Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Barton_Keyes

Noir Alley

Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, yanceycravat said:

I thought Jay Novello as the broken down doctor turned veterinarian gave the best performance in the film.

Agreed.    But when he is stopped at the police check-point and gives his story,  since I recognized him I knew he was lying and up to no good.    He gave a very nuanced performance.  While he was on the side of the criminals one still felt that life had unfairly given him the shaft.    I loved the exchange between the cop and him in the animal hospital where the cop says to him he loves animals and dislikes humans.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some observations about "Crime Wave":

What is it about Noir that it's so good at giving us little details, bits, odd random characters that don't matter at all to the plot but somehow matter in the way they make up the sum total of the film, they contribute to the feel of the movie. Some of my favourite noirs have this quality.

For example: When the cops call a general round-up of usual suspects and also anyone who's gotten hauled into the police station that night, we're treated to a brief but highly entertaining scene in which a number of random people are explaining to the police why they're there, and why they shouldn't be. There's a couple that looks like they've had a fight ( and it's the man who looks like he's been beaten up ! ), a woman who swears that for years she's had nothing to do with one of the suspects the police are asking about ("Are you kidding? I hate his guts !"), and a bookie ( I think - can't remember for sure...)

My point is, these three characters are never seen again and really have nothing whatever to do with the story, but their mini-dramas add colour and humanity to the film.  It's as though Sterling Hayden's cop is mentally doing a "face palm" when he hears their sordid little tales, as though he's thinking "Damn, there's a lot of trashy people in the world. I wish I could have a cigarette...."

And those three are just miniature examples of how characters are given their moment in the film. Other players who feature a little more in the story include the poor old "defrocked" doctor - turned- vet, who insists on taking the dead crook's money  (rotten ) but then goes home to treat some poor abandoned dog ( admirable.)  Thanks to Yanceycravat and james for mentioning him.

But there are other little details in "Crime Wave" that I love. Like, I always enjoy noticing the everyday household objects in old movies, especially noirs. In the Laceys' apartment, for instance, they've got that standard early 50's kitchen table, always with an oilcloth on it ( I would love to find one of those things...I'd use it on my kitchen table !) ; and of course they're planning to have the requisite steak and baked potato dinner  (as in "The Big Heat").

Did anyone else notice at one point, the camera's on  Phyllis Kirk, but behind her, on the living room wall, there's a picture of Don Quixote !  I think it's that famous one by Picasso. It just seems funny  ( as in comical, NOT odd), that Steve and Ellen Lacey have a print of Picasso's Don Quixote up on their wall. Well, why not?

One last detail I can't resist mentioning - this is the third time I've seen "Crime Wave", and I never noticed this before: in the final 15 minutes or so of the film, there's an extended scene at the crooks' hide-out  (next to a Chinese restaurant - I love it !) Of course they have the usual discussion around the table to plan the heist. And they're using an old cardboard box as a lampshade ! At first I couldn't figure out what it was. When I did, I had to laugh.

Whether it was Andre deToth himself who thought of these kind of details, or the set designer ( did they have set designers for B movies in 1952?) the sets and entire mise-en-scene in "Crime Wave" greatly enhance the atmosphere and realism of the film.

Ok, I know this is long. But I just have to say how much I delight in the crazy toothy five minutes we get of Timothy Carey.  This guy just eats up the screen in any film he's in. Why the hell is he mugging like that, all teeth and grins and strange lingo that we can hardly make out, when we first see him at the hide-out?  There's a bit, it's only about a minute long, where "Doc" Penny is finalizing the robbery plans, and Carey is for some reason sitting on the floor, in the background. But it's Carey I'm looking at, not Ted de Corsia. He's presumably  guarding the bathroom door where Ellen Lacey is, but the whole thing seems extremely odd and creepy. And the whole time "Doc" is speaking, Carey's madly grinning and widening his eyes, etc. What a shameless exuberant ham ! I love this guy.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Ok, I know this is long. But I just have to say how much I delight in the crazy toothy five minutes we get of Timothy Carey.  This guy just eats up the screen in any film he's in. Why the hell is he mugging like that, all teeth and grins and strange lingo that we can hardly make out, when we first see him at the hide-out?  There's a bit, it's only about a minute long, where "Doc" Penny is finalizing the robbery plans, and Carey is for some reason sitting on the floor, in the background. But it's Carey I'm looking at, not Ted de Corsia. He's presumably  guarding the bathroom door where Ellen Lacey is, but the whole thing seems extremely odd and creepy. And the whole time "Doc" is speaking, Carey's madly grinning and widening his eyes, etc. What a shameless exuberant ham ! I love this guy.

Timothy Carey is of that quirky beatnik generation, you could call him a beatnik actor.  There is also this quirky small  sub genre of Film Noir that are basically "Beat" Noirs. Another actor of this mold was King Moody he was in The Glass Cage (1964) (a noir BTW) when I first saw him on that film I though at first it was Carey.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(expletive.)

