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Focus on Fritz Lang


MissGoddess
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"Those in the New York area may want to visit the Museum of Moving Image for their tribute to ". - MissGoddess

 

Awww. Now you've done it. Now I hafta put FrankGrimes on Suicide Watch. He is soo going to go round the bend with this news if he can't get there.

 

Or he is going to pull a It Happened One Night / Harry and Tonto / Midnight Cowboy / Love Field and get on the first bus to the City and camp out in front of the theater like the wookies that lived in front of the Chinese for a month when the final Star Wars came out.

 

A Woman In The Window AND Scarlet Street double feature. A Secret Behind The Door AND House By The River double feature. In the same month in the same theater.

 

http://www.movingimage.us/site/site.php -

 

How much is one afficianado supposed to take? This torture technique would do the Justice Dept. proud. Poor Grimey. I'm here for ya.

 

Kyle (hiding the sharp-edged scissors) In Hollywood

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Kyle -- You're too late. I just drank Joan Bennett's scotch and soda and it will only be a matter of moments before I fall into a deep sleep. (Awesome post. By the way, parentheses mean I'm now speaking to you from beyond the grave.)

 

Miss Temptress -- I'm dying a 1,000 deaths. I'm stunned by a month-long tribute to Fritz Lang. Stunned. What a schedule! The Scarlet Street/The Woman in the Window double feature rolls this Saturday. Beyond the Secret Door... is the Lang film I'd love to see the most, but seeing any of them on the big screen would be a treat. Sadly, M and Fury played this past Saturday.

 

Bruce Bennett's article about Fritz Lang is the most glowing I've ever read about him. Here are the comments that stood out for me:

 

By (my) strict definition, a "film noir" is an American film, made between 1940, when Boris Ingster's cheap, stylish, and airless "Stranger on the Third Floor" made its debut, and 1958, the year that Orson Welles's "Touch of Evil" closed the books on the elusive genre. If not directed by a European, a film noir at least has to have a strong Germanic influence, fallout from the stylistic experiments conducted at Weimar Germany's UFA studios between the wars.

 

Finally, regardless of whether its script is inclined toward Freudian tropes, shoton-location realism, romance, topicality, satire, or violence, a true "film noir" has to have a deeply felt and communicated fatalism ?-- a sense that its major characters are doomed from the start and that we're along for the ride to see how fate "sticks out a foot to trip them up," to paraphrase the paradigmatic film noir "Detour."

 

With the necessary dates and bloodlines identified, one director stands head, shoulders, and monocle over every other purveyor of Venetian blind light slashes, rain slick streets, femmes fatales, and ignoble finishes. As the title of the Museum of the Moving Image's new film retrospective declares, Fritz Lang is truly "King of Noir."

 

A movie of both brooding doom and lip-smacking pulpy sensationalism, "Scarlet Street" centers on an unsavory love triangle of prostitute, pimp, and henpecked john, then climaxes in a brutal murder en route to the most satisfyingly downbeat ending in the history of American film.

 

Fritz Lang always had his finger on the pulse of the worst human instincts gone wild, and he depicted them in the most modern cinematic way. In the words of Peter Bogdanovich, "His dark vision was very much representative of what the 20th century was like. Unfortunately that has not helped his reputation."

 

You live up to your name (Goddess) each and every day on this board:

 

A female being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by... me.

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You guys are too funny! Frank, I can't believe you're too far for a plane, train or automobile to take you to your heart's delight in Queens and I hope you get there.

 

I'm sorry I missed *Fury* and *M* (which, blow me down, I've never seen)---those two are the real carrots dangling before me. At least I have my John Ford movie tickets secured for the NYFF, so I must not complain.

 

And thanks for the compliment, but I possess not a shred of divinity---my predilictions and peccadillos are all much too earthy I'm afraid. ;)

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Very impressive lineup. I finally saw *Ministry of Fear* yesterday and am now in a Lang mood. May have to soak up *M* this afternoon.

 

Dear Mr. FrankGrimes: After your trip to Queens to fulfill your Langomania, if you still want more cheery movies from the chipper Teutons, save up for a swing by Chicago.

 

Nov. 3, 4 -- *Fallen Angel*

Nov. 9 -- *Laura*

Nov. 10 -- *Bonjour Tristesse* & *Laura* (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 11 -- *Bonjour Tristesse* & *Anatomy of a Murder* (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 12 -- *Skidoo* (!!!) (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 13 -- *Angel Face* (w/ Foster Hirsch, Jonathan Rosenbaum & Michael Wilmington)

Nov. 14 -- *Bunny Lake Is Missing* (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 15 -- *Advise and Consent* (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 17 & 18 -- *Whirlpool*

Nov. 24, 25 -- *Where the Sidewalk Ends*

Dec. 1 & 2 -- *River of No Return*

 

Yes, a mess'o Mr. Mise-en-scene. As a friend described it, "it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Kwanza rolled into one."

