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4 hours ago, Arturo said:

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.

Liked reading your memories of the old Pan-Pacific Auditorium here my fellow Angeleno, Arturo. Living in the SoBay, I remember seeing the smoke rising into the air from its blaze just about ten miles due north of my home at the time. It was a real shame, as I also had fond memories of attending various functions over the years inside it from the time I was a kid. Its Art Deco/Streamline Modern facade always fascinating me.

And re the thought I stated earlier about Eddie already showing this film in his series, I've come to the conclusion that I'd misconstrued the film Suspense with another Barry Sullivan and Belita starring film that Eddie had presented before...The Gangster. , and which must have been the reason I earlier stated prompted me to search out the old Hollywood Polar Palace skating rink, and which also suffered the same fate as the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.

Also liked your take on Suspense, too.

(...btw, is it only me, or does Bonita Granville remind you of Betty Grable at all?)

 

 

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19 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

 

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.

 

I'm trying to envision Dan Duryea as Tonya Harding. It's not working for me.

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13 hours 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 others have covered highlights of Bonita Granville's career.  Surprised you "don't even know who Bonita Granville was."  As I noted earlier, her Nancy Drew movies are ones that my wife and I frequently watch.  Fairly short and very entertaining.  Too bad she did not make more.

She also had a major role in Hitler's Children (1943) which sometimes shows up on TCM.

I wonder how much her height (5'0") held her back.

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39 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I'm trying to envision Dan Duryea as Tonya Harding. It's not working for me.

C'mon Tom, don't ever underestimate the prowess of Edith Head and Perc Westmore!  While Duryea might have to spend an inordinate amount of time in wardrobe or the makeup chair, you can't deny that his on-screen persona would mesh nicely with Tonya Harding's mindset of the 1990's.  😁

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19 hours 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.

I agree. Bonita looked terrible. Very unnatractive. Too much time spent on skating numbers. ( I realize Belita was a skater, but still...) Very slow in the beginning, but once the plot kicked in was a decent noir. Nice camera work.

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On 11/28/2020 at 3:07 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.

I don't think so. He showed another Monogram with Barry Sullivan and Belita called The Gangster.

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This was my first time seeing this film and I found it interesting, different until the end when I already knew what was going to happen.

I kept in on DVR to watch anyway because I found the ice skating sequences to be very well done and I wanted to see them again.

Another Noir, Kiss Me Deadly - was also a new one for me. I only remember seeing clips from the film, but never saw the whole movie. I enjoyed it.

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On 11/28/2020 at 6:15 PM, cmovieviewer said:

This is the first time for Suspense (1946) on Noir Alley.  We do have some other repeats coming up - Tomorrow is Another Day (1951) on 12-5, Detour (1945) on 12-26, and Born to Kill (1947) on 1-23.  At least so far when Eddie does a repeat he has been providing new introductory material, so it’s worth watching that portion even for those who have seen the film before.

I thought Tomorrow is Another Day was a repeat when he announced it. Oh well, Eddie is entitled to a holiday break.....

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On 11/27/2020 at 1:26 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

Nice poster! 
both ALBERT DEKKER and EUGENE PALLETTE had, um, “issues” in their offscreen lives. Wonder if that’ll get mentioned.

Vaguely in Dekker's case. What was with Pallette?

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On 11/28/2020 at 8:18 PM, ElCid said:

I wish she had made more Nancy Drew movies.  The four are some of our go to movies when we can't find something else to watch.

Wonder why Bonita stooped to Monogram at this point in her career? Was it to escape type casting?

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i HAVE MENTIONED (oops, caps lock) this before, but the BONITA GRANVILLE-LED WB NANCY DREW series (of three films?) is, for me, a precursor to the DIRTY HARRY CALLAHAN FILMS of the 70s and 80s.

In her quest for justice, NANCY routinely obstructs it, lies to police, hides evidence, breaks enterings, AND IN ONE CASE EVEN DRUGS AN OLD LADY SO SHE CAN RIFLE HER BEDROOM FOR EVIDENCE.

Along for the ride is NANCY'S patsy boyfriend NED NICKERSON, who I think is played by FRANKIE THOMAS and is very cute to be such an unwitting doormat.

 

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13 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I thought Tomorrow is Another Day was a repeat when he announced it. Oh well, Eddie is entitled to a holiday break.....

I think some of the Noir Alley selections are in fact repeats or destined for repeat showings if only because there isn't a limitless selection of films to choose from.  And that's alright by me.  Eddie will always come up with interesting facts and/or gossip in his wrap-arounds for movies, whether it's a first-time Noir Alley entry or a second or third helping.

 

12 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Vaguely in Dekker's case. What was with Pallette?

I don't remember exactly, but I vaguely remember someone posting here years ago who said he became either a conspiracy theorist with regard to the rise of Nazi-ism in Europe and that he didn't believe it to be true, or he was of the opinion that Communists were rampant in America and bent on destroying society as he saw it in the 1930's and 40's.  I'm not sure, but it was something weird like that.  Or maybe he became a staunch anti-government citizen?

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16 hours 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 was nicely smarmy in A Life of Her Own with Lana Turner also. I agree about his voice.

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47 minutes ago, midwestan said:

C'mon Tom, don't ever underestimate the prowess of Edith Head and Perc Westmore!  While Duryea might have to spend an inordinate amount of time in wardrobe or the makeup chair, you can't deny that his on-screen persona would mesh nicely with Tonya Harding's mindset of the 1990's.  😁

Yeh, but I don't think Dan could skate.

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18 hours ago, Arturo said:

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.

How sad. :(

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16 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.

Yeah, the desk thing was a bit hard to believe (that he could be stuffed in there, LOL!)

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21 minutes ago, midwestan said:

I think some of the Noir Alley selections are in fact repeats or destined for repeat showings if only because there isn't a limitless selection of films to choose from.  And that's alright by me.  Eddie will always come up with interesting facts and/or gossip in his wrap-arounds for movies, whether it's a first-time Noir Alley entry or a second or third helping.

 

I don't remember exactly, but I vaguely remember someone posting here years ago who said he became either a conspiracy theorist with regard to the rise of Nazi-ism in Europe and that he didn't believe it to be true, or he was of the opinion that Communists were rampant in America and bent on destroying society as he saw it in the 1930's and 40's.  I'm not sure, but it was something weird like that.  Or maybe he became a staunch anti-government citizen?

Yes, I remember something about that. Was wondering if Lorna was referring to something sexual.

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15 hours ago, midwestan said:

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.

But in The Man Who Knew Too Much, the audience DOES hear what Louis Bernard says to Stewart. The film was just on last week.

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