I missed CRIME WAVE for personal reasons and I'm sorry I did, 'specially after the splendid review from Miss W.

it's funny, cuz even tho I've seen it once when last it aired (3 yearsish ago), I really only remembered two things:

1. I liked it a lot and 2. Timothy Carey

re: TIMOTHY CAREY....I'm not always a fan of his, I think he is the one big flaw in PATHS OF GLORY, although at the same time, he is somewhat brilliant in it too. Apparently he was SUCH A TOTAL MACADAMIA that he got into altercations with KAZAN (on EAST OF EDEN, where he plays the ho-house bartender/bouncer and KUBRICK on PATHS.) He also guested on THE MUNSTERS and one can only imagine what went down between him and FRED GWYNNE.

They used to show a promo all the time on TCM for his self-directed, self-starring film THE GREATEST SINNER (NOTE: did I remember the title right?) that featured his SMOKING HOT SON Romeo.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ps- i really recommend watching the above video. it is something i've always remembered, especially Romeo's words at the end about how TRUE success lies in the simple act of completing something.

pss- never seen THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER but it looks like it would MESS YOU UP BUT GOOD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

addendum to the above: (Also starring Scatman Crothers, which means this film features TWO ACTORS who worked with Kubrick.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Timothy Carey is of that quirky beatnik generation, you could call him a beatnik actor.  There is also this quirky small  sub genre of Film Noir that are basically "Beat" Noirs. Another actor of this mold was King Moody he was in The Glass Cage (1964) (a noir BTW) when I first saw him on that film I though at first it was Carey.

I wonder what the reaction of the other actors in the scene where Carey has his back to the room door was as well as the director.    E.g.  did the director know this 'mugging' was coming?    I assume so,  and must have 'welcomed' it,  but to what degree?     (of course the film was shot in 2 weeks so maybe even if De Toth felt Carey went a little overboard didn't believe it was 'worth it' to redo the scene?).

Yea,  I understand the crazed criminal vibe (it did add a sexual element to leaving the attractive dame in his 'care'), and of course maybe the character was hooked on drugs of some type,   but I still found his antics in that scene to be out of place;  but I have to assume that was what De Toth wanted.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a minute there I thought Doc, the "brains" of the outfit, was going to rob the

bank with that cig holder still in his mouth. Fun to see the coppers gun the old

fool down. I noticed when the crooks were synchronizing their watches, they all

had Hamiltons. Coincidence or an early example of product placement? Timothy

Carey was very effective, but I don't know if I paid that much attention to him as

a lot of these movie heist gangs have one member who has some rather noticeable

mental problems. I usually think of Dub Taylor as playing a slightly shady character

with a pronounced southern accent, at least when he appears on TV shows. And

Hayden played the kind of dumb cop that almost makes you root for the crooks, even

with his kindness at the end. The best part of this flick was the on location shooting

which made it more entertaining than the typical robbery movie. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turned out I had seen Crime Wave before. But I'd forgotten a lot of the plot, so was worth another look.

Seems the number of noirs I havent seen is really dwindling. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Seems the number of noirs I havent seen is really dwindling. :(

Aw.

Take heart, there's still some dark, FILTHY, depraved movie out there laying on a dusty shelf in a vault that none of us has seen but may some day.

[like THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/22/2018 at 10:20 AM, Hibi said:

Seems the number of noirs I havent seen is really dwindling. :(

Check out the post Classic Hollywood 1959 noirs.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of you longtime posters remember the late Fred C Dobbs who would often post "Xx minutes in to (whatever movie was on) and nothing has happened "?

15 minutes in to THE CLAY PIGEON and things haven't stopped happening!

man, this thing MOVES!

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Some of you longtime posters remember the late Fred C Dobbs who would often post "Xx minutes in to (whatever movie was on) and nothing has happened "?

15 minutes in to THE CLAY PIGEON and things haven't stopped happening!

man, this thing MOVES!

 

They had to keep moving, with only 63 min running time. :D

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Some of you longtime posters remember the late Fred C Dobbs who would often post "Xx minutes in to (whatever movie was on) and nothing has happened "?

15 minutes in to THE CLAY PIGEON and things haven't stopped happening!

man, this thing MOVES!

 

Really good noir. I wonder why I've never seen it on TCM before, because it is RKO. One thing I miss about Fred C. Dobbs is that he would come up with some very good off the beaten path choices and say why he liked them. He got me to watch "Dangerous Corner" from 1935 - an obscure little picture - and he mentioned it was very modern and sophisticated for its time. It has become one of my favorite films.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sagebrush said:

They had to keep moving, with only 63 min running time. :D

you'd be surprised at how little can happen in 63 minutes in some cases though! (see: TEENAGE CAVEMAN or THE BEATS OF YUCCA FLATS)

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that Williams played the memory losing sailor before in Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cigarjoe said:

Interesting that Williams played the memory losing sailor before in Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Well he forgot about that when he took on the role in Clay Pigeon.    (hey,  too big of an opening to ignore!).

Anyhow saw Clay Pigeon for he first time last night and enjoy it.   It was as Eddie 'advertised';  nothing great but taunt, with enough suspense to keep me interested.   (but I did 'peg' the bad-guy right from the start).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I need to refill my coffee,but if I go to the kitchen, I know I'll miss something.

That's why I record the Midnight showing.  Also, enables rewinding to check something out.

This is what I call a good, tight movie.  No wasted motions.  Somewhat akin to old 30 minute TV shows.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also noticed the stock footage of the approaching train that was used by Fleischer again in The Narrow Margin opening credits.

Share this post


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

© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...