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Film noir runneth over on the schedule lately


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The Spiral Staircase is one of the best of the old dark house murder

mysteries, very atmospheric and with some interesting supporting characters.

If you haven't seen it before, it does keep you guessing about the identity of the

killer. There was an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour that borrowed

heavily from it, but with a different twist at the end.


MM, I think the Jack the Ripper case is still opened. There is really no

solid evidence that Carl Feigenbaum, the merchant seaman, was

actually the Ripper. He's just one in a long list of suspects who so

far haven't panned out.

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Yeah, it has been a while. As far as forensics and witnesses, this is a frozen

case, but that never stops people from speculating. It's become a long

running parlor game. The latest significant theory was by the mystery

writer Patricia Cornwell who thought that the artist Walter Sickert was

Jack the Ripper. There was some interesting circumstantial evidence, but

Sickert was in France during most of the murders and there is no evidence

that he was going back and forth across the Channel.




There is the more "recent" case of The Black Dahlia. Not that long ago a

retired LA police detective thought that he had solved the case and that

the murderer was his father, who was a doctor. This too was a case of more

speculation than evidence. The mystery continues.



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I doubt the Ripper case will ever be solved. These books seem to have a pattern:

Someone comes up with a new theory or suspect, it gets a lot of initial attention,

and then on a closer view it doesn't look as promising as it first did. One person

even wrote a book speculating that Orson Welles was the killer of the Black Dahlia.

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The TCM schedule for the next few weeks appears to be rather weak on the Film Noir side. I know and appreciate that TCM shows us a lot of Noir films including some really obscure stuff. My question (suggestion) would be; Should there be a regularly designated time each week devoted to noir films? We used to have Saturday mornings (I would record that mornings movies almost automatically, or just get up early to watch.) I would like to see TCM put a little more structure into its programming days , especially the late night, early morning hours. Like, Tuesday could be Noir day, Thursday could be comedies, Fridays for musicals, etc. This wouldn't have to be a real rigid schedule, TCM can still have Oscar month, Summer Under The Stars, etc. The prime time hours, 8PM est time on would be open for whatever. How about it TCM people?

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Only problem with that is that people's work or other schedules might consistently preclude watching on certain days of the week.. If they do noir on, e.g., Tuesdays, and Tuesdays are always a bad day for a person, that person would get the shaft in terms of being able to see noir films.

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I would just like to interject at this point to make the observation that this excellent thread has now been around for a year. It had its first birthday 2 days ago, on July 19th.

It's a fun thread, and I'm glad it's still around. Thanks, LoveFilmNoir, for starting it.

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Yes, I don't feel strongly about the Underground stuff - sometimes they screen something of interest to me. And n'oubliez pas, one man's cinematic garbage is another man's ambrosia. Or something.


But I do like the idea of a regular noir slot - maybe late Friday night ( but not as late as Underground Ambrosia) or Saturday night, seem like good noirish times. Night, anyway.

Remember a year or so ago, they were showing all these noirs at, like, 9 o'clock in the morning. Saturday mornings. Noir is not a very morningish genre, and I often missed them ( unless I remembered to record) because I tend to not watch movies on Saturday morning. I'm too busy attending to my bee hives. Or something.

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Wasn't there something like "Murder In the Morning"? Maybe 6:00 Saturday? A quick crime story for the earlybirds. This was seven or eight years ago. I didn't mind that timing. To me, 6:00 A.M. feels more like late night anyway!



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The Saturday morning noir movies were called "Darkness After Dawn". It took me awhile to remember that. Started at 6AM est. Many of the movies were short (80 - 90 min) so we got several in a row. Movies like *Tension* , *Armored Car Robbery* , *Kansas City Confidential* , etc, etc. I often worked those hours so the VCR was put to work. Some films I then dubbed to a DVD. I am not too particular as to what off time hours would be used for a weekly presentation, just so it would be on a regular schedule, most people have some way of recording , eh? ;)


Edited by: mrroberts on Jul 23, 2011 6:00 PM

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The Saturday morning noir movies were called "Darkness After Dawn".


Thank you! I would never have remembered that. That made for some nice mornings. What was I doing up so early on a Saturday? I've always been a night owl. I stay up REALLY late. Not that late. But you know how sometimes you can't sleep? Well, the next thing you know, it's morning!

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Tres vrai. To each their own. Every once in a while they have a decent


film on TCM Underground, but for the most part they're rather forgettable.


Late at night on weekends would be a good time to get in the noir mood.


Early in the morning might work if you're up late/early with a hangover from a


wild night before and need to get back in focus.


I usually hit the hay around 1:30 am or so, but if there's a good flick on I

stay up. The Battle of Algiers is on this week, starting a 1 a.m. I might

make it all the way through.



Bee hives, apiary-wise or hairdo-wise?

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I wasn't reading very carefully, and I thought you said you planned to watch The Beatles at Algiers. I was going to say, I never knew they played at Algiers, let alone made a movie of it.


Battle of Algiers is another story - always meant to see it, so far, never have. Another one like that for me is Wages of Fear ( but the Beatles had nothing to do with that one. )


I kind of like leaving the allusion to bee hives ambiguous. Either way, it would be time-consuming.

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

> Battle of Algiers is another story - always meant to see it, so far, never have. Another one like that for me is Wages of Fear ( but the Beatles had nothing to do with that one. )




Both are excellent films, you really should see them. They are both very gripping and suspenseful.

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I think the closest the Beatles ever got to the Middle East was some

of the characters in Help. Maybe Professor Shaheen should have screened

that during the Arab Images series. There was the little known special

Ramadan holiday LP with such hits as Magical Mystery Hajj, I Am the Prophet,

I Want to Spoil the Party, and Baby's Completely in Black. It is now a rare

collector's item.


I've only seen The Battle of Algiers once, so I'm looking forward to the showing

this week, even if it is very late. I'm more familiar with The Wages of Fear,

having seen it four of five times over the years and it's one of the best French

adventure films (thought it's much more than just an adventure film). And of

course it has the added attraction of Vera Clouzot in all her floor-scrubbing,

pig-tailed splendor. They're both films that are worth repeated viewings. Hope

you get a chance to see them some day, Miss W.





Ooh la la.

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When I saw THE WAGES OF FEAR, I was watching the scene where the board of directors meets. Halfway through the scene, I realized there were no subtitles. "Oh, wait. They're speaking English!" Most of the men were American.


I have a confession to make. I like William Friedkin's SORCERER at least as much as the French film. It's more suspenseful. There's a higher level of emotion. To be honest, neither movie is a great favorite.

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