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Film noir runneth over on the schedule lately


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I also enjoyed watching Not As A Stanger since I'm a big fan of the 3 major stars (Olivia, Mitch, Gloria), as well as Frank (Frank giving advise on marriage is ironic). Your description of the movie is on-target.

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finance, I assume you're referring to my "explanation" for so many edits to my posts:

"My typing skill is not commensurate with my typing speed, hence typos and spellos that need to be edited. " I 'll worry about the typos and spellos etc. for regular words. You can correct me if I make a mistake on an actor's or director's name, film titles, and so forth. How' s that?

 

Looks like I may need to rehire my "post/ghost" writer.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 29, 2010 1:52 PM

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Don't forget, everybody: tonight set your recording timers for 3:00 a. m. to catch *They Made Me a Fugitive*, an unusual and very good English noir with Trevor Howard.

 

Either set your recorders or drink a several litres of a caffeine-based substance.

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

> I guess this Thursday/Friday late-night early-morning "what day do you call it" is what causes confusion.

 

Actually it does if a person doesn't know and uses a recorder separate from their cable company's box. I had to explain this to a coworker that liked classic films but thought he kept forgetting to set his recorder. TCM days start from 6am, not 12am. I have no complaints about this, it's just important for everyone to understand.

 

I'm recording that movie PAID (1930) with Joan Crawford. It's listed as a mystery/crime on my cable's info and I am curious to see the pre-code raciness etc around a crime.

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

 

> I'm recording that movie PAID (1930) with Joan Crawford. It's listed as a mystery/crime on my cable's info and I am curious to see the pre-code raciness etc around a crime.

 

Awesome stuff, Love, tell us how you like it once you see it? I am DVR'ing it to watch again tomorrow night or over the weekend. Great stuff, IMO!

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I haven't watched *Paid* yet, but I quite enjoyed *They Made Me a Fugitive*. It did have one digital glitch, which I think came from TCM, probably from a HDD. As Sally Gray is going to the closet, to get Trevor Howard a different coat, the film froze for a second, then jumped ahead just a bit.

 

I would have preferred just a few more hints as to what was to become of Trevor. The cop seemed sympathetic, and interested in the truth. But, I would have liked at least a hint that the police knew Trevor was innocent of an incidental crime that happened after he broke out. Those who have seen it will know what I mean. In that incidental crime, the woman involved acted as if she was blind, at least in the beginning. The friend who watched it with me thought so too.

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I too, watched *They Made Me a Fugitive*, (I recorded both that and *Paid* which came on afterwards. I 've only had time to watch the first, but I'll get around to *Paid*.)

 

Loved this movie! It was about as noir as you can get, despite its English setting (and let's not get into "hey, noir is broader than that, it doesn't have to be set in an Anerican city, you don't understand noir if you think that etc. " Yeah, I know all that. I'm just saying it's unusual for a film noir to be set in London, England.)

 

Trevor Howard was fantastic as the unfortunate Clem Morgan. I'd never seen him in this kind of a role before, he's usually rather "gentlemanly" perhaps even a little stodgy sometimes. A crisp, no-nonsense military officer is the type of role with which I usually associate Trevor Howard. But he's quite different in *They Made Me a Fugitive*.

 

I agree that the ending is unsatisfying, at least from the perspective of wanting it to be a happy one.

SPOILER ! If this were an American film, even a noir, it would have made it clear that Clem Morgan would be exonerated from both crimes he was accused of. As you say, the detective believed in his innocence and was sympathetic. And I also agree that the woman who wanted Clem to kill her husband did look like she was blind (although why? what would that have to do with anything?) But I think it was just that actress' way of trying to look nutty, which she clearly was. What are the odds that our fugitive would stumble into a place where the person who supposedly was willing to give him refuge would in fact exacerbate his situation and frame him for another killing? Bad luck, Trev.

 

But back to that ending: it is not at all clear that Clem will get off; the evil "Narcie" ( I love that -"Narcie" for "Narcissus" ) is dead, after declaring to his dying breath that Clem deliberately hit the policeman. His flunkies all sneak away, refusing to testify on Clem's behalf, even though they know the truth, and the terrifying Narcie is dead. Doesn't look good for our man. It's a very dark ending, even darker than most American noirs.

