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MissGoddess

Noir Gallery

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> {quote:title=NatchuraLee wrote:}{quote}

> RickSpade & FrankGrimes and the rest of us who have this wonderfully bizarre fascination.

> First, thanks, Frank, for your generous welcome and the heads up on *The Verdict*. And Rick, thanks for coming forth and putting up your Faves list. I would like to urge you to consider adding *Roadhouse* (1948), The dialogue is smart and the plot actually works. Lupino and Widmark are incredibly vibrant. (Not to knock Cornel Wilde but he just doesnt generate the same on-screen intensity.) Instead of the mystery man who arrives and creates havoc, here it is Lupino who comes to town and sets the two men into a spiral. Lupino is phenomenal lets face it: shes no Joan Bennett beauty but she plays it like she is and she absolutely pulls it off. Widmark is terrific as the obsessed jilted lover. The director Jean Negulesco could have had Widmark go all PeterLorre on us but instead allows us to stay sympathetic almost to the end because Jeftys obsession is played rationally he seethes but he holds himself together and that is even more menacing. I love this film.

 

Hi NatchuraLee,

 

I've seen Roadhouse, although it was quite a long time ago, and I too liked it very much. As you can probably tell from my list, I'm a big Richard Widmark fan (I believe he's got three films on my list of top 25) and I also think a lot of Ida Lupino. I agree completely with your assessment of the film and the performances, including your rather lukewarm opinion of Wilde; frankly he's never impressed me very much either. I'd like to see this film again since so much time has passed since my initial viewing. Perhaps then it will find its way into my top 25. Either that, or I'll have to start expanding the list, which makes more sense anyway. It's too darn hard to confine yourself to only 25 favorite films noir when there are literally dozens of great ones!

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What's the score, Rick? -- While I also like Woman in the Window

very much, I'm with you Frank (as you can tell once you keep reading the rest of my

message), I think Scarlet Street is the superior noir.

 

Two things make it so for me: (1) the totally uncompromising bleak ending of Street as

opposed to the frankly disappointing waking from a "dream" of Window.

 

So you like 'em bleak, huh? I also like the very dark ending to Scarlet Street. I think

it's absolutely brilliant and I'm amazed it passed the Code.

 

(2) the plot of Window involves peripheral characters and developments that remind me

more of an Agatha Christie story than a film noir...and I'm not a fan of Christie mysteries

at all.

 

That's a very interesting point. I'm not sure if I've ever seen an Agatha Christie mystery.

 

Street is bare-to-the bone, grisly, and malevolent, and some of its peripheral characters

are as venal and compromised as Kitty, Chris, and Johnny.

 

Now that's some great writing there. What I most like about Scarlet Street is that

everyone believes they know the score when they are way off. EVERYONE gets

played. I haven't seen a classic film like it.

 

As for the ending, it's almost as if Lang had second thoughts about his rather

innocuous ending for Window (filmed the year before) and decided to make a variation

of the story, with much of the same cast, only this time make it with perhaps the most

definitively "cold" ending in the entire film noir canon.

 

Excellent observation and point. The Woman in the Window is Lang's dream and

Scarlet Street is his nightmare.

 

Some time ago I said I was going to join several others here and post my Top 25

Favorite Films Noir. Here is that list. Two things I'd mention. (1) I've chosen my favorite

25 films, not the 25 films that I would claim to be the best 25;

 

Hey, we actually think alike with this.

 

however, I've chosen 25 films that I'm prepared to defend as certainly being worthy

enough of being included in anyone's best 25 films (does that make sense?)

 

Absolutely. But I'm all for someone picking their favorites and not worrying about what

others think. You are talking to a guy who calls Top Secret! his favorite

contemporary film. :D

 

(2) One problem I didn't anticipate in doing this. What to do with a film that I would

normally put very near the top of my all-time favorite films, in any category, but which

I would not necessarily rank as high on this particular list. Example: The Maltese Falcon

is in my top 10 All-Time favorite film list, all categories combined. It's in the top 5. However,

when placing it within the film noir list, it doesn't rank as high, simply because it doesn't

fit my own rather arbitrary criteria for the ultimate in noir stories. (I don't know if that makes

sense, either.)