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ChiO -- Dear Mr. FrankGrimes: After your trip to Queens to fulfill your Langomania, if you still want more cheery movies from the chipper Teutons, save up for a swing by Chicago.

 

Nov. 3, 4 -- Fallen Angel

Nov. 9 -- Laura

Nov. 10 -- Bonjour Tristesse & Laura (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 11 -- Bonjour Tristesse & Anatomy of a Murder (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 12 -- Skidoo (!!!) (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 13 -- Angel Face (w/ Foster Hirsch, Jonathan Rosenbaum & Michael Wilmington)

Nov. 14 -- Bunny Lake Is Missing (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 15 -- Advise and Consent (w/ Foster Hirsch)

Nov. 17 & 18 -- Whirlpool

Nov. 24, 25 -- Where the Sidewalk Ends

Dec. 1 & 2 -- River of No Return

 

Yes, a mess'o Mr. Mise-en-scene. As a friend described it, "it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Kwanza rolled into one."

 

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?! As the Fritz Lang dagger enters my heart, the Otto Preminger dagger is stuck in my back. Somethin' is up. And look what film kicks off the Preminger Fest. That figures.

 

Your friend is right. The schedule is loaded.

 

Well I guess tomorrow Kyle will inform me that there's an Alfred Hitchcock film festival in Hollywood, and the day after that, Coop's Girl will tell me there's an Anthony Mann festival in Texas, and the day after that, BronxGirl will electrocute me with news of an F.W. Murnau festival in Florida.

 

I finally saw Ministry of Fear yesterday and am now in a Lang mood. May have to soak up M this afternoon.

 

Cloak and Dagger is next up for me. I forget who the star of the film is, though. I will watch The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse after that. My Lang list is starting to dwindle.

 

 

Mike -- If anyone gets the chance to see "You and Me," take it. I saw the movie back in the 80s and was surprised by how witty and enjoyable it was. It seemed more like Preston Sturges than Lang, but it was very enjoyable.

 

That's 2 minutes for taunting and a game misconduct. Well, it's time for me to put on a Princess Leia "cinnamon bun" wig. There we go. "Help me, TCM Programmer, you're my only hope." Say what? Slave outfit? Ummm... sure.

 

Miss Earthy -- And thanks for the compliment, but I possess not a shred of divinity

 

Well then, I guess you can put me in the "fooled me" bin.

 

So which definition of "Divinity" do you think I believe fits you the best?

 

1. The state or quality of being divine.

 

2. Divinity The godhead; God. Used with the. A deity, such as a god or goddess.

 

3. Godlike character.

 

4. Theology.

 

5. A soft white candy, usually containing nuts.

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"Well I guess tomorrow Kyle will inform me that there's an Alfred Hitchcock film festival in Hollywood." - the spirit of FrankGrimes

 

How about this instead -

Noir City: Los Angeles vs New York: The 8th Annual Festival of Film Noir

 

"More astonishing descents into the dark heart of humanity. Down through twisted mazes of doom-laden streets and pitch black alleys, following cursed men and tainted women trying to fight their way out of psychosis, crime or just plain deadly suburban ennui. Which city deserves the title "Film Noir Capital of the World?" Is noir felt more deeply in the shadowy labyrinth of Manhattan's soaring skyscrapers and teeming tenements, or in the neon kiss of Los Angeles' profiteering promises and lies? In the 8th edition of the American Cinematheque's annual Festival of Film Noir at the Egyptian Theatre, you get to be the judge. The American Cinematheque joins forces with Eddie Muller's Film Noir Foundation to present Noir City: Los Angeles vs. New York, a series of 28 films, both classic and obscure, that captures each city in its mid-20th century prime, when noir was its blackest, and at full raging boil. Each double bill offers one film set in New York, the other in Los Angeles."

