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I was really disappointed after the gunshot when Phillips Holmes was the one still standing.

 

Like the police Captain said:

 

Why do these bums always knock off the good looking ones?

 

 

Hahahaaaaa!! That's the best line I've heard in a long time. I didn't even catch that one

in Penthouse!

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Vic's lips, arms (I am definitely an arm woman), and eyebrows are awfully sexy. One critic I read said his face, with those hooded eyes and full lips, was like an open sexual invitation..... who am I to argue with a critic? :)

 

Another said his body, with the broad shoulders and tiny waist, was shaped "like a frappe glass".

 

I watched *CRY OF THE CITY* yesterday, and thought it was a good solid movie, no fireworks, but still fun to watch. I thought Mature was going to have the worst role in this movie, but he ended up pulling it off beautifully at the end of the film.

 

*SPOILERS*

 

The plot had *Victor Mature* dug in as stolid, hard working cop Vittorio Candella hot on the trail of Martin Rome, played by *Richard Conte*. Rome is all flash and seduction, his character is noted for his way with the ladies.... Rome and Candella grew up in the same neighborhood, know the same folks. it's a trite plot, but the good direction and real location cinematography help move the plot along nicely. Psychology plays a big role in this picture, with Rome being the attractive character, and Candella always lagging behind.... Mature almost seems envious underneath his preaching. Conte, on the run, is actually running from himself, he knows he has a haphazard way of using people up.

 

There are, as far as I can see, none of the usual *Robert Siodmak* tricks - no mirror shots, no disintegrating sexual relationships, no sibling rivalry. The main motif seems to be that Mature and Conte are two halves of a whole - like twins, they are connected, but cannot come together into one integrated human being. This is not particularly clear until the end of the film.

 

The best things about the movie are the character performances - starting with *Fred Clark* 's bored detective, and going right through to the creepy and over the top Hope Emerson. The character actors take this film to a whole new level. Personally, the ones that really got me were the women - they seemed like the heart of the story to me. One could see this film as a treatise on men's destruction and abuse of women.....if you really stretch it.

 

*Betty Garde*, as Nurse Pruitt, was the first to capture my attention in a wonderful understated performance as the Nurse who, although not altogether seduced or fooled by Conte, helps him anyway. Then *Mimi Aguglia*, as Mama Rome, had some great scenes in which she tells Martin that although she loves him, she cannot go on letting him corrupt his younger brother's life... he must get out of the house, and never come back. (the younger brother, strangely enough, is named Tony Rome). *Shelley Winters* is good and earthy as an ex girlfriend of Rome's who is slightly weaselly - you are never sure if she will help him, or turn him in.... or if her help will actually lead to his arrest. Many would say her role is too small.

 

And *Hope Emerson* ? Well, I cannot even describe how wonderfully bizarre she is - at first I thought that Conte was desperate enough to actually seduce her (or was she seducing him?), but in a crazy twist, she comes close to murdering him instead..... He kept saying how he needed to stay at her apartment to get some sleep..... but I doubt he slept a wink that night.... I was more afraid of her than any other character in the movie.....

 

My favorite of the male actors was probably *Walter Baldwin*, as Orvey, the off kilter prison trustee who idolizes Martin Rome enough to give him his own means of escape. He was quite sympathetic, and fun to watch - he had a kind of skiffling walk and an excited gleam in his eye that spoke of years of subservience to the nasty prison guard ( played by Roland Winters). Second would be *Berry Kroeger*, slimy in a Laird Cregar/Louis Hayward kind of way. He played a corrupt lawyer eager to "help" Martin, by forcing him to confess to a robbery he didn't commit (in order to protect another client). He meets his end in a satisfactory manner..... adding to Martin's record. Also of note was *Tom Moore* as a corrupt doctor who treats Conte for his gunshot wounds without a license.

 

Conte was .... Conte. I have never really liked him, and yet, he always gives good solid performances. He is quite believable as a con trying to make his escape, and the scene I liked best was his long, long walk out of the prison hospital, through gates and down halls.... it was enormously suspenseful.

