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APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER---gorgeous "industrial" noir


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1950 - Alan Ladd--- yes, it's "noir" and it's the best i've seen in a long long time.

EVERY trick of the "noir" art is in this film---with 2 of the "noir" super-stars, Alan Ladd and Jan Sterling.

It's  filmed on location---nighttime, industrial locations, with HUGE 1950's cars and grungy lighting and deserted, rainy streets.

This is the REAL thing.

This is also Jan Sterling in "new look" fashions that she was born to wear, that is, the kind of clothes a "gun moll" would wear in 1950.

But it's mainly Alan Ladd-- petite, gorgeous, and bitter - our anti-hero of "NOIR."


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  • 9 months later...

Unfortunately I myself, can't agree with the enthusiasm others express for this picture. It's clearly, a crime film and (to me, anyway) not a strongly memorable one at that. The plot is as standard as an episode of 'Dragnet'. Almost put me to sleep...Ladd looked like he was asleep. I like him well enough but his range as an actor is like Roger Moore's was. Does he ever move his facial muscles at all?

Anyway none of the points raised in the OP above seem (to me) to mark the flick as noir, no--not as far as I can detect.

Brief recap. Alan Ladd is a treasury agent postal agent (!)  :o working undercover, and he follows a lead given him by a Catholic nun at a convent. He infiltrates a gang planning an armored car robbery.

  • Is Ladd ever in any real jeopardy? Do we ever worry he won't get out of this? Nope. Besides, at any time he can phone his superiors and one of his colleagues will bail him out.
  • Is there any moral ambiguity Ladd must confront? Any ethical dilemma? No. He's strait-laced and 'establishment' all the way. (USPS, not a government agency known for its brutality)
  • Is Ladd a 'doomed man' at all? No. This is a hallmark of noir. But at the end of the romp, goody-two-shoes Ladd goes back to the nun for a pat on the head, isn't that so?
  • A-list director, A-list photographer, big name stars--A-list picture. Film noir is usually B-budget.
  • Can't be a low-budget B-flick if it has so many outdoor/location shots. (Film noir is low budget and usually shot indoors).

I agree there's some industrial locations in the photography but 'industrial' noir to me, connotates something entirely different. This pic is still an armored car robbery movie.

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You tune to these films or you don't. You only see it as a Crime Film. For me it's usually the visual aspect first that tilts films to the Noir Side in the first place. Then the story line either lives up to it or falls short. Not all Noirs are crime films either.


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