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49 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

Another no vote for the intros/bumpers.  Especially bad for Noir Alley.  Those bright colors and silly techno muzak would go great with Adventures of Malibu Barbie however.

Thoroughly enjoyed Drive a Crooked Mile. My experience with Mickey Rooney is limited to his Andy Hardy stuff and very little of that, so his portrayal of this unassuming, mild mannered mechanic is quite refreshing. It all worked with the possible exception of someone of Dianne Foster's looks making a play for scarface Rooney. She was trying too hard, but on the other hand, maybe she had to in order to crack Rooney's naive shell. 

The Southern Cal import shop was pure eye candy. MG, Porsche, Jag, all the primary food groups were represented. Then the familiar beach rental, it's still there.

 

And so clean.  The floors, the bays and everybody's shop coat.  I think Mickey was the only one I ever saw any grease or dirt on.  I thought interesting to see Kelly driving an older Packard at the end when he was driving Mickey to his doom.

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Sorry, but I find it hard to watch Rooney in most adult roles due to his short physical stature.

I try to ignore it but it's like trying not to think of a pink elephant. How did you get that scar

on your head? I walked into a doorknob. Personally wise this guy could have used a good shot

of Andy Hardy goofy enthusiasm. What a stiff. Not good looking, the personality of a cactus.

What woman wouldn't go for him? You do feel a little sorry for the poor slob, even if he is

clueless. I figured the bank robbers would have let old Mick drive that road to get a feel for

it instead of taking movies. Dumb. In general not too bad a movie, but nothing special. Might

have had a good gay subtext with two handsome dudes living in a beach house and having

Mickey come over and watch movies of guys diving. Hmmmm. I noticed that Jack Kelly looks

a bit like Dirk Bogarde from some angles. One of my grandfathers had a Hillman Minx. I

don't remember it that much except for the unusual name. He came to his senses and bought

a Ford Falcon. 

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On 9/6/2021 at 1:08 PM, JamesJazGuitar said:

Next week on Noir Alley is Drive a Crooked Road.      Odd that the poster say "a new" Rooney;     He had made two other noir\crime films before this one:  Quicksand and The Strip.

Drive a Crooked Road (1954) | OldMoviesaregreat

 

Another winner from Eddie, the best host this station has.   It's a shame they bury him with one movie a week, shown after midnight on the East coast, like some old  underground relic.   Actually, Underground gets more airtime.  Then they remove the sultry horn that signaled us and replace it with some generic technopop.  Brilliant.

But back to the movie... I loved this "new" if not exactly great Mickey Rooney.   The cocky little **** was gone, replaced by a sympathetic, or even pathetic,  working stiff.  His co-workers were over-the-top, and the plot wasn't really believable to me.  Why would a criminal gang need to risk so much just for the services of a getaway driver?  But overall I enjoyed the ride!

 

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Rooney plays it low-key and understated. His character is depressed and emotionless. He gets beaten down over his height by nearly everyone (Paul Picerni-- before joining The Untouchables-- is one of his  jerk coworkers)  and Rooney just accepts it. (Even Eddie in his intro calls Rooney "pint-size.") It's a  complete reversal of his usual hyperactive movie personality. This approach greatly helps the movie. The plot device of robbers hiring a racer to drive the getaway car was done more dynamically in The Killers with Ronald Reagan and Norman Fell. After the long buildup, the robbery, getaway and climax lacked tension and suspense but overall it was a well-made crime thriller with solid acting across the board.

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JAMESJAZGUITAR  (by the way, did you have to pay a consulting firm $1.25 million to rebrand the old JAMESJAZZGUITAR?  I'll admit that the double "zz" was a bit outdated and stuck in the past, while the single "z" is much more up-to-date and eye-catching It should prove phenomenal in attracting a young demographic followership)

I haven't followed all the barrels full of posts on this thread, so I may have missed a few things.  But I'm glad you brought up the MoviesTV channel, which started on our cable line-up about a year ago.  Even with commercials and some editing, the movies they have been showing have been pretty good -- nice mix of old and new.  I notice that TCM and MoviesTV seem to buy the same movie packages, as often the same movies show up on the two different channels.  I've even see a few times that the exact same movie is running on both channels at the same time.

