see him for about 2 seconds.  We don't know what really happens, we just hear a lot of bumping and thumping around.  I do like the touches of the pipe, and the idea of stuffing poor Frank's body into the desk.  (I know those old pull-down desks were big, but really?  would a body the size of Frank's fit?  Did Joe have to sort of scrunch him up a bit?  And how did the cat get in?) 

But honestly,  how come we're cheated of that scene?  Eddie suggested it was to save time, or costs, or both.  But to me, that scene is the pay-off of the whole movie, and it's a damn shame to leave it out.  And what really happened?  We have only Joe's word that Frank had a gun on him, and it was self-defence.    (wait, do we get to see Frank holding a gun before the scene cuts away? maybe.)

I thought Dekker's character was interesting, and would have liked to have heard what he had to say to Joe.

Another quibble:  Ronnie, Bonita Granville's character, shoots Joe in the end?  Really?  It just feels to me they stuck that in there to bring Joe to some kind of "justice" for his killing of Frank  (plus, he almost killed Belita, with the knife circle thing.  But at least he changed his mind about that.) Her shooting Joe winds everything up a bit too neatly.

full disclosure:  I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize the "other woman" was Bonita Granville.  Even though I like this actress, and have seen her in Nancy Drew and several other films.  It was kind of a thankless role for her.

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I must be in the minority, I like Barry Sullivan.  I don't know what it is about him, but I enjoy watching his films.  He has a great voice and presence.  He's especially good in film noir like Tension,  Julie, The Gangster, Jeopardy (even though he spends most of the movie sitting on the beach, but he does a darn good job of it),  and non-noir like The Bad and the Beautiful

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

I must be in the minority, I like Barry Sullivan.  I don't know what it is about him, but I enjoy watching his films.  He has a great voice and presence.  He's especially good in film noir like Tension,  Julie, The Gangster, Jeopardy (even though he spends most of the movie sitting on the beach, but he does a darn good job of it),  and non-noir like The Bad and the Beautiful

He's really good in the Western Seven Ways from Sundown (1960).

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3 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

He's really good in the Western Seven Ways from Sundown (1960).

I haven't seen that film.  I've never even heard of it! It sounds interesting, I'll have to keep an eye out for it.  Thanks!

I just learned that apparently Barry plays himself in The Candidate, a movie that I've seen 3 times and never noticed him in the film. 

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I liked "Suspense".  I had never seen the movie until Saturday night.

Eddie mentioned in the intro to the movie that films with skating stars were very popular in the 40's, and with movie-goers looking for some kind of 'feel good' diversion from World War 2, it's easy to see why.  They were different than watching Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire dancing their way into America's collective hearts.  Sure, the skating from 80 years ago wasn't anything like we see today during the Olympics or World Figure Skating competitions, but as one who couldn't stand on a pair of ice skates on a bet, I appreciate the talent displayed by Belita and her contemporaries.  I like listening to commentary on sports broadcasts from people who used to participate in that particular sport.  For my money, Dick Button (figure skating) was one of the very best (so is Mary Carrillo on tennis and Tony Romo on football).  Button, while appreciating the athleticism seen in today's figure skating, lamented the fact that the beauty and artistry of skating was being pushed further and further out of the sport.  The skating displayed in "Suspense" by Belita was beautiful.

As for the story, it was alright.  Like speedracer5, I like Barry Sullivan, by and large.  In this film, he looked considerably younger than he did as the mustachioed characters he played in films in the 50's.  He looks like a pretty rough character at the beginning of "Suspense", but after he shaves and cleans up, he has a boyish look to his face, especially when he smiles and his eyes light up.  While I agree with misswonderly3 that it would have been nice to know what Bonita Granville 'had' on Sullivan to see why he left New York for LA, you could argue the same thing in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much".  It was asked more than once what Louis Bernard whispered to Jimmy Stewart before he died from the knife sticking out of his back, but the audience never finds out.

I too noticed that Eddie mentioned the strange circumstances surrounding Albert Dekker's death without going into the gory details!  I think someone mentioned on one of these Noir Alley reviews a few weeks ago that they were disappointed that Eddie didn't mention something about someone in his post-picture wrap.  If you think about it, Eddie and the other 4 TCM presenters could easily spend 10-15 minutes before AND after each picture giving us interesting tidbits about any film shown, whether it's about the actor or actress, the director, the studio, or the author of the original source material, etc.  As it is, I'm OK with them leaving some things out of their wrap-around comments, so they'll have something to talk about during future screenings of the films.