 

Yeah, I hear ya. Once again, we are on the same page. That's tragic news for you. I also

struggled with my own ranking of The Maltese Falcon for the same reasons you

mention.

 

1. Double Indemnity

2. Out of the Past

3. Scarlet Street

4. Pickup on South Street

5. Sweet Smell of Success

6. Nightmare Alley

7. Night and the City (1950)

8. Fallen Angel

9. The Asphalt Jungle

10. The Maltese Falcon

11. Criss Cross

12. D.O.A.

13. The Woman in the Window

14. Touch of Evil

15. The Night of the Hunter

16. Angel Face

17. In a Lonely Place

18. On Dangerous Ground

19. Gun Crazy

20. Where the Sidewalk Ends

21. The Big Sleep

22. The Killing

23. No Way Out

24. Force of Evil

25. Laura

 

Your list is pretty close to mine. You are doomed. What struck me most was your liking

Fallen Angel as much as me. Boy, I really need to see Night and the City. It's

a film that just screams out to me. Angel Face is a film that keeps climbing my

list. I'm glad to see you ranked it so well. I'm also pleased to see

Where the Sidewalk Ends on your list. More Preminger. I was also impressed with

your inclusion of No Way Out. You gotta love Widmark. He sure doesn't hold

anything back, does he?

 

scarletstreet1.jpg

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Frank, my favorite view of SCARLET STREET is holding it up as an example of great films available in the bargain bin. It's not a great print but consumers are asked to pay a lot more for a lot less. And a lot more often!

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Hey, Ollie -- Where's that partner in crime of yours? Did he run off with the loot?

 

You are very right about Scarlet Street being a PD steal. What are some of your other

favorite PD "bang for your buck" flicks?

 

Hey there, Finance -- Welcome to the board!

 

Your listing of top 25 film noirs is excellent, but how about 'The Dark Corner" and

"The Big Heat"?

 

I believe the list you are referring to is RickSpade's list of favorite films noir. I have

The Big Heat at #10 on my favorite film noir list. The Dark Corner is at #60,

although I do enjoy it.

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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

>

> So you like 'em bleak, huh? I also like the very dark ending to Scarlet Street. I think

> it's absolutely brilliant and I'm amazed it passed the Code.

 

I agree, I'm very surprised, too, because in addition to forbidding explicit sexual content, the Code also had a very strict adherence to people paying the ultimate penalty if they committed serious crimes, i.e. murder. And of course at the end, Edward G. gets away with it; the only thing I can think of is that it passed through because he's such a broken, half-crazed man, the audience will come away thinking he really didn't get away with anything. It looks as if he's probably headed for suicide.

>

> (2) the plot of Window involves peripheral characters and developments that remind me

> more of an Agatha Christie story than a film noir...and I'm not a fan of Christie mysteries

> at all.

>

> That's a very interesting point. I'm not sure if I've ever seen an Agatha Christie mystery.

 

Well, there have been a lot of them over the years, also called "drawing room mysteries." The characters are so clever, erudite, and loquacious...and very boring. And the plots have some of the most incredible coincidences and off-the-wall solutions that they make most films noir look like the most logical crime plots you've ever seen. One case in point, in the more modern era, is Murder on the Orient Express (1974), a Hercule Poirot boring mess. (I'm sure I'll hear from some Agatha Christie fans, but I don't suspect too many hard core noir fans are big fans of Christie.) If you haven't already read it, read Raymond Chandler's great essay, The Simple Art of Murder. It provides a wonderful persepctive comparing the literary drawing room detective mystery with the more realistic American detective novel that pretty much originated with Hammett. It's Chandler at his best, writing about the birth of American hard-boiled crime fiction, which as we know, ultimately provided much source material for film noir.

>

>

>

>

> 1. Double Indemnity

> 2. Out of the Past

> 3. Scarlet Street

> 4. Pickup on South Street

> 5. Sweet Smell of Success

> 6. Nightmare Alley

> 7. Night and the City (1950)

> 8. Fallen Angel

> 9. The Asphalt Jungle

> 10. The Maltese Falcon

> 11. Criss Cross

> 12. D.O.A.

