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rohanaka

A Walk on the Noir Side

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> You are almost as naughty. :D

 

I'm all mouth because I'm stuck in the now. But had I been around then....

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*He was going to help them. His loyalty to them overrides his commitment to Keechie.*

 

I might be projecting my own thoughts and feelings to Bowie so I may be confused here. I was appalled to see Chickamaw show up...and broke. It doesn't seem like loyalty to the gang to me because I believe he actually offered Chickamaw half of what he had just to get rid of him. I think he would have rather stayed with Keechie. It wasn't a commitment to Keechie that was lacking, it was a realization that Chickamaw wasn't going away and so he went on the job out of default, with perhaps some kind of hope he could break free. I'm short on memory but after the reunion of the gang, didn't Bowie try to say nothing doing to a job but was forced into it. But I also seem to remember that from Keechie's point of view, Bowie did seem to be running from her in favor of the gang.

 

*I felt that there would always have to be one more job.*

 

Now, for some reason, I didn't have Bowie as one of those just-one-more-job type of guys. For one thing, didn't he have a lot of money that seemed to last. So long as there was still money left there was no time to establish the one-more-job trend. When the other gang members died, Bowie had no inclination to go solo for a job. In fact, he turned to Mexico (another pie-in-the-sky idea) rather than returning to crime.

 

My memory of details of this movie is fading fast...so I may not have this right.

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Laffite - that was exactly my take on the movie too. Your memory serves you well.

 

As for the "one more job" becoming an endless nightmare - I think that was more on Chickamaw's side - a blackmail racket that would keep Bowie working for them forever.

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

> George Raft + Jack LaRue = Miss G & Jack Favell...happy campers.

 

I'll say!

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I was thinking that there would always be one more for Bowie because he couldn't really tell the others no. You are quite right about Chickama being offered the money by Bowie. I know he loved Keechie but it still wasn't enough to make him abandon the plan. Alas, your memory serves you better than mine does me.

 

I only thought that everything was fine as long as the money held out. Maybe working for a regular salary wouldn't appeal to him until the baby shows up. There's the change if only he would have made it that far. However, with so many of you on the one thought wave I either missed something or maybe misinterpreted things.

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Looking at "Dangerous Profession." I'm pretty impressed with Jim Backus being a tough cop. Just a side note...when Georgie questions this blonde secretary, I swear...I think it's Peggy Cummins of "Gun Crazy" fame. Small eyes, blonde hair, British accent. I don't see her name in the credits...but I know my lethal ladies.

 

George Raft has amazing eyes.

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Cool! You recorded it! Yes, how about Thurston Howell III as the cop? :D It reminds me of how nice it was to see Sheldon Leonard on the right side of the law for a change in DECOY.

 

I missed some parts of the beginning so I'll have to wait until it airs again to see Peggy.

 

Oh, and I loved your story about the number 6 train. What a fortunate little girl.

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One of the things I've enjoyed about crime-dramas is the chance for actors to take on opposite or "wrong" roles, and then see them convince me that they're perfectly cast. Plain dull George Murphy married to Frances Gifford in ARNELO, and incredibly overlooking her for mere work. Georgie, Georgie... jeepers...

 

Howard DaSilva for his whole career was always miscast as a bad guy. How could such a rounded, baby-faced character EVER be sinister? Yet, he does it time after time. Sometimes, he's the Most Sinister character around. His twin, Jesse White, held up the comedic side of 'bad guys' while Howard played the dramatic side. So wonderfully, for both of them and for us.

 

And then there's Thurston Howell III. How can he ever be a sinister cop? But there he is. I see a look from him that really COULD be frightening. (Of course, my favorite Thurston moment is in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, where James Dean slips into a Mr. Magoo accent for a sentence or two. So wonderful.)

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I love what you said about Howard Da Silva, whose very name makes me shiver.... he was baby faced! After all this time, I never noticed. He could have played small business men or weak willed husbands so easily, but instead you get this demonic personality. And you are exactly on when you talk about his twin Jesse White.

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I would never presume that Mongo's great photos are ever "unstaged" but so many seem to be. Sitting at tables, at gala events, some of those were only staged by "Smile!" or "Say cheese!" Then, others have people leaning forward in earnest conversation, letting the camera click away - it's not disturbing them, it appears.

 

And especially the ones where the actors are laughing in a most sincere-appearing way, or being caught in total laughter, as Greer has been, or Cary was many, many 'pages' ago.

 

There was one where Howard DaSilva was like that - a full-faced laugh, without any glint of evil eyes - pure joy. It was such a disarming photo, as if I'd never given him Human Credit for being able to laugh with only joy. In films, his laughs - like his 'brother' Jesse White's - are usually scripted to also have that glint in their eye, or an insincere "How can I git these suckers?" faux laff.

