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Yeah, the psychology was sketchy.  First time William Holden actually annoyed me in a film, but he was young and still learning his craft I suppose.  My favorite part was Eddie saying he didn't like it.

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Well KATIE, I couldn't care LESS about what Eddie likes or dislikes.  Never could tolerate that buffoon.

 

But THOMPSON'S claim of classical music being boring....?

Well I like classical music but too, gotta admit quite a bit of it can be boring.  Same with a lot of jazz.  And a lot of rock music can be annoying and over formulaic.  AND the same goes for country, hip-hop, rap and that pre-pubescent  "pop" music that's the main feature of every Grammy awards show.  But not all of those genres can be thus classified.  

Tell the truth, I don't think Sinatra was the greatest singer ever too.  But that doesn't mean I think he wasn't any good.  I preferred Nat King Cole when it came to the genres Frank also sang in too.    And although I also can say Bill Holden wasn't my favorite actor, I must admit I thought he did well with most of the roles he was given.  "Fast"?  "Slow"?  Those are acting referrals that are still too ambiguous to entertain.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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On 10/17/2021 at 5:01 PM, misswonderly3 said:

Third viewing for me of The Dark Past.  It's ok,  but will never be right up there in the pantheon of Great or even Pretty Good noirs.  And as some have observed,  it's more a "psychobabble" drama than a noir -- not that I get bogged down in labels.

I always like William Holden, so that's a plus in this film.   I also like Nina Foch.  For some reason,  I sometimes get her mixed up with Patricia Neal, even though they don't really look alike.  Something about them both being good actresses and attractive women, both were in some fine movies,  but never made it to "A List" Hollywood actresses -- maybe by choice.

I rarely enjoy filmed plays; you can always tell, they're so static.  Everything set in one room  ( or two, as in TDP.)  Maybe because I was already familiar with the story,  I paid attention to little details I hadn't noticed on my other viewings.

For  one thing,  I get a kick out of the set details,  things like that ceramic dog that's used as a bookend.  And for some reason I think it's kind of funny that despite the tension of the situation,  it's sort of cozy,  what with the chess game and the fire.  A cozy fire while the escaped convicts hold everyone prisoner.   They should have had home made soup and French bread to complete the scene.  But then, the people who could provide the comfort food were locked in the basement.

And  what's up with that?  How come the two servants were whisked away apart from everyone else?  Of course, to give them the opportunity to escape unnoticed...at least,  the stronger of the two did.  I don't think they needed to present the other servant as so hysterical and annoying. I think the "strong" servant was Kathryn Card.  The other servant,  the whiney one,  is not even credited on wiki, even though I have seen this actress many times, she was just doing what the script called her to do.  Anyway,  I just think it's funny that even the thugs were "classist" and separated the "help" from the rich people.   Upstairs Downstairs.

I do sometimes tire of all those "psychology" dramas so beloved by producers in the '40s and '50s.  It all seems so dated now,  and as others have mentioned,  they make for very talky films.   I also doubt that Holden's character,  even if not shot down by the police  ( as in Blind Alley)  would have been allowed to live and undergo psychological counselling -- he shot that warden in the back,  in cold blood, and I don't think claiming he imagined it was his father would have been an acceptable defence to a judge or jury.  

Too bad the kid was caught after he tried to escape...I was rooting for him.  But at least the cook had better luck.

Oh,  one other "detail" I observed...One of the female guests  ( Adele Jergens?) , the one who was flirting with another guest in front of her husband...how come she's dressed to the nines like that?  Black evening gown, high heels, and jewellery,  this in a country  "cottage" supposedly for a relaxing weekend playing chess and hunting  (  while,  maybe not her ).  The outfit seems so incongrous to the situation.  Oh well,  she did have to look good for the guy she was flirting with,  even though the script makes him look weaker than her husband - that whole thing was like a little subplot,   just a little extra something to think about.

 

Ellen Corby was the whiny servant. Odd, that Card escapes and we never see her again. What happened to her? LOL. She doesn't come back with the cops.

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SPOILERS/

 

 

It's funny, Cobb cures Holden. But after killing 3 people, you KNOW he's going to the chair. LOL. Why bother?

The film would've been better with Eddie's ending with Holden being shot by the police. The prologue beginning with Cobb was dumb as it gave away the fact that Cobb survived the ordeal. No suspense there.

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I had seen "The Dark Past" before, and it was OK.  It's easy to punch holes in a picture's plot after several viewings, but the flaws don't necessarily ruin a film for me.  Ellen Corby's whimpering performance was close to 'pushing me over the edge' to the point I was almost rooting for Holden's gang to get away with their scheme.  Then again, if I were getting paid decent money to put in a performance like that, I'd be the best scene-milker in Hollywood history!