> 13. The Woman in the Window

> 14. Touch of Evil

> 15. The Night of the Hunter

> 16. Angel Face

> 17. In a Lonely Place

> 18. On Dangerous Ground

> 19. Gun Crazy

> 20. Where the Sidewalk Ends

> 21. The Big Sleep

> 22. The Killing

> 23. No Way Out

> 24. Force of Evil

> 25. Laura

>

> Your list is pretty close to mine. You are doomed. What struck me most was your liking

> Fallen Angel as much as me. Boy, I really need to see Night and the City. It's

> a film that just screams out to me. Angel Face is a film that keeps climbing my

> list. I'm glad to see you ranked it so well. I'm also pleased to see

> Where the Sidewalk Ends on your list. More Preminger. I was also impressed with

> your inclusion of No Way Out. You gotta love Widmark. He sure doesn't hold

> anything back, does he?

>

> scarletstreet1.jpg

 

So, we're pretty much in this together, huh? Sounds as if we're both driving down a dark and dangerous road, and I don't know about you, but I'm not stopping for any hitchhiker, because if it's a dame, it will turn out to be Ann Savage, and if it's a guy, he'll look a lot like Lawrence Tierney.

 

And yes, you MUST see Night and the City; make it a top priority. And finally when it comes to noir, you can never have too much Widmark. (The film with his most famous role missed out on my list, mainly because the rest of the cast in Kiss of Death leaves me somewhat cold. Besides, Widmark's characters in the three films I've included are more fascinating to me than Tommy Udo. How about you?)

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> Your listing of top 25 film noirs is excellent, but how about 'The Dark Corner" and "The Big Heat"?

 

 

Hi finance,

 

Glad you liked my list. I think very highly of both The Dark Corner and The Big Heat. Both would definitely make my top 50 (probably between 30-40), although it's been so long since I've seen The Big Heat I'd have to see it again to pick the right spot for it.

 

Why don't you get on board and let us see your top 25? (or Top 10, or 50, or whatever)

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Hey, Rick -- I agree, I'm very surprised, too, because in addition to forbidding

explicit sexual content, the Code also had a very strict adherence to people paying the

ultimate penalty if they committed serious crimes, i.e. murder. And of course at the

end, Edward G. gets away with it; the only thing I can think of is that it passed through

because he's such a broken, half-crazed man, the audience will come away thinking

he really didn't get away with anything. It looks as if he's probably headed for suicide.

 

Yes, I'm sure you are right. Chris Cross (Edward G. Robinson) is paying a steeper price

in freedom: a guilty conscience. It was important for us to see his suicide attempt (boy,

is this film dark) and then his lonely walk along the street. He's behind his own bars,

and those kind of bars really can be more damaging than prison bars.

 

Well, there have been a lot of them over the years, also called "drawing room mysteries."

The characters are so clever, erudite, and loquacious...and very boring. And the plots have

some of the most incredible coincidences and off-the-wall solutions that they make most

films noir look like the most logical crime plots you've ever seen.

 

Ohhh, now I get it. So would you call films like The Thin Man to be on this

level? What about the Chan flicks? I always think of "mystery" films to be "non-threatening,"

and this invites a wider audience. I generally view film noir to be mostly a male audience.

Yes, I'm dropping generalizations all over the place here.

 

One case in point, in the more modern era, is Murder on the Orient Express (1974), a

Hercule Poirot boring mess. (I'm sure I'll hear from some Agatha Christie fans, but I don't

suspect too many hard core noir fans are big fans of Christie.)

 

I've never seen it. My attraction to it would be Ingrid Bergman.

 

If you haven't already read it, read Raymond Chandler's great essay, The Simple Art of

Murder. It provides a wonderful persepctive comparing the literary drawing room detective

mystery with the more realistic American detective novel that pretty much originated with

Hammett. It's Chandler at his best, writing about the birth of American hard-boiled crime

fiction, which as we know, ultimately provided much source material for film noir.

 

Me, read? That's unpossible! But what you describe sounds fascinating. I'm sure I'd

like some of the lighter mystery fare but nothing is going to approach film noir with me.

 

So, we're pretty much in this together, huh? Sounds as if we're both driving down a

dark and dangerous road, and I don't know about you, but I'm not stopping for any

hitchhiker, because if it's a dame, it will turn out to be Ann Savage, and if it's a guy, he'll

look a lot like Lawrence Tierney.