Now, they do have Thursday, some of Friday, and Sunday night devoted to Noir movies; and by and large they are pretty good -- and the commercials don't really get in the way too much, for my taste.  Where the movies do bog down are the big epics -- Cleopatra, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, etc.  The running times get well into at least 4 hours.  

James, thanks for pointing out what's going on over at this MoviesTV channel.  That channel, plus METV, Grit, and a recent something called Decades are our favorite places to go for the evenings any more.  Sadly, only TCM once in a while, I'm afraid.

 

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I flip my dial away from TCM when it shows Über-long movies, I'd say, 9 times out of 10.   Once in a while I'll leave DOCTOR ZHIVAGO on because I like the wintry settings that permeate various parts of the movie.  I don't like the desert so Lawrence of Arabia gets turned off all the time.  

There's just not many movies that run over 150 minutes that I really like.  Just a handful.  One of them is A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984), btw.

ALSO . . .

@Vautrin:  So yer granddad bought a FORD FALCON, eh?  Do you recall what year Falcon it was?  I'm rather biased toward Ford Falcons; I've had a Falcon since 1989.  I like it.  :)  

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Spoilers

Neat ending. The little guy will pay for his crime but the end note of a bureau with trophies suggests that he paid for his crime and went on to great things. Mickey Rooney was great! Such naturalness, he always had that. It was particularly evident in the Andy Hardy series (Oh c'mon stop laughing, boyish enthusiasm ad nauseum, but still good). He acquired his skill for having been in movies almost before he was born. Other actors have striven for this and they succeed somewhat but you could still see they were acting. Mickey Rooney doesn't act, he just is. A letter perfect performance IMHO. I will go out on a limb. Mick was so great that his consummate skill of coming across as natural rubbed off on the other actors, I could almost seeing them emulating him without perhaps even realizing it. This last point, maybe not ; but I suspect it, that's my opinion. Don't mistake Mick of simply being low-key or heaven forbid bland, none of this at all, he was great. And to happily belabor the point, Mickey Rooney received a rather generous accolade from Sir Lawrence Olivier. Okay big deal, though Larry did after all know a thing or two about acting and I imagine he had a pretty good eye for it. I believe he was being probed to mention truly find actors, even his favorite actor of all. He mentioned the name Mickey Rooney. Perhaps not to say definitely that Mick was his favorite or the greatest, but the comment was in this context.

As already pointed out, Eddie's likening of Dianne Foster to Rita Hayworth was correct. It was so astonishing at first that I almost groaned. But Dianne comes into her own with a fine performance and the likening became blurred as the movie progressed. She was herself and fine. Also already mentioned Barbara Mathews went through the motions of Femme Fatale but she was indeed most "reluctant." Did someone mention earlier that Barbara fell for Eddie Shannon. Or How could anyone fall for stiff like this or something like that. She did not love Eddie. He was a decent guy, that's all. She feared abject guilt if things went wrong and Eddie went to prison. But I think she was decent enough to feel for him personally, she did not want him to go to prison.

It wasn't practicable for Eddie to do a trial run of the crooked road. First, it would take extra minutes that the movie could ill afford, and second and most importantly it would detract from the absolute thrill of the actual run during the robbery. Yes, I said thrilling. By rights, it should probably not be thought as necessarily anything special but I loved it. I thought it was quite dramatic and exciting.

I have never been a real fan of Kevin McCarthy. There is generally a stiffness in his acting. But he is not bad. He survives. And Jack Kelly who I have not seen in anything but Maverick. Interesting how the two bad guys differ. Kevin is the brains and someone you could trust so long you were also a bad guy whereas Jack appeared a bit on the wild side and perhaps a loose cannon of sorts. Interest to me that they didn't cast these parts with actors with more of a sinister gait, actors known for bad guys. But maybe a good decision that they did not. Perhaps too obvious and the movie did not need them. There is a fine verisimilitude to the story. I did not notice any overt noir elements but I can miss things like that. 