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2 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

SPOILERS AHEAD,  DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T YET SEEN THIS FILM.

I liked Suspense well enough, mainly because it was a Noir Alley offering I'd never seen before. It's always fun to see a new  (new to me) noir.  Although, in this case, it didn't really get very noirish til the third act;  up to Dekker's  (the husband of Belita's character) apparent death in the avalanche, it was more a melodrama, or a romance triangle, or whatever you want to call it.

Although I did enjoy the ice skating scenes, they did make the movie quite a bit longer - it seemed like the kind of film that should have been no more than about 80 minutes long.  I thought the last 20 minutes or so, although the most noirish -looking part, dragged a bit.

I also think we, the audience, were twisted  ( as in cheated, ripped off, disappointed...).  The movie makes a big deal about something Sullivan's character did a while ago, in New York.  Granville's character finds out what it is  -- but we don't !  I know some might say,  "it doesn't matter, the point is, it was something bad, something Ronnie could hold over him".  Nope, not good enough.  I want to to know what the guy did. For one thing, it would help give me a little more insight into his character, which, for all he's in almost every scene, is not that well-developed.

But even more frustrating, something I felt really twisted on,  was, we never get to see Frank Leonard again.  We know he's alive , that he escaped the avalanche.  And true, it's wonderfully creepy, almost eerie  ( as in, has this turned into a ghost story?)  when he starts lurking around, drops his ring into Joe's drink, etc.  Very atmospheric.  But then, when he finally appears in Joe's office, that's it !  We see him for about 2 seconds.  We don't know what really happens, we just hear a lot of bumping and thumping around.  I do like the touches of the pipe, and the idea of stuffing poor Frank's body into the desk.  (I know those old pull-down desks were big, but really?  would a body the size of Frank's fit?  Did Joe have to sort of scrunch him up a bit?  And how did the cat get in?) 

But honestly,  how come we're cheated of that scene?  Eddie suggested it was to save time, or costs, or both.  But to me, that scene is the pay-off of the whole movie, and it's a damn shame to leave it out.  And what really happened?  We have only Joe's word that Frank had a gun on him, and it was self-defence.    (wait, do we get to see Frank holding a gun before the scene cuts away? maybe.)

I thought Dekker's character was interesting, and would have liked to have heard what he had to say to Joe.

Another quibble:  Ronnie, Bonita Granville's character, shoots Joe in the end?  Really?  It just feels to me they stuck that in there to bring Joe to some kind of "justice" for his killing of Frank  (plus, he almost killed Belita, with the knife circle thing.  But at least he changed his mind about that.) Her shooting Joe winds everything up a bit too neatly.

full disclosure:  I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn't realize the "other woman" was Bonita Granville.  Even though I like this actress, and have seen her in Nancy Drew and several other films.  It was kind of a thankless role for her.

I rated it at about a 6/10, didn't really care all that much about it to worry about the stuff that is frustrating you. The avalanche was a bit far fetched also  knocking over pinnacles  of rock  and then the searchers  easily  finding just Frank's hat and rifle.

Full disclosure I don't even know who Bonita Granville was . Another full disclosure I couldn't tell  Belita from Bonita, lol.

 

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10 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I rated it at about a 6/10, didn't really care all that much about it to worry about the stuff that is frustrating you. The avalanche was a bit far fetched also  knocking over pinnacles  of rock  and then the searchers  easily  finding just Frank's hat and rifle.

Full disclosure I don't even know who Bonita Granville was . Another full disclosure I couldn't tell  Belita from Bonita, lol.

 

I think it was interesting that the word 'avalanche' was never mentioned in the film.  'Snow slide' was the term I recall being used (more than once, I think).

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38 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I rated it at about a 6/10, didn't really care all that much about it to worry about the stuff that is frustrating you. The avalanche was a bit far fetched also  knocking over pinnacles  of rock  and then the searchers  easily  finding just Frank's hat and rifle.

Full disclosure I don't even know who Bonita Granville was . Another full disclosure I couldn't tell  Belita from Bonita, lol.

