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Name Your Favorite Film Noir Characters...And Why


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Welcome aboard, Mister Arkadin! I'm very flattered you took time out to stop by with three of your nearest and dearest. I have yet to see two of them, but couldn't agree more about the selection of "Joe Morse", bravo! I'm going to have a look now at your YouTube posting for Cutter's Way.

 

Many thanks again for sharing your choices.

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That TV promo is terrible looking. The film is very lush and beautifully shot with a great soundtrack as I mentioned earlier. It also contains three amazing performances in John Heard, Jeff Bridges, and Lisa Eichhorn. I would say more about it, but I'm working on an essay which contrasts this film with a noir from the classic period.

 

Here's an interesting article about the movie:

 

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2006/07/opening_shots_cutters_way.html

 

I know Dewey and Lynn are both big fans of this one. Mr. ChiO might have seen it, but we've never discussed it.

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

> That TV promo is terrible looking. The film is very lush and beautifully shot with a great soundtrack as I mentioned earlier. It also contains three amazing performances in John Heard, Jeff Bridges, and Lisa Eichhorn. I would say more about it, but I'm working on an essay which contrasts this film with a noir from the classic period.

>

> Here's an interesting article about the movie:

>

> http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2006/07/opening_shots_cutters_way.html

>

 

Thank you for mentioning this movie. I haven't seen it, but it sounds like something I would probably enjoy watching.

 

sineast,

Did you get a chance to look at my list yet? :D

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ChiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiOhhhhhhh!

 

>

> If memory serves me correctly, Borde & Chaumeton (Panorama du Film Noir Americain) did consider *Citizen Kane* to be a film noir. As the term as evolved, the movie seems to have been dropped. That's okay by me because there is *Citizen Kane* -- alone and triumphant and in a category of its own -- and then a bunch of other movies.

 

It's VERY "noir" to my feelings, or at least a forerunner to noir and so many other styles as well.

 

> As for Cat People, I certainly think of it as a noir, but -- again -- convention puts it into the "Horror" category. *Night of the Hunter* -- convention puts it into noir along with The Maltese Falcon, but I can see that it's not.

>

 

I can allow for The Maltese Falcon more than the other two, and yet the other two are more truly dark, or "black" if you will, in tone and photography. However TMF is more cynical than Cat People or even Night of the Hunter, because each of those two offer a strong contrast of the good in humanity vs. the dark side. TMF is a little more ambiguous to me, it's characters anyway.

 

> But, hey, I discovered the first film noir (if 1940 is used as the starting point) the other day. The institutions that are its focus -- government, journalism, marriage -- are all corrupt. The dialog is hardboiled. There is a murderer on the loose. The first shot of the murderer is straight out of German Expressionism at UFA 101. The beleaguered gal commits suicide. Most of the action is in a claustrophobic space. Much of the action is chaotic and at random. The overall tone is one of cynicism. And it was released shortly before *Stranger on the Third Floor* in 1940.

>

> *His Girl Friday*

 

Lol! You really had me wondering what the heck it could be. But you know something, I always thought the story was, in essence, a grim and cynical one.

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>

> I love Holly. I even love his silly name. And the way that when people compliment him, it comes out sounding like a slap in the face. But he remains doggedly faithful and hopeful, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that life sucks.

>

 

I do like that conclusion about his personality and outlook. He really is almost like a puppy dog, particularly at the end as he wistfully gazes after Vali walking down the leafy lane...

 

>

> I like that - every monster has his reasons. All the villains are lazy, too, except when it comes to either evading the law, or giving in to their obsessions. Has anyone discussed the seven deadly sins in connection with noir? I'm sure they already have. Guess that's another topic for "the noir side."

>

 

The "laziness" is spot on....that is an aspect to many of these characters I could go on and on and on about...and several people here are suddenly very afraid I WILL...but don't worry! Ha!

 

As for the "seven deadly sins" aspect, no I don't believe we have but you have something there...

 

>

> I really meant it when I said I feel for her. She made a deal, like a marriage contract. She expected Walter would be with her to the very end NO MATTER WHAT, the same as every woman does in marriage. But he double crossed her, the way all men do, just because she was a ruthless killer who couldn't be trusted.......You just can't count on a man. :)

>

 

Who understands them.