 

*More SPOILERS*

 

As for Mature, I wasn't sure he would be able to climb out from under the baggage he was loaded with in this movie. Playing the straight laced cop is a tough role for anyone. Finally at the end, he had his moment - in which he describes why he hates the behavior of Richard Conte's character, Martin Rome. It was beautifully played, with a sneering antagonism borne of maybe a little jealousy, and a lot of pride in his ability to stay "straight". Mature cuts through the crap and the excuses that Conte has been dishing out.to himself all along. Mature also does a great job at the very end of the movie - he has been shot (an interesting mirroring of Conte, who spends the entire movie with a festering gunshot wound), and as Rome is slowly making his getaway, Mature gives him one more chance to go straight......

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

> I thought he looked like he was trying NOT to look down Marilyn's dress......

 

Ha! And trying NOT to say "tea will be served on the terrace..."

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Victor might want to grab something in that shot with him and the Queen of England...but it ain't a drink. You do see who's standing next to him, right?

 

Thanxx so much for the picture. You're always right on point.

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

> Victor might want to grab something in that shot with him and the Queen of England...but it ain't a drink. You do see who's standing next to him, right?

>

 

That's why I was referring to "tea on the terrace"...get it? lol

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Hi JackF.,

It's great to read your appreciative analysis of *Cry of the City*, one of my favorite noirs. However, not only do *Mature-Conte* carry on the disintegrating sibling rivalry theme inherent in almost all *Siodmak* films (whether out of the imagination of Robert or Curt), but there is a smaller echo of this when *Tommy Cook* tries to help his brother, the fugitive Conte. The youngster wants to emulate his older brother, but even he sees that it is hopeless and you have the sense that he sees how futile any relationship is with the self-involved *Richard Conte*.

 

Now, you want twisted siblings, Siodmak-style ? Have you ever had a chance to find copies of *The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry* (1945) or *The Dark Mirror* (1946)? Hoo, boy, these blood relatives aren't kidding when it comes to the squirrelly side of kinship.

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>It's great to read your appreciative analysis of Cry of the City, one of my favorite noirs. However, not only do Mature-Conte carry on the disintegrating sibling rivalry theme inherent in almost all Siodmak films (whether out of the imagination of Robert or Curt), but there is a smaller echo of this when Tommy Cook tries to help his brother, the fugitive Conte. The youngster wants to emulate his older brother, but even he sees that it is hopeless and you have the sense that he sees how futile any relationship is with the self-involved Richard Conte.

 

Hey, Moira! You know, I wrote that about there being no sibling rivalry , but I really thought if Mature/Conte as brothers..... I should have gone back to change it but I figured that the boards would be down before I got a chance to post - so I left it.

 

*Spoiler*

 

Conte IS an attractive character - he always has an excuse for why he kills or hurts people, and the excuses make sense. I bought it almost all the way through the movie. He has the right instincts. That is why it is easy to see why Tony (Tommy Cook) could go either way.... and I felt like that right up to the end of the film. Siodmak really shows how HARD it is to be a good guy in this milieu and how attractive getting even can be. We even want what Martin wants! However, corruption itself is shown at it's ugliest here, and those who are so full of corruption that they have to pawn it off on others (the lawyer, Niles comes to mind) are seen as the most truly evil of the lot. Martin, while fulfilling our wish to get even, is tainted by these more and more disgusting people he has to hang with. It's all downhill from here for Martin, even if he does make it.

 

*HUGE- MAJOR SPOILER* - *DON"T READ THIS*

 

Tony really choked me up in the ending shot of the film..... no sound, just the camera shot through the back car window of him crying his heart out.....

 

*OK YOU CAN READ NOW* :)

 

I honestly haven't watched much of Siodmak's work. I love *The Spiral Staircase*, but that's about all I know. I am not a noir person, but I am trying to expand my knowledge by delving into westerns and noir lately. *Cinemaven* 's suggestion that we watch CRY IN THE CITY spurred me to give it a chance. The fact that I could watch Victor Mature in a fedora made it easy to make that decision! He certainly looked good in a hat. Or out of a hat....oh, he just looks GOOD.

 

Your post about lost movies on youtube from a few weeks ago also got me to watch the *Exiles: from Hitler to Hollywood documentary* , and Siodmak's work on *Mennschen am Sonntag* caught my attention. So I looked him up last week and started reading about him. This gave me another reason to check the movie out.

 

So I am waiting patiently here for La Maven to chime in with her two cents....and I can't wait for her thoughts on the exotic Mr. Mature.

