Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

30 minutes ago, midwestan said:

Everything was good for him until he got sentenced to prison!  I think I read where Franchot Tone, the guy he put in the hospital 15 years earlier, testified on Neal's behalf at his trial.

Neal had a tawdry reputation of violence and after he put Tone in the hospital gradually became persona non grata in Hollywood, along with Barbara Payton. He became a gardener and landscaper after being, essentially, blackballed from the film community, only to be charged with murder following the death of his third wife. He'd serve six years on an involuntary manslaughter conviction. All pretty seedy. He died of a heart attack less than a year after his release from prison.

I've never heard that Tone testified on Neal's behalf.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew Al was in deep doo doo the minute he gave that big roll of money to Vera. Never give a dame a

pile of scratch man. From then on it was all downhill, with Vera giving the orders. Don't give her a

cent, kick her out of the car and leave her on the side of the road and head for sweet Sue. She was

a knock out. Let the chips fall where they may. According to the Wiki article on Detour, the budget

figure of $20,000 was on the low side. The pic actually cost around $100,000 which is still cheapskate

territory, but not as sad as 20K. I always felt sorry for Al. Taking his story as true, he got a raw deal.

Life is like that sometimes.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

::spoilers::

I’ve seen “Detour” four times now, and what I’ve been trying to figure out is how Vera dies. Did she strangle herself with the phone cord, or did she just happen to succumb to consumption (as we saw her coughing throughout the film) at that moment when she was wrapped up in the cord? 

Definitely looks like the phone cord wrapped around and hanging down from her neck

Dead%2BVera%2B%2526%2BAl.jpg

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TomJH said:

Neal had a tawdry reputation of violence and after he put Tone in the hospital gradually became persona non grata in Hollywood, along with Barbara Payton. He became a gardener and landscaper after being, essentially, blackballed from the film community, only to be charged with murder following the death of his third wife. He'd serve six years on an involuntary manslaughter conviction. All pretty seedy. He died of a heart attack less than a year after his release from prison.

I've never heard that Tone testified on Neal's behalf.

I think I read about Tone appearing either at Neal's trial or his sentencing as a character witness.  It was an old newspaper clipping story about the trial, but I can't remember which website I saw it on.  A Google search could do the trick.  I think I'll check and see if I can find it again.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I found the story about Neal's trial.  Here's the link, if anyone's interested.

www.palmspringslife.com > killer-career-actor-tom-neal

Tone did not testify or attend the trial in Palm Springs, but as Eddie Muller mentioned, Barbara Payton did.  Several Hollywood friends of Neal contributed money for his defense fund, as he was initially unable to afford his own attorney and was appointed a public defender.  He was able to raise enough to hire his own defense attorney who was credited with helping Neal get his charge reduced from murder to manslaughter.  Franchot Tone was one of the people who contributed money to Neal's defense fund.

  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ElCid said:

Question:  Why is Detour considered the number one or penultimate Film Noir?  Always thought that Out of the Past was supposed to be that.

This is the 3rdor 4th time I have seen Detour and the quality was much better due to the restoration.  As for the deaths, I take it that Vera wrapped the cord around her neck and Al pulled too hard and strangled her.  It was around her neck.  As for his hands at the beginning I never noticed that, but would think it is how he reimagines it since he couldn't take a cord from the telephone wherever he was to reenact it.  The driver is more confusing.  If asleep, he should have woken up when Al pulled the door open.  I always thought he was already dead.

As already noted, being picked up by patrol does not make any sense at all. 

The car appears to be a 1941 Lincoln Continental.  Very expensive at the time and selling for $25,000 to $60,000 now.  The $1,850 for a used car in 1945 would sound high except that is was a Continental Cabriolet (convertible) and cars of any kind were high priced after the war.  The one below is selling for $55,000.