 

>

> > > Mrs. Anthony - (Marion Lorne, *Strangers on a Train* ) Goofy. The kind that creates evil.

> > *lol! And she was so artistic...*

>

> Is THAT where she went wrong? ???

>

 

She mixed her paints once too often...

 

> > > Lorraine Minosa - (Jan Sterling, *Ace in the Hole* ) - Wow! Was there ever a colder woman on the face of the earth? Not even Phyllis can touch her.

> > *No...I agree, her character is even worse than Ann Savage in Detour.*

>

> I better write down Detour too.

>

 

Oh my yes, you HAVE to see that one.

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

> That TV promo is terrible looking. The film is very lush and beautifully shot with a great soundtrack as I mentioned earlier. It also contains three amazing performances in John Heard, Jeff Bridges, and Lisa Eichhorn. I would say more about it, but I'm working on an essay which contrasts this film with a noir from the classic period.

>

> Here's an interesting article about the movie:

>

> http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2006/07/opening_shots_cutters_way.html

>

> I know Dewey and Lynn are both big fans of this one. Mr. ChiO might have seen it, but we've never discussed it.

 

Thank you AGAIN, Mr. A. I'll try to read that article tomorrow morning. Again, I'm so glad to see you here.

 

Question for you: Why does Mr. Arkadin not name Mr. Arkadin in his list of favorites? :)

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Thanks, noiristas, for a turn-out better than I could have hoped for. Keep adding favorites as you think of them. I have my work cut out making up my own list, which will doubtless be the least interesting by far.

 

nite nite...watch your step in Dark City...

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

> sineast,

> Did you get a chance to look at my list yet? :D

 

 

Yes I did. Maybe one of the drawbacks to all lists is that mostly it's the usual

suspects who show up, which is understandable. As a literary character I've

always preferred Philip Marlowe to Sam Spade, though in The Maltese Falcon

Bogie as Spade is just about perfect.

 

If I was Jeff Bailey, I'd forget about Jane Greer and Kirk and elope with his sweet

small-town girlfriend and move somewhere. Of course that would be a whole other

movie, or not even a movie at all, but I'd still do it. Damn the torpedoes.

 

Harry and his cuckoo clocks. I suppose everybody loves the shot of Harry, when the

light shines on him suddenly and his impish grin, but don't forget the cat.

 

Mrs. D has to be near, or at, the top of most lists. Oh, Walter. Some of the dueling

dialogue between her and Walter is priceless. I wonder if you wonder if I wonder, etc.

And you can hear Chandler in it. Walter's last name always makes me grin for

some reason.

 

Don't think I've ever seen Wicked as They Come. Have to keep that one in mind.

 

Haven't seen The Big Steal in a while, but it's a great, relatively light-hearted noir,

which ends on a nice sunny note, for a change.

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}Question for you: Why does Mr. Arkadin not name Mr. Arkadin in his list of favorites? :)

 

Who says it isn't?! Obviously, you know nothing of my character:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4nDu5uyC5g

 

Actually, my favorite part of this film isn't a Welles scene, but Michael Redgrave's wonderful cameo:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZtRCCouRdU&feature=related

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

> Yes I did. Maybe one of the drawbacks to all lists is that mostly it's the usual

> suspects who show up, which is understandable. As a literary character I've

> always preferred Philip Marlowe to Sam Spade, though in The Maltese Falcon

> Bogie as Spade is just about perfect.

 

Well, it would seem just plain wrong to have a list that didn't include Sam Spade, imho. Of course, I'm not really big on lists, and I honestly can't imagine moviegoers in the 40s and 50s spent much time (if any at all) making long lists about their favorite stars, characters, or movies. Mostly they went to the movies, had a good time, and then were happy to rejoin Real Life. ;)

 

Seriously, though, I may not be too good at lists because I find them tediously linear, and the best way to explore the best qualities about film tends to be non-linear, imho.

 

But, yeah, Sam Spade belongs on my list.

 

At least unless I change my mind. ;)

 

> If I was Jeff Bailey, I'd forget about Jane Greer and Kirk and elope with his sweet

> small-town girlfriend and move somewhere. Of course that would be a whole other

> movie, or not even a movie at all, but I'd still do it. Damn the torpedoes.

