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The movie gets it's title from the audience who is hell bound while watching. Actually I don't really mean that. Eddie gave us as choice, it is either "awful trash" or it is "really fun trash." Definitely the latter. At least we get all that funky music and exaggerated sound effects. And the exterior location shots were cool, though certainly not beautiful. John Russell has an extraordinarily powerful screen presence, a big guy with chiseled face a cartoon-y aspect. A cross between Dick Tracy and Joe Palooka (although use your imagination a little with the latter). I winced heavily at the nasty scene when the girl got slapped around. I was actually disturbed with that. Showing a huge lug like that kicking a dame around.  Stanley Adams as Herbert Fay is breathtakingly unprepossessing but I sort of like his acting though it was anything but great. I'm not sure I was paying attention at full throttle since I don't seem to have much to say about the girls. They were both pretty good. I loved the scene where one of them was trying to fit into her dress and someone knocks on the door. That was very funny.. Hey, this movie gets better and better just talking about it.

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Hell Bound was better than I expected and worth viewing.   A couple of years ago I got hooked on Lawman with John Russel.  He was fairly good in it, if a little stiff.  However, I think stiff is his normal acting characteristic.   The crime in Hell Bound seemed a little too complicated, which is why it fell apart in the end.  As for the ending, Russell could have just moved to the other end of the car.  I wondered about the worker on the ground not checking the car before giving crane operator the OK to drop the junk load.  Also, couldn't the crane operator see into the car?

Another Bel Air movie is The Girl in Black Stockings, also released in 1957.  Better than Hell Bound.  It was filmed in Kanab UT, primarily at the Parry Lodge.  The Lodge is an actual place and has been used by many productions as a place to stay when filming in the area - Glen, Bryce and Zion Canyons for example.   Stuart Whitman had a small role in Girl.  

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Gotta love the subtext diggs the film  gets in on Jordan Paula telling him he should go see a doctor when she doesn't feel any response to her kiss and pelvic machinations. Then later when  Jordan confronts her his weapon (knife) it's only 2 inches long. lol

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Where are you Miss Wonderly????

Ya ever notice that Miss Wonderly writes voluminously about the Noir Alley screenings but it's usually a few days after the fact that we see it and then she wonders why she gets no replies?

Just kidding.

 

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I really liked Hell Bound. The performances were good. John Russell was ruthless as Jordan and I thought June Blair was very good as Paula. She is sexy and at first seems to be after every guy, but she shows real affection for Stuart Whitman as Eddie. I liked her scene with the dying child as well. The plan was an interesting premise and I liked the opening sequence showing how the plan would work. 

The ending sequence was great on Terminal Island seeing the abandoned cars all piled up. The locations added a lot to this film. 

I have never heard of this movie so I am glad it was shown as it is very enjoyable. 

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10 minutes ago, Athos said:

I really liked Hell Bound. The performances were good. John Russell was ruthless as Jordan and I thought June Blair was very good as Paula. She is sexy and at first seems to be after every guy, but she shows real affection for Stuart Whitman as Eddie. I liked her scene with the dying child as well. The plan was an interesting premise and I liked the opening sequence showing how the plan would work. 

The ending sequence was great on Terminal Island seeing the abandoned cars all piled up. The locations added a lot to this film. 

I have never heard of this movie so I am glad it was shown as it is very enjoyable. 

I thought it interesting that Russell needed money to finance the operation, but he had enough to hire actors, camera people, access to a ship and a Public Health Services craft,  etc.  I would prefer the old fashioned way where the crook lays it all out on paper for the financiers. 

June Blair was good enough, but I question whether a "first aid book" would have provided the necessary training for her to substitute as a nurse on an ambulance and apparently for one week.

EDIT:  Speaking of June Blair, we have a Christmas episode of Ozzie and Harriett on DVD where the Nelson boys and their wives are in the closing scene, along with a very young Tracy Nelson.  I will probably never look at it again without thinking of June and Playboy.

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2 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Fell asleep after the intro Saturday and today as well, darn it.

Eddie's appearance was somewhat alarming to me -- he looked haggard.  Hope nothing is amiss with him.

Yes, it is somewhat disturbing.  You look at yourself in the mirror every day and there is no change, you see an old friend after some time and the change is shocking.  Yeah, I’m with ya bronxgirl, don’t let it be a health issue,  Eddie is irreplaceable.  And a good film man.