Did I read above somewhere (sorry, to lazy to look and it is late) that Eddie Muller pointed out a plot hole. I saw the mention but not what it was. And so I conjecture, was it by chance that the car was unlocked allowing Harold Baker (Kelly) to get in the car? Boy, that was glaring.

"Eddie Shannon ran into a door." Very funny. They did not want to make Eddie hideous but they wanted him to be almost excessively unattractive and apparently being of small stature (euphemism for 'pipsqueak") was not enough so they cursed him with a scar. "Some scars can be attractive," says Barbara. But this one wasn't. I did not see it clearly until he stands there in the Malibu sun stammering and shifting uncomfortably as she flirts with him. And wow what a doozy. His face looked like a road map.

"On a clear night you can see Catalina Island"

A good way to establish the setting.

PS : Just for balance, Mickey Rooney can be annoying. Puck. Not all bad but definitely annoying at times, all that forced giggling)

///

 

 

 

 

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Mickey Rooney just comes off as too obnoxious in a lot of his roles for me, that's why I've never considered him all that as an actor, certainly not on the level of Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda, James Cagney, Fredric March, or Laurence Olivier.

Which is not to say he's really a BAD actor per se, there have been performances that he has wowed me in (NATIONAL VELVET, BOYS TOWN, THE BLACK STALLION, the tv-movie BILL). 

I would never say Rooney was ever 'bland' but in large enough doses he can be too much for me to take. That's why I never got into any of the Andy Hardy films, or his 'let's put on a show' schtick in most of the movies he did with Judy Garland.

 

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I agree with Laffite's opinion. About what Eddie said about the Rita Hayworth   comparaison it is true Foster  looked like Rita,  Hayworth's career was going nowhere then.  She did not do any film for 3 or 4 years (between 54 to 57),Harry Cohn at Columbia was already grooming Kim Novak for stardom,but it is true he could have annoyed Hayworth with Foster but for what purpose? He used Foster for a movie suitable for Hayworth but she was more or less gone then.She was no longer a big star and Monroe  with Niagara's build up was already the new sex symbol. I  see a  similarity in Foster  with  a young Julie Newmar as far as her face only ,I felt they have similar features maybe the eyes,my opinion.

 

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19 hours ago, ElCid said:

And so clean.  The floors, the bays and everybody's shop coat.  I think Mickey was the only one I ever saw any grease or dirt on.  I thought interesting to see Kelly driving an older Packard at the end when he was driving Mickey to his doom.

I've never seen a garage like that! Is that what garages in Beverly Hills look like? :D And so spacious! It seemed like a block long.

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17 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Sorry, but I find it hard to watch Rooney in most adult roles due to his short physical stature.

I try to ignore it but it's like trying not to think of a pink elephant. How did you get that scar

on your head? I walked into a doorknob. Personally wise this guy could have used a good shot

of Andy Hardy goofy enthusiasm. What a stiff. Not good looking, the personality of a cactus.

What woman wouldn't go for him? You do feel a little sorry for the poor slob, even if he is

clueless. I figured the bank robbers would have let old Mick drive that road to get a feel for

it instead of taking movies. Dumb. In general not too bad a movie, but nothing special. Might

have had a good gay subtext with two handsome dudes living in a beach house and having

Mickey come over and watch movies of guys diving. Hmmmm. I noticed that Jack Kelly looks

a bit like Dirk Bogarde from some angles. One of my grandfathers had a Hillman Minx. I

don't remember it that much except for the unusual name. He came to his senses and bought

a Ford Falcon. 

How tall was Rooney? He seemed barely 5 foot tall in this movie. Foster towered over him. Eddie said he was 34 in this film, but he looked 44! The film was ok. Seemed like a lot of prep work for a bank robbery though.