 

How in the world did DaSilva ever get "discovered" to be a bad guy, though? Honestly - if he'd walked into my office, or stood next to me in line, I'd never see any sinister looks in him. The recent release of THE UNDERWORLD STORY has him as mob-boss money-lender to burned-out big-city reporter Dan Duryea - and Dan's EASILY a villainous character. Slimey and weasly from the get-go. But this film lets those guys flip those personas around so easily, and once again, Dan's the good guy and DaSilva's being the bad one. And he's never trustworthy, not for one second, on-screen. He coulda had a tattoo on his forehead "Never Trust Me" and it couldn't be more plain. DaSilva accomplishes that with such, well, grace. Such ease.

 

And he's SOOO good at it. But who in the world discovered THAT side of him? Did he cheat Louis B. Mayer in poker? Push Sam Goldwyn going down some stairs? Steal Joe Kennedy's marbles? Untie Thalberg's shoes?

 

I need to pull out ABE IN ILLINOIS and watch this again for DaSilva's character, to see if he was bad or good. (That's the earliest DVD I have from his catalog.)

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He did, and he was most entertaining and sweet - in the movie and on stage where I was lucky enough to have seen him.

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Awhile back I was telling someone at work who I run across only occasionally that he looked and talked like an old movie actor. At the time I didn't who I was talking about and I to do some research. It turned out to be Howard DaSilva. And this person at work is a nicest-guy-in-the-world type. They resemble not only facially but both have that distinctive voice. I've always like DaSilva's voice. It would have served him well as "a nice" guy, I think.

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I just KNOW DaSilva would have been the 2nd Coming of Ed Wynn, too, all kinds of great comedy and such a well-muscled face, so expressive with just the teeniest flicker.

 

But how in the world did he ever get cast as his first Bad Guy? Did he threaten the right people? Did he hold his breath until he turned blue?

 

In BLUE DAHLIA, as was pointed out a few weeks ago, we really DO see that he cares for Veronica, and won't let any harm come to her. He spends so much time trying to carry his bad-guy persona, but DaSilva also lets that care-for-Veronica shine thru, too. A very nice touch, there.

 

In BORDER INCIDENT, he's the supposed big bad head-guy, but when push comes to shove and Charles McGraw points the gun at HIM, DaSilva shows complete fright, too. "What have I got myself into?" His own trap. That's such a great film for faces-made.

 

He was a mainstay on '60s TV but I was too young to pay attention to him. I've got a few of those series that used him, but those seem to be episodic-only (OUTER LIMITS, FUGITIVE).

 

I forgot he was the police chief (or detective) in FOURTEEN HOURS, by the way.

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Howard DaSilva's transition from 'merely corrupt' into 'really bad' then 'really afraid of McGraw' gives his character a tremendous value to BORDER INCIDENT, I think. McGraw's playing The Bad McGraw, which isn't that different from The Good McGraw because he's always a tough guy. (I can only wonder what HE'D have done in Leslie-Nielson-esque comedy roles - heck, if Robert Stack could do 'em, why not McGraw?)

 

The other great transition from Bad To Frightened is Ward Bond in KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE, a James Cagney film that has corrupt cop Ward Bond going from thinking he's using gangster Cagney into becoming a killable pawn for Cagney. I think it's even a stronger 'transition' sequence for Bond than DaSilva, because Bond and partner Barton MacLane set themselves up for this twist.

 

This is a film that apparently suffers only from the proximity to Cagney's powerful WHITE HEAT. I think KISS is a strong film on its own.

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I've never seen it. But I love Barton MacLane, who can play equally well on both sides of the law.

 

I think MacGraw would have been HYSTERICAL in those Airplane! type films - I would pay good money to have seen that!

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Ironically, Barton MacLane has little to do, and only a few grunts or nods for dialog in KISS TOMORROW. He's got a bigger (but still small) role with Ward Bond in MALTESE FALCON. In KISS, he's barely Ward's shadow. But their climactic end-of-film scenes don't need dialog. It's Bond that's commanding that scene, but Barton shows the impact of their end-of-corruption, too.

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If anyone is interested, one of my favorite films, Daughter of Horror, will be airing at 2:00 A.M. EST this night. It's a female nightmare. It's just about an hour long. Be prepared, it's a wild film.

 

 

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

> If anyone is interested, one of my favorite films, Daughter of Horror, will be airing at 2:00 A.M. EST this night. It's a female nightmare. It's just about an hour long. Be prepared, it's a wild film.

>

>

 

 

it's a film noir? it sounds like a horror movie. when was it made?

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It was made in 1955. It's a mix of film noir and horror. The setting and themes are film noir but the mood is horror.

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