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My husband is more of a sports guy and rarely watches movies of any kind.  He especially doesn't get my fondness for noir and thinks they're all kind of alike - cheap and trashy.  I can see why someone would think that, but of course we know they can vary widely.  He did watch part of Hell Bound and I can't repeat his comments on the board, but let's just say he wasn't impressed and is now using it to add weight to his argument.

I enjoyed Hell Bound, but am glad he quit before the scene of June Blair being killed with a paring knife and the camera lingering on her dead feet, or I'd never hear the end of it.

 

Oh, and Maltese Falcon and Out of the Past are correct!    I'll update the board after Hell Bound has been thoroughly discussed.  

 

 

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On 9/21/2021 at 10:55 PM, Katie_G said:

Just practicing my free linked pics skills ...

One reviewer called Hell Bound  "Like "The Killing" But with Foot Fetishism and Trains"  😄

Hell_Bound_poster.jpg

 

I guess in terms of a carefully planned heist gone awry,  Hell Bound  does bear some similarities to The Killing.  But there are many noirs about carefully planned heists that go awry,  so I'm not sure it's any more similar to The Killing than to any of the others .  And the "gang" in The Killing, even though they're a pretty disparate group,  seem a little more cohesive  than the people Jordan  ( the John Russell character) tries to co-opt. For one thing,  there's  no harpie-like female character like Marie Windsor's to throw a very twisted wrench into the works.  ( In fact,  ironically, the female lead in Hell Bound undergoes a transformation  in which she ends up turning into a sincerely  "good" character.)

Main lesson of the story: If trying to organize a complicated heist,  do not enlist the participation of a type 1 diabetic , nor a heroin addict.

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4 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Where are you Miss Wonderly????

Ya ever notice that Miss Wonderly writes voluminously about the Noir Alley screenings but it's usually a few days after the fact that we see it and then she wonders why she gets no replies?

Just kidding.

 

Joe,  fact is  I always watch Noir Alley on Sunday morning  (Saturday night doesn't work for me ),  and since I'm an Anglican minister I have to fit it in with my church obligations.  Sometimes I try to tie in the sermon with the moral lessons depicted in film noir.

Oh, not really.  But I am busy on Sundays  ( nothing to do with church, though)  and often don't have time to post here until,  yes,  a few days later.

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22 minutes ago, Thompson said:

Congratulations on the Blue Jays.  

I really,  really want the Jays to  win one of the Wild Card spots in these last few days of the season.  But they're still only in 4th place,  and the always great Yankees and Red Sox are also winning a lot,  so still a ways to go. Plus a series with the Seattle Mariners coming up.

Also,  that was not good,  that rookie pitcher on purpose throwing a ball at that Tampa Bay guy.   If the Jays had a problem with something   (which I believe had been resolved by that time, anyway )  they should deal with it through formal channels,  not hitting a batter with a deliberately wild pitch. 

I think their winning streak fizzled out a bit after that.  But now they've moved on,  so we'll see.

Baseball is under-rated by those who don't understand it.  It's a beautiful and elegant game.

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15 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I really,  really want the Jays to  win one of the Wild Card spots in these last few days of the season.  But they're still only in 4th place,  and the always great Yankees and Red Sox are also winning a lot,  so still a ways to go. Plus a series with the Seattle Mariners coming up.

 

I'd love for the Jays to get that wild card spot and make one of those big spenders gnash their teeth.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hell Bound, although it was astonishingly violent for 1957. Sharp direction and cinematography, and I loved the LA location work. Although it may not have been so believable, I loved the opening gambit (deliberate choice of words). John Russell and June Blair provided what their roles demanded. As promised, the film delivered on "foot fetishism and trains." An unusual opening, an unusual ending, and an unusual direction for the femme fatale: that's quite a lot for a B movie.

 

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A few random thoughts on Hell Bound.  I'll try not to write too voluminously.

It held my interest,  but probably wouldn't have if it had been much longer.  None of the actors were very good, but that's ok,  because the kind of acting they did sort of fit with the B movie style.  Actually,  I'd call it a C movie.  But that's ok,  sometimes I like C movies.

I really liked the way the lead female character started out as a potential femme fatale but then  sort of evolved into a nice sweet girl who loves little kids and just wants to marry the decent intern   ( I didn't know interns,  as in student doctors, drove ambulances,  but maybe they did back then.)  It was kind of unexpected and refreshing.   Also nice that   SPOILER      she did not die from  Jordan's vicious  knife attack.

