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LoveFilmNoir

Film noir runneth over on the schedule lately

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_LoveFilmNoir_ wrote: I *wonder what those pre-1940s films are. By any chance is THE ROARING TWENTIES or FURY on there? I can't comprehend why they would omit THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT.*

 

*Underworld* (Von Sternberg, 1927)

*The Racket* (Milestone, 1928)

*Thunderbolt* (Von Sternberg, 1929)

*City Streets* (Mamoulian, 1931)

*Beast of the City* (Brabin, 1932)

*I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang* (LeRoy, 1932)

*The Scoundrel* (Hecht/MacArthur, 1935)

*Fury* (Lang, 1936)

*You Only Live Once* (Lang, 1937)

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Never mind all that...remember, it's the chocolate bar, not the wrapping. When all's said and done I'm afraid I'm fairly indifferent to how many actors/actresses were in noir movies. We all know the usual noir players, that' s good enough for me.

Did anyone besides Mr. C.Bogle watch *Underworld USA* last night?

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Of course. One should never miss a Samuel Fuller movie (except Hell and High Water).

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I appreciated HELL AND HIGH if, for no other reason, to give Sam a base-level that hopefully he never fell below. Some of these bad films are almost blessings like that - "So THAT'S their worst film?"

 

It's kind of fun to run across those '60s and '70s 'last films' of Basil Rathbone and Ray "Two Heads" Milland because those films DO spawn a coffeehouse dialog about "Why oh why" subjects.

 

Another one, KISMET, with Colman and Dietrich. But I was wonderfully warned by fans to expect little, or less.

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I've been on vacation for a couple of weeks, and can't believe how many pages of film noir posts, here and elsewhere, I have to catch up on!

 

Finance, I don't think anyone answered your query below:

 

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

> Maybe I'm thick, but I don't have the slightest idea what "That's mighty white of you" means.

 

Basically, it means you are claiming privilege over me, as if I were black, and you are white. That can mean you are denying me a simple request, or you are being condescendingly, grudgingly, slightly helpful. But, either way, the person said to be "mighty white" is behaving in a prejudicial manner. So, it is an insult. Although its meaning is based on racist attitudes, I don't consider it that racist, because it is pointing out the white racist sort of attitude, even if the attitude is aimed at someone who is white.

 

Okay, I consider Fritz Lang's *M* to be the first film noir. I don't think the last one has been made yet! So, you can see I have a broad definition of what is noir. I think *They Drive By Night* is a noir.

 

I tend to think of Ella Raines as a film noir actress, even though she was probably in more westerns than noirs.

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I actually looked it up, and many think it does NOT have a racial connotation. They believe "white" in the expression means pure, rather than Caucasian.

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I like how you don't have tight boundaries when it comes to noir, I think I am the same way.

 

I haven't seen M in almost 2 years, scared the crap outta me....watched it late at night with thunder and lightening outside!

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

> I actually looked it up, and many think it does NOT have a racial connotation. They believe "white" in the expression means pure, rather than Caucasian.

 

I'm definitely not knowledgeable about the phrase's derivation. I'm just going by the way I have heard the phrase used throughout my life. While the experts may well be correct, that the term originated without a racial connotation, I think most people think it has one. So, in effect, it does. I would also point out that to some people, especially back when *Paid* was made, "pure" and "Caucasian" were pretty much the same thing.

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I plan to watch it tonight, along with SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR. I recorded most of last night because I was rather busy.

 

However, for some reason, I can't understand why DIAL M FOR MURDER isn't considered a noir for some people ("it's Hitchcock" or "It's in color") sometimes I wish the film was made in black and white with Dan Duryea as the husband...maybe then it would be noir! LOL okay, that was my rant on that. Either way, I can watch this movie over and over again....