 

One other point about this great film: I loved the setting! The dark twisty streets of London were as noirish as you can get, so labyrinthine and mysterious. And the climactic struggle at the film's conclusion, Clem and Narcie battling it out , not only on the rooftop but over and around the giant R.I.P. sign, was a stroke of genius.

 

I hope others have had chance to see *They Made Me a Fugitive*, because I'd love to hear what they have to say about it.

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I like the film more for its ambitions than its actual delivery. Howard gets sent to jail without a hint of a trial, and breaks out of jail without one specific scene or some reference to how he did it. Then on the road he overtakes the truck driver and again we don't see it. Too much happened off-screen but what is there does look good.

 

I do think that all of the "It's later than you think" and "RIP" business at the end is overkill, but there is a good chuckle when Howard knocks out a combatant by throwing a gun at his head. Of all the times that someone has done that in the movies, it may be the only time that the pitch had the desired effect.

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clore: I'm glad you liked *They Made Me a Fugitive* too, but I disagree with your criticisms. You point out how many events occur off-screen, particularly the trial that puts Howard in prison in the first place, and his subsequent escape. But I see this a lot in old movies, particularly noir. They probably didn't have the time or the budget to include those scenes, plus it would have made the film considerably longer. No need for it to be longer, it clocks in at a very neat 99 minutes. The trial and Howard's escape are not what the film is about, I've seen many movies where a trial finds an innocent man guilty. It all happens off-screen because the filmmaker wants to get on with the rest of the story. Ditto for his escape. I just accept it, it probably wouldn't have been too difficult for Morgan to break away. The story is about Clem and his relationship/revenge with "Narcie" and his gang. It's also about the character of Sally, and how she changes throughout the story.

 

As for the final scenes at the undertaker's business, a "front" of course for Narcie ( I enjoy the way they smuggle stuff via the coffins), it's a fantastic setting for the climactic resolution of the film. "Over the top"? Of course it's over the top -most film noir is "over the top", that's one of the things I love about it. What a perfect "terrain vague" setting (I picked up this term in one of my noir books, it refers to some bizarre place that's outside normal human interaction where the noir characters interact.)

If you think its "over the top" nature flaws the end of the film, then what do you think of these scenes from other noirish movies:

 

The ferris wheel in *The Third Man*, where Welles explains his theories of good and evil to Cotten;

the mannequin factory in Stanley Kubrick's *Killer's Kiss*, in which the main characters struggle to the death; the misty high ground swampland where the outlaw lovers meet their death in *Gun Crazy*; half of the endings of Hitchcock's films (Mount Rushmore in *North by Northwest*, the Statue of Liberty in *Saboteur*, etc. etc.)

That's one reason I love movies- for the heightened drama and the extraordinary settings - If the film is good, I completely "go with it", and am rewarded for my suspension of disbelief with an admittance to a strange and exciting world which I myself will never visit, except through these amazing films.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Sep 7, 2010 11:26 AM

 

actually, clore, on re-reading your post, I see you don't use the term "over-the-top", you say "overkill". I concede there is a slight difference in the meaning of those two phrases. Sorry if I misunderstood.

...although I also say, "bring on the overkill !"

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I'm enjoying this thread!

 

Wish I had something to add right now but I just came back from holiday travels with a 100% full DVR box. Going to watch *Paid* this evening when I get in.

 

Does anyone have a count or list of the film noir and mystery on the sept schedule? If not, I will put one together - we have to stay informed! :)

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>>The ferris wheel in The Third Man, where Welles explains his theories of >>good and evil to Cotten;

>>the mannequin factory in Stanley Kubrick's Killer's Kiss, in which the main >>characters struggle to the death; the misty high ground swampland where >>the outlaw lovers meet their death in Gun Crazy; half of the endings of >>Hitchcock's films (Mount Rushmore in North by Northwest, the Statue of >>Liberty in Saboteur, etc. etc.)

 

I like the scene in THE THIRD MAN. We need for Cotten to face Welles and to hear Welles attempt to justify his actions when Cotten knows it's inexcusable.

 

I haven't seen KILLER'S KISS in a very long time but I recall liking the scene as I thought that the film did need a jolt at that point.

 

GUN CRAZY is one of those films where I can go along with the stylistic excess and plot holes because Lewis does make it all go by so fast. On the other hand, Lewis' A LADY WITHOUT PASSPORT has a relatively brief 75 minute running time but seems to take forever to unspool.