Lee J. Cobb can be over-the-top on some of his portrayals too, much like Rod Steiger, but I don't mind it when men or women play their roles like that.  Oftentimes they make the picture more enjoyable rather than ruining it.  In this film, Cobb was subdued and quite analytical as the police psychiatrist, and I think he sold that performance well, as did Holden as the cold-hearted killer with the tormented past.

For this particular movie, I liked Holden's 'soft' buzz cut.  I wish my hair was that thick in my younger days so as to pull off that look.  Nina Foch was an underrated actress in my book.  In "The Dark Past", I thought she looked more like Eleanor Parker in "Lizzy", or at least, could have passed for being Parker's sister.

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2 hours ago, Hibi said:

Ellen Corby was the whiny servant. Odd, that Card escapes and we never see her again. What happened to her? LOL. She doesn't come back with the cops.

I figure she ran off and found the cops and told them what was going on,  but opted not to return with them...why would she want to go back there? But I always thought it was she who alerted the police about the situation.  Maybe she went home  ( she must have had a home apart from Lee J . Cobb's "cottage"  )  made herself a nice cup of tea,  and collapsed into an armchair.  Job well done.

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11 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I figure she ran off and found the cops and told them what was going on,  but opted not to return with them...why would she want to go back there? But I always thought it was she who alerted the police about the situation.  Maybe she went home  ( she must have had a home apart from Lee J . Cobb's "cottage"  )  made herself a nice cup of tea,  and collapsed into an armchair.  Job well done.

But the cops already knew what was going on, so it's not clear if Card had ever reached them by that point.

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On 10/19/2021 at 12:14 PM, Hibi said:

But the cops already knew what was going on, so it's not clear if Card had ever reached them by that point.

Maybe I missed something  ( that's quite likely)...I was aware that the police knew escaped convict Al Walker and his gang were on the loose and in the area, and were looking for them.  But I didn't think they knew where they were hiding out-- that's where Nora the intrepid cook came in.  It was Nora  (Kathryn Card)  who ran to the police and informed them Cobb and his guests were all being held hostage at his country home, so they ( the cops) finally knew where to go. 

However,  it's quite possible I didn't notice something, maybe the cops did already know where Walker was.  Possibly I was too busy taking note of Adele Jergens'  inappropriately fancy evening gown,  or the bickering between her husband and her boyfriend,  or the little boy's wallpaper  ( trains?) or that crackling fire and the chess set.  I have a theory that when a film is based on a play,  and much of it takes place on one set,  the set designers go out of their way to provide interesting and sometimes funny props,  just to keep the audience entertained.

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I'm pretty sure I saw a scene where the wife of the guy next door went to the police because her husband hadn't come home....(or called them).

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When some guy is hitting up on your wife, both of them sneaking around, you don’t light your pipe or your cigarette, you punch the son of a **** in the nose.  Why that tryst was even in the movie is kind of bizarre.  I’ve been thinking about the slow actors verses the fast actors.  Maybe it’s like a dance.  A tango or a flamenco.  You need a partner to dance the tango, the  flamenco you dance  alone .

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2 hours ago, Thompson said:

When some guy is hitting up on your wife, both of them sneaking around, you don’t light your pipe or your cigarette, you punch the son of a **** in the nose.  Why that tryst was even in the movie is kind of bizarre.  I’ve been thinking about the slow actors verses the fast actors.  Maybe it’s like a dance.  A tango or a flamenco.  You need a partner to dance the tango, the  flamenco you dance  alone .

If one's partner is also "sneaking around"  (i.e.  an active participant),    only an immature person would react towards the 3rd party.     The 3rd party isn't at fault.   The 3rd party made no claims of loyalty or fidelity.     The 3rd party is just doing what comes naturally and therefore isn't a son of a b.   

I will admit many people disagree with my take here;   I assume they do so because it is  easier and mentally more convenience  to have negative reactions towards a 3rd party than it is,   towards someone they love.

      

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And there is a big difference between acting slow and acting behind the beat.  Marlon is the king of behind the beat.  Nobody can touch him.  Imagine Marlon instead of Welles in Touch of Evil.

 

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Now see, THOMPSON, I thought Bob Crane was the "King of the Beat".  He was a drummer -and- he was beaten to death. 

Ergo, I just don't see how Marlon can surpass Bob!   Cos Bob was beatin' dem drums and then got hisself a Prime Beating (in Scottsdale in '78).  👍

BOB CRANE:  The 'Two-Fer' of THE BEAT!   [Drums and Ye Olde Camera Tripod!]

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You might be right there Gorman, but Hogan’s Heroes was a pretty lame show, let’s face it.  Way more satisfying to watch Last Tango in Paris instead, with Maria Schneider.  Now there is an actress, and she was only nineteen.  Brando played the bongos and danced behind the beat.  Good movie.

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I was at some roadside restaurant in Iowa, off of Interstate 80, around daybreak.  A 24 hour joint, and Maria Schneider was coming out of the restaurant as I was going in.  I recognized her and she recognized that I did.  It was thrilling.  But of course it couldn’t have been her, she’s got no business in Iowa, but it was still thrilling.