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Some folks have mentioned a certain naturalness and seemingly “un” acting quality of Rooney, and I agree.  But it was only in glimpses that we saw this in Crooked Road.  The movie he really shines in is Requiem for a Heavyweight.

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17 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I flip my dial away from TCM when it shows Über-long movies, I'd say, 9 times out of 10.   Once in a while I'll leave DOCTOR ZHIVAGO on because I like the wintry settings that permeate various parts of the movie.  I don't like the desert so Lawrence of Arabia gets turned off all the time.  

There's just not many movies that run over 150 minutes that I really like.  Just a handful.  One of them is A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984), btw.

ALSO . . .

@Vautrin:  So yer granddad bought a FORD FALCON, eh?  Do you recall what year Falcon it was?  I'm rather biased toward Ford Falcons; I've had a Falcon since 1989.  I like it.  :)  

I think it was probably a mid 1960s Falcon, probably 1963 or '64. As I recall it was a bit on the boxy side,

but other than that it was a good car. I don't mind long movies if they are ones I enjoy, but just length for

length's sake is not a good experience. 

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6 hours ago, Hibi said:

How tall was Rooney? He seemed barely 5 foot tall in this movie. Foster towered over him. Eddie said he was 34 in this film, but he looked 44! The film was ok. Seemed like a lot of prep work for a bank robbery though.

He did look old too. I remember a few scenes in Quicksand of medium shots with Rooney in silhouette

with Jeanne Cagney at the arcade. It looks more like she is treating her nephew than being on a date. I

believe they wanted to beat the police barricades being set up and so were focused on being able to do that.

If I were Rooney I would have carried a gun because McCarthy and Kelly weren't above double crossing

him. I'm also guessing that the garage mechanics' catcalls were a lot more tame than they would have

been in real life.

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Laffite, the (admittedly bad) joke is running into a doorknob. And Kelly sounded like he was rehearsing 

a stand up routine. Even Kevin got tired of it. It wouldn't have been necessary to show Micky practice

driving the whole road, just a part of it that would have taken just a few minutes to include. But no

biggie.

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Olivier also thought of Cary Grant as the ultimate actor.  I think he was enamored with certain comedic actors because, as great as he was, comedy was something he found very difficult, yet Rooney and Grant made it look easy.  

In The Hardy Boys movies I find him endearing.  It seems Crooked Road went out of their way to make him as dull as possible, almost with no personality at all.  Still he pulled it  off and became sympathetic.  I also enjoyed that getaway scene.

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3 hours ago, Katie_G said:

. . . yet Rooney and Grant made it look easy. 

In The Hardy Boys Andy Hardy movies I find him endearing.

The Hardy Boys didn't enter the video spectrum until 1969 with Ricky Nelson, when Rooney was in his 50's.

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On 9/12/2021 at 8:43 PM, jameselliot said:

Rooney plays it low-key and understated. His character is depressed and emotionless. He gets beaten down over his height by nearly everyone (Paul Picerni-- before joining The Untouchables-- is one of his  jerk coworkers)  and Rooney just accepts it. (Even Eddie in his intro calls Rooney "pint-size.") It's a  complete reversal of his usual hyperactive movie personality. This approach greatly helps the movie. The plot device of robbers hiring a racer to drive the getaway car was done more dynamically in The Killers with Ronald Reagan and Norman Fell. After the long buildup, the robbery, getaway and climax lacked tension and suspense but overall it was a well-made crime thriller with solid acting across the board.

I've noticed that in many of his films, Rooney is described as ugly and a troll- including the Andy Hardy films.  Kind of feel sorry for him although he obviously had a way with attractive women in his real life.

I enjoyed seeing him in this role.  I saw his performance in Pulp and loved it, but this was from his younger days and a refreshing change of pace from his other performances at the time.

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5 hours ago, wbogacz said:

In The Hardy Boys Andy Hardy movies I find him endearing.

The Hardy Boys didn't enter the video spectrum until 1969 with Ricky Nelson, when Rooney was in his 50's.

Disney had a go at the material as a serial on the old Mickey Mouse Club too, in the 1950s.

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