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Noir Alley

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28 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

You Don't? She lured Tracy out to get ambushed by Ryan, that's a pretty good example of a femme fatale.

I don't really either since she didn't use her sexually to lure Tracy and as Cid notes was the one being manipulated by Ryan during the entire film instead of her doing that to men.

Related to this in The City That Never Sleeps,   one would assume Maria Windsor was a femme fatale but what really caught my attention from just seeing the film was that it was Talman that really was!    Now one could say Windsor was a femme fatale as it relates to her relationship with her husband but I don't see that since instead their relationship was a classic 'trade-off'; each using the other for what was important to them.

But Talman clearly has a sexual hold on Windsor.   That sense where they are kissing (right before her husband comes over),  makes this 100% clear.   Windsor is overwhelmed by his sexually.   Talman manipulates her to assist in the extortion of her husband.   I kind of find all of this funny since Talman isn't a very good looking man and is of slight build.    But I do admit to a cheer when he guns her down since she is the least respectable character in the film.  

 

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On 7/6/2018 at 7:47 PM, speedracer5 said:

I'll admit that I've never heard of this movie.  First I thought you were talking about the film with Dana Andrews and Ida Lupino, and I was going to lament that I thought there needed to be more Ida Lupino in this film.  Then I realized that I was confusing the film you were talking about with While the City Sleeps.  I'm going to DVR The City That Never Sleeps tonight as it looks interesting. I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of Gig Young, he's a bit dull, but I'll give this film a shot. 

I guess I sounded a little petulant in that "why do I bother?" post. I was just disappointed that no one else seemed interested in the film, even though it is a bona fide noir and was, I think, the first time TCM was airing it. Also, one of the leads is William Talman, who had just been discussed a bit for his role in Armoured Car Robbery.

As for the film itself - The City That Never Sleeps - I agree with those who say it's not all that great. I wasn't actually recommending it for its quality, more, just, as I said, it's kind of rare and for dedicated noir fans, still worth watching.

I'm not too crazy about Gig Young either. In fact, offhand I can't think of anything else I've seen him in. And the story and characters are, as my husband would put it, "a bit daft".

The main thing going for The City That Never Sleeps is it's lovely black and white noir cinematography, its location Chicago settings, the great scenes of dark alleys and mysterious stairs that seem to go nowhere, and its noir style in general.

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12 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I guess I sounded a little petulant in that "why do I bother?" post. I was just disappointed that no one else seemed interested in the film, even though it is a bona fide noir and was, I think, the first time TCM was airing it. Also, one of the leads is William Talman, who had just been discussed a bit for his role in Armoured Car Robbery.

As for the film itself - The City That Never Sleeps - I agree with those who say it's not all that great. I wasn't actually recommending it for its quality, more, just, as I said, it's kind of rare and for dedicated noir fans, still worth watching.

I'm not too crazy about Gig Young either. In fact, offhand I can't think of anything else I've seen him in. And the story and characters are, as my husband would put it, "a bit daft".

The main thing going for The City That Never Sleeps is it's lovely black and white noir cinematography, its location Chicago settings, the great scenes of dark alleys and mysterious stairs that seem to go nowhere, and its noir style in general.

I just posted about the Talman character and his strong sexual hold on the Windsor character.   I'm interested in what you think about that.

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On 7/7/2018 at 4:08 PM, jamesjazzguitar said:

I did end up watching the film and it was nice to see it without any commercial interruptions. 

While I still image what the film would have been with an iconic noir actor like Dana Andrews in the lead role,  there are some great noir scenes in the film;  e.g.  the shooting of the femme fatale.   

james, I appreciate your commenting on the film I recommended and I apologize ( to all here) for getting kind of surly.

But now I'm going to ruin the above bit of friendliness by saying, the Marie Windsor character in The City that Never Sleeps is not a femme fatale ! You seem to think almost every woman in a crime film who isn't a goody goody happily engaged or married woman, any female who has an affair or wields a gun or steals or does anything outside the carefully delineated boxes of acceptable female behaviour in the mid-20th century, is a femme fatale. I remember you said the Bette Davis character in The Letter was a femme fatale.

