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

Recommended Posts

14 hours ago, mr6666 said:
Joan Harrison and Siodmak had planned the film to end so that both sisters had met their end (Lettie had gone to the gallows) and Harry was driven crazy by his actions
 
:unsure:

Interesting.  Kind of like Scarlet Street, in which the prime suspect, although innocent, is found guilty through circumstantial evidence and executed,  and the real killer goes free, even after he tries to confess to the murder.  He's not believed, and his punishment is he has to spend the rest of his life in misery and guilt.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

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

She was also in the episode called "Not Another Monday" in which Fitzgerald wants Sophia to be there with her when she commits suicide, because she has few friends and no family to take care of her, and she thinks she's lived a full enough life that she's ready to 'check out'.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, midwestan said:

She was also in the episode called "Not Another Monday" in which Fitzgerald wants Sophia to be there with her when she commits suicide, because she has few friends and no family to take care of her, and she thinks she's lived a full enough life that she's ready to 'check out'.

Yes.

I kind of like to pretend that episode doesn’t exist, like the back door pilot with RITA MORENO or the one where Blanche’s daughter Becky is “fat.”

it’s real damn depressing 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/3/2021 at 12:41 PM, skipd55 said:

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.

Yes, was nice to see Moyna MacGill in a substantial part. Usually she only has a bit part in films.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/28/2020 at 8:55 AM, ElCid said:

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

I thought maybe it was due to some illness, but it could've been that too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What?  No comments on The Glass Key, a seminal noir?  (according to Eddie.)   Maybe everyone is still trying to figure it out...it's true, the plot was even more convoluted and difficult to follow than most noirs -- and most noirs have convoluted plots !   This was maybe my fourth viewing, and it was the first time I was able to understand it - sort of.

Still, I enjoyed it; had fun watching all the actors, especially crazy William Bendix.  I love that guy.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

What?  No comments on The Glass Key, a seminal noir?  (according to Eddie.)   Maybe everyone is still trying to figure it out...it's true, the plot was even more convoluted and difficult to follow than most noirs -- and most noirs have convoluted plots !   This was maybe my fourth viewing, and it was the first time I was able to understand it - sort of.

Still, I enjoyed it; had fun watching all the actors, especially crazy William Bendix.  I love that guy.

I have seen The Glass Key at least 10 times.   Along with The Big Sleep,  it was one of the films that,   35 years ago,   made me interested in Studio-Era films.

No soft-boiled dialog in this film!   Lots of niffy expressions (Bendix saying,  give me the roscoe).      Both Ladd and Lake are beautiful,  each trying to outdo the other with regards to not showing much emotion, in their scenes together.      Ladd is much better in all of his scenes with Bendix and Donlevy.       

The best scene in the film is the one Margaret Hayes,   the bored wife of the soon to be broke publisher.    The dialog is so cynical!  I just love it.   Suicide treated like a parlor game.   (Hayes is well known for The Blackboard Jungle).

Joseph Calleia is really good.    Just the right amount of sleaze.   That simile of his lights up a room.   

Oh,  and there is a more grown up Bonita Granville,  as Opel "Snip" Madvid.    (had to get that use of "Snip" in here somehow). 

 The Glass Key (1942 film) - Wikipedia

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Glass Key was entertaining and had a good, well-known cast.  Didn't really have any trouble understanding it, but I can see how people might.  Definitely had to pay attention.  The characters seem to be unlikely to come together the way they do.  And of course the red herrings are fairly quickly introduced.

I don't think it is as "seminal" or important as Eddie said.  Actually have a copy of This Gun For Hire (1942).  Watched it several years ago when I got and then placed it on my keep, but will never watch again shelf.  May have to pull it out to see why Eddie likes it so much.

Particularly liked seeing William Bendix and Bonita Granville.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, ElCid said:

I don't think it is as "seminal" or important as Eddie said. 

The Glass Key,  like Hustons' The Maltese Falcon,  are seminal and important in that,  based on films like Stranger on the Third Floor,  and the influence of Fritz Lang and others,    both were remakes that remained more faithful to the book and ushered in what would be labeled years later as noir.       These two remakes made studio producers understand that with a change in an film's attitude and vibe,    they could turn such novels,  some that were previously done before, into box-office gold (as well as making major stars if everything clicked).