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So, JackFavell,

If you are just dipping your toe into the film noir whirlpool, does this mean that you've yet to see *Victor Mature* in Henry Hathaway's *Kiss of Death* or *Richard Conte* in the Jules Dassin-directed Thieves Highway? They are probably at their peak in these film noirs. Boy, I envy you the experience of seeing these guys in those roles for the first time.

 

I keep hoping that *Siodmak* will make it as a director of the month, but so far, nada. I suspect that many of his films are unavailable for lease. I have *Mennschen am Sonntag* on my must-see list. I believe I saw it in college, but can barely remember it, since those were the "happily blurry years". Have you seen *Gene Kelly* and *Deanna Durbin* in *Christmas Holiday* (1944)? It begins [here|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHrZyUO3b24] on youtube. Guess what? It's not a musical despite that cast, but a moody little drama directed by *Robert Siodmak* from a novella by *Somerset Maugham*.

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hey everyone!

 

i saw that picture of *Head* with the Monkees and i just had to comment on it! the Monkees are the BEST 60s group for me. heehee! i grew up watching their show on reruns as a littler girl and they made me laugh so hard and i just love every single one of their songs.....i hadnt seen *Head* until later on though. i just love giggling to my Monkees.

 

 

i would most definitely invite them to have a cuppa tea with me, heehee!

 

MonkeesHead.jpg

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Hi Miss Scotchie! Good to see you made it back here. :) I didn't have much time to post

tonight but wanted to say "hey, hey little monkee" and save me a cuppa tea. Don't let

Davey drink it all!

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Stalling for time re: rambling about "CRY OF THE CITY" I saw a wonderfully (predictable) but quiet and strong film (on Fox Movie Channel...ooooh!) called "HAPPY LAND." It starred Don Ameche and the luminously beautiful Frances Dee. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035970/

 

Dee & Ameche's son is killed during the war. We flashback to see the story of their young son. Now as it was going along I was annoyed that it concentrated on the father's (Ameche) grief and not the mother's (Dee). But as it went on I got totally engaged in the story and in this young man's life.

 

Don Ameche gave a wonderfully moderated and subtle performance. He has a great voice, played older than he was in 1943. Never a big fan of his, I was totally impressed with him throughout.

 

I shamefully and sheepishly admit I was disappointed to see Frances Dee looked so matronly, a mother of a young boy. But in 1943, she did have two young sons during that time. And going waay back in the flashback, they do show her looking like young self. Her performance, a supporting one is quiet & solid; when she's on the screen however brief it is, she's just...gee. She holds your gaze. I gotta tell you there is something about her.

 

It was nice seeing Dickie Moore and Ann Rutherford without "Andy Hardy" pestering her. As we see the boy become a man, boy scouts, track & field, high school graduation, first love and first kisses and find a deeper love (with Rutherford) with the girl-next-door who grows up (and out) I was fully engaged in his story.

 

It was a nice look at Americana (perhaps the way some small towns really were... perhaps the imagination of what one wanted it to be). By the end of the film, I was very teary-eyed; even predicting what was going to happen, it was a very touching movie.

 

Now...I've got to get my thoughts cohesively put on paper to ramble about "CRY OF THE CITY." And lawdy lawdy I still have to complete my Programming Challenge or else be skinned. But I will tell you this: there's a scene in the kitchen when Victor Mature kind of taunts Richard Conte with sudden moves, he moves some dinnerware on the dining room table and sits back in a chair crossing his legs where he looked just...so...damn...sexy. I gush but yo, I played that scene back several times. It was a small gesture Mature did with sitting back and making a hand gesture towards the table that really made me see how relaxed in his Mature. And some darned muscular skin that is. Wow, ladies.

 

To Be Continued...

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Speaking of Robert Siodmak, I always liked Phantom Lady (1944) with Alan Curtis, Ella Raines, Franchot Tone, Elisha Cook, Jr. and Thomas Gomez. I didn't realize until much later that it is considered notable in the noir genre.

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

> That plastic grin pinned on Mature's face makes me think he can't wait to get the

> heck out of there and grab a drink!

> 2302358451_80fb295357.jpg

 

Miss G. and jackie, Victor looks like he actually wants to look down ELIZABETH'S dress.

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

> Vic's lips, arms (I am definitely an arm woman), and eyebrows are awfully sexy. One critic I read said his face, with those hooded eyes and full lips, was like an open sexual invitation..... who am I to argue with a critic? :)

>

> Another said his body, with the broad shoulders and tiny waist, was shaped "like a frappe glass".