Best scene in the movie was the final one at the trolley car graveyard.  What Alain Silver calls a "terrain vague".  First the trolley cars all piled up on each other,  than the huge pile of scrap metal beside them.  You'd think Jordan could have found somewhere to effectively hide  in all  that,  rather than running round and jumping into a train car destined for huge jagged chunks of steel.  Oh well,  he was a nasty piece of work anyway.

By the way,  I am closely related to someone who's a type 1 diabetic,  and even I got confused  by the whole thing with the Stanley Adams  ( ?) character,  the medical officer who was supposed to fake a diabetic "low", then inject himself with an insulin overdose  ( which makes your blood sugar plummet and can cause seizures,  loss of consciousness, and yes,  death  ).  I couldn't figure out whether he 'd had too much insulin or not enough or was sick from the insulin or from his blood sugar being too high -- although the death from that is actually a lot more gradual. Anyway,   if  I, the mother of a type 1 diabetic,  couldn't figure out what was going on with all that,  I doubt most of the viewers could.

The foot /slipping off the shoes  thing was a bit silly. Became kind of a running joke.

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16 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

A few random thoughts on Hell Bound.  I'll try not to write too voluminously.

It held my interest,  but probably wouldn't have if it had been much longer.  None of the actors were very good, but that's ok,  because the kind of acting they did sort of fit with the B movie style.  Actually,  I'd call it a C movie.  But that's ok,  sometimes I like C movies.

I really liked the way the lead female character started out as a potential femme fatale but then  sort of evolved into a nice sweet girl who loves little kids and just wants to marry the decent intern   ( I didn't know interns,  as in student doctors, drove ambulances,  but maybe they did back then.)  It was kind of unexpected and refreshing.   Also nice that   SPOILER      she did not die from  Jordan's vicious  knife attack.

Best scene in the movie was the final one at the trolley car graveyard.  What Alain Silver calls a "terrain vague".  First the trolley cars all piled up on each other,  than the huge pile of scrap metal beside them.  You'd think Jordan could have found somewhere to effectively hide  in all  that,  rather than running round and jumping into a train car destined for huge jagged chunks of steel.  Oh well,  he was a nasty piece of work anyway.

By the way,  I am closely related to someone who's a type 1 diabetic,  and even I got confused  by the whole thing with the Stanley Adams  ( ?) character,  the medical officer who was supposed to fake a diabetic "low", then inject himself with an insulin overdose  ( which makes your blood sugar plummet and can cause seizures,  loss of consciousness, and yes,  death  ).  I couldn't figure out whether he 'd had too much insulin or not enough or was sick from the insulin or from his blood sugar being too high -- although the death from that is actually a lot more gradual. Anyway,   if  I, the mother of a type 1 diabetic,  couldn't figure out what was going on with all that,  I doubt most of the viewers could.

The foot /slipping off the shoes  thing was a bit silly. Became kind of a running joke.

Speaking of B and C movies, often wonder what to call many of the the less than A movies.  OK, B was for the ones in 30's, 40's and so forth that played on the bottom of the billing after the A movie.  Was it still a B movie if it was the only movie at the theater or on a double billing with another B movie?  My home town had two theaters - one for A movies and one for the "others."  The others were either B or Saturday morning kiddie movies or 2nd or 3rd running of an A movie.  I actually don't remember seeing a lot of double features when I was in high school or college in the 60's.  Maybe they had died out by then.

Then there were straight to drive-in movies.  Guess they would be D movies?

If you want to see less than B movies, check out Tubi and its Shout and other providers.  Must be thousands of them.  Not saying there are not good movies there, but a lot of less than A ones to choose from.

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I suggested showing Hell Bound on this message board 4 years ago so I'm glad Eddie got around to  programming it. (Do TCM personnel even read this board?)  As mentioned above, what could go wrong staging a robbery with a junkie going into withdrawal symptoms, an overweight diabetic with a heart issue and a double-crossing moll? Nuthin'!  The locations are a historic time capsule that makes this film extra memorable. 

Little moments sprinkled in the script have an unusual edge, even for a heist film full of kinky characters. I don't think it was as bare bones as described in the Nor Alley intro. When John Russell goes to see Stanley Addams, his clerk announces him as Mr. Natas. [Satan] There's an early line that Russell throws at Frank Fenton about his fake robbery movie: "You can always sell it as a TV series." Then there's the  photographic emphasis on  good bad-girl June Blair's feet and shoes, repeated numerous times.