 

==============

Double Feature:

ACT OF VIOLENCE, 1948, Warner Bros., 81 min. A dark masterpiece made during the Metro tenure of producer Dore Schary, this is emblematic film noir: Psychically-scarred WWII POW Robert Ryan stalks war hero Van Heflin from sylvan Big Bear Lake to the nocturnal underbelly of postwar downtown L.A. Stellar Robert Surtees’ cinematography captures not only the city, but superb performances from the whole cast, including a jaw-droppingly gorgeous 20-year old Janet Leigh as Heflin’s endearingly tenacious spouse and Mary Astor as a street-wise hooker! Directed by the great Fred Zinnemann (A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS; DAY OF THE JACKAL) NOT ON DVD

 

FORCE OF EVIL, 1948, Republic (Paramount), 78 min. One of the most distinctive works of the original film noir era, Abraham Polonsky’s directorial debut is both a detailed expos? of the New York numbers racket (based on Ira Wolfert’s journalistic novel, Tucker’s People), and a riveting tale of a fallen man’s search for his soul (John Garfield, who also produced, burns up the screen in one of his best roles). Stylized art direction complements the vivid New York location footage. Featuring an evocative score by David Raksin and a memorable supporting performance by the great Thomas Gomez as Garfield’s older brother. An innovative and superlative film in every respect!

================

Double Feature:

ARMORED CAR ROBBERY, 1950, Warner Bros., 67 min. The ultimate ‘B’ caper flick, directed by a great friend of the American Cinematheque, the late Richard Fleischer (THE NARROW MARGIN). The toughest mug in noir, Charles McGraw, plays the prototype L.A. Robbery-Homicide dick matched against goggle-eyed heavy William Talman in the film noir equivalent of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA! With sultry Adele Jergens as a duplicitous burlesque queen, strutting her stuff amidst plenty of period L.A. location photography. NOT ON DVD.

 

ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, 1959, MGM Repertory, 96 min. A seminal cinematic treatise on race relations, artfully served up by director, Robert Wise (THE SET UP; THE HAUNTING). Manhattanites Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan and Ed Begley plan a last-ditch bank robbery in upstate New York. Ryan’s abject bigotry and Belafonte’s take-no-prisoners pride keeps the tension on razor’s edge. Credited John O. Killens was the front for blacklisted screenwriter Abe Polonsky. Gloria Grahame and Shelley Winters offer kinky and melancholy support, respectively. A late term film noir masterpiece, featuring a marvelously inventive score by John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet! Writer Alan K. Rode, author of Charles McGraw, Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy to introduce the screening. Actress Kim Hamilton to appear for discussion between films.

===================

Double Feature:

THE BIG KNIFE, 1955, MGM Repertory, 111 min. Clifford Odets and James Poe’s play about the black heart of Hollywood gets the full soap opera treatment from director Robert Aldrich (KISS ME DEADLY; WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?). Rough-hewn matinee idol Jack Palance gets the twice-over from venal studio boss Rod Steiger, spineless agent Everett Sloane, damaged spouse Ida Lupino, and everyone else in his orbit. The all-star cast includes Shelley Winters, Jean Hagen and an especially slippery Wendell Corey as Steiger’s euphemism-spewing hatchet man. Deliciously dark fun with none of the Beverly Hills scenery left unchewed.

 

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, 1957, MGM Repertory, 95 min. Directed by maestro Alexander Mackendrick, this legendary film seems to get better with each viewing. Burt Lancaster soars in a thinly-veiled portrait of powerful Broadway columnist Walter Winchell, with Tony Curtis in perhaps his finest performance as two-faced, sycophantic press agent ‘Sidney Falco.’ Some of the most deliciously dyspeptic dialogue in screen history is uttered courtesy of writers Ernest Lehman and Clifford Odets, all complemented by James Wong Howe’s cinema verit? camerawork and a brassy Elmer Bernstein score. Keep your eyes peeled and ears open as put-upon jazz musician Martin Milner sits in with the legendary Chico Hamilton Quintet. Co-starring Susan Harrison, Emile Meyer and the great Barbara Nichols (who utters the immortal line "What am I, a bowl of fruit? A tangerine that peels in a minute?") You gotta love this dirty town!

=================

Double Feature:

Ultra-Rarity!! PORT OF NEW YORK 1949, 82 min. Incredible 1940’s location footage of New York’s waterfront (shot by the underrated George Diskant) highlights this brass-knuckled thriller of two old-school narcs (Scott Brady and Richard Rober) trying to bust a drug smuggling racket run by kingpin Yul Brynner (sporting a full head of wavy hair, seven years before THE KING AND I!). Colorful character roles, especially Arthur Blake as desperate comic Dolly Carns, and violent action pepper this sensational forgotten "B" from Eagle-Lion and director Lazlo Benedek (THE WILD ONE).