 

Yes, too bad most guys in noirs don't really know any better than to fall for the femme fatale, and all the trouble it usually entails.

 

> Harry and his cuckoo clocks. I suppose everybody loves the shot of Harry, when the

> light shines on him suddenly and his impish grin, but don't forget the cat.

 

Oh, I like the cat just as much as I do Harry. In fact, there are times when I find him far more endearing. Alas, I don't know the cat's real name, so I couldn't very well have included it in my list. :P

 

By the way, I just heard that Criterion's lost the rights to The Third Man, so if you want to grab Harry Lime, you better hurry, or he may be a goner.

 

> Mrs. D has to be near, or at, the top of most lists. Oh, Walter. Some of the dueling

> dialogue between her and Walter is priceless. I wonder if you wonder if I wonder, etc.

> And you can hear Chandler in it. Walter's last name always makes me grin for

> some reason.

 

Sometimes, I wonder if I know what I mean. But even when I am not sure if I should even wonder, I know I can always come back to Billy Wilder's timeless classic and be in for one heck of a ride. Although, you know, there is a speed limit in this state. ;)

 

> Don't think I've ever seen Wicked as They Come. Have to keep that one in mind.

 

I think TCM shows it now and then. Well worth catching, I really don't think you'll forget Dahl's character. :D

 

> Haven't seen The Big Steal in a while, but it's a great, relatively light-hearted noir,

> which ends on a nice sunny note, for a change.

 

Yes, and I want to catch it again soon. Come to think of it, I'd love to watch a double feature of Out of the Past and The Big Steal, since they both star Mitchum & Greer.

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I have my work cut out making up my own list, which will doubtless be the least interesting by far.

 

No ma'am... that would be MY List..ha. (IF I even had the guts to TRY to make one.. which I DON'T!! ha) But Wow... what a veritable TREASURE TROVE of COOL info in here for a noir newbie like me... OH MY GOLLY!!

 

Thanks Miss G for starting this great thread... I see I have LOTS and LOTS of fine reading to catch up on... and I will be taking NOTES!! ha. Thanks my noir friends... for giving me some great tips!! :-)

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*It also contains three amazing performances in John Heard, Jeff Bridges, and Lisa Eichhorn*

 

Lisa Eichorn is achingly heartbreaking in this film. John Heard should have had a much bigger career. His performance in *Cutter's Way* is phenomenal. Jeff Bridges is the glue, playing their fleet footed ladies man friend.

 

The score, I wish it had come out on vinyl, the love theme was haunting.

 

*I know Dewey and Lynn are both big fans of this one. Mr. ChiO might have seen it, but we've never discussed it.*

 

I would love to discuss it one of these days (and not in this thread, as I don't want to take it that far off topic) after I have had a chance to see it again. I LOVE this film.

 

Though, Ark, I think you, Dewey, Mr ChiO, me and two other friends that I saw the film with may be the only ones.

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

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

> > Yes I did. Maybe one of the drawbacks to all lists is that mostly it's the usual

> > suspects who show up, which is understandable. As a literary character I've

> > always preferred Philip Marlowe to Sam Spade, though in The Maltese Falcon

> > Bogie as Spade is just about perfect.

>

> Well, it would seem just plain wrong to have a list that didn't include Sam Spade, imho. Of course, I'm not really big on lists, and I honestly can't imagine moviegoers in the 40s and 50s spent much time (if any at all) making long lists about their favorite stars, characters, or movies. Mostly they went to the movies, had a good time, and then were happy to rejoin Real Life. ;)

 

I wonder if this is going to end up looking like the wandering pedigree of the Maltese Falcon.

I don't mind Mr. Spade, as long as Marlowe of The Big Sleep is allowed in some place.

Going to the picture show, having a good time, and back to real life, sounds like a winner

to me. Those poor saps didn't know they were watching "Film noir." :) I like the genre, but

as entertaining and enjoyable as it often is, never found it to be very realistic, more a

heightened version of the seamier side of life, that is not experienced to such a degree

by most everyday folks, but that really doesn't weaken its entertainment value.