 

Bonita Granville was in The Glass Key,   the Ladd \ Lake \ Dunlevy 1942 early political noir.     She played the sister of Ladd's character,    Ed Beaumount.

For me Granville was one of the top child actors as a contract player for Warner Bros.   

Bonita  was honored at the Disneyland Hotel, which Jack Wrather,  her husband,  owned until it was sold to the Walt Disney Company. The Bonita Tower and the Granville's Steak House were named in her honor.

 

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47 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

 

Full disclosure I don't even know who Bonita Granville was . Another full disclosure I couldn't tell  Belita from Bonita, lol.

 

Bonita Granville was nominated at age 12 for the very first best supporting actress Oscar category in 1936 for THESE THREE, Based on the play by Lillian Hellman. She is absolutely outstanding in it-  It’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen given by a child actor. She went on to play Nancy Drew in a series of films for Warner Bros. that are really really cute in spite of the fact that Nancy Drew breaks just about every law on the books in the process of solving her crimes. She was something of a teenage sensation, and I think there were even several young adult mystery books written where Bonita was the sleuth.

She also plays Bette Davis’s bratty niece in “now Voyager”

(She was an extremely charming, and extremely likable actress so it’s kind of surprising to me to see her not just in a film for MONOGRAM, But in a bad role in a film for monogram.

She had been a pretty big star about five years before.

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Bonita's greatest (and most loathsome character to my way of thinking) was Bette Davis' niece in NOW, VOYAGER.    "June" bullied "Aunt Charlotte" mercilessly until thanks to Claude Rains, Charlotte learned how to deal with difficult people.  After Charlotte's psychological (and physical transformation),  Granville tells Davis "Can you ever forgive me?"  Bette jokes and says "Never!", meaning, "Of course I do" but during that scene I always scream at the screen "I WOULD NEVER FORGIVE THAT LITTLE ****!!"

Bonita was also fine in THESE THREE as the sh*t-stirring young student who creates scandalous gossip about Merle Oberon, Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea, but, as a major Nancy Drew fan from my youth, gave a lousy interpretation of the iconic girl detective.  Played her like some super hyper ninny.

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16 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Bonita Granville was nominated at age 12 for the very first best supporting actress Oscar category in 1936 for THESE THREE, Based on the play by Lillian Hellman. She is absolutely outstanding in it-  It’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen given by a child actor. She went on to play Nancy Drew in a series of films for Warner Bros. that are really really cute in spite of the fact that Nancy Drew breaks just about every law on the books in the process of solving her crimes. She was something of a teenage sensation, and I think there were even several young adult mystery books written where Bonita was the sleuth.

She also plays Bette Davis’s bratty niece in “now Voyager”

(She was an extremely charming, and extremely likable actress so it’s kind of surprising to me to see her not just in a film for MONOGRAM, But in a bad role in a film for monogram.

She had been a pretty big star about five years before.

I love Nancy Drew and I love Bonita.  I just bought the 4 Nancy Drew film box set on Warner Archive during their sale that's going on right now.   I never read Nancy Drew when I was the demographic for it; but I started reading them just a few years ago.  I like to read them as a reprieve between more involved books.  Obviously, they're a very quick read.  But with the exception of the first book, they're very well written--the team of ghostwriters did a good job. 

Bonita also plays the monster child in These Three with Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon and Joel McCrea. 

EDIT: Bronxgirl and I posted at the same time re: These Three

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46 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Bonita Granville was nominated at age 12 for the very first best supporting actress Oscar category in 1936 for THESE THREE, Based on the play by Lillian Hellman. She is absolutely outstanding in it-  It’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen given by a child actor. She went on to play Nancy Drew in a series of films for Warner Bros. that are really really cute in spite of the fact that Nancy Drew breaks just about every law on the books in the process of solving her crimes. She was something of a teenage sensation, and I think there were even several young adult mystery books written where Bonita was the sleuth.

She also plays Bette Davis’s bratty niece in “now Voyager”

(She was an extremely charming, and extremely likable actress so it’s kind of surprising to me to see her not just in a film for MONOGRAM, But in a bad role in a film for monogram.

She had been a pretty big star about five years before.

Bonita Granville was also in The Mortal Storm, one of the first American movies warning about the rise of Nazi-ism.  It's a smallish part, but an important one.

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