I mean, aside from anything else, Marie Windsor's character isn't even in The City that Never Sleeps enough to warrant that epithet. In fact, to me it feels like they just sort of stuck her role in as an afterthought.

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Just now, misswonderly3 said:

james, I appreciate your commenting on the film I recommended and I apologize ( to all here) for getting kind of surly.

But now I'm going to ruin the above bit of friendliness by saying, the Marie Windsor character in The City that Never Sleeps is not a femme fatale ! You seem to think almost every woman in a crime film who isn't a goody goody happily engaged or married woman, any female who has an affair or wields a gun or steals or does anything outside the carefully delineated boxes of acceptable female behaviour in the mid-20th century, is a femme fatale. I remember you said the Bette Davis character in The Letter was a femme fatale.

I mean, aside from anything else, Marie Windsor's character isn't even in The City that Never Sleeps enough to warrant that epithet. In fact, to me it feels like they just sort of stuck her role in as an afterthought.

Funny I just posted that Windsor is NOT a femme fatale in this film and that instead Talman is!  

So yea, that comment about the shooting of the femme fatale was in error.  I should have said the male fatale shot the wantabee femme fatale!     

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On 7/7/2018 at 2:41 PM, Looney said:

I shall bare my soul to you now. :rolleyes:  I have an invitation to a huge 4th of July party tonight.  I am seriously considering, despite the fact that I can watch it tomorrow morning, skipping the party so I don't miss Noir Alley tonight.  I don't even know that I will like the movie, but Noir Alley has become a Saturday night tradition for me these last several weeks and I don't want to miss it.  That sounds soooo pathetic, but it is true.  (Truth be told last year's party wasn't that great, but the hosts are interesting people and I haven't seen them since last year.)

So what would YOU do?

1. Party = A few hundred people, fireworks, food, and "Fun"?

2. Noir Alley = Snacks, Solitude, and a movie I've never seen? 

 

:D ;) :D

So, what did you end up doing, Looney?  Party or pathos?  (But hey, if you decided to stay home, you could have had your own private noir party with "Party Girl". Although in fact, there's not that much partying in the film...)

Whichever you decided to do, hope you had a fun Saturday night !

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I'm not too crazy about Gig Young either. In fact, offhand I can't think of anything else I've seen him in. 

Check him out in one of the great Neo Noirs, Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia.

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3 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

It's that sub genre of Noir reffered by the French as a Film Soleil, one of the sunbaked, desert/tropical noirs. In a typical noir it's what you can't see in the shadows can kill you, in a Film Soleil, everything you see can kill you.  

Bad Day at Black Rock has alienated and obsessed individuals, and a femme fatale, and Tracy is a sort of detective, no?

Other desert/tropical based Film Soleil are InfernoThe Wages of FearAce In The Hole, a lot of Detour,     
Border Incident, The BribeHell's Half AcreHighway Dragnet, The Hitch-Hiker, JeopardyJohnny Stool PigeonKey Largo, A Kiss Before DyingTouch Of Evil, and probably a few more.

Thanks for tellling us about that sub-category, cjoe, the "film soleil". That makes sense. In fact, I have a few boxed sets of Columbia noir ( a lot with Richard Conte, but that's a good thing, I like him ), and come to think of it, most of them are very sunny. So now I can still regard them as "noirs", which I always did anyway, despite the sunny brightness of a lot of them. 

But I'm also replying to your post to quibble with you. You know what? I 'm thinking of starting a thread called "Ok, Just What IS a Femme Fatale"  Everyone - but especially, I think, men - seems to think that any crime or mystery film with a woman in it who isn't squeeky clean is a femme fatale. Nope.

Look, I know you 'splained that because Anne Francis "lures" Tracy to that vulnerable spot where he can be offed by Robert Ryan, that makes her a f.f.  But consider how reluctant she was to do this, and how in no other way does she display any of the usual f.f. qualities.  A real femme fatale would have thought of the luring herself, not have to be talked into it by anyone.