>

> Seriously, though, I may not be too good at lists because I find them tediously linear, and the best way to explore the best qualities about film tends to be non-linear, imho.

 

Sounds like another winner. In the generally offbeat noir world, there's usually something

to find that appeals to one's own individual sensibility, however minor it might seem in the

grander scheme of things.

>

> But, yeah, Sam Spade belongs on my list.

>

> At least unless I change my mind. ;)

 

That's another thing. As soon as you finish a list, you think of something you forgot

or change your mind.

>

> > If I was Jeff Bailey, I'd forget about Jane Greer and Kirk and elope with his sweet

> > small-town girlfriend and move somewhere. Of course that would be a whole other

> > movie, or not even a movie at all, but I'd still do it. Damn the torpedoes.

>

> Yes, too bad most guys in noirs don't really know any better than to fall for the femme fatale, and all the trouble it usually entails.

 

Yeah, but that's such a big element of many noir plots. If only the hero had showed better

sense, but...

>

> > Harry and his cuckoo clocks. I suppose everybody loves the shot of Harry, when the

> > light shines on him suddenly and his impish grin, but don't forget the cat.

>

> Oh, I like the cat just as much as I do Harry. In fact, there are times when I find him far more endearing. Alas, I don't know the cat's real name, so I couldn't very well have included it in my list. :P

 

Too bad it wasn't white, could have called it Powderpuff.

>

> By the way, I just heard that Criterion's lost the rights to The Third Man, so if you want to grab Harry Lime, you better hurry, or he may be a goner.

 

That's almost as bad as selling watered down penicillin. ;)

>

> > Mrs. D has to be near, or at, the top of most lists. Oh, Walter. Some of the dueling

> > dialogue between her and Walter is priceless. I wonder if you wonder if I wonder, etc.

> > And you can hear Chandler in it. Walter's last name always makes me grin for

> > some reason.

>

> Sometimes, I wonder if I know what I mean. But even when I am not sure if I should even wonder, I know I can always come back to Billy Wilder's timeless classic and be in for one heck of a ride. Although, you know, there is a speed limit in this state. ;)

 

I'm aware there's a speed limit, about ninety I believe, but I have friends on the force. And I

always drive one way-straight down the line. No wonder I get into so many accidents. You

think I work for Pacific All-Risk because I like selling this stuff? Heck, it's the only job where

I could get enough of a discount to afford my auto insurance. ;)

>

> > Don't think I've ever seen Wicked as They Come. Have to keep that one in mind.

>

> I think TCM shows it now and then. Well worth catching, I really don't think you'll forget Dahl's character. :D

 

I noticed Herbert Marshall is in the cast. I haven't seen a lot of his movies, and maybe things

were different in his earlier ones, but most of the time I've seen him, old Herbert is getting

the shaft, so this doesn't look good, not at all.

>

> > Haven't seen The Big Steal in a while, but it's a great, relatively light-hearted noir,

> > which ends on a nice sunny note, for a change.

>

> Yes, and I want to catch it again soon. Come to think of it, I'd love to watch a double feature of Out of the Past and The Big Steal, since they both star Mitchum & Greer.

 

That would be an ideal double feature. You could be sad at the tragic end to Out of the Past,

and then come out of the theater smiling at the conclusion of The Big Steal. Sweet.

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Ciao, Miss Gun for Hire -- Is that what she was looking for?

 

Helen is a neglected wife and mother. I believe she's looking for some love and understanding. But isn't that what most women are seeking?

 

I don' t remember him...is that Rita's husband?

 

:D

 

ladyfromshanghai46.jpg

 

7. Sherry Peatty (Marie Windsor in The Killing) -- Can a woman actually screw up a man's plans?

 

Is that a rhetorical question?

 

Yes. :P

 

Interesting...I find Helen much more lethal than Harry. YOU made me see, SOMEWHAT, that Harry didn't always mean the harm that he did. I believe Helen is very aware and very okay with the harm she does. In fact, she wanted to harm Nossie and for no other reason than she married him without loving him in the first place.

