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Chien Noir


CaveGirl
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Last night TCM treated us to one of the finest examples of Chien Noir in existence, with "The Big Dog House". I give it three bones and a gold chew toy!

As described in the TCM schedule, this short from the Dogville series, reflects upon elements of "jealousy, murder and justice thwarted" by some special canines in the Year of the Dog from 1930.

A short synopsis would state that the film starts with our dark city dame doggy, Trixie being whisked away from her bookkeeper boyfriend, Rover whose car has a flat tire, by the Big Hound, who is the boss and owner at their company. After giving her significant other puppy eyes continually, namely Rover whose only apparent talent is composing doggerel which doesn't sell, she also makes a play for the boss, prefiguring scenes from "Out of the Past". Next there is a big robbery with the resulting dead dog on the floor cliche. Rover gets framed for this murder ostensibly by his rival, Trixie's paramour and ends up in the Big Dog House. The sociocultural ways of Dogville are parlayed for us then by noirish shots of the citizenry shopping continually at garment district sites, in a semi-documentary style a lot like we've seen in "The Phenix City Story". This reveals the sordid underbelly of the community and if you agree, just raise your paws...I mean, hands.

While there, Rover's despondency over losing both Trixie and his freedom, causes him to have a melt-down in the lunch room in a sort of Cody Jarret from "White Heat" way, after getting stale hot dogs again and bread that is hard as a rock, when all they really want is a nice bowl of Purina. The inmates form a sort of chain gang line to protest, with all the Boxers in the front, but are contained by the guard dogs. Finally, Trixie realizes her sin and tries to win back the affections of Rover right before he is led to the electric chair, which has also served to deter other animal criminals like Al Ca-Pony. But by now, Rover is wise to her doggy wiles and decides to live as a single but happier mutt.

Why the Poobah of Nwah, Eddie Vujkovich has not included this in any of his intros is beyond me.

Any other fans of Chien Noir here?

 

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1 hour ago, laffite said:

High Sierra is no Chien Noir but it does have a chien fatal (chienne fatale, depending on the persuasion). If that's a stretch, one might just refer it as "the damned dog."

Would this now beg the question:

Can Old Yeller be classified as a "Rural Noir"???

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7 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Would this now beg the question:

Can Old Yeller be classified as a "Rural Noir"???

I hope not. The TCM Wine Club would have to create another wine to sell with it. ;) 

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  • 2 weeks later...
19 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

Oh, geez! What next, can "The Prisoner of Zenda" be classified as Ruritanian Noir?

Well, YEAH...maybe.

But ONLY the '37 B&W Ronnie Colman version, of course!

(...that '52 version starring Stewart Granger was filmed in vivid Technicolor, and you KNOW how so many people around here think ANY flick filmed in color could NEVER be a "Noir", doncha?!) ;) 

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3 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Well, YEAH...maybe.

But ONLY the '37 B&W Ronnie Colman version, of course!

(...that '52 version starring Stewart Granger was filmed in vivid Technicolor, and you KNOW how so many people around here think ANY flick filmed in color could NEVER be a "Noir", doncha?!) ;) 

Right you are, Dargo which is why I am more attuned to films in the Blancmange category as described by John Cleese and Michael Palin. Their film festivals celebrating the Blancmange repetoire of films is as impressive as Cannes.

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4 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

Right you are, Dargo which is why I am more attuned to films in the Blancmange category as described by John Cleese and Michael Palin. Their film festivals celebrating the Blancmange repetoire of films is as impressive as Cannes.

Yeah, AND I understand these two gentlemen were also responsible for another distinct film genre with its title also derived from the culinary arts.

(...a musical of sorts about a particular processed meat product, I believe)

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, AND I understand these two gentlemen were also responsible for another distinct film genre with its title also derived from the culinary arts.

(...a musical of sorts about a particular processed meat product, I believe)

Don't forget the fish slapping short (what could be more distinct than watching one of the aforementioned gents getting knocked into a canal by the other aforementioned gent?)...

 

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