I figured that Haskell died in the car and Al assumed he was asleep. It was only until it started raining when Al realized that Haskell wasn’t asleep. We did see Haskell popping pills a couple times earlier. I took the pill popping as a clue that he wasn’t well. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Neal's personal problems may have stemmed from practically being disowned by his wealthy family after he decided not to become a lawyer and opted to go into acting.  Boxing was probably an outlet for him to release some frustration and exorcise his demons, and he was pretty good at it, according to Eddie Muller and Neal's IMDB biography.  You can't tell from the era of the 30's, 40's, and 50's whether or not most men were well-built, unless they portrayed boxers, wrestlers, gladiators, or a character like Tarzan.  But, here's a newspaper's photo of Neal and Payton after his fight with Franchot Tone.

image.jpeg.ed1634be44ab8e23ae3c2aac94cd1aa5.jpeg

He looked like a pretty buffed fellow in this shot.

  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I figured that Haskell died in the car and Al assumed he was asleep. It was only until it started raining when Al realized that Haskell wasn’t asleep. We did see Haskell popping pills a couple times earlier. I took the pill popping as a clue that he wasn’t well. 

I thought he was taking pills to stay awake, but who knows.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/28/2020 at 7:08 PM, mr6666 said:

 

Don't think I have seen this one.  The title sounds more like a comedy than an noir or mystery even.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This one looks familiar. Might have seen it on YT. It was so long ago that I don't recall many

details. Only runs 80 minutes anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And for those of us who stream...No Go!  Can't watch this due to 'wrongs' issues (I have no clue what 'rights' issues cause such omissions if you happen to pay for a streaming service vs. satellite or cable subscriptions).  Oh well, on the plus side, I get to get back to lifting (I'm a glutton for punishment sometimes 💪🏻).  Happy New Year, everyone.  2021 has got to be better than the previous 12 months! 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We really enjoyed THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY.  It caught us off guard at the end, as I'm sure it did others.  I've always liked George Sanders and he's great in this roll. Geraldine Fitzgerald is very convincing at his sister too. Without giving away too much, I found the discussion about the ending by Eddie and his guest very interesting.  Like Eddie said some don't consider this film as Classic Noir. The fact that  Joan Harrison produced it is probably why some do.  What do the rest of you think?

Link to post
Share on other sites

An OK movie, but not a noir in my opinion.  While you can see it coming, took far too long to get to the murder.  Then the ending sucked.  Fortunately, the outro explained why.  No stellar performances, but fairly good ones.  Ella Raines character should have had more screen time and Geraldine Fitzgerald's less. 

Eddie and the guest made several references to Phantom Lady.  I don't think I have seen this one, but looked it up on Wikipedia and it sort or sounds familiar.  Has it ever been on TCM?

On all the Noir Alley presentations, I prefer that Eddie do them by himself.  No reason to bring guests in unless they are just trying to fill time.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

We really enjoyed THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY.  It caught us off guard at the end, as I'm sure it did others.  I've always liked George Sanders and he's great in this roll. Geraldine Fitzgerald is very convincing at his sister too. Without giving away too much, I found the discussion about the ending by Eddie and his guest very interesting.  Like Eddie said some don't consider this film as Classic Noir. The fact that  Joan Harrison produced it is probably why some do.  What do the rest of you think?

I just saw this picture for the first time. George Sanders , as usual, was superb, and it was a reminder that Geraldine Fitzgerald was one of the loveliest ladies in films. But I was really interested in seeing Moyna MacGill (Angela Lansbury's mother) in something other than a bit part. She was great! As for this film being Classic Noir, I leave that debate to the experts. I enjoyed this picture, stylishly produced and directed, and full of familiar character actors. The ending , though, was too reminiscent of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ElCid said:

An OK movie, but not a noir in my opinion.  While you can see it coming, took far too long to get to the murder.  Then the ending sucked.  Fortunately, the outro explained why.  No stellar performances, but fairly good ones.  Ella Raines character should have had more screen time and Geraldine Fitzgerald's less. 

Eddie and the guest made several references to Phantom Lady.  I don't think I have seen this one, but looked it up on Wikipedia and it sort or sounds familiar.  Has it ever been on TCM?

On all the Noir Alley presentations, I prefer that Eddie do them by himself.  No reason to bring guests in unless they are just trying to fill time.