 

:D We'll probably end up crashing into each other because we're both staring at the

same dame. I wouldn't want to run into Larry, I'll say that. Miss G makes Ann Savage

seem normal to me. :P:P

 

And yes, you MUST see Night and the City; make it a top priority.

 

I need to watch me some film noir, and soon. Famous last words.

 

And finally when it comes to noir, you can never have too much Widmark.

 

You're absolutely right!

 

(The film with his most famous role missed out on my list, mainly because the rest of

the cast in Kiss of Death leaves me somewhat cold. Besides, Widmark's characters in

the three films I've included are more fascinating to me than Tommy Udo. How about you?)

 

Damn! That's precisely my own feeling with Kiss of Death. I'm big on Widmark's

cartoonish villainy, but Victor Mature and the rest didn't move me much. I was disappointed

in Kiss of Death.

 

And I certainly prefer "Skip McCoy" and "Ray Biddle" to "Tommy Udo." I also like his "Alec

Stiles" in The Street with No Name.

 

kissofdeath2.jpg

 

nowayout6.jpg

 

pickuponsouthstreet1.jpg

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> {quote:title=Rickspade wrote:}{quote}

> If you haven't already read it, read Raymond Chandler's great essay, The Simple Art of Murder. It provides a wonderful persepctive comparing the literary drawing room detective mystery with the more realistic American detective novel that pretty much originated with Hammett. It's Chandler at his best, writing about the birth of American hard-boiled crime fiction, which as we know, ultimately provided much source material for film noir.

 

Hi Rick,

I've only watched Murder on the Orient Express only once, but I enjoyed it quite a bit for what it is. Nonetheless, I would agree it's very different from noir. Where can I find this Chandler essay you mention? Is it in some collection somewhere? Can it be found online? I'd really like to read that one of these days.

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I love both *Woman in the Window* AND *Scarlet Street* ! First, because they are just excellent noir and just excellent films period. Second because *JOAN BENNETT IS THE BOMB!* ;) One of my all time favorites (along with Jeanne Crain, I know they're very different 40's gals).

 

I like *Window* because it is more polished and sophisticated to look at. And I guess I like *Scarlet Street* for kind of the opposite reason. It's raw, the bargin bin copies we see gives it a grainy, rougher feel to a grainy and rough story. Love them both.

 

Rupert

http://classicmoviesdigest.blogspot.com/

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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

 

>

>

> Well, there have been a lot of them over the years, also called "drawing room mysteries."

> The characters are so clever, erudite, and loquacious...and very boring. And the plots have

> some of the most incredible coincidences and off-the-wall solutions that they make most

> films noir look like the most logical crime plots you've ever seen.

>

> Ohhh, now I get it. So would you call films like The Thin Man to be on this

> level? What about the Chan flicks? I always think of "mystery" films to be "non-threatening,"

> and this invites a wider audience. I generally view film noir to be mostly a male audience.

> Yes, I'm dropping generalizations all over the place here.

 

 

> Well, I would personally put The Thin Man a large notch above the average drawing room mystery; it's Hammett (although not nearly up to Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, or his Continental Op novels), and of course the banter between Powell and Myrna makes the whole thing more than worthwhile. I haven't seen a Charlie Chan movie in more than 30 years, although I got a big kick out of them when I was very young; I have no idea how I'd react to one today. I think the ones I find most objectionable are the ones with British origins, where both murderers and victims alike were so damn polite, well-mannered, clever...and as I've said, boring.

To quote one great line from Chandler's essay where he extolled the virtues of Hammett's writing in comparison to the authors of earlier 20th century mysteries, Chandler wrote, "Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley; it doesn't have to stay there forever, but it looked like a good idea to get as far as possible from Emily Post's idea of how a well-bred debutante gnaws a chicken wing."

 

> One case in point, in the more modern era, is Murder on the Orient Express (1974), a

> Hercule Poirot boring mess. (I'm sure I'll hear from some Agatha Christie fans, but I don't

> suspect too many hard core noir fans are big fans of Christie.)

>

> I've never seen it. My attraction to it would be Ingrid Bergman.

>

>

> No one can ever go wrong seeing a movie just for Ingrid Bergman...at any age. Besides, no matter how old she got, she will always be Ilsa Lund to me. Forever.