 

Like Harry, Helen is an opportunist. She's a gold digger who has now found a way to make a go of it without Philip. She wants to be her own boss, like Harry. She knows she can make it work if only she can get that license. But she's impatient, and it costs her. While I view Harry as "small business" versus "big business," I view Helen as woman in a world (ownership) dominated by man. They are very similar. Harry is the more likeable character because he's not meanspirited as Helen. Harry is a weak boy. Helen is a cold woman.

 

But a fine choice for your list because she is very noirish....

 

Helen is a wonderful character in a film rich with them.

 

Good choice! I really like Ginny. Her character really stayed with me despite being on screen for so little time. She seemed very small and defenseless in that dark world. The war had lots of "casualties" like her on the feminine side.

 

I love her wanting to make man a spaghetti dinner. She'd love to keep house for her man. She's the opposite of Helen Nosseross.

 

crossfire15.jpg

 

I think some inner "forces" contributed to that most of all, but that's another conversation.

 

Harry's inner forces do contribute to his being weak, but I believe the more powerful forces outside of his control are what really take him down. He was outmuscled by the big boys.

 

But is it film noir?

 

I consider The Night of the Hunter to be film noir because it's visually dark and its story is dark. In fact, I believe the visuals and story are as dark as they come. An ex-convict who is chasing money and is willing to kill a mother and her young children to get that money? Now that's pitch black. I also consider film noir to be morality tales. The Night of the Hunter just doesn't hide this as most other films noir do. It's very overt.

 

That's quite a statement in the rather vast field of femmes noires.

 

What I really like about Connie Wallace is that she's a married woman who takes her older boss while running off with a younger man. She buries two men and you know she's not going to stop there. Most of the iconoclastic femmes fatale usually fool with two men... but three?

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FrankGrimes writes:

 

?6. George Peatty (Elisha Cook, Jr. in The Killing) -- You gotta love film noir doormats. They can be dangerous.?

 

?Film noir doormats.? I love it Frank.

 

2. Ginny (Gloria Grahame in Crossfire) -- The longing to leave a lousy, lonely life for one of love. She is her. She's a sweetheart.?

 

Isn?t Ginny just heartbreaking!

 

(9.) Stoker Thompson (Robert Ryan in ?The Set-Up?) -- Man chases dream while time chases him. You can learn a lot about man with Stoker. Love his integrity, pride, and love of his wife. He's a fighter.? (8.) Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews in ?Fallen Angel?) -- Man chases woman for the wrong reasons while woman chases man for the right reasons. Love the shallowness of Eric and then his willingness to bare.

 

Wow! I love the thoughtfull economy of your words Mr. G-Man. They pack quite a wallop.

 

?9. Connie Wallace (Mary Beth Hughes in The Great Flamarion) -- Is there any man she won't use? When I think of femme fatale, I think of Connie.?

 

Why l?il ol? baby face Mary Beth?? When should a man just plain know better Grimes-y? Juggling three men was quite a feat, wasn't it?

 

?(4.) ?Geechie? Mobley (Cathy O'Donnell in They Live by Night) -- The sweetest of the sweets in film noir. She's soft loving.?

 

I?m torn between the sweet and the profane. She breaks my heart in a different way. In ?The Best Years of Our Lives? and in ?The Detective Story? I want to wrap her in a blanket and take her back home to her folks. I like your list.

 

And any man that lists Robert Ryan three times is a man after my own heart. You didn?t ask for my heart, but I givin? it to you.

 

So there!!

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MY TALENTED TEN - SUPPORTING NOIR CHARACTERS: YA GOTTA LOVE ?EM. AND I DO!

 

Well MissGoddess, it seems you have created yet another popular thread. In just two days you have over six-hundred hits. Sooooo, it?s YOU who is the flame the noiristas like to gather around, ey?

 

Well, in no particular, here are my talented ten supporting noir characters...with a little cheating here and there:

 

 

1. ANN DORAN as ANYONE IN ANY MOVIE.

 

Because. Just because. I don?t care if it?s a scene, I don?t care if it?s one or two lines. I don't care if its noir or not.

 

 

2. HOPE EMERSON as Rose Given in ?CRY OF THE CITY.?

 

Any woman who could give Mike Mazurki a run for his money is okay in my book. I loved the massage she gave Richard Conte and her content look the ?morning after? in the breakfast scene.