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with critics that say William Bendix steals the film and, of course, as a major Joseph Calleia fan, I loved his performance as well.  I hadn't seen it for a while and while it's ok, it's right up there in the "convoluted plot" pantheon with "The Big Sleep." He did it.  She did it.  I did it.  Whatever . . . 

However, any movie which has a line like:  "If you have to be a nitwit, at least don't run around with a megaphone" gets at least a few points in my book.  Wonder if we have Dashiell to thank for that?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

During the scene in which William Bendix sadistically beat Alan Ladd in The Glass Key he accidentally connected on the jaw, knocking out the blonde actor. When Ladd came to the first thing he saw was Bendix in tears apologizing to him. Ladd was touched by Bendix's genuine concern and it was the beginning of a friendship. Bendix and his wife even bought a home across the street from the Ladds. While their friendship did go through a lengthy rocky period in which they didn't speak to one another off a movie set, it would later resume after Ladd made a conciliatory phone call to Bendix and last until Ladd's death in 1964. Bendix would die ten months later.

4b9f47a641ba36b8e48596ed8d51350c--radio-

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Gangsters, crooked pols, cops, wise crackin' dames, on the dull side dames, thugs, newspaper tycoons,

hangers on, fancy Dans, just slightly crooked pols, waiters, trophy wife, dumb DAs, all well done

and entertaining, but at the end of the day kind of meh. Maybe the gay subtext of Bendix (hey I

just realized there's a gs pun there) and Ladd and their hours in the rubber ball room is actually

what makes this here flick a seminal one. 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TomJH said:

During the scene in which William Bendix sadistically beat Alan Ladd in The Glass Key he accidentally connected on the jaw, knocking out the blonde actor. When Ladd came to the first thing he saw was Bendix in tears apologizing to him. Ladd was touched by Bendix's genuine concern and it was the beginning of a friendship. Bendix and his wife even bought a home across the street from the Ladds. While their friendship did go through a lengthy rocky period in which they didn't speak to one another off a movie set, it would later resume after Ladd made a conciliatory phone call to Bendix and last until Ladd's death in 1964. Bendix would die ten months later.

4b9f47a641ba36b8e48596ed8d51350c--radio-

Always amused by Bendix's hair control problem.

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked The Glass Key much better last night. Either the story was familiar enough or I could just roll with the rhythms of the film and go where it wanted to go. Snappy direction by Stuart Heisler. Great opening that just plunges us into the action and keeps right on going. Did anyone else notice the spitting motif, either on the floor or Brian Donlevy spitting out toothpaste (very clever idea to set that scene between Alan Ladd and Donlevy in the bathroom with Donlevy brushing his teeth).

I used to think Alan Ladd was a very wooden actor, but I have come to like him. He can command the screen without having to do stuff. He takes in what's happening around him but doesn't let us know what he's thinking. He's believably attractive to women. Veronica Lake, Frances Gifford (the beautiful dark-haired nurse), and Margaret Hayes as the publisher's wife all go gaga over him, and he lights up all the sadistic and homoerotic fireworks in the thuggish Jeff (William Bendix). The scenes with Bendix are fantastic. Ladd is seductive in his big scene with Nick Varna (Joseph Calleia), too. Notice how Ladd holds his cigarette, for instance. This scene shows how someone can use his sexual charm to draw out an opponent.

Eddie Muller mentioned how much other actors disliked working with Veronica Lake, but she has the charisma that all the top movie stars have. She was perfect for working with Alan Ladd because she was even shorter than he was. In The Glass Key, however, Ladd is often in shots that emphasize how much smaller he is than most of the other men. He's short but deadly. Eddie noted how violent this film was for its time.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

What?  No comments on The Glass Key, a seminal noir?  (according to Eddie.)   Maybe everyone is still trying to figure it out...it's true, the plot was even more convoluted and difficult to follow than most noirs -- and most noirs have convoluted plots !   This was maybe my fourth viewing, and it was the first time I was able to understand it - sort of.

Still, I enjoyed it; had fun watching all the actors, especially crazy William Bendix.  I love that guy.