> >

Thanks for the great screen shots of Widmark. Each actor brought his special talents to the genre, (Mitchum, Lancaster, Conte, Andrews) but Widmark could do one thing better than anyone: he had the best _smirk_ of any actor...ever.

 

> kissofdeath2.jpg

>

> nowayout6.jpg

>

> pickuponsouthstreet1.jpg

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> {quote:title=HollywoodGolightly wrote:}{quote}

> > {

> Hi Rick,

> I've only watched Murder on the Orient Express only once, but I enjoyed it quite a bit for what it is. Nonetheless, I would agree it's very different from noir. Where can I find this Chandler essay you mention? Is it in some collection somewhere? Can it be found online? I'd really like to read that one of these days.

 

Hi HollywoodGolightly,

 

The Chandler essay has been printed a few times in book form, both in trade and quality paperback, over the past several decades. The Simple Art of Murder contains the essay, as well as several of Chandler's short stories, such as Spanish Blood, The King in Yellow, and Pearls Are a Nuisance. I believe any decent size library with a good mystery collection should carry it; in lieu of that, you could probably pick up a cheap copy in a used book store. I have no idea if you can read it on-line. (It runs about 20 pages in book form.)

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> {quote:title=Rickspade wrote:}{quote}

> Hi HollywoodGolightly,

>

> The Chandler essay has been printed a few times in book form, both in trade and quality paperback, over the past several decades. The Simple Art of Murder contains the essay, as well as several of Chandler's short stories, such as Spanish Blood, The King in Yellow, and Pearls Are a Nuisance.

 

Thanks, Rick. I should be able to find that, easily. :)

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Hey there, Rupert -- Welcome to the board!

 

I love both Woman in the Window AND Scarlet Street ! First, because they are just

excellent noir and just excellent films period. Second because JOAN BENNETT IS THE

BOMB! One of my all time favorites (along with Jeanne Crain, I know they're very

different 40's gals).

 

You won't get any arguments from me with Joanie B. I cannot wait to get the Man Hunt

DVD, which will be out a week from today. Now we need to see Secret Beyond the Door

and The Macomber Affair on DVD.

 

And fellow board member, CineMaven, will be happy to hear there's another Jeanne Crain

fan here.

 

What's up, Rick? -- Well, I would personally put The Thin Man a large notch above

the average drawing room mystery; it's Hammett (although not nearly up to Maltese Falcon,

The Glass Key, or his Continental Op novels), and of course the banter between Powell

and Myrna makes the whole thing more than worthwhile.

 

Very good. I like hearing the take of a film noir fan with The Thin Man.

 

I haven't seen a Charlie Chan movie in more than 30 years, although I got a big kick out

of them when I was very young; I have no idea how I'd react to one today. I think the ones

I find most objectionable are the ones with British origins, where both murderers and victims

alike were so damn polite, well-mannered, clever...and as I've said, boring.

 

I haven't seen a Chan film, but I have a picture in my mind that 70s and 80s mystery shows

patterned themselves after those kind of mysteries.

 

To quote one great line from Chandler's essay where he extolled the virtues of Hammett's writing in comparison to the authors of earlier 20th century mysteries, Chandler wrote,

"Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley; it doesn't

have to stay there forever, but it looked like a good idea to get as far as possible from

Emily Post's idea of how a well-bred debutante gnaws a chicken wing."

 

That's definitely more my speed. I get the feeling film noir is more masculine while mystery

is more feminine. Laura is one of those films that attempts to mix the two. What is

your take with that?

 

No one can ever go wrong seeing a movie just for Ingrid Bergman...at any age.

 

Good man.

 

Besides, no matter how old she got, she will always be Ilsa Lund to me. Forever.

 

:D I always associate her with Hitch, mainly because I got into classic film mostly due to

Hitch.

 

Thanks for the great screen shots of Widmark. Each actor brought his special talents to

the genre, (Mitchum, Lancaster, Conte, Andrews) but Widmark could do one thing better

than anyone: he had the best smirk of any actor...ever.

 

That's an excellent point. I love Widmark's smirk.

