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mrroberts

Wednesday May 19th on TCM

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

> ...FALLEN ANGEL is also on FMC quite frequently.

 

Hasn't been for a while because it is making its rounds on HBO/Cinemax. It is appearing on More Max between 3AM and 6AM in the next 2 weeks.

 

I have Fallen Angel and Where The Sidewalk Ends on DVD....both great films. I love Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Linda Darnell and Alice Faye as well as the "Street Scene" music from WTSE so I never get enough of these films.

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*Fallen Angel is airing on Cinemax's MoreMax channel at 3:20 a.m. ET on May 25.*

 

TONITE . . .thanks Danthemoviefan.

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MoreMax seems to be the channel from the Cinemax family that shows the occasional movie classic, several times a week, usually in the wee hours, often from the 20th Century Fox film library. The same with HBO Signature.

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*> {quote:title=Arturo wrote:}{quote}*

*> MoreMax seems to be the channel from the Cinemax family that shows the occasional movie classic, several times a week, usually in the wee hours, often from the 20th Century Fox film library. The same with HBO Signature.*

 

This is correct. I have DirecTV and channels 503 (HBO Signature) and 517 (MoreMax) show a film from before 1980 daily somewhere between 3:30AM and 8AM. They show one before 1960 at least 3 or 4 times a week. Mostly Fox titles but the occasional United Artists or Universal title. I have recorded the following films in the last 30 days and some will be repeated soon as well:

 

The Sun Also Rises

The Rains Came

Hello Frisco Hello

To The Shores of Tripoli

Weekend in Havana

Fallen Angel

The Glory Brigade

Sweet Smell of Success

Written on the Wind

Girl in the Red Velvet Swing

 

I have recorded SEVERAL classics on these two channels in the past including Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait, and several Grable and Power films. The programmer for these channels seems to have a love affair with Tyrone Power films and at the end of the summer of 2009 had a love affair with Grable films.

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Well Red Velvet Swing was on this morning and will be on again on MoreMax in a week or so. I wonder if HBO/Cinemax let you request films....although I have no idea what libraries they have access to. But you have a better chance catching a Fox film there than on TCM (and even on FMC for some titles)

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LoveFilmNoir wrote:

*The programmer for these channels seems to have a love affair with Tyrone Power films . . .*

 

Seems that the same goes for John Payne . . . three of the titles you mentioned feature this ersatz Power/rival to Power at Fox.

 

*. . . and at the end of the summer of 2009 had a love affair with Grable films.*

 

. . . although two of the three John Payne films are Alice Faye musicals (Grable was her rival/successor at the same studio.

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

> ......but Payne early in his career was primarily in musicals, unlike Power.

 

I had NO idea of his acting range until I saw "Kansas City Confidential"...great film....I really wish more Fox movies from the war era were screened on TCM and discussed on this board....I have so many opinions....one being that I strongly believe a long term contract at Fox under Darryl F. Zanuck was a road block more than a stepping stool.

 

Sorry for my off topic posts in this thread! Although I am still watching the films I taped from May 19th....

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It's not really "off topic" . It's all about film noir, right? I've seen Kansas City Confidential . Lots of twists and turns. Nice little romance between John Payne and Colleen Grey.

 

I like the bit about making everyone involved in the heist wearing a mask.

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What's happened to the gangster film? Where are our seedy heroes? Any suggestions as to recent films and film stars that conjure noir images, sensibilites, sensitivities and drama?

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Good point, cagneyfan. There's nobody around now like the gangster actors of old.

 

A lot of people would say that Martin Scorsese is the closest thing we have to a gangster movie filmmaker now. Although he's very different. You mentioned old gangster movie "sensibility" -Scorsese's films sure have a very different sensibility from them!

Nothing quite like those old gangster and noir movies around these days. I guess that's partly why we love them so much.

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Again, gangster and noir films are very different animals........... I just saw JOHNNY APOLLO on FMC this morning, a good gangster film, which was relatively unusual for Fox.

 

Edited by: finance on May 30, 2010 3:45 PM

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There are so many "Johnny" movies: Johnny Eager, Johnny O'Clock, Johnny Guitar,Johnny Apollo

 

and they're all, if not "noir" (and I'm beginning to feel this is an overused term), than off the beaten path anyway. I wonder if they'd used the name, Horace, for instance, it the effect would have been the same.