I didn't like it. (I'd seen it before and my opinion hasn't changed).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

During the wrap-up for The Glass Key, Eddie mentioned that next weekend he would be returning to his “official Noir Alley lair” to present Barbara Stanwyck’s Witness to Murder (1954).

For fans of Noir Alley trivia, I suspect this Eddie material was recorded sometime early last year.  Witness to Murder was originally scheduled to be shown on Noir Alley the weekend of April 18, 2020, but was preempted when TCM changed things up for the virtual TCM Film Festival.  So this presentation has probably been sitting on the shelf ever since.  Regardless, as Eddie says, “you do not say no to Barbara Stanwyck!”

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

For fans of Noir Alley trivia, I suspect this Eddie material was recorded sometime early last year.  Witness to Murder was originally scheduled to be shown on Noir Alley the weekend of April 18, 2020, but was preempted when TCM changed things up for the virtual TCM Film Festival.  So this presentation has probably been sitting on the shelf ever since.  Regardless, as Eddie says, “you do not say no to Barbara Stanwyck!”

Related to "you do not say no to Barbara Stanwyck";   well one of the criticism of the film relates to this.     (SPOILER ALERT): 

Film critic Dennis Schwartz appreciated the work of cinematographer John Alton but gave the film a mixed review, writing, "The camerawork of John Alton is the star of this vehicle. His camerawork sets a dark mood of the Los Angeles scenario, escalating the dramatics with shadowy building shots. The twist in the story is that as upstanding a citizen as Stanwyck is, the authorities still side with the Nazi Sanders because he has a higher status. The noir theme of alienation is richly furnished. But the rub is in the story's credibility -- Stanwyck was just too strong a character to be so completely victimized.

  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/11/2021 at 12:42 AM, kingrat said:

 

 He's believably attractive to women. Veronica Lake, Frances Gifford (the beautiful dark-haired nurse), and Margaret Hayes as the publisher's wife all go gaga over him,

My mother was a huge Alan Ladd fan. SHANE was her favorite, but she liked this film too. In fact, her name was Eloise Matthews same as Margaret Hayes's character.  I have it recorded and paused on the credits frame where it shows her name. 

I enjoyed it as well. I thought Ladd and Lake were great together. I don't think I've seen THIS GUN FOR HIRE (probably because I thought it was a Western). I'll have to check it out if I can find it somewhere.  I wasn't as impressed with Donlevy's performance. I've seen him do better. The plot was confusing at times, but I followed it pretty well the first time I saw it. Subsequent viewings helped clear up things I missed earlier just like THE BIG SLEEP.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

::SPOILERS::

I know this was two weeks ago, but I just watched The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.  I liked it up until the ending.  Oof. That ending.  If it'd just ended a few minutes earlier, I would have really enjoyed it.  Normally, if a movie is pretty good but has a crappy ending, I can look past it.  But with 'Harry,' I felt like the tacked-on ending completely undid everything that had happened in the second half of the film.  My husband and I were watching it and were actually pretty involved in the story especially when Harry put the poison in the hot cocoa and Lettie sipped it, saying "ooh this is sweet."  Harry had used the sugar cubes to obscure the taste of the poison.  Then, Lettie volunteers to bring the cocoa up to Hester and I just knew, "oh no, she's going to give Hester the wrong cocoa."  The storyline after that fact, with Lettie basically framed for Hester's murder and Harry knowingly corroborating the maid's accusations of Lettie murdering Hester, both my husband and I were like "Yes! Go Harry."  Then the jail scene where Harry tries to confess and Lettie won't have it.  I thought , "oh man, she's going to stick it to him from the grave."  Then, all of that was undone with that ridiculous "it was just a dream scenario."  My husband and I were like, "Wait?! What?!" We felt betrayed by the ending.

Apparently the studio filmed five different endings to 'Harry' and used the one that test audiences liked the most.  I just want to tell the 1945 test audience: You made a terrible, terrible decision.  

One of the other alternate endings has Harry seeing a psychiatrist at a mental hospital and recounting the events that led to him being committed.  I think even that ending would have worked better.