 

 

3. HELEN WALKER as Lilith Ritter in ?NIGHTMARE ALLEY.?

 

This ice cold beauty is most lethal because Lilith doesn?t get a man by his heart, but gets him through his mind. As psychoanalyst, when she turns the tables on Stanton, a chill went down my spine. (Walker did well in ?IMPACT? and should have had a better career. What?s up with these icy blondes in the forties)?

 

4. LEE PATRICK as Effie Perine in ?THE MALTESE FALCON.?

 

Effie could type, make coffee or be anything Sam needed. Now that?s an executive assistant. And then her 360 turn as Elvira Powell in ?Caged? well honey, please!

 

 

5. JACK CARSON as Wally Fay in ?MILDRED PIERCE.?

 

I love Wally. He?s a jolly, fast-talking, good-time guy. He knows all the angles too. He could cut a deal for you. And I loved his cynicism when Mildred visits his club and she sees Veda. (Remember how he knocked on wood when he said he didn?t have any kids?) I love Wally ?cuz he knows the score and could show a girl a good time in the bargain.

 

6. AGNES MOORHEAD as Madge Rapf in ?DARK PASSAGE.?

 

Madge looked so smart and stylish. And she was such a waspish busybody. I love her final scene. She spits out every word with such venom: ?You need evidence! You need Me!!!? She stands toe-to-toe with any man. When a girl throws herself out the window so that if she can?t have you nobody can...you have to admire that.

 

 

7. GALE SONDERGAARD as Mrs. Hammond in ?THE LETTER.?

 

What an impact for saying very little. If looks could kill, you might very well be put six feet under by Mrs. Hammond. She?s a beautifully deadly Spider Woman. But the tears in her eyes when she sees her dead husband...

 

 

8. EMILE MEYER as Lt. Kello in ?THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS.?

 

I think ?Sweet Smell...? was a kind of a noir don?t you? It was black as night. And I?ll watch the whole movie to wait for Lt. Kello to yell up at scared rabbit Sidney Falco: ?Come back Sidney. I want to chastise you.?

 

 

9. ELLA RAINES in ?IMPACT? ?PHANTOM LADY? or ?TALL IN THE SADDLE.?

 

She was more the leading lady in her films, I know...but this lovely brunette is someone you want on your side whether she was Marsha Peter, Carol ?Kansas? Richmond or Arly Harolday. How could I not include her?

 

10. HUME CRONYN as Arthur Keats in ?THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.?P

 

Slimy with black eyes shown through small slits. He was a handsome snake. And after getting blinded by all the white of Lana, I welcomed is oily snaky charm as Keats the lawyer. He's a lawyer a lethal lady needs on her side. He made me think of the snake in the Garden of Eden, offering up an apple. I got goosepimples when Keats quietly hisses: "I'm handling it." Hmmm...what a lovely snake charmer.

 

Oh, I haven?t forgotten my favorite male characters in film noir. I wanna spend a little more time with them before I share them). ;-)

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> Well MissGoddess, it seems you have created yet another popular thread. In just two days you have over six-hundred hits. Sooooo, its YOU who is the flame the noiristas like to gather around, ey?

>

 

Ha! And some others just keep trying to torch me. :P

 

Thanks for laying your favorites on the line, CinemAva. I hope to reply more fully later.

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Who'd you off, Lively Gal? -- I'll talk about my boys in my next post.

 

Now that should be interesting. I have no idea what kind of male characters you like in film noir. Van Heflin, right? :P

 

What a joy it was to read your poison capsules on your lethal ladies. I'm convinced, you're the femme fatale.

 

And no one looks better in color than Gene Tierney.

 

For me, it's Gene and Grace. I never even thought the two were connected until Miss G mentioned how they were. Now I see it.

 

I love Ellen Berent because she is just pure and simple all about Self. But the poor girl can?t help it. I can?t imagine being as selfish, so I live through Ellen for the next two hours. I like the way she goes about eliminating her competition. She drives her father to distraction, she alienates her mother, her husband?s boyhood friend is banished from his circle and his brother is given a lethal swimming lesson. My jaw drops when she causes a miscarriage and when she leaves a letter behind for the District Attorney (a jilted lover) I had to applaud. She just continues to up the ante in her evilness. No one is safe in her quest for love. There?s a hole of self-esteem she tries to fill from the outside in. Wrong way, Ellen. The thing is that she?s so darned beautiful I forgive her anything. That says a lot about me, I guess.