Phantom Lady has been shown, though not often. This may be Ella Raines' best role. You know she's a nice girl because she goes into a bar and orders milk! This would be a good choice for Noir Alley. Elsiha Cook, Jr. has a great supporting role as a drummer.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well !  Hm, is  The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry a noir or not?  I would have to say "not", and I have a pretty broad definition of noir.  It's more a family melodrama, it reminded of another family melodrama posing as a noir Eddie showed a while back,  Sign of the Ram.  Both are about manipulative, passive-aggressive women who are "invalids"  (at least the one in Sign of the Ram is genuinely confined to a wheelchair,  the horrible Geraldine Fitzgerald character is just faking her "heart trouble"), and who want to control the other members of their family, regardless of the consequences. 

I think Eddie wanted to play this one up as a noir because it's directed by Robert Siodmak (a stalwart of noir pics), and produced by Joan Harrison - in fact, it was the Joan Harrison angle that Eddie really wanted to talk about here. 

Anyway, noir or not,  I did find the film entertaining - was never bored, at least.

Good things about it:  The cast.  I really like Ella Raines, I wish she'd been in more movies.  She's very unusual looking, lovely, but in a fresh unique way.  I liked the way her character stood up (sometimes literally standing up, almost nose to nose)  to the nasty Fitzgerald character.  There are a couple of scenes where Ella  (as Deborah Brown) is listening to Lettie  (Fitzgerald) blathering on about what her brother really "needs", in her unpleasant and quite transparent passive-aggressive way,  and Ella just sits there, curled up on a chair, swinging one leg.  She displays a kind of impudent body language every time she interacts with Fitzgerald, which really gets across the fact that she's not going to take any bs from this horrible phoney woman.

Geraldine Fitzgerald:  The last time I saw this actress, it was in Three Strangers, another quasi-noir, and another film in which Fitzgerald plays a self-centred manipulative woman.   I haven't seen her in much else --- oh, she plays the supportive friend of Bette Davis in Dark Victory, so I guess she does sometimes appear as sympathetic characters.  Anyway, she's very good at what she does; she has kind of a flinty face  (I don't agree that she's "beautiful", but eye of the beholder and all that) that suits hard egotistical characters.

and of course,  George Sanders !  as the title character.  I put the exclamation mark, because this role is so against type for George.  We are accustomed to seeing this actor playing smooth, cynical , sophisticated men; not necessarily "bad", more amoral.  Witty , sardonic.  Confident.  But Harry Quincey is mild-mannered, gentle, the opposite of the type of man Sanders usually plays.  I thought he was very good in this departure from type.  Of course, he's not as much fun to watch as his usual sarcastic self-possessed type, but he's believable and sympathetic as Harry.

Not-so-good-things:  I get a little weary of the trope, so popular in 30s and 40s films, of the manipulative scheming head-of-the-family (-always a well-moneyed family with a ponderous social history to maintain)    who is in ill health, or who pretends to be,  and who wants to control her family members and keep them from being happy so they will stay in the musty family mansion and never marry, and they can all rot together.  This seemed to be a favourite type of story in movies back then.   And - not to get all "woke" or anything, but it seems this type of character is almost always female.

Of course, the other huge flaw in The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry is, as others have mentioned here, the ending.  I mean,  WHAAAT? The old "it was all a dream"  thing?  At least in other films where something terrible happens and it turns out to be all a dream, we're given a clue, earlier on, the character falls asleep  ( as in Edward Robinson in Woman in the Window for instance).  But there's no scene where Sanders' character falls asleep.  It's about as artificially stuck-on an ending as you're going to see.     

Something I found very frustrating about Eddie's "outro", with that Joan Harrison biographer, was that neither of them said what the original ending was supposed to be.  Ok, we can figure it out:  probably Harry, after hearing that horrible speech from his horrible sister  (evil to the end) about the joyless, pointless, guilt-ridden life he 'll be facing after her execution, decides to use a little of that poison on himself and end it all.  The suicide  might have been acceptable to the censors because after all, he did attempt to kill his sister.  But Eddie said there was more than one alternate ending, so what would the other one have been?  That the vile Lettie accepts his confession, and they trade places on death row in the prison? 