The original play ending had the action ending when Lettie won't accept Harry's confession and walks away to her execution.  Harry lives the remainder of his days alone and with a guilty conscience.  That ending seems the most appropriate.  I would have loved an ending where after the murder, Deborah comes back and she and Harry live it up, finally free of his lecherous sister. 

Leave Her to Heaven had an ending similar to this, with Gene Tierney framing Jeanne Crain for her own murder just to keep a hold on Cornel Wilde from the grave, but I felt like the happy ending of 'Heaven' worked as it seemed like an appropriate conclusion--Ellen FINALLY doesn't win.  

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Witness To Murder is one of my favorites, it does seem like the B&W noir version of Hitchock's Rear Window, released that same year. I am going to go out on limb and say I like Witness slightly better. The shrill music score at the beginning gives you a clue about what you're in for. Barbara Stanwyck gives one of her best performances and our sympathy goes out to her as we know she is telling the truth and no one believes her. George Sanders is one of the most clever and hateful villains I have ever seen on film. 

I wish Muller had gone into a bit more about certain scenes and actors. So I will talk about a few things that struck me- The scene in the mental ward was very disturbing thanks to the noir like shadows and the acting of the patients. There is one tough talking bleach blonde (Claire Carlton) who thinks every man wants her. A senile old woman who keeps repeating a phrase over and over, she is played by Adeline DeWalt Reynolds, who had a memorable uncredited role 10 years before in Going My Way (1944). She played Barry Fitzgerald's elderly mother at the end. Juanita Moore plays another patient who likes singing a torch song and doesn't care if anyone likes it or not. Jesse White has some funny moments as Gary Merrill's wisecracking police partner. The final nail biting scenes reminded me of another of my favorite noirs The Window (1949)

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I too, thoroughly enjoyed WITNESS TO MURDER.  Barbara Stanwyck was as good as ever and George Sanders played the smarmy, egotistical villain perfectly. The only problem I have is the last few scenes where Cheryl, while fleeing, climbs to the top of a high rise building under construction. Of course she was afraid and not thinking clearly, but that eliminates any option of escape. (SPOILER ALERT) It did set up the ultimate and dramatic demise of Richter so I get why it was done.  Maybe I'm being too picky. Anyway, it was an entertaining film.  It was also interesting how this film compares with REAR WINDOW.  I think I like the Hitchcock movie better, but WTM was good too

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

WITNESS TO MURDER, oy, where do I begin -- very disappointed.   Stanny in soft focus??  I thought she was a vanity-free actress (when gray hairs came in, she proudly showed them off).  The vaseline lens was, well, distracting, to say the least.  Her character never asked "Who is it?" when the doorbell rang.  Not a wise strategy when you are convinced someone is going to kill you.   Of course she flees to the top of that high rise under construction -- it's what victims do in movies.  (I'm reminded of the young daughter in CAPE FEAR, who knows that slimy Robert Mitchum is following her down the street, so what does she do?  Stay outside and run to the nearest police station?  No, she heads back inside the school building after everyone has been let out for the day).  Missy is one of my favorites but I don't think this was one of her more effective roles. I would have preferred someone with a more passive persona, along the lines, say, of a Betsy Drake, even though I can't stand the woman.  I can never enjoy a Gary Merrill performance because his perpetual five o'clock shadow always precedes him, lol.   I will say that George Sanders gives a fabulous performance.  The scene where his character, in talking-villain mode, starts spouting German to Babs is supremely creepy.   Lots of eerie shots -- the wind-swept apartment canopy, plus certain camera angles.   But the mental ward was a bit over the top for me -- quite campy, in fact.  

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I also like Witness to Murder a bit more than Rear WindowRear Window may be the more interesting of the two, but there's a sleazy element that makes it unpleasant to watch. I especially like the scenes with only Cheryl and Richter. They really convey that Cheryl is the biggest threat to Richter and make it believable that he would become obsessed with killing or discrediting her. I thought Stanwyck's intelligence and strength actually made the plot a bit more convincing. You could see Cheryl continually trying to figure out what she can do that will finally convince the police to take her seriously.

But I also don't love the ending, even though I did like how it was shot. I'm not sure what I would have preferred that would have fit the time the film was made, however.

  • Like 3
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...