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"Two Seconds" (1932) / "Absolute Quiet" (1936) on Jan. 21


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These two 30's crime movies playing Thursday sound promising, anyone seen them already?

 

*Two Seconds* (1932) 11:45am ET

In the last moments of his life, a criminal reviews the circumstances that led him to death row.

Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Vivienne Osborne, Guy Kibbee, Preston Foster Dir: Mervyn LeRoy BW-67 mins, TV-PG

 

*Absolute Quiet* (1936) 4:30pm ET

Murder follows when a plane filled with shady characters is forced to land on a tycoon's ranch.

Cast: Lionel Atwill, Irene Hervey, Raymond Walburn, Stuart Erwin Dir: George B. Seitz BW-70 mins, TV-PG

 

Absolute-Quiet-LC.jpg

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Although I posted elsewhere that I hadn't seen Two Seconds, I read a better synopsis, and I have seen it. Quite a little gem, well worth seeing. I believe I have also seen Absolute Quiet, and it is enjoyable if you are a fan of the genre, not exceptional, but solid.

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Oh, wow! Just saw Two Seconds and can barely type this. Thank you for the heads up. Yes, it was very melodramatic but as usual Edward G. Robinson made it all worth while. Chaz Palmenterri was right on when he did that tribute to him. This was my first time seeing it and this is why TCM is tops.

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Well, I haven't had a chance to sit down and watch it from beginning to end, but I did watch a few scenes while it was recording and I think there's something to what you say - there were quite a few movies in the 30s that definitely qualify as proto-noirs, including also some of what Fritz Lang did here in the U.S., like You Only Live Once

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Well, I haven't had a chance to sit down and watch it from beginning to end, but I did watch a few scenes while it was recording and I think there's something to what you say - there were quite a few movies in the 30s that definitely qualify as proto-noirs, including also some of what Fritz Lang did here in the U.S., like You Only Live Once

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

> Well, I haven't had a chance to sit down and watch it from beginning to end, but I did watch a few scenes while it was recording and I think there's something to what you say - there were quite a few movies in the 30s that definitely qualify as proto-noirs, including also some of what Fritz Lang did here in the U.S., like You Only Live Once

 

 

Well, IMO, Fritz Lang's 1930 German film M, starring Peter Lorre is an early noir, or proto-noir, if you prefer. I believe that most film scholars recognize that film noir owes a lot to German Expressionism. M, and Fritz Lang are an obvious link. But, I don't allege that Lang created the genre... I think a number of US films of the 30s are very noirish, or even full blown noirs. When my slow to jog memory comes around, perhaps I'll post such a title, or two.

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I definitely agree that noir as we know it owes quite a bit to German Expressionism, and I'd even venture to add that emigre? directors like Fritz Lang and Robert Siodmak probably contributed their fair share.

 

As you say, the emergence of noir films was not due to a single director, but rather (imho) the summation of many visions and a general sentiment of disillusionment in post-war America.

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

> As you say, the emergence of noir films was not due to a single director, but rather (imho) the summation of many visions and a general sentiment of disillusionment in post-war America.

 

This is of course the accepted take on film noir. But, I think lots of films from the 30s qualify as film noir, including You Only Live Once. I think there was a lot of disillusionment prior to WWII, with the Great Depression, and unstable and frightening politics around the world. So, I think noir really began pre-war. But, it was not yet quite as stylized, or fully realized, as it was towards the end, and just after, WWII, IMO, anyway. In fact, I think part of its hard-edged style was developed during WWII, so that entertainment could be powerful and dramatic enough to compete with the reality of war, while at the same time being an escape from it.

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Well, lots of people consider film noir to be post WWII. I see you accept a wider definition, but just to bolster my case, I would like to point out that Humphrey Bogart was in 14 films between and including They Drive By Night, released in Aug. of 1940, well before WWII, and Conflict, released in June of '45, still during WWII. I include The Big Sleep in that, because it was mainly shot in 1944. Of those 14 films, I would say that at least 10 are clearly film noir, several being some of the most celebrated examples of the genre. So, to those academics who try to claim film noir is post-WWII, I say :P:D

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

> Well, lots of people consider film noir to be post WWII.

 

Well, as you say, I'm not really among those people. I go along with widely held view that true noir came out of Hollywood roughly between the early 40s and the late 50s. There are movies not released during that period that some call proto-noir and post-noir; I more or less go along with that, as well (Though I try not to get too hung up with labels).

 

While I don't consider that only post-war movies could be considered noir, I do believe that the feelings of alienation or disatisfaction nonetheless played a large part in the movement, feeding it after 1945 or so. I think a lot of movies and a lot of directors were very likely affected by the post-war sentiment.

 

And there are of course noirs that actually portray the disillusionment of soldiers just coming back to America after the war, like Dead Reckoning.

 

There were many factors that influenced the noir period, and the post-war sentiments in American society were among them; perhaps not the most important influence, but I do think it played a part.

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I just watched my recording of the Edward G Robinson film "Two Seconds". What a performance by Eddie G at the conclusion; does that make him a "method actor"? And the whole story plays like a film noir of the 40's. I was really blown away by this. I hope it comes out on a DVD sometime, its a keeper in my book.

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

> I hope it comes out on a DVD sometime, its a keeper in my book.

 

Actually, mrroberts, it IS available - but only through the Warner Archives, which is technically a DVD-R instead of DVD, but at least it is an official release:

 

http://www.wbshop.com/Two-Seconds-1932/1000123406,default,pd.html?cgid=

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

> I just watched my recording of the Edward G Robinson film "Two Seconds". What a performance by Eddie G at the conclusion; does that make him a "method actor"? And the whole story plays like a film noir of the 40's. I was really blown away by this. I hope it comes out on a DVD sometime, its a keeper in my book.

 

 

Incredible performance by Eddie G, but then again, he gave them pretty regularly! Amazing actor, my favorite of all time, transcended acting styles, IMHO. I agree, the story is very "noir"!

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