 

Rarity! THE BREAKING POINT, 1950, Warner Bros., 97 min. The finest film version of Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not (and yes, we’re not forgetting the Bogart-Hawks classic), shifts the story from Cuba to California, but retains the novel’s core of heartache. As Skipper Harry Morgan, John Garfield gives a searing portrait of a man whose domestic woes and mid-life crisis leads to crime and death. Garfield’s greatness is matched by Patricia Neal, as a viper-tongued femme fatale, and Phyllis Thaxter, as his mousy but mighty spouse. With Wallace Ford. One of director Michael Curtiz’s forgotten masterpieces — don’t miss this one! NOT ON DVD Discussion in between films with actress Lynne Carter (PORT OF NEW YORK) and Sherry Jackson (THE BREAKING POINT).

 

===================

Double Feature:

CRY OF THE CITY, 1948, 20th Century-Fox, 95 min. Perhaps the most perfectly realized of all director Robert Siodmak’s films (which include THE KILLERS and CRISS CROSS), both thematically and stylistically, CRY OF THE CITY tells the time-honored tale (based on Henry Helseth’s novel The Chair for Martin Rome) of neighborhood pals who tread divergent courses. Victor Mature becomes a lawman, Richard Conte goes crooked. The two square off all across Manhattan, with tragic results. Although shot entirely on location, Siodmak had no use for the semi-documentary vogue of the day, creating instead a vivid Expressionistic urban landscape that ideally suited this mythic mid-20th century tale of good and evil. Co-starring Shelley Winters, Fred Clark and a scary Hope Emerson (watch for her "neck massage" scene with Conte to see what we mean!). NOT ON DVD

 

Rarity! CITY OF FEAR 1959, Sony Repertory, 81 min. "A half crazed man in a terror crazed town!" Escaped con Vince Edwards thinks he’s stealing a cache of heroin, but he’s actually toting around enough radioactive material to destroy the parts of Los Angeles left standing at the end of KISS ME DEADLY. Like its bookend, MURDER BY CONTRACT, this is a tough little shoestring production innovatively assembled by co-writer/actor Steven Ritch (PLUNDER ROAD) and director Irving Lerner, featuring one of the first film scores of legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith. Co-starring Lyle Talbot and John Archer. NOT ON DVD

Discussion in between films with actor Tommy Cook (CRY OF THE CITY).

 

===================

Double Feature:

Rarity! THE CRIMSON KIMONO, 1959, Sony Repertory, 82 min. As the classic noir period was fading, director Sam Fuller (THE NAKED KISS) came out blasting with the first of a series of wildly original, and often wildly erratic, crime thrillers. This one starts as a pulpy policier, with a pair of L.A. cops (Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta) hunting the killer of a stripper. Midway it twists into a heated romantic triangle with both cops falling for a key witness. The best passages explore the Nisei experience in America, and Shigeta’s torment at falling for a Caucasian woman. Fantastic vintage footage of Little Tokyo, with kinetic inspiration colliding into stilted exposition — watch for flying shrapnel. With Victoria Shaw and Anna Lee. NOT ON DVD

 

PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, 1953, 20th Century Fox, 80 min. Pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark) lifts a stolen military microfilm from the mistress of a Communist spy. Next thing the lowlife wharf rat knows, he’s the hottest thing in the Big Apple, with the Commies and the Feds all trying to kill him first. A former New York crime reporter, director Sam Fuller knows how to make a backlot feel like the real thing: in his sweaty subways, skid row tenements, and waterfront dives the heroes aren’t the do-gooder Feds, but nervy grifters more interested in their own survival than affairs of state. In Fuller’s world loyalty vies with self-interest, and tenderness battles brutality to a standstill every step of the way. With Jean Peters, Richard Kiley, and an Oscar-nominated Thelma Ritter

 

===================

Double Feature:

Rarity! THE GLASS WALL, 1953, Sony Repertory, 82 min. Vittorio Gassman plays a "displaced person" about to be deported who jumps ship in a desperate bid to find the only man in New York — a WWII brethren — who can secure his citizenship. This vividly-photographed look at 1950’s Manhattan-after-dark grafts traditional noir iconography — such as fallen angel Gloria Grahame — onto a still-topical storyline about the plight of illegal immigrants. Co-written and directed by Maxwell Shane. A first-time screening at the American Cinematheque! NOT ON DVD

 

Ultra-Rarity!! THE CROOKED WEB, 1955, Sony Repertory, 77 min. Another forgotten ‘B’ noir is resurrected by the Film Noir Foundation and the American Cinematheque! Good guy drive-in owner Frank Lovejoy bites off more than he can swallow when he falls for Amazonian carhop Mari Blanchard, who portrays one of the more challenging femme fatales of the fifties, in this globe-hopping melodrama that leaps from the San Fernando valley to postwar Germany. Veteran genre director Nathan Juran (20,000,000 MILES TO EARTH; HIGHWAY DRAGNET) helms a story full of genuinely surprising plot twists. Co-starring Richard Denning. NOT ON DVD

Discussion in between films with actress Ann Robinson (THE GLASS WALL).