Russell was great in this and when he goes into a rage, he's very believable whereas when an actor like Jack Palance or Rod Steiger exploded, it was so over the top, it was funny. He makes the same mistake we see in many other movies and TV shows, not checking to see if his victim is actually dead before leaving. Either way, the robbery would have failed because his accomplice hiring skills were poor except for bad good-girl Margo Woode.  Dehl Berti (aka Daddy) looked like actor Larry Blyden (Twilight Zone, Thriller). (The concept of a blind heroin dealer attending a strip show is like something out of the Twilight Zone.)

 

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The foot is a major thing, especially a bare female foot.  Then the ankle, the calf, the thigh, good Lord all the way up there and any man would simply pass out rather than try to describe that.  The poor guy is at a lost for words. 

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I just wanted to op in here and say thank goodness for Eddie Muller.  The film selection he brought us this week is an example of why I admire him.  Just when I get to feeling smug about my knowledge of film noir, Mr. Muller brings us a selection which, not only had I never seen, I'd never even heard of Hell Bound.

Another thing I love about Muller is that it's apparent he writes his own intros/outros, and while that may be true for some of the other hosts, I just don't see it. I get the impression they're simply reading copy off the teleprompter, which was written by an intern. Eddie Muller, on the other hand, comes across as geuinely knowledgeable.

By the way- and perhaps it's already been discussed in this thread- what is the deal with the stutter in that print of Hell Bound? Is this perhaps an artifact of worn-out sprocket holes in the print from which the transfer was made? It's funny, because I didn't really mind it. This stutter seems appropriate for a film like this, along with things like muddy sound and poor splicing.

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Ho hum. I recall Eduardo saying something like Don't think this is amateur hour. But it pretty much was.

This guy was about as much a criminal mastermind as Dudley Do Right. The actors he hired the first

time around did a much better job than real folks did. Should have stuck with the actors. I don't mind

trashy low-budget flicks, but this one was pretty much by the numbers, except for the last five minutes

or so, the chase through the junkyard and the bad guy's death by heavy metal. That was kind of neat.

I checked June Blair's old Playboy shoot on the net and she didn't expose very much anyway. Playboy

was pretty tame in its early years. At least foot fetishists will enjoy the movie.

 

About a week ago the Yankees were trailing the Red Sox and Blue Jays by a couple of games. But the

Bronx bastards are now in second place in the wild card race. Things don't look good for the Jays,

though they still have a narrow window to pull it out.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Fell asleep after the intro Saturday and today as well, darn it.

Eddie's appearance was somewhat alarming to me -- he looked haggard.  Hope nothing is amiss with him.

I don't blame you for falling asleep. Not that he is boring, but he just seems to go on and on and often the later part of the segment involves minutia that I am not particularly interested in. I don't think about this in advance but I usually end up fast forwarding to the movie; on with it, already.  

Re Eddie, I made a similar comment a few weeks ago. He certainly looked alright during the segments with Mank recently but they might have been taped awhile back. But I agree, he doesn't appear to be quite in the pink. But I certainly hope that he is.

1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

The foot /slipping off the shoes  thing was a bit silly. Became kind of a running joke.

Isn't that something that sometimes appears in comedies?

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1 hour ago, unwatchable said:

I just wanted to op in here and say thank goodness for Eddie Muller.  The film selection he brought us this week is an example of why I admire him.  Just when I get to feeling smug about my knowledge of film noir, Mr. Muller brings us a selection which, not only had I never seen, I'd never even heard of Hell Bound.

Another thing I love about Muller is that it's apparent he writes his own intros/outros, and while that may be true for some of the other hosts, I just don't see it. I get the impression they're simply reading copy off the teleprompter, which was written by an intern. Eddie Muller, on the other hand, comes across as geuinely knowledgeable.

By the way- and perhaps it's already been discussed in this thread- what is the deal with the stutter in that print of Hell Bound? Is this perhaps an artifact of worn-out sprocket holes in the print from which the transfer was made? It's funny, because I didn't really mind it. This stutter seems appropriate for a film like this, along with things like muddy sound and poor splicing.

Try adjusting the setting on your TV.  Sometimes turning on Film Mode or whatever term the manufacturer uses can remove the stuttering.

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Thanks for that, James. It might have been my satellite  causing the stutter (I recorded the midnight showing of this film), but it sure seemed in sync with 24 fps. I haven't seen it since. Anyway, if no one else saw it, never mind.  :D

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