 

"Horace O'clock" -hm, maybe not.

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

> Again, gangster and noir films are very different animals........... I just saw JOHNNY APOLLO on FMC this morning, a good gangster film, which was relatively unusual for Fox.

>

> Edited by: finance on May 30, 2010 3:45 PM

 

I actually throw Johnny Apollo into the noir bin. Definitely had more of a noir feel than a gangster film and was shot in the same style of *Kiss of Death*, *The Dark Corner* and *Call Northside 777* (Director Henry Hathaway's other Fox noirs). Now there are other films that have elements of noir but come off as a "crime drama" or detective/mystery like the Thin Man series.

 

Two noirs that I watched that stuck out to me from May 19th:

 

*Destination Murder* - it was a quickie but it had one of my faves (Hurd Hatfield) as the bad guy. This is one of those movies I am sure was double billed with another film but it is definitely my kind of noir - quick. I prefer my noirs at 90 minutes...120 minutes is definitely pushing it. The story had many holes in it, mainly a cast of unknowns.

 

The Unknown Man - another "noir" (or court room/crime drama) with Walter Pidgeon in the lead. Also under 90 minutes, the film had a decent pace, good acting. I think Pidgeon's talent shines in dramas. I happen to also think he was good with the lovely (and brunette) Joan Bennett in *the House Across the Bay*.

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I classified JOHNNY APOLLO as a gangster film for the simple reason that it was a 1940 release. Most say that noirs began with THE MALTESE FALCON (1941). I generally associate noirs with a lot of darkness. JOHNNY APOLLO did not have this. (I understand that darkness is only one criterion)

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

> I classified JOHNNY APOLLO as a gangster film for the simple reason that it was a 1940 release. Most say that noirs began with THE MALTESE FALCON (1941). I generally associate noirs with a lot of darkness. JOHNNY APOLLO did not have this. (I understand that darkness is only one criterion)

 

Good point finance. From what I have read, noir officially began with *Stranger on the Third Floor* (1940) however, the darkness that is present in another early noir, I Wake Up Screaming (1941), is also present in this film. I really like how crime/noirs were shot from Fox in the 1940s. I think what makes Johnny seem to be a gangster film is because of the gangster element (Lloyd Nolan's character) and at the time, gangster films like "The Roaring Twenties" as well as many B pictures had been out for a while setting the trend.

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LovesFilmNoir wrote:

*Good point finance. From what I have read, noir officially began with Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) however, the darkness that is present in another early noir, I Wake Up Screaming (1941), is also present in this film. I really like how crime/noirs were shot from Fox in the 1940s. I think what makes Johnny seem to be a gangster film is because of the gangster element (Lloyd Nolan's character) and at the time, gangster films like "The Roaring Twenties" as well as many B pictures had been out for a while setting the trend.*

 

"Johnny Apollo" is usually listed as an early noir (in the past I've referred to it here as a proto-noir). It does have elements of both noir and the gangster genre (noir is in the eye of the beholder). it has much in common with the ganster films of the 1930s, of which Warners' were the best, by general acknowledgement. In fact 1939's "The Roaring Twenties" simultaneously resurrected the tradition (they had become B's by then even at Warner Bros.) and was a glorious sendoff.

 

"Johnny Apollo", released in January 1940, was the first one to use Johnny in the title, I believe, although I much prefer its original title "Dance With the Devil (sounds much more noirish).

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You made some great points Arturo.....particularly "noir is in the eye of the beholder". I think if every noir had a femme fatale and took place solely in a major city, the plots would have run out and fast. Film noir was about 2 decades of some damn great movies. From some sound suspense filled plots to contrived ones...filled with love, affairs, revenge, greed....subplots that sometimes take you off track where you don't even know who the killer or bad guy is until 5 minutes before the ending credits. It is definitely my favorite film genre of all time.

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LoveFilmNoir, I agree with you about Arturo's statement: *"Noir is in the eye of the beholder".* That statement should be put in the preface of every book about film noir.