 

I also caught WAIT UNTIL DARK on Sunday, obviously not a noir...but definitely a thriller/suspense and I was scared! The film reminded me of 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET directed by Henry Hathaway. Van Johnson plays the lead, a blind man who overhears a kidnapping plot and becomes involved yada yada yada....made at Fox, in Technicolor and Cinemascope and I believe shot in London, I'd call it a noir but I'm sure most would call it a mystery since it does have a dainty look to it, and not gritty what so ever. Henry Hathaway obviously didn't use the same methods Terence Young did with WAIT UNTIL DARK to have the viewer half way out of their chair.

 

I watched UNDERCURRENT for the second time 2 nights ago. I like seeing Robert Taylor as the "bad guy" in a noir - seeing as how he is in one of my faves, Nick Ray's PARTY GIRL as a lawyer who works for the mob then decides to go straight after seeing Cyd Charisse's legs (okay that isn't the plot exactly but you get my point). It was also great seeing the king of noir Robert Mitchum.

 

Now I'm going to say it....feel free to throw your stones....but WHY KATHARINE HEPBURN? I didn't see the chemistry between the two leads...I just wasn't convinced. I know what type of character she is supposed to play in this role but I get the feeling she was a little too old. Even in the lovely gowns etc, I just wasn't convinced. I'm not saying they should have kicked Taylor out and replaced him with Tracy (lol), maybe they should have replaced her with a number of other females who could have been convincing. I'd love to hear other's opinions.

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I also agree that the movie UnderCurrent would of been better if someone other than Kate was casted. Someone like Lana Turner to give the role more energy and kick.

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

> I also agree that the movie UnderCurrent would of been better if someone other than Kate was casted. Someone like Lana Turner to give the role more energy and kick.

 

finance and jamesjazzguitar, I'm glad I am not alone.

 

Now regarding some other leading ladies who just aren't noir:

 

Kate and quite a few others aren't film noir in my opinion. Grace Kelly isn't noir but she works under the "Hitchcock" methods and the Technicolor to appreciate the beauty of her always stylish wardrobe. Again, I know people don't consider Hitchcock noir, but Grace Kelly just wouldn't work in a Siodmak, Fuller, Mann, Wise, Dassin, Preminger or Welles noir. I'll also add Deborah Kerr to this list. Just seems much to stiff.

 

Hepburn's character could have easily been replaced with a Gene Tierney (she is great in those "am I going bats**t crazy or is it those around me?" roles), Audrey Totter, Lizabeth Scott, Lana Turner, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, Virginia Mayo, or Claire Trevor. Even Joan Crawford could have done a much more convincing job, even though she seems to put a melodramatic feel to film noir.

 

The one noir girl who I don't think would have worked is Gloria Grahame. She has too much "bad girl" in her look and style that it would have been far fetched for Taylor's character to have married her and still managed to convince the viewer that he was the bad guy.

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

> That's quite a coincidence---a 5-way tie for first place with 7. Can't we reclassify a film to be a noir and give somebody 8? .......Oops, I see that people already did.

>

 

Just to dip back into the subject of who has been in the most noirs, I don't mind going into the supporting and character actors a bit...sometimes I feel like Sam Levene and Brian Donlevy are at a crime scene! But then again, I believe the films I may be thinking of with Levene are pre-1940 anyway.

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

> Man, The Prowler is awful! What a cad!

>

> Evelyn Keyes is wonderful!

 

I recorded it to a DVD and I plan to watch it over the weekend so I stayed out of the thread on it to prevent any spoilers. However, I did watch the first 15 minutes or so of it and man oh man....Van Heflin was super creepy. This is the stuff film noir is made of! Times sure have changed! In 2010, a woman alone in her house isn't inviting a cop inside even after he's been there earlier because of a call....and she darn sure isn't offering him coffee (or milk!).

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I think Turner or Tierney would have been best for UNDERCURRENT. The others on your list may have been too much the femme fatale type. Crawford, possibly.

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

> I think Turner or Tierney would have been best for UNDERCURRENT. The others on your list may have been too much the femme fatale type. Crawford, possibly.