 

 

There is no part of Victor I am displeased with.

 

Ha! -- "frappe glass". What a perfect description.

 

I haven't seen CRY OF THE CITY in a long time. The only thing I remember is Hope Emerson massaging Richard Conte, or was I having a nightmare?

 

Bette Garde I know from two roles -- "Kitty Stark" in CAGED (where Emerson is Evelyn Harper, the sadistic prison matron) and Lois Nettleton's landlady in the "Midnight Sun" episode of The Twilight Zone.

 

Because I've forgotten nearly all of this movie, I'll wait until after I see it again to read your review.

 

I managed to catch some Jungle Jim before I left for work this evening.

This is from JUNGLE JIM IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY. A female anthropologist is talking to a colleague: "I need someone to help me through the jungle" -- "Why don't you get in touch with Jungle Jim?" -- "Jungle Jim? How do I find him?" -- "Nobody really knows, he lives in the jungle".

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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Bronxie, great dialog like that is littered throughout these films. No wonder they're still top-draws! haha

 

Honestly, I think it'd be tough on a writer to come up with some of that dialog. In fact, I think it'd be tough for two people - sitting across from each other - to write something like that. Deliberately.

 

That technique must have a lot of forced absenses. "OK, we need 4 lines of dialog. Let's write one, call it a day, and we'll write the next one tomorrow on a blank sheet of paper - never referring to the earlier line!"

 

"And we can do the 3rd line after lunch!"

 

I enjoy LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA's "dialog" for a slightly different reason: those folks wrote lines that I'd swear could have never been conceived of. But they did it. AND the actors delivered them with perfect imitations of the '50s Drive-In School Of Acting.

 

And here, I see the Jungle Jim films were doing all these and it looks quite organic - I suspect there is a blank page with a parenthetical comment (2 characters, 4 lines of dialog - here). And the actors flipped the page and were told, "Hurry - say anything - one line from you, then a response, then another line and another response. Say ANYTHING!!"

 

Surely no writer could have put down THOSE words.

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

> Speaking of Robert Siodmak, I always liked Phantom Lady (1944) with Alan Curtis, Ella Raines, Franchot Tone, Elisha Cook, Jr. and Thomas Gomez. I didn't realize until much later that it is considered notable in the noir genre.

 

Welcome, Joel!

 

Phantom Lady has eluded me for forever...so I'm starting to believe she's a real phantom! Ha!

I still haven't seen this movie despite having read about it in noir circles for years. I wish TCM

would broadcast it. I like Ella Raines, she was very pretty with a sort of Lauren Bacallish look.

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*I saw a wonderfully (predictable) but quiet and strong film (on Fox Movie Channel...ooooh!) called "HAPPY LAND." It starred Don Ameche and the luminously beautiful Frances Dee.*

 

Hey Theresa!

 

interesting movie you pointed out, if you dont mind i'd like to chat with you about it. :)

 

This movie is such a heartfelt picture full of emotion and love that just grabs at you. it did that for me, and im surely it did that for you too.

 

Dee & Ameche's son is killed during the war. We flashback to see the story of their young son. Now as it was going along I was annoyed that it concentrated on the father's (Ameche) grief and not the mother's (Dee). But as it went on I got totally engaged in the story and in this young man's life.

 

This movie started so sad for me and wasnt sure if i would really like it, but found myself wanting to see more concerning the reaction and relationship between (Ameche) and (Dee), even thought they seemed to have focused mainly on Ameche's reaction quite a bit more, which i was annoyed with as well. they were so emotional in this movie, especially Ameche, but not like you would think at all. it was sometimes a suttle grief that really fit his personality well, which i was pleased with.

 

I shamefully and sheepishly admit I was disappointed to see Frances Dee looked so matronly, a mother of a young boy. But in 1943, she did have two young sons during that time. And going waay back in the flashback, they do show her looking like young self. Her performance, a supporting one is quiet & solid; when she's on the screen however brief it is, she's just...gee. She holds your gaze. I gotta tell you there is something about her.

 

why were you so disappointed that they made Frances Dee so matronly. i think its cute in her movies when she is matronly like also in *Because of You* as Loretta Young's good friend. but i do haave to agree with you....every time i see her name in the credits of a movie, i look for her, b/c i always know she will hold my attention. she definitely always give a great performance.

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