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rohanaka

A Walk on the Noir Side

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well, besides the cute factor which i admit works for me with both basehart and you, i swear there is always this vulnerability in Basehart's eyes. And wasn't he nice to a little puppy or am I thinking of Raven and the cat? :D I really should watch it again.

 

It seems a part of his make-up as a performer...i sense the crack in the armor in all his roles except when he's really masking it, like in Reign of Terror. Most of the time I find even his most imperfect characters terribly human.

 

it's funny you mention the self-surgery. to show you what i mean about his character being slightly sympathetic in spite of everything, I compare that scene with Jose Ferrer's same type of knife work in *Whirlpool*. He also has a kind of megolomania, or exalted opinion of himself and an enormous willpower, yet in spite of all his smoothness, I always found the character very cold and slick and never do see him as anything but a villain, a faker. In contrast Basehart's character in *He Walked by Night* seems terribly off track, but I can still glimpse the man he could have been. Hope that makes some sense.

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Basehart did have a dog. Though he didn't do much with it. He did pet it once or twice but mainly used it as an alarm.

 

I have not seen "Reign of Terror" but there is a point, well two, where you do see the fear that lies buried.In spite of all his brilliance and earlier boldness when it comes to the end he runs scared.

 

If you saw my group picture than you know cute is not a word that often is used to describe me. I can write cute at times though.

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i saw hyour picture and I very disagree! you have a decidedly cuddly appeal. but i never imagined you with a 'stache. I should have known, though, since you seem to be a cowboy at heart. :)

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Of course I saw your picture! How else would I know that you are cute?

 

I do see Basehart as having that **** in the armor, the vulnerability that Goddess is talking about, though I haven't seen the movie you are discussing.

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*Time Limit* sounds familiar...I think I saw it not too long ago...but I still have yet to see *Fixed Bayonets*, though it's in my queue.

 

He was good in *The House on Telegraph Hill*. I had a hard time believing he was all that bad, he was so charming. The there's *Tension*, which I believe the Maven watched recently. He plays a rather "soft" character in that, but what he does for love!

 

He's very sweet in *La Strada*, *Moby Dick* and *The Brothers Karamazov*.

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I'm embarrassed to say I've seen him in very little. Fourteen Hours and La Strada, which was my first Basehart film (he's great despite being dubbed), and then mostly TV shows.

 

I'm pretty sure I've seen other movies, but I didn't know what they were, just stopped and looked when I saw RB. I've liked everything I've seen him in so far. I don't usually go for the tough guys unless they have something underneath to qualify that toughness.

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I definitely can see you appreciating Basehart, Jackie. I don't even think of him as a typical tough guy. He is always the sensitive man who doesn't quite fit comfortably in the work he finds himself in. he could play villains and men who commit bad things, but I never believe he is totally "tough". In fact his villains are more about that superior intellect and will power than about personal toughness.

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I think I would like him too - he seems like a man who is usually going through some internal struggle, while trying to accomplish whatever his task at hand is. This is just from a few movies I've seen and TV. Probably the two least typical of his films are the ones I mentioned. :)

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I love *Laura* it?s a great noir film and Gene Tierney is amazing as Laura.Vincent Price and Clifton Webb are amazing.I like Dana Andrews as well,but Gene and Clifton Webb stood out a bit more,to me anyway.Gene Tierney is cool and mysterious in the role and so good as the mysterious Laura.I first discovered it on youtube,which is a great place to catch glimpses of old movies before you make a purchase or they come to TCM.I wish TCM Europe could air more film noirs.They have aired some Bogie/Bacall and Edward G Robinson ones, and I love them,but I crave more all the time.

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I like how you presented that one, Lively Gal. "To my favorite lovers... " All right!

 

May you have a fascinating 2011. Me? It's simple and boring for me!

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Anyone get a chance to watch the *John Payne* films noir on Friday night?

What an eyeful. :)

 

*99 River Street* and *Kansas City Confidential* were my favorites, followed

by *The Crooked Way* featuring Percy Helton and his cat.

 

I didn't like the hairstyles worn by Evelyn Keyes and Colleen Grey, but I really

liked Grey's character in *Kansas City Confidential*. She starts out silly/flirtatious

and turns smart and shrewd on a dime. And Preston Foster was grand, one of

my favorite turns by him, here.

 

As for *99 River Street*, I confess I had a hard time choosing between

adorable John Payne and *Brad Dexter*, whose baby blues always have

me mesmerized. And something about a smiling villain...he was like a Cobra,

you get locked by his gaze and smile and then whooosh! He strikes! I confess

I was worried for Evelyn Keyes in that diner. I thought any second now he's

going to smack her or shoot her! The more he smiled, the more worried I felt. :D

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I only watched "Kansas City Confidential" and really liked it. I had not seen Payne in a noir before but thought he was quite good. Handled himself well and was properly mysterious at times. You had to pay attention and I think it could have played a couple of ways right up to the end. A nice new film for me.

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> I only watched "Kansas City Confidential" and really liked it. I had not seen Payne in a noir before but thought he was quite good. Handled himself well and was properly mysterious at times. You had to pay attention and I think it could have played a couple of ways right up to the end. A nice new film for me.