I think I might have to start that thread.

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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Thank you, honestly I've been posting as a way to try and keep watching the film. I've been tempted to turn it off several times. The lack of acting is really starting to **** me off.

i'm starting to wonder if you extinguished a lit cigarette on Robert Taylor's hand, whether or not he would've reacted or even noticed.

Lorna, don't you agree with me that, aside from anything else, it's disappointing that Cyd is so NOT a "party girl" !  She's almost a goody -goody.  If ever there were a misnomer for a movie title (hey, there's an idea for a thread), it's got to be this one. 

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Partay Girl. Even if one considers this as just a crime film with a few musicals

numbers thrown in it's rather dull, especially in the first hour. After that, with Bobby

in jail and Lee planning to get rid of him, things heat up a tad, but not enough to save

this one. And it's apparent that ol' baldy didn't watch a lot of crime flicks or he would

have groked that LJC was about to open a a thin silver club of whoopass on his noggin.

Live and learn. As Eddie made an offhand reference to Godard, I think he could have 

saved this thing. Take the original film, every ten minutes interpolate a black and white closeup

of Anna Karina reciting from the works of Lenin and Mao and you might have something of

interest. Until then, I'll stick with the Elvis Costello tune. 

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4 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Thanks for tellling us about that sub-category, cjoe, the "film soleil". That makes sense. In fact, I have a few boxed sets of Columbia noir ( a lot with Richard Conte, but that's a good thing, I like him ), and come to think of it, most of them are very sunny. So now I can still regard them as "noirs", which I always did anyway, despite the sunny brightness of a lot of them. 

But I'm also replying to your post to quibble with you. You know what? I 'm thinking of starting a thread called "Ok, Just What IS a Femme Fatale"  Everyone - but especially, I think, men - seems to think that any crime or mystery film with a woman in it who isn't squeeky clean is a femme fatale. Nope.

Look, I know you 'splained that because Anne Francis "lures" Tracy to that vulnerable spot where he can be offed by Robert Ryan, that makes her a f.f.  But consider how reluctant she was to do this, and how in no other way does she display any of the usual f.f. qualities.  A real femme fatale would have thought of the luring herself, not have to be talked into it by anyone.

I think I might have to start that thread.

A cafe au lait femme fatale in lower case ?

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37 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I just posted about the Talman character and his strong sexual hold on the Windsor character.   I'm interested in what you think about that.

Yes ! Absolutely, james, I did very much notice it !  In fact, unattractive - or at least, odd-looking - though Talman is, I thought the scene was quite hot. It's abundantly clear that the Talman character does indeed have a sexual hold over Lydia Biddel. I guess that's supposed to explain why she co-operates with him on his scamming her husband. 

But she shouldn't have snitched on him ! 

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13 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Lorna, don't you agree with me that, aside from anything else, it's disappointing that Cyd is so NOT a "party girl" !  She's almost a goody -goody.  If ever there were a misnomer for a movie title (hey, there's an idea for a thread), it's got to be this one. 

It tottered on the brink of outright irony what a joyless, unfun "Party Girl" she was. 

"For an overall mediocre, but nonetheless passable time, call BUTTerfield 7" (the VIP clients get Liz Taylors number)

Of course, Ray also did BORN TO BE BAD which I have always thought should be called BORN TO BE MILDLY DUPLICITOUS because Joan Fontaine isn't really "bad" in it. 

I GUESS you could also argue James Dean has no "cause" in REBEL either. 

And THEY LIVE BY NIGHT is a terrible title.

JOHNNY GUITAR does have a guitar though! 

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2 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

It tottered on the brink of outright irony what a joyless, unfun "Party Girl" she was. 

"For an overall mediocre, but nonetheless passable time, call BUTTerfield 7" (the VIP clients get Liz Taylors number)

Of course, Ray also did BORN TO BE BAD which I have always thought should be called BORN TO BE MILDLY DUPLICITOUS because Joan Fontaine isn't really "bad" in it. 