 

That was sensational. You are dead on about Ellen being about "self." And how does she meet her end? Uh-huh. Perfect.

 

She?s sexy as all hell; and makes such poor choices in men. (Well who hasn?t?) She hangs out with a rough crowd in ?The Big Heat.? I feel sorry for her getting the wrong end of the life. She can be a tough cookie when she has to ("we?re sisters under the mink?) if she has to. But she?s vulnerable. And powerless. I like her b?cuz she plays on my heart strings. I want to see her protected. See her play Ginny in ?Crossfire.? How?d this girl wind up in the world of noir. Pert, cute, she looks like she likes to laugh, go on picnics. But nope, Ginny works as a ?dancer? in a beerhall. She plays another hard one, but when see Ginny dancing with one of probably hundreds of soldiers, she?s vulnerable; this one is different. She dares to hope she could be treated normally. If you tried to wipe her invisible tears, she?d probably give you a tongue lashing. But you?d want to take a chance.

 

What's great is that you highlight two Gloria characters that are very different yet quite similar. Debby is abrasive while Ginny is soft, yet they both seek a better way. Ginny knows she wants out, while Debby doesn't until she meets Dave.

 

I?m torn between the sweet and the profane. She breaks my heart in a different way. In ?The Best Years of Our Lives? and in ?The Detective Story? I want to wrap her in a blanket and take her back home to her folks.

 

Wonderful! That really is Cathy's appeal to me. She's one of the softest of all actresses.

 

And any man that lists Robert Ryan three times is a man after my own heart. You didn?t ask for my heart, but I givin? it to you. So there!!

 

Be careful who you give your heart to! This is film noir!

 

Now I shall read your supporting characters list.

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Jackaaay writes:

 

?I seem to like King Kong type villains - the kind that for some reason, you still feel sorry for at the end, no matter what evil they have done...I also seem to like the ones who are mad as a march hare...?

 

I love your descriptions: creepy, loony, damn sexy, vulnerable, hubris. "I want a guy...just like the guy...that married dear old Mom." I am loving the men on your list, Jax. See, a girl just wants to feel loved.

 

?Phyllis Dietrichsen - (Barbara Stanwyck, ?Double Indemnity?). Underneath it all, I really feel for Phyllis. All she wants is everything...I really meant it when I said I feel for her. She made a deal, like a marriage contract. She expected Walter would be with her to the very end NO MATTER WHAT, the same as every woman does in marriage. But he double crossed her, the way all men do, just because she was a ruthless killer who couldn't be trusted...You just can't count on a man. ? :-)

 

HA-HA!! JACKAAAY!! I?m loving Phyllis too. After all, a girl can?t have enough of everything, can she?? As I posed to FrankGrimes, just when IS a man supposed to know when he's on dangerous ground?

 

?Lorraine Minosa - (Jan Sterling, Ace in the Hole ) - Wow! Was there ever a colder woman on the face of the earth? Not even Phyllis can touch her.?

 

And with such a baby face. She takes a slap pretty good as well. Jan Sterling, a name kind of forgotten today. How d'ya start off with Kirk Douglas and Wilder...and then end up with Russ Tamblyn and butting..."heads" with Mamie Van Doren in "High School Confidential." Hollywood...a fickle place.

 

?Brigid O'Shaunessy - (Mary Astor, ?The Maltese Falcon?). - I think I am the only one who really likes Mary Astor's breathy portrayal. What makes her different from the run of the mill bad girl is that she has the good girl act down pat. She KNOWS Sam wants something more than just a roll in the hay, and she gives him that image. I just like her. She can play with the big boys.

 

You wouldn?t be alone on that score Jackaay. (I always thought Mary Astor played mature women, not school girls. And she had such a great voice!) Brigid is sophisticated. Brigid is dangerous. Brigid is hot in the bedroom and cold on the witness stand. Ooh, Miss Wanderley.

 

Liked your list.

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"Ha! And some others just keep trying to torch me.