 

In regard to the Cavalcanti film, I can actually excuse the lack of a trial, although it may have been interesting to have it represented in some form. Hitchcock spares us the details in DIAL M FOR MURDER, but he does include a scene to depict just how good the frame worked, as if to show us that there is no justice.

 

Even the lack of showing what happened to the truck driver is acceptable, but the missing escape scene does gnaw at me. First because it would make it appear that escaping is relatively easy - so easy that it need not be display. The real letdown is that here would have been an ideal scene for us to be rooting for Howard to overcome an obstacle while also turning normal plot conventions around. Let's face it, we usually don't want jailed persons to escape. Hitchcock understood this dichotomy - he has us rooting for Bruno when he's trying to recover the lighter in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.

 

Granted, we already know that Howard was set-up, and we do want him to find the culprit and prove himself innocent. But the route from A to B should not be so seemingly easy to accomplish. Even a verbal reference to something such as "he overpowered a guard and used his uniform to escape" would have served almost as well.

 

In DARK PASSAGE, we start with a scene immediately after Bogie's escape, thus that is point A. Had the film started with him in prison, just saying "he escaped" is not editorially or visually sufficient. When you pile on the hurdles against someone, it's not enough just to say "he jumped over them."

 

At least for me, your mileage may vary (excuse the mixed metaphors). :)

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

>

> Even the lack of showing what happened to the truck driver is acceptable, but the missing escape scene does gnaw at me. First because it would make it appear that escaping is relatively easy - so easy that it need not be display. The real letdown is that here would have been an ideal scene for us to be rooting for Howard to overcome an obstacle while also turning normal plot conventions around. Let's face it, we usually don't want jailed persons to escape. Hitchcock understood this dichotomy - he has us rooting for Bruno when he's trying to recover the lighter in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.

>

I thought there was a line, or it may have been heard on a radio report or shown in a shot of a newspaper, that he escaped during a work detail, or something like that. So, no they didn't show it, but at least it was mentioned.

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musicalnovelty, I seem to remember something being said about his escape too. If anyone else has seen *They Made Me a Fugitive*, I wish they'd post a message about it. I'd love to hear others' comments.

 

Well, I got around to seeing *Paid* yesterday. Clearly a Joan-o-drama in the seminal period. I'm not sure it's really a noir, maybe what finance calls a "pre-noir". It's got some elements of noir, for sure. A very interesting pre-Code film. I actually have lots to say about it, but I always seem to be the first to post comments about a specific film lately, and I don't want to get the rep of a blabbermouth )if I haven't already! )

So if anyone's seen *Paid*, come on, let's hear what you thought of it.

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Here is a list of film noir and some mysteries coming up in September. I am keeping it along the lines of 30s, 40s and 50s films. And please, let me know what I have omitted! :)

 

Tonight 9/8:

TOUCH OF EVIL (1958) <------what some consider the last noir

FORCE OF EVIL (1948)

 

9/9:

CORNERED (1946)

ACT OF VIOLENCE (1949)

 

9/10

BORN TO KILL (1947)

LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945)

 

9/11

WHITE HEAT (1949)

HIGH SIERRA (1941)

 

9/13

THE SECRET FURY (1950)

 

9/15 (All Stars of Prohibition theme - I'm sure they will get their own thread elsewhere on the board)

 

9/16

UNDERWORLD USA (1961) <----I'm told this one is a good and rare one

ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1951)

 

9/17

MAN HUNT (1941)

THE GIRL IN BLACK STOCKINGS (1957)

 

9/18

THE BIG CLOCK (1948)

 

9/19

DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954)

 

9/20:

SHERLOCK HOLMES IN TERROR BY NIGHT (1946)

THE SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR (1948)

THE PROWLER (1951)

 

9/24

KID GLOVE KILLER (1942)

CONFLICT (1945)

THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET (1949)

THE ARNELO AFFAIR (1947)

OUT OF THE FOG (1941)

 

9/27:

NEVER TRUST A GAMBLER (1951)

 

Maybe I should start doing this before each month to get a visual idea of the energy my DVR will be using :)

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

> Since my heads-up got buried, another reminder about *CORNERED tomorrow at 8PM.*

 

Thanks! And from the film noir short that TCM airs between movies, I believe that this film was saved and restored from a 16mm print from Dick Powell's personal collection. They do a comparison to the restored from the original - it's like a PD film getting cleaned up - very significant difference.

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