Ok, let's do it. Let's start a thread about movie titles that are utter misnomers, and suggest new, better titles for them.

Yeah, start with "Born to Be Mildly Duplicitous". I like it.

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Notes on "Party Girl": Something the film has in common with "On the Waterfront" besides Lee J. Cobb is male leads wearing eye-liner.

Cyd , who is a lovely woman, looks like her hair is a helmut. Oh, wait, Robert Taylor's hair, too.

Anyone think the guy who played Cookie LaMotte ( gotta love that name) was cast because of a slight resemblance to Brando?  He was clearly "channeling" Brando, too, in his acting style, sneering, etc. I kept waiting for him to talk about the Napoleonic Code.

How long is that blissful romantic holiday Cyd and Robert T. take, after his operation? The montage was kind of fun, in a way, a recipe for romance cliches for anyone who wants to include a montage of, uh, romance cliches in their movie.

How come the cops escort Cyd to that train car and then just abandon her? How come she - or the cops - hadn't locked the door? It was kind of too easy, wasn't it?

The avaricious wife turns up in Cyd's dressing room and threatens to get Taylor back. Really? This scene is totally unnecessary. No one believes for one moment that this mean wife thing is going to go anywhere.

Everyone's looking kind of old in this (except Cobb, who looks the same age whether he's 30 or 50.)  Taylor, John Ireland, even Cyd -- but the harsh colour treatment doesn't help.

you know what? Despite all of the above snark, I didn't mind this movie. It was actually kind of nice, in parts. 

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56 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Lorna, don't you agree with me that, aside from anything else, it's disappointing that Cyd is so NOT a "party girl" !  She's almost a goody -goody.  If ever there were a misnomer for a movie title (hey, there's an idea for a thread), it's got to be this one. 

If I hadn't have already watched most of Party Girl, I would have assumed that Cyd Charisse plays a party girl who is murdered, or inadvertently ends up involved in a crime, or something else as a result of her party girl lifestyle.  Since it was obvious that Cyd's character was a straight-edge when she was introduced, I thought maybe that blonde girl or another showgirl, like the one who commits suicide in the bathtub, would end up being the "party girl" and Cyd would get involved in investigating her murder or something. 

I'd really like to know what was up with the "Party Girl" theme song at the beginning of the film.  What was that? 

With all that said, I really do like Nicholas Ray's films. 

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Only Nicholas Ray could give us a crime film about a crooked, crippled lawyer who tries to re-invent himself.

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ALL RIGHT.

I've thought about it and I can fix PARTY GIRL.

some of these ideas are nuts, but flow with me:

Since MGM is the studio that wants to look fondly on the past, why not pay homage to those gangster movies of the thirties since they're actually good? Have you seen SCARFACE: THE SHAME OF A NATION? It's a lot of fun. We're going black and white, we're having more gunned-down-in-cold-blood montages and we're speeding up the frames. GET ME SEVERAL CRATES OF SQUIBS NOW.

WARDROBE- GET ME EVERYTHING FROM SINGIN IN THE RAIN AND ANYTHING ELSE IN STORAGE FROM THE 1930'S THAT WALLACE BEERY DIDN'T STEAL. I know you have it; if you don't, copy it. If Cyd don't like it THEN SHE CAN GO SUCK AN EGG because that coral hat and necklace combo is TACKY and that red dress makes her look like a bottle of Heinz 57 sauce. That pink outfit with the French cut is cute tho. ALSO, 86 THE HELMET HAIR ON MISS CHARISSE. We can compromise on hair and make-up, but I am vetoing her current look on the grounds that it is: 1. highly anachronistic for a picture set in the 1930's. and 2. Basic AF 1950'S style.

Since Cyd [clearly]doesn't want to act, SHE'S GOING TO DANCE HER PART. [ahem, that seems to be the only time she puts forth any effort anyhow] we're one-upping the SPILLANE number from THE BAND WAGON and if you don't like it, Mr. Dance Director, ask Cyd to pass you the egg when she's done with it.