 

It can't be done CineGoddess. Ummm, I have it on good authority that this --thread-- night has a thousand eyes. ;-)

 

Thanks for laying your favorites on the line, CinemAva. I hope to reply more fully later.

 

Look forward to your list when you have the time. Stay dry today.

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

> "Ha! And some others just keep trying to torch me.

>

> It can't be done CineGoddess. Ummm, I have it on good authority that this --thread-- night has a thousand eyes. ;-)

>

 

Well, I'm keeping a fire extinguisher handy just in case. I hear they work on blobs, too. :)

 

>

> Look forward to your list when you have the time. Stay dry today.

 

Thanks, I'm still working on my light-weight picks. :D I can't wait for you finish up with the guys so I can see who you picked!

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8. The Greenest Man in Noir Award: Way ahead of his time, environmentally speaking,

Skip McCoy from Pickup on South Street. Even the name has a green ring to it.

Takes public transportation, lives off the grid, and uses the natural cooling effect of a

river to keep his brews ice cold. And all the time he was being green, he was still busy

fighting the Red Menace. If cinema vert hadn't been coined already, Skip would

have invented it.

 

 

31. Most Likely to Be Fitted for a Dior Straitjacket: Carmen Sternwood from +The Big

Sleep+. The kid sister to Vivian, but she's no kid. The Production Code stripped

Carmen of most of her kinky proclivities when she came to the big screen, but left enough

for folks to figure out she was beyond a naughty girl. She has that little girl giggle, but it

comes with a steep price. Be prepared to pay. Ole Rusty did. Some femme fatales get

mad, Carmen is mad. In your heart, you know she's flirty, in your guts you know she's nuts. If cute little Carmen invites you out for target practice, politely decline, unless you want to be the target.

 

6. The Little Anklet that Could-It still can.

 

67. Best Male Counterpart to the Little Anklet- Bruno A. from Strangers on a Train. Just a

tad narcissistic, he likes people to know who's coming down the aisle, so he has his Bruno

tie pin. One foot in the closet, the other out, got a little of the ole pscycho-sexual heebie-jeebies

going on. Compared to Joel Cairo, Bruno is almost a he man. Not that that's saying much, and

not that there's anything wrong with that.

 

84 The Larch: The evilest tree in noir, mean and rotten from the roots on up.

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

> 8. The Greenest Man in Noir Award: Way ahead of his time, environmentally speaking,

> Skip McCoy from Pickup on South Street. Even the name has a green ring to it.

> Takes public transportation, lives off the grid, and uses the natural cooling effect of a

> river to keep his brews ice cold. And all the time he was being green, he was still busy

> fighting the Red Menace. If cinema vert hadn't been coined already, Skip would

> have invented it.

 

So, a good example of cinema vert and cinema noir? ;)

 

> 31. Most Likely to Be Fitted for a Dior Straitjacket: Carmen Sternwood from +The Big

> Sleep+. The kid sister to Vivian, but she's no kid. The Production Code stripped

> Carmen of most of her kinky proclivities when she came to the big screen, but left enough

> for folks to figure out she was beyond a naughty girl. She has that little girl giggle, but it

> comes with a steep price. Be prepared to pay. Ole Rusty did. Some femme fatales get

> mad, Carmen is mad. In your heart, you know she's flirty, in your guts you know she's nuts. If cute little Carmen invites you out for target practice, politely decline, unless you want to be the target.

>

 

Well, we can all imagine what it would have been like in the absence of any Production Code. Especially with Howard Hawks directing.

 

> 6. The Little Anklet that Could-It still can.

 

You really can't stop thinking about that anklet, can you? :P

 

Is it like an itch you can't scratch? ;)

 

> 67. Best Male Counterpart to the Little Anklet- Bruno A. from Strangers on a Train. Just a

> tad narcissistic, he likes people to know who's coming down the aisle, so he has his Bruno

> tie pin. One foot in the closet, the other out, got a little of the ole pscycho-sexual heebie-jeebies going on. Compared to Joel Cairo, Bruno is almost a he man. Not that that's saying much, and not that there's anything wrong with that.

>

 

It's been a while since I've seen Strangers on a Train, but I'm hoping to revisit it fairly soon. I'll have more to say about good ol' Bruno then.

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