 

streetwithnoname1.jpg

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"I love both Woman in the Window AND Scarlet Street ! First, because they are just

excellent noir and just excellent films period. Second because JOAN BENNETT IS THE

BOMB! One of my all time favorites (along with Jeanne Crain, I know they're very

different 40's gals)." - Rupert.

 

I actually bought "SCARLET STREET" today but not for Joanie. My girl is Margaret Lindsay and I see she is featured in this. I hope she has a prominent role in it.

 

"And fellow board member, CineMaven, will be happy to hear there's another Jeanne Crain

fan here." - Frank Grimes.

 

Right you are Frankie me boy. Right you are. I love Jeanne Crain.

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"I love both Woman in the Window AND Scarlet Street ! First, because they are just excellent noir and just excellent films period. Second because JOAN BENNETT IS THE BOMB! One of my all time favorites (along with Jeanne Crain, I know they're very

different 40's gals)." - Rupert.

 

I actually bought "SCARLET STREET" today but not for Joanie. My girl is Margaret Lindsay and I see she is featured in this. I hope she has a prominent role in it.

 

"And fellow board member, CineMaven, will be happy to hear there's another Jeanne Crain

fan here." - Frank Grimes.

 

Right you are Frankie me boy. Right you are. I love Jeanne Crain.

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I actually bought "SCARLET STREET" today

 

Well, now. Things are looking up around here. Scarlet Street is my favorite film noir

of all.

 

but not for Joanie.

 

Ohhhhhhhh, but you will love her in this one, though.

 

My girl is Margaret Lindsay and I see she is featured in this. I hope she has a prominent

role in it.

 

It's not a prominent role, but I really like her in the film. I liked her so much that I looked

her up after watching the film. I liked her sass. I said, "sass." :D

 

scarletstreet2.jpg

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So far Lindsay's sass is lovely but I'm really not feeling this movie so far. I'm sticking it out but so far...meh!

 

I will say I liked this exchange between Margaret Lindsay & Joan Bennett:

 

MF: "Honey, what's happened to you?"

 

JB: "Don't you wish it could happen to you. I'm in love. Craaazy in love."

 

MF: "With a man that pushes you around the way I wouldn't push around a cat."

 

JB: "You leave Johnny out of this."

 

MF: "With your looks and figure, you could get any man you want."

 

JB: "Sure, but there's only one I want." (Great line read Bennett gives here).

 

MF: "Yeah and he's making a tramp out of you."

 

JB: "You wouldn't know love if it hit you in the face!"

 

MF: "If that's where it hits you, you oughta know!!"

 

I'll keep watching. Bennett looks good as a tramp, Duryea good as a weasel, Ivan as good as the harpish wife and then...there's that Lindsay voice and sass.

 

Message was edited by CineMaven becuz Eddie G., whoa...is this the same guy from "Double Indemnity" and "Key Largo." Fine actor.

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So far Lindsay's sass is lovely but I'm really not feeling this movie so far. I'm sticking it out

but so far...meh!

 

Say what?! You better stick with it, Lazy Legs.

 

Thanks for posting that exchange between Joan and Margaret. It's terrific.

 

I'll keep watching. Bennett looks good as a tramp, Duryea good as a weasel, Ivan as

good as the harpish wife and then...there's that Lindsay voice and sass.

 

It sounds like you are okay with the cast and performances. We'll see what you think of the

story when it's all done.

 

Message was edited by CineMaven becuz Eddie G., whoa...is this the same guy from

"Double Indemnity" and "Key Largo." Fine actor.

 

Eddie G. was certainly that.

 

scarletstreet3.jpg

 

scarletstreet4.jpg

 

scarletstreet5.jpg

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I'm not huge on Scarlet Street, either, but I'm curious about your opinion, too, Mave.

 

By the way---did you ever put together a list of your 25 favorite films noir?

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I'm not huge on Scarlet Street, either,

 

But that comes as no surprise since you have horrid taste. CineMaven is different. :P

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You are a fine one talk, smartie! We know about YOUR tastes and you can't even

begin to defend them. :D

 

womaninthewindow.jpg

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You are a fine one talk, smartie! We know about YOUR tastes and you can't even

begin to defend them.

 

You played a cruel trick on me by posting that mesmerizing collage of Scarlet Street.

Now I'm defenseless.

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