 

Payne was excellent. He's convincingly "average" enough to seem ilke an innocent chump, minding his own business, who gets mixed up in a dangerous situation---yet he also can project enough toughness to make you believe he could have made some mistakes in his past (like an ex-con), without sacrificing your sympathy for him. He also projects pain really well, which may be why he's always getting so beat up in his movies! :D I feel terrible because with each of his noirs, I just know there will be at least one throw-down that's going to be brutal to watch.

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He made me scared in that diner scene too! I thought, "if she goes out of that diner with him, she ain't never coming back.." She was pretty smooth the way she catered to his liking for the rough stuff, I was surprised at how bold that movie was. But I have to admit, I couldn't get past her hairstyle. Coleen's was much better looking.

I liked KCC much better, too, though it took me forever to figure out who Preston Foster was. I agrree, this was a great role for him.

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Jan 17, 2011 10:08 AM

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

> He made me scared in that diner scene too! I thought, "if she goes out of that diner with him, she ain't never coming back.." She was pretty smooth the way she catered to his liking for the rough stuff,

 

She looked like she was enjoying playing this "role", ha! In fact, she was more convincing than in that scam back at the theater.

 

I can't even describe her hairstyle...it had me almost as mesmerized as Brad's eyes...

 

> I liked KCC much better, too, though it took me forever to figure out who Preston Foster was. I agrree, this was a great role for him.

>

 

You mean Foster the actor or you couldn't read how his character would play out? Because he doesn't look at all like the guy in the early forties and thirties movies. Foster has turned up in a few places I never expected to see him, making me revise my earlier opinion that he was just a somewhat bland "tough guy" type.

 

He really made me tear up at the end.

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I mean the actor. I literally spent about ten minutes or maybe more going, "WHO IS that guy?" I couldn't place him for the longest time. I didn't even know he had a career after the thirties. I think I have to re-evaluate him too - between this and *Heat Lightning*, I am finding him a better actor than I ever thought.

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He's in *Heat Lightening* too?? I really have to watch that movie, I've been reading so many good things about it.

 

He really surprised me in *The Mysterious Doctor X*, ha! Talk about unrecognizable! :D

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

> I have to watch Mysterious Doctor X - is that the one with Bogie? And isn't he in Annie Oakley with Babs?

 

I believe *Mysterious* is the original with Lionel Atwill...Bogie is in a sequel called *Return of Doctor X* (not quite as good).

 

Yes! Preston turned up in *Annie*, too! He's like a little gopher, popping up here and there in the most unexpected places.

 

He's rather nice as Carole Lombard's tolerant on-and-off again lover in *Love Before Breakfast*.

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Who would have thought we'd be discussing Preston Foster, let alone in the noir thread? :D

 

He was in Scotchie's *Valley of Decision* too.

 

What I liked about Kansas City Confidential was the way all the character actors filled specific roles - Foster as the straight arrow detective, kicked off the force because of politics, Elam as the sweaty, nervous lead Payne must follow, Brand and Van Cleef as the Stan and Ollie criminal types.... and yet, the whole thing still played out in an exciting manner, with good performances by everyone. I am not sure if it was that I found the plot intriguing, or if I knew what was going to happen but didn't care.

 

Oh, and I really liked Coleen Grey, in spite of her hair. I find her an extremely variable actress, like Keyes, quite good in some things, and simply awful in others. Both have an "actress-y" quality that can be terrible, but in some movies, like these, I really like it. I thought they both came off well in the Payne vehicles.

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

> Who would have thought we'd be discussing Preston Foster, let alone in the noir thread? :D

>

 

He just always left me rather unimpressed until recently. Maybe it's because I'm starting to "dig" a little deeper for "new" performers that interest me.

 

>

> What I liked about Kansas City Confidential was the way all the character actors filled specific roles - Foster as the straight arrow detective, kicked off the force because of politics, Elam as the sweaty, nervous lead Payne must follow, Brand and Van Cleef as the Stan and Ollie criminal types.... and yet, the whole thing still played out in an exciting manner, with good performances by everyone. I am not sure if it was that I found the plot intriguing, or if I knew what was going to happen but didn't care.

>

 

KANSAS CITY SPOILERS....

 

I had seen it once before and had been unimpressed...seeing it again on Friday I couldn't quite recollect how it turned out...I know I had my eye on Preston Foster since no one else in that little hamlet could fit the bill of "Mr Big".

 

> Oh, and I really liked Coleen Grey, in spite of her hair. I find her an extremely variable actress, like Keyes, quite good in some things, and simply awful in others. Both have an "actress-y" quality that can be terrible, but in some movies, like these, I really like it. I thought they both came off well in the Payne vehicles.

 

I so agree about Coleen...she was very good and made the most of a smallish part.

 

99 SPOILERS ON RIVER STREET...

 

I am less thrilled with Keyes this time around, at least I was until the last scenes. I thought she was corny in the theater until I realized she was putting on an "act". Then I was skeptical that after being so desperate to make it on Broadway she could drop it so quickly to get mixed up with a guy suspected of murdering his wife. :0 Now that reflect back on it, Evelyn played her just kooky enough that she would switch on you like that.

 

And after hearing Robert Osborne's remarks about how charismatic she was in person, I now want to read her autobiography.

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