MGM has the rights to ALL I DO IS DREAM OF YOU from SADIE MCKEE. We're using it as a leitmotif throughout the movie.

i want this thing BALLETIC. MONTAGES, SQUIBS!!!!!!, ?ALL I DO IS DREAM OF YOU THE WHOLE DAY THROUGH?...Taylor's hangdog eyes pining...?you're every thought; you're everything, you're every song i ever sing?..." SQUIBS! CAR CHASE! MONTAGE! NEWS HEADLINES! RICO ON THE LOOSE! ?Summer, winter, autumn and spring?....WORK THE FRENCH CUT CYD! WORK IT LIKE IT OWES YOU MONEY!

Cobb stays because he's a yin to the superboring yang of everyone else; if we're stuck with Taylor then ALL the monologues go OUT THE WINDOW and someone at least make him watch OF HUMAN BONDAGE and see if you can't get Stanwyck to read with him one weekend when he goes to drop the alimony check off...

there we go. fixed your movie for you. you're welcome.

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It is my understanding most people feel Party Girl is Ray's most beautiful looking film mainly due to how the film was shot in color and the various sets.     

The look of the film is one of the major draws for me (given the flaws others have mentioned).  

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19 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Partay Girl. Even if one considers this as just a crime film with a few musicals

numbers thrown in it's rather dull, especially in the first hour. After that, with Bobby

in jail and Lee planning to get rid of him, things heat up a tad, but not enough to save

this one. And it's apparent that ol' baldy didn't watch a lot of crime flicks or he would

have groked that LJC was about to open a a thin silver club of whoopass on his noggin.

Live and learn. As Eddie made an offhand reference to Godard, I think he could have 

saved this thing. Take the original film, every ten minutes interpolate a black and white closeup

of Anna Karina reciting from the works of Lenin and Mao and you might have something of

interest. Until then, I'll stick with the Elvis Costello tune. 

 

I agree. Very talky and boring. I'd seen it once before. Decided to give it another try and regretted the wasted time. Cyd's numbers could have been cut entirely, but I guess if you have Cyd in the picture she has to dance...

 

Can you believe Paula Zahn is back???? Her show was only off the air 2 months and a new season starting! KILL ME NOW! :(

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As for Sleep, I had not seen this one and was glad I watched! Really enjoyed it, though I thought the finale ran on a bit too long. Hope they will run it on Noir Alley as I missed a few bits in the beginning.......

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15 minutes ago, Hibi said:

As for Sleep, I had not seen this one and was glad I watched! Really enjoyed it, though I thought the finale ran on a bit too long. Hope they will run it on Noir Alley as I missed a few bits in the beginning.......

As for the finale;  yea, the first time I saw the film I felt it was a bit too long,  but this time,  since I was watching in only for the visuals (shots of the city,  unique use of lighting \ camera angles etc..) it didn't seem too long.

But yea,  I can see one saying to themselves;  hey cop,  just kill him already! 

 

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20 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Partay Girl. Even if one considers this as just a crime film with a few musicals

numbers thrown in it's rather dull, especially in the first hour. After that, with Bobby

in jail and Lee planning to get rid of him, things heat up a tad, but not enough to save

this one. And it's apparent that ol' baldy didn't watch a lot of crime flicks or he would

have groked that LJC was about to open a a thin silver club of whoopass on his noggin.

Live and learn. As Eddie made an offhand reference to Godard, I think he could have 

saved this thing. Take the original film, every ten minutes interpolate a black and white closeup

of Anna Karina reciting from the works of Lenin and Mao and you might have something of

interest. Until then, I'll stick with the Elvis Costello tune. 

1. I love this post

2. Have you heard that Elvis Costello is not doing well? Apparently an aggressive form of cancer. 

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

 

I agree. Very talky and boring. 

Can you believe Paula Zahn is back???? Her show was only off the air 2 months and a new season starting! KILL ME NOW! :(

Wait, you hate Paula Zahn too? 

 

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