 

I too decided this was my favourite movie genre a long time ago, and its never let me down. I have quite a few books on the subject, and I'm always trying to track down some elusive mysterious film noir title or other that I just can't seem to get a hold of. Whenever TCM airs one, especially one I haven't seen, I'm ecstatic.

 

I've heard and read so much about film noir as a genre, is it a genre at all, it wasn't a genre at the time the films were made, the noir formula (urban setting femme fatalecrime), even though there are so many film noirs that don't have any of those elements in them. I've heard that it has to fall within certain dates, have certain settings, must be in black and white, etc.etc. etc.

 

I realize that that paragraph was sort of stream-of-consciousness;sorry. I was just writing everything that came into my head about what people have said about film noir and their attempts to define it.

*Night and the City* is a great film noir, even though it's set in England . *Leave Her to Heaven*

is a film noir, even though it's in colour. (as finance pointed out.) *Gun Crazy* is definitely a noir, even though it's mostly set in little towns and the countryside (as opposed to a big city). And so on. I

 

I think you said in another thread :

*"I still think the term film noir is up for debate and will be for a long time."*

I agree with that too, and you certainly see that in action on these threads all the time. I feel it's one of those "I can't really tell you exactly what it is, but I know it when I see it".

 

Maybe part of the fun in discussing it is in that very elusive quality it has. Or maybe it's just because it feels different from other movies. It seems that everyone who likes it gets a certain feeling from it, and maybe that's what it's all about. Whatever it may be, film noir is endlessly fascinating.

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I highly recommend *More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts* (James Naremore, 2008 2nd ed.). It captures the paradoxes in film noir critiques better than any other book I've read. From the first chapter (sorry for the lengthy quotation, but it is a wonderful summary of the difficulty is defining noir, why, and one approach to thinking about it):

 

Unfortunately, nothing links together all the things described as noir -- not the theme of crime, not a cinematographic technique, not even a resistance to Aristotelian narratives or happy endings. Little wonder that no writer has been able to find the category's necessary and sufficient characteristics and that many generalizations in the critical literature are open to question. .... More intriguingly, if the heyday of noir was 1941-1958, why did the term not enjoy widespread use until the 1970s? A plausible case could indeed be made that, far from dying out with the old studio system, noir is almost entirely a creation of postmodern culture -- a belated reading of classic Hollywood that was popularized by cineastes of the French New Wave, appropriated by reviewers, academics, and filmmakers, and then recycled on television.

 

At any rate, a term that was born in specialist periodicals and revival theaters has now become a major signifier of sleekly commodified artistic ambition. ....

 

....

 

.... The classical model is notoriously difficult to pin down, in part because it was named by critics rather than filmmakers, who did not speak of film noir until well after it was established as a feature of academic writing. Nowadays, the term is ubiquitous, appearing in reviews and promotions of many things besides movies. If we want to understand it, or to make sense of genres or art-historical categories in general, we need to recognize that film noir belongs to the history of ideas as much as to the history of cinema; in other words, it has less to do with a group of artifacts than with a discourse -- a loose, evolving system of arguments and readings that helps to shape commercial strategies and aesthetic ideologies.

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Thank you, chiO, sounds like a great book. I'm surprised I haven't heard of it, since I actively seek out books on the subject. Although, come to think of it, most of my noir library pre-dates 2008, the copyright date of *More Than Night*. Wait, I see that was the 2nd edition. I guess I just missed it.

(My most recent noir book acquisition is "The Rough Guide to Film Noir", fun reference book.)

 

I particularly agree with this part of your quote:

 

". Nowadays, the term is ubiquitous, appearing in reviews and promotions of many things besides movies. If we want to understand it, or to make sense of genres or art-historical categories in general, *we need to recognize that film noir belongs to the history of ideas as much as to the history of cinema* ; in other words, it has less to do with a group of artifacts than with a discourse -- a loose, evolving system of arguments and readings that helps to shape commercial strategies and aesthetic ideologies."

 

I do recall a time when the term wasn't used nearly as much as it is now. It's become kind of "cool", and as the writer says, "ubiquitous".

 

I guess all us noir fans will just keep watching them, discussing them, and enjoying them.

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