 

=====================

Double Feature:

HE WALKED BY NIGHT, 1948, MGM Repertory, 79 min. In this landmark noir, a psychotic loner (Richard Basehart) uses his genius for electronics to commit robberies while evading the police. When he graduates to murder, L.A.’s finest, including tough Scott Brady and methodical Jack Webb (who was immediately inspired to create "Dragnet"), pull out a few modern techniques of their own. The cops launch an all-out manhunt to snare the clever crook, tracking him through—and beneath—cityscapes stunningly photographed by the greatest of all noir cinematographers, John Alton. Directed by Alfred Werker (SHOCK), with uncredited assistance from Anthony Mann (RAW DEAL; T-MEN). Don’t miss this classic in all of its 35mm glory!

 

Rarity! THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK, 1950, Sony Repertory, 79 min. Evelyn Keyes, in thrall to a truly despicable crook (Charles Korvin), agrees to carry into the States $40,000 worth of jewels smuggled out of Cuba. What she doesn’t know is that she’s contracted the smallpox virus and is spreading it all over Manhattan. What she learns is that her man is cheating on her — with her sister (Lola Albright). What she wants is revenge! A truly exciting and underappreciated film featuring a compelling performance by Keyes. With Dorothy Malone and Barry Kelley. Directed by Earl McEvoy. Don’t miss it! NOT ON DVD

 

==================

Double Feature:

THE KILLING, 1956, MGM Repertory, 85 min. If you haven’t seen it, you may be missing the greatest caper film of all time. Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) attempts to liberate a million dollars from the bustling Landsdowne racetrack in broad daylight, with only a simple diversion and a crew of hardboiled misfits working in perfect unison. Of course, when said crew contains Elisha Cook, Jay C. Flippen, Ted de Corsia and king-hell nutcase Timothy Carey, things aren’t going to work out as planned… and when Marie Windsor is mixed up in it, you know it’s going to get very noir. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, faithfully adapted by noir legend Jim Thompson from Lionel White’s novel Clean Break, and photographed by Lucien Ballard. Co-starring Coleen Gray.

 

Rarity! THE SLEEPING CITY, 1950, Universal, 85 min. Cop Richard Conte goes undercover at New York’s famous Bellevue Hospital, where internists are getting mysteriously interred. While posing as a new doctor, he ignites sparks with a lovely nurse who may be far less than saintly (Coleen Gray, in what may be her best performance!). Shot on location entirely inside and around Bellevue by director George Sherman, from an original screenplay by Jo Eisinger (NIGHT AND THE CITY). NOT ON DVD

Discussion in between films with actress Coleen Gray.

 

====================

Double Feature:

PITFALL, 1948, 86 min. Enjoy an adult dose of Southern Californian suburban angst as Dick Powell’s by-the-book insurance agent, dissatisfied with a dead-end job and humdrum wife (Jane Wyatt) indulges in an extra-marital dalliance with hard-luck model Lizabeth Scott who models in the salon of our own Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue May Co department store (the building is now part of LACMA). Who will make him pay for his indiscretion? The thuggish private eye (a wonderfully creepy Raymond Burr) who already has designs on Liz? Her jealous boyfriend, about to be sprung from prison? Or his own steel-spined spouse? Come see who survives the guilt-sodden affair in this remarkable and vastly-undervalued masterpiece of noir, with brilliant uncredited scripting by William Bowers, and direction by Andr? de Toth (CRIME WAVE). NOT ON DVD

 

A DOUBLE LIFE, 1947, Republic (Paramount), 104 min. Ronald Colman plumbs frigid depths as an actor truly lost in his work. Did he really kill that poor waitress (Shelley Winters) or was that just a rehearsal for his next great Shakespearian turn? Colman’s Oscar-winning performance as thespian Anthony John still seems stunningly fresh. One of the true classics, co-starring Signe Hasso, Edmund O’Brien and Ray Collins. Directed by George Cukor, filmed on location at the Empire Theatre in New York City, from a brilliant script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. NOT ON DVD

 

===================

Double Feature:

711 OCEAN DRIVE, 1950, Sony Repertory, 102 min. Edmund O’Brien stars as an ambitious telephone technician who ruthlessly climbs the ladder of a nationwide gambling syndicate. One of the most entertaining of the ‘racket-noirs’ spawned by the Kefauver organized crime hearings is helmed by the late friend of the American Cinematheque, director Joseph Newman. Co-starring Joanne Dru and Otto Kruger with a memorable climax shot on location at Hoover Dam. NOT ON DVD

