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"The Killers" (1946) vs. "The Killers" (1964)


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The Spiral Staircase is one of the best of the killer on the loose in a spooky old

mansion movies. Fine cinematography of all the various possibilities of light and

shadow in every corner of that old pile of a house. And a great cast of supporting

players, especially the servants in the lower quarters of the house, who like to take

a nip every once in a while. Even including the psychotic killer, these are a very

different and gentler group of folks than are to be found in The Killers and Siodmak

does well by two pictures of mostly different sensibilities. I've always wondered if

George Brent pretended he was choking Bette Davis to get into character.

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I think SPIRAL STAIRCASE is my favorite Siodmak film. You're right about the supporting cast. Ethel Barrymore is superb.

 

But I really like THELMA JORDAN because it returns Babs (Stanwyck) to familiar ground as the femme fatale of seminal works like DOUBLE INDEMNITY and THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS.

 

As for spooky old mansion stories, I'd pick THE UNINVITED with Ray Milland, Gail Russell and Cornelia Skinner. Ms. Skinner is truly evil in that picture.

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Haven't seen Thelma Jordan in a while, but it's a neat little noir with the lead actors doing

their usual good job. Hope it shows up on TCM soon.

 

The Uninvited is good too. There are some obvious differences between it and SS:

the former has a strong supernatural element to it, and it isn't quite so focused on the

house itself as SS. SS is almost claustrophobic with much of the action taking place in

that scary old place. Ethel Barrymore is fine as the mother, and Elsa Lanchester, Rhys

Williams, and Sara Allgood are good in support as the hired help. Since both of these

films are well-done, it's probably a matter of personal taste as to which is better. I go

with SS, but just by a fraction of protoplasm.

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Without looking at any filmography, I am inclined to say probably not. And I would imagine both Siodmak and Lang are fairly close in the number of noirs they directed, although Lang of course would have an edge because of his 30s proto-noirs, which sort of contributed to the whole noir think in the 40s, of course.

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Ahh, yes...I will have to go over there and check it out. I recorded THELMA JORDAN when it played on TCM two years ago...I had spent years trying to find it. It should be showed more. It doesn't deserve to be so obscure, especially with its pedigree.

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8 a.m. is a bit early for me, but Vicki was on at 11:30. Unfortunately I didn't know that

until I was channel surfing and caught the last fifteen minutes. Darn. Richard Boone had

a nice little at home shrine to Jean Peters, and while such creepy behavior cannot be condoned,

I do sympathize just a bit. Obviously FMC shows Fox movies, but do they own any other film

libraries? It's hard to keep track of these things.

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That sounds like a much more comfortable time. I presumed they only showed Fox

movies, but wasn't 100% sure. Thanks.

 

Hey, TFOTJ is on YT. It's not the best way to watch a movie, but it's better than not

seeing it at all. Wendell Corey is a bow tie wearing guy with a father-in-law problem

who's already drank half a bottle of booze, when in walks Barbara in her ladylike pose,

and the wisecracks are starting already. Yep, this is gonna be one sweet noir ride.

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As far as I can tell, it's not a PD film. The print isn't too bad, I'm sure it could use a

touch up, but it's certainly good enough.

 

Gee. She has the white gloves on, she has them off, now they're on again. Better

look out for for this dame. I don't want to rush to judgment, but I think ole Thelma

might be filed under T for tease. We shall see what we shall see.

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Thelma Jordan: A little femme fatale, a little tease, but all deadly! Spoil Sport Alert!

 

Yes, surprise, surprise, she was just playing Wendell. He had a pretty little missus,

a nice collection of bow ties,and two kids, but they didn't stand a chance against the

wiles of an old pro like Ms. Jordan. It was getting a little soap opery until TJ decided to

get rid of her aunt, and with the death of the old bag things picked up. But in the end,

Thelma got hers, and it looks like Wendell will pay for his indiscretions, but he'll go back

to his wife having learned his lesson. Until the next sexy dame strolls by. And we never

actually saw the file. What a rip-off

 

It's a little known fact, but back in the 1970s there was talk of making a more light hearted

version of the movie, but The File On Selma Diamond never made it past the doodles on a

napkin stage. Another Tinseltown faux pas.

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How many movies did Barbara and Wendell make together, anyway? I loved them in The Furies, too. :x

 

But seriously, in a femme fatale contest, who'd come out on top: Ava Gardner in The Killers, or Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (or pick another one if you like).

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I've never seen that one, but they were in Sorry, Wrong Number, can't remember what

role he played, and they may not have actually been on screen at the same time due to

the structure of that movie. Gee, Barb didn't end up too well in that one either. :(

 

Well, I don't think there's too much doubt about who would have won that cat fight. After

Mrs. Dietrichson was through with Kitty Kat, the only things left would have been a few

hanks of brown hair and a small piece of sweater.

 

Double Jeopardy. I like the high school teacher from Chicago. :D

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

> Well, I don't think there's too much doubt about who would have won that cat fight. After

> Mrs. Dietrichson was through with Kitty Kat, the only things left would have been a few

> hanks of brown hair and a small piece of sweater.

 

I'm inclined to agree with you on that one. ;)

 

> Double Jeopardy. I like the high school teacher from Chicago. :D

 

Did someone say "Double Jeopardy"? I think I might have been distracted, obviously I meant Double Indemnity. :P

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