 

Yes, I think you are right. Now that I think about it, some of the others like Virginia Mayo and Audrey Totter, and Lizabeth Scott already have a "danger" look to them from the moment you first see them on the screen.

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

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

> > Man, The Prowler is awful! What a cad!

> >

> > Evelyn Keyes is wonderful!

>

> I recorded it to a DVD and I plan to watch it over the weekend so I stayed out of the thread on it to prevent any spoilers. However, I did watch the first 15 minutes or so of it and man oh man....Van Heflin was super creepy. This is the stuff film noir is made of! Times sure have changed! In 2010, a woman alone in her house isn't inviting a cop inside even after he's been there earlier because of a call....and she darn sure isn't offering him coffee (or milk!).

 

 

I finally got around to watching it. I liked it a lot. One thing I liked was how Van's face looked SO different than it's usual good guy look. He always looked creepy, but like it was normal, no weird facial contortions or anything.

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I didn't like The Prowler as much as you because the plot didn't explain any of the motivations behind the actings of these two, especially Heflin. Ok, the lady was nice looking but to go to the trouble of being a cop, and then to resort to murder just for some tail? He was a nice enough looking guy so I assume he could pick up women elsewhere. OR was it mostly about the money she had?

 

Was Heflin bad all along (i.e. he had taken graft, beat up suspects, etc..)? It didn't appear so (his partner didn't have a clue that Heflin was even interested in the lady!), but then he turns out to be this major of a cad? It might of made more sence if say the husband was beating up his wife so than Heflin would of had a simi-legit reason for taking the husband out.

 

Like others pointed out I felt I was watching a movie that was edited for content or to fit a time slot. It just doesn't make sense that she would welcome him back into her home. But hey maybe she really had a thing for wavy hair! ha ha.

 

I did like seeing Heflin get a meatly role and he was interesting to watch. Love that guy and for that reason alone the movie was worth watching.

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Actually, they went into some detail about Heflin's motivations, about how he felt he got all the bad breaks, like losing his scholarship, and how he felt he deserved better. He didn't do it "just for some tail," but for "the whole package," especially enough money to realize his goal of owning a motel in Vegas. He was quite a schemer.

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

> ...and this was a pre-big entertainment Vegas. I think at this time (1952) Reno was a bigger deal than Vegas.

 

I am actually interested in this...I need to read up on when Las Vegas became the "it" spot of Nevada. It seems like in all pre 1950s films, only Reno is mentioned.

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Around 1952, Danny Thomas was booked as the first big-name entertainer at a Vegas casino. It really snowballed from there, especially when Sinatra started playing Vegas. From '48-'52, after Bugsy Siegel spearheaded the building of the Flamingo, Vegas was small-time compared to Reno.

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

> Around 1952, Danny Thomas was booked as the first big-name entertainer at a Vegas casino. It really snowballed from there, especially when Sinatra started playing Vegas. From '48-'52, after Bugsy Siegel spearheaded the building of the Flamingo, Vegas was small-time compared to Reno.

 

Good to know. Any movies or books you can suggest that kind of discuss this or have this time as the back drop? Thanks in advance.

 

Also, have any of you seen the following, if so, how would u rate them on a 4 star scale and can you provide whatever commentary (without giving away too much of the plot?)....My fall-winter-spring 2010-2011 project is viewing/collecting film noirs from my lists and the noir encyclopedia that I have never seen, and some that I doubt will air on TCM. I hardly know where to begin! Where do I begin? and who wants to go on this journey with me?

 

*The Brasher Doubloon (1947)* George Montgomery

*The Great Gatsby (1949)* Alan Ladd (not a noir, but so what :) )

*Calcutta (1947)* Alan Ladd (again, not a noir, but so what :) )

*Cry Tough (1958)* John Saxon, Linda Cristal

*Ride The Pink Horse (1947)* Robert Montgomery (directed by him also)

*Witness to Murder (1954)* Barbara Stanwyck, George Sanders

*99 River Street (1953)* John Payne, Evelyn Keyes (the title I wish they showed during the Phil Karlson night last year!!!)