 

Rarity! THE MOB, 1951, Sony Repertory, 87 min. When Bill Bowers writes the screenplay, you can count on the action and dialogue being fast, furious and fun — even in a brutal story of a New York cop (Broderick Crawford) going deep undercover to thwart waterfront racketeers. When Crawford shows a particular relish for acting like a crook, the real bad guys (starting with a menacing Ernest Borgnine) decide to put him on ice. Roughhouse melodrama that made a huge star of Crawford. Directed by Robert Parrish (CRY DANGER). NOT ON DVD

 

================

Double Feature:

THE WRONG MAN, 1956, Warner Bros., 105 min. Henry Fonda plays real-life jazz musician Emmanuel Ballestreros, an innocent man who is one day sucked into a whirlpool of circumstantial guilt and left to drown in New York’s criminal justice system. This seldom-seen gem by director Alfred Hitchcock, a grim orphan amongst his glossy 1950’s confections, was shot entirely on-site in the locations where the story actually happened, and it expertly draws the viewer into the nightmare of the falsely-accused. Hitchcock was famously paranoid of anything and everything to do with the police, and those fears reach their zenith of expression here. With Vera Miles and Anthony Quayle excellent in supporting roles.

 

Rarity! SHOCKPROOF, 1949, Sony Repertory, 79 min. "You’ve got to change your brand of men." Esteemed director Douglas Sirk (WRITTEN ON THE WIND) veers from the bedroom to the back-alley in this underrated, seldom-screened noir shot on location in downtown Los Angeles. Cornel Wilde stars as a dedicated parole officer who gets in hot water when a fetching hardcase (Patrica Knight), just released after a five-year jolt for manslaughter, stirs more than his protective instincts. Blackmail and more man-slaughtering follow. Co-written by Helen Deutsch and Samuel Fuller. NOT ON DVD.

Discussion in between films with actress Peggy Webber (THE WRONG MAN).

 

====================

Double Feature:

THE PEOPLE AGAINST O'HARA, 1951, MGM Repertory, 102 min. RARITY! The great Spencer Tracy makes his only foray into film noir playing a retired New York attorney who comes back to the courtroom to defend a young man accused of murder. The only thing that can blunt his brilliance is the bottle, and unfortunately he can’t let go of it. The story’s twists and turns lead to a satisfying, and surprisingly dark, resolution. A solid story by Eleazar Lipsky (KISS OF DEATH) is brought beautifully to life by a fine cast (Pat O’Brien, Diana Lynn, John Hodiak, Eduardo Ciannelli), the crisp direction of John Sturges (BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK), and most critically, the spectacular camerawork of John Alton. NOT ON DVD

 

Ultra-Rarity!! New 35mm Print! I LOVE TROUBLE, 1948, Sony Repertory, 93 min. Dir. S. Sylvan Simon. Franchot Tone plays a wisecracking private eye sleuthing his way through a bevy of treacherous dames in this playful homage to Raymond Chandler, written by future TV legend Roy Huggins (creator of great small screen shows "77 Sunset Strip," "Maverick," "The Fugitive"). Great location sequences of Wilshire, Venice and Long Beach abound throughout. With Janet Blair, Janis Carter, Adele Jergens, Glenda Farrell, John Ireland, Raymond Burr. This brand new 35mm print was struck expressly for the Film Noir Foundation, courtesy of Sony Repertory. NOT ON DVD

Discussion in between films with actor Richard Anderson (PEOPLE AGAINST OHARA).

 

========================

Double Feature:

THE GARMENT JUNGLE, 1957, Sony Repertory, 88 min. Based on the true story of a muckraking New York journalist who was blinded by acid for trying to expose the evils of garment industry bosses, this film is one of the toughest "expos?" pictures of the 1950’s. The fierce script by Harry Kleiner is directed by both Robert Aldrich (the project’s original helmer) and Vincent Sherman (who replaced him during filming). The result is seamless, and the performances are uniformly first-rate, from a cast that includes Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Matthews (pre-Sinbad), Gia Scala, Richard Boone, Joseph Wiseman, and a young and fiery Robert Loggia. NOT ON DVD

 

ABANDONED, 1949, Universal, 78 min. Dir. Joseph M. Newman. "No name for her baby... only a price! " Screenwriter Bill Bowers strikes again, this time providing uncredited seasoning to an expos? of Los Angeles black-market baby rackets. Amazing location footage of 1949 Los Angeles is on prominent display in this gorgeous 35mm print recently unearthed by the Film Noir Foundation. Co-starring Dennis O’Keefe, Gale Storm, Raymond Burr, Jeff Chandler. Screenplay by Irwin Geilgud. Don’t miss your only chance to see this on a big screen! NOT ON DVD

Discussion in between films with actor Robert Loggia (THE GARMENT JUNGLE).