Anyway,  noir or no noir, flawed fake ending or not,   I still enjoyed the film and am glad Eddie showed it.

 

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

    

Something I found very frustrating about Eddie's "outro", with that Joan Harrison biographer, was that neither of them said what the original ending was supposed to be.  Ok, we can figure it out:  probably Harry, after hearing that horrible speech from his horrible sister  (evil to the end) about the joyless, pointless, guilt-ridden life he 'll be facing after her execution, decides to use a little of that poison on himself and end it all.  The suicide  might have been acceptable to the censors because after all, he did attempt to kill his sister.  But Eddie said there was more than one alternate ending, so what would the other one have been?  That the vile Lettie accepts his confession, and they trade places on death row in the prison? 

 

You're right on target. I actually thought Harry was going to take the poison in that scene before he pours it in the trash.  It caught my wife and I totally off guard. I, too; wonder how Joan Harrison wanted it to end.  

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all above for the good reviews on "The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry".  Geraldine Fitzgerald is one of those performers that I put in a similar class with Anne Revere, Gale Sondergaard, and Angela Lansbury.  These women may play characters you love or loathe or tip-toe on the precipice of something in between, but you generally see a good performance out of them.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Very enjoyable. It took me about ten minutes to  realize I had seen it before, but so long ago that

I had forgotten much of the plot. Until late in the day I didn't recall if Sanders wanted to poison

Fitzgerald or if it was the other way around. I see it as more of the small-town dysfunctional

family murder story than a noir and a pretty good one, though if folks want to call it a noir that's

okay too. Very reminiscent of those 1940s Victorian-era murder mystery movies, though set in a

contemporary year. The cozy domestic sphere with a little murder thrown in. A very entertaining

stew. I'm of two opinions about the ending. Sure it's manipulative and doesn't make much sense,

but it was also nice to see the two lovers back together again and no one was killed. Maybe the dog's

death didn't even occur. Cut a little bit here and there and this could easily have been an episode of

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Well done.

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ElCid said:

An OK movie, but not a noir in my opinion.  While you can see it coming, took far too long to get to the murder.  Then the ending sucked.  Fortunately, the outro explained why.  No stellar performances, but fairly good ones.  Ella Raines character should have had more screen time and Geraldine Fitzgerald's less. 

Eddie and the guest made several references to Phantom Lady.  I don't think I have seen this one, but looked it up on Wikipedia and it sort or sounds familiar.  Has it ever been on TCM?

On all the Noir Alley presentations, I prefer that Eddie do them by himself.  No reason to bring guests in unless they are just trying to fill time.

Yes, it;s been shown a few times (Phantom Lady) I'd like to see it again with all this Joan Harrison discussion (that book on her is very good by the way). I thought Harry was ok. A bit slow in the first half hour. The ending was awful and so unconvincing. Not really a noir, but had some elements...

SPOILER

 

I thought it would have been better to have kept the death of his sister and Raines coming back and him having to live with the fact about his sister.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, midwestan said:

Thanks to all above for the good reviews on "The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry".  Geraldine Fitzgerald is one of those performers that I put in a similar class with Anne Revere, Gale Sondergaard, and Angela Lansbury.  These women may play characters you love or loathe or tip-toe on the precipice of something in between, but you generally see a good performance out of them.

One of GERALDINE FITZGERALD'S best performances is in one of the best episodes of THE GOLDEN GIRLS- MOTHER'S DAY which is one of those wonderfully formatted 3 (in this case 4) story episodes where the girls are reminiscing at the kitchen table.

She appears in ROSE'S STORY about sitting in a bus station on her way back to ST OLAF to visit her children  and GERALDINE FITZGERALD appears as a woman who has snuck out of the nursing home to pay a visit to hers.

"You're from ST OLAF?! Lovely town! Rolling hills, beautiful fields...full of idiots."

gg15.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...