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18 minutes ago, Thompson said:

I was at some roadside restaurant in Iowa, off of Interstate 80, around daybreak.  A 24 hour joint, and Maria Schneider was coming out of the restaurant as I was going in.  I recognized her and she recognized that I did.  It was thrilling.  But of course it couldn’t have been her, she’s got no business in Iowa, but it was still thrilling.

If you spot Rita Hayworth one day in some roadside restaurant, I don't mean to spoil the thrill but it could be that you're wrong.

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On 10/19/2021 at 4:38 PM, Hibi said:

I'm pretty sure I saw a scene where the wife of the guy next door went to the police because her husband hadn't come home....(or called them).

You're right.  I'd forgotten that.  Professor Linder's wife started getting antsy and called the police.  And she must have told them where her husband had gone that evening  ( I'm sure she did, I just don't remember ).  So yes,  the cops would have already known where Al Walker and Co.  were holed up.

Still,  knowing that,  it seemed to take them a long time to get there.  But then of course they had to allow time for Lee J. Cobbs to "cure"  Al.

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

You're right.  I'd forgotten that.  Professor Linder's wife started getting antsy and called the police.  And she must have told them where her husband had gone that evening  ( I'm sure she did, I just don't remember ).  So yes,  the cops would have already known where Al Walker and Co.  were holed up.

Still,  knowing that,  it seemed to take them a long time to get there.  But then of course they had to allow time for Lee J. Cobbs to "cure"  Al.

My understanding is the same.   With regards to Linder:  This was another solid character performance by Steven Geray,  who was in a many noirs,  always giving a good performance,  even if the part wasn't that beefy;  E.g.  Gilda,   The Mask of Dimitrios,  Cornered,  The Unfaithful,  In a Lonely Place,  Woman on the Run,  and Affair in Trinidad.

The best hood in the film was Berry Kroeger;   He also has played interesting characters in other noirs like Act of Violence,  Gun Crazy, and  Chicago Deadline.

These two help to elevate what ends up being an overly talkative film that lacked action. 

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TCM could get Daniel Day-Lewis to do the "intro" with Eddie.  I mean, why not?  If I remember rightly Mr. Day-Lewis said he was retiring from acting a couple of years ago so he's got some free time now! 

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1 hour ago, Mr. Gorman said:

TCM could get Daniel Day-Lewis to do the "intro" with Eddie.  I mean, why not?  If I remember rightly Mr. Day-Lewis said he was retiring from acting a couple of years ago so he's got some free time now! 

Man, you know your stuff.  I’m trying to see the connection between an Irish actor that wasn’t born yet to a movie made in Argentina.  I dug a bit and I should have figured it out - a pseudonym. Well hold on now, here it comes -  Daniel Day-Lewis (acclaimed actor now retired) is the son of Irish poet Cecil Day-Lewis (b.1904 - d1972) who also wrote mystery crime novels under the pen name of Nicholas Blake.

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On 10/22/2021 at 1:04 AM, mr6666 said:

 

OK, I'm confused again.  According to Spectrum schedule, TCM is showing another Clint Eastwood movie (Unforgiven) tonight at 11:30.

The TCM schedule shows La Bestia Debe Morir at 2:00 AM Sunday morning and again at 10:00 AM on Sunday.  I assume this is The Beast Must Die and is the Noir Alley presentation.

Question.  Is it in English, Spanish or French?

There is a good Film Noir movie on at 2:00PM Saturday, Oct. 23 - Plunder of the Sun with Glen Ford.

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1 hour ago, ElCid said:

OK, I'm confused again.  According to Spectrum schedule, TCM is showing another Clint Eastwood movie (Unforgiven) tonight at 11:30.

The TCM schedule shows La Bestia Debe Morir at 2:00 AM Sunday morning and again at 10:00 AM on Sunday.  I assume this is The Beast Must Die and is the Noir Alley presentation.

Question.  Is it in English, Spanish or French?

There is a good Film Noir movie on at 2:00PM Saturday, Oct. 23 - Plunder of the Sun with Glen Ford.

- You are correct, Noir Alley is getting a late start Saturday evening (very early Sunday) due to the Clint Eastwood films.  Of course, it will also be shown at the regular time of 10 AM ET Sunday morning.

- I assume La Bestia Debe Morir will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles.

- Plunder of the Sun does look like a good one.  According to MCOH's records, it has not been shown on TCM since 2012.  I think Dave Karger will be doing the introduction on Saturday afternoon.

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Plunder of the Sun was a lot of fun, thanks ElCid.  I really dug Diana Lynn , although looking at her filmography on Wikipedia this film is not included.  Perhaps she didn’t want it to be?  Glenn Ford was at a good speed in this one, and formidable.  Certainly not a great movie but very watchable.

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