===============================

 

Sound fun?????

It was. This was presented last April. Repertory-wise, LA is kinda dull right now.

 

Sorry for the tease.

 

Kyle (Aren't I A Stinker?) In Hollywood

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Well, Kyle, I'm willing to wager you have left FrankGrimes a mere puddle on the floor after that tease.

 

If I were a wagering gal (and you know I am), I'd say you better keep your eyes peeled for a shamus or the law to come sniffing around wanting to know what you know about the mysterious disappearance of Frank.

 

I hope you cleaned that puddle up really good because there's a flat foot who patrols the streets of Los Angeles by the name of Friday, Joe Friday, who's not going to go away until he is satisfied he has gotten the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

 

There are a couple of shady characters around these parts who would love the opportunity to drop a nickel on you.

 

They may send you to Quentin. Sugarpuss will wait for you, I'm sure. I hope they don't hang you by that great (apologies to J Huston) neck of yours.

 

I'll start calling around and seeing if we can scrape the bread together to make your bail.

 

Don't hold your breath. JackBurley is probably traveling and Filmlover is probably tied up with some noir dame and working on a novel.

 

But, we'll try, I promise.

 

Message was edited by: lzcutter

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>>>Cloak and Dagger is next up for me. I forget who the star of the film is, though.<<<

 

What? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat did you just ask, Frank? Have all my patient hours spent on this board taught you nothing!!!? The next time you visit That Thread several ladies will be whipping out their wet noodles, so beware.

 

>>>5. A soft white candy, usually containing nuts.<<<

 

I think right now that one comes closest to describing me.

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Kyle is playing with fire, he almost had ME packing up my things and dashing off to LAX!

 

Actually I'm glad you posted that, Kyle, because it brought up a couple of movies I've never seen and would like to seek out if they are at all available:

 

*Shockproof* With a tagline like "You?ve got to change your brand of men." it sounds like it was just made for moi.

 

*THE BREAKING POINT* 1950, Warner Bros., 97 min. The finest film version of Hemingway?s novel To Have and Have Not (and yes, we?re not forgetting the Bogart-Hawks classic). I have been searching for this one ever since I first read about it years ago, and I'm surprised it didn't make it into the Ernest Hemingway Collection DVD Box Set, which I thought was a Fox/WB co-production.

 

And, among the other goodies listed, I never thought to see *A Double Life, The Wrong Man and The People Against O'Hara* shown in one festival. That must have been sweet. Actually, the Spencer Tracy flick is another film that has eluded me and continues to taunt.

 

*I cannot close without, of course, making note of this GLARING ommission on the part of the writer of that piece* :

 

(Regarding ACT OF VIOLENCE) Directed by the great Fred Zinnemann (A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS; DAY OF THE JACKAL) Anyone notice a certain movie not mentioned as directed by the Great Fred Zinnemann? Only the MOST famous movie he ever directed???????? HIGH NOON?????????????

 

That's two. Gary Cooper needs to come over and seriously kick some noir patooty.

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Kyle -- Thank you for bringing the upcoming Film Noir festival to my attention. I only had to read the first two films to realize that I had to go to this festival. I'll probably arrive in Los Angeles in about two days. I hope to see you then. By the way, I just picked up a hitchhiking woman. Her name is Vera. She seems wonderful. I can't wait to introduce her to you.

 

Lynn -- It won't be a shamus that gets to Mr. Kyle. Let's just say that I hope Kyle doesn't have a soft belly and that none of his relatives are wheelchair-bound.

 

Miss Divinity What? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat did you just ask, Frank? Have all my patient hours spent on this board taught you nothing!!!? The next time you visit That Thread several ladies will be whipping out their wet noodles, so beware.

 

Then I came down and started whacking you myself, and then you whacked me, and then I whacked you, and then we started whacking back and forth, and ...

 

A soft white candy, usually containing nuts. I think right now that one comes closest to describing me.

 

Uh-huh.

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  • 1 year later...