*Pitfall (1948)* Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott

*Chicago Deadline (1949)* Alan Ladd, Donna Reed

*Red Light (1949)* George Raft, Virginia Mayo

*Screaming Mimi (1958)* Anita Eckberg, Phil Carey

*Between Midnight and Dawn (1950)* Edmond O?Brien, Mark Stevens, Gale Storm

*The Long Haul (1957)* Victor Mature, Diana Dors (not a noir)

*Destiny (1944)* Gloria Jean, Alan Curtis

*Canon City (1948)* Scott Brady, Jeff Corey

*Kiss The Blood Off My Hands (1948)* Joan Fontaine, Burt Lancaster

*Wicked as they Come (1956)* Arlene Dahl

*The Crooked Web (1955)* Frank Lovejoy, Mari Blanchard

*Ivy (1947)* Joan Fontaine, Patric Knowles, Herbert Marshall

*Manhandled (1949)* Dan Duryea, Dorothy Lamour

*Street of Chance (1942)* Burgess Meredith, Claire Trevor

*The Man in The Dark (1953)* Edmond O?Brien, Audrey Totter

*Drive a Crooked Road (1954)* Mickey Rooney, Dianne Foster (playing Dec 30th at 7:30 AM as part of Mickey Rooney?s SOTM!!)

*Desert Fury (1947)* Lizabeth Scott, John Hodiak, Burt Lancaster

*The Glass Web (1953)* Edward G. Robinson, John Forsythe, Marcia Henderson

*Rope of Sand (1949)* Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre

*Inferno (1953)* Robert Ryan, Rhonda Fleming (originally shot in 3D)

*The Guilty (1947)* Bonita Granville, Don Castle

*Woman in Hiding (1950)* Ida Lupino, Howard Duff

*Shield For Murder (1954)* Edmond O?Brien

*Five Steps to Danger (1955)* Sterling Hayden, Ruth Roman (not a noir)

*The Accused (1949)* Loretta Young, Robert Cummings

*Nightmare (1956)* Kevin McCarthy, Connie Russell

*I Walk Alone (1948)* Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott

*Outside the Wall (1950)* Richard Basehart, Signe Hasso, Marilyn Maxwell

*The Killer is Loose (1956)* Joseph Cotton, Rhonda Fleming, Wendell Corey

*He Ran All The Way (1951)* John Garfield, Shelley Winters

*The Web (1947)* Edmond O?Brien, Ella Raines

*Naked Alibi (1954)* Gloria Grahame, Sterling Hayden

*Abandoned (1949)* Gale Storm, Dennis O?Keefe

*The Mob (1951)* Broderick Crawford

*Sleeping City (1950)* Richard Conte, Colleen Gray

*Timetable (1956)* Mark Stevens, Felicia Farr

*Escape in the Fog (1945)* Nina Foch, Otto Kruger

*The Dark Past (1948)* William Holden, Nina Foch

*Down Three Dark Streets (1954)* Broderick Crawford, Ruth Roman

*Private Hell 36 (1954)* Ida Lupino, Howard Duff

*Deported (1950)* Jeff Chandler, Marta Toren

*711 Ocean Drive (1950)* Edmond O?Brien, Joanne Dru

*Three Steps to the Gallows (1953)* Scott Brady, Mary Castle

*Mr. Soft Touch (1949)* Glenn Ford, Evelyn Keyes

*Convicted (1950)* Glenn Ford, Dorothy Malone

*For You I Die (1948)* Cathy Downs, Paul Langton

*No Escape (1953)* Lew Ayres, Marjorie Steele

*Captive City (1952)* John Forsythe, Joan Camden

*The Glass Key (1935)* George Raft, Claire Dodd

*An Act of Murder (1948)* Frederic March, Edmond O?Brien

*Hoodlum Empire (1952)* Brian Donlevy, Claire Trevor

*Alias Nick Beal (1949)* Ray Milland, Audrey Totter

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