Just as a reminder to all Fritz Lang fans everywhere - remember that Lang's The Man Hunt (1941) will be finally making its DVD debut in little less than a month:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Man-Hunt-Walter-Pidgeon/dp/B001SMC9L2/

 

I've never seen it, but I hear very good things about it. Its video release is obviously timed to coincide with the release of Valkyrie, so I guess sometimes good things can come from bad ones. :P

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Thanks for bringing this thread new life. Any time Charlie McGraw gets mentioned, or that I can take potshots at MissG, or maybe get Frank to post more screen caps, that's always a good enough reason. But like you, I've never seen MAN HUNT and I'm looking forward to the DVD's delivery. Now, if I can keep MissG's ruler from swatting the back of my hands when I finally get it, maybe I can load it into my player! Darn... she's SO quick with that thing... WHAP....

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

> Just as a reminder to all Fritz Lang fans everywhere - remember that Lang's The Man Hunt (1941) will be finally making its DVD debut in little less than a month:

>

> http://www.amazon.com/Man-Hunt-Walter-Pidgeon/dp/B001SMC9L2/

>

> I've never seen it, but I hear very good things about it. Its video release is obviously timed to coincide with the release of Valkyrie, so I guess sometimes good things can come from bad ones. :P

 

The film is titled, simply, MAN-HUNT and, yes, it's very good.

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

> I just hope that Fox did at least a bit of restoration on the film, and didn't use the substandard print/master that airs on the Fox Movie Channel (which is missing part of the Main and End Titles).

 

I don't remember if it has been on FMC recently, but I haven't caught it there. However I would totally agree that they'd better have given it at least a bit of restoration. I don't mind buying classic titles on DVD unless they are obviously terrible video/audio transfers.

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I recently rented Lang's version of *Liliom* from 1934, starring Charles Boyer and Madeleine Ozeray.

 

I don't know whether it was simply that I love the play, or that I watched it directly after seeing the ghastly 1930 Frank Borzage version, but this movie seemed absolutely wonderful to me. It remained true to the original translation of the play (which the Borzage version did not, Borzage's ending was changed). Lang's had just the right mixture of heavy duty drama and light comic philosophy that makes me love Molnar in the first place. Lang really "got" the whole meaning of the play, which sadly, Borzage didn't. Plus, the casting of poor Charles Farrell was so completely off that I simply couldn't relax into the 1930 version at all. It made me nervous.

 

The Borzage version had one thing going for it - it was strikingly beautiful. If it had been silent, it might have worked. But it was a static beauty - it never moved. The dialogue was heavy, like a hammer hitting you over the head, and Rose Hobart, who had a pleasing voice and manner, read every line as if the world were ending. Even the special effects, which should have been mesmerizing, left me laughing out loud in all the wrong places. When I watched this film, I found time to feel incredibly sorry for Charles Farrell. He tried so hard to be tough, but again, he was hampered by the sledgehammer direction, and stilted, boring staging. I hate to say it, but his voice was not that of a tough carnival barker. Enough said.

 

I insist that Borzage didn't actually understand the deeper meaning of the play's ending. Lang in 1934 was able to shrug his shoulders at Liliom's failings and laugh, a good hearty laugh. He played it so light, almost as light as Lubitsch, letting the audience grasp that mankind will always be the same. Exactly what Molnar did in the play. It made me gasp in recognition. The very thing that I loved so in the play was neatly tied up with a bow at the end.

 

Lang's special effects, though maybe not as beautiful as Borzage's, got the job done in a much more satisfying way.

 

*SPOILER*

In Borzage's version, the pivotal scene in the play is again overdone. Liliom is awakened from his death-sleep by an actual train zooming shockingly into the scene and around his body. It is unfortunate that you can tell it is a model. I found it to be such a huge effect that it was unintentionally funny.

 

In Lang's version, Liliom's ascent into heaven (or the waiting room, as the case may be) was done in a simple yet very effective way. Liliom is laid out on a bench outside Julie's poor flat. His head is flanked by two candles. The man who led him astray comes to see what has happened. He sees that Liliom has died. He turns to see two beings in black suits, with white, deadpan features walking slowly to the makeshift bier. He runs off. All the effects here are simple: makeup and lighting showing Liliom's sunken eyes and cheeks and the white, flat faces of the "angels". Each face is surrounded by black, with the candles shining in the background. The two men tell Liliom, "It would be too convenient if death resolved everything." (a more typically cynical viewpoint here from Lang). They tell him to arise and follow.... and so as Liliom slowly sits up (the camera does something weird here, very modern, something like a dolly zoom), they take him by the arms and lift him to his feet. Amazingly, they don't stop there. They keep rising up, up, up past the clouds, stars twinkling merrily behind them, going on seemingly forever.

 

Before seeing these two movies, I would have said that Borzage's style was more suited to this story. But after watching I can only recommend Fritz Lang's version. In fact, his is the best version, and that includes any subsequent musicals, etc.

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