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FILM NOIR -Love it, Hate it, or not sure?


misswonderly3
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> {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> I mean how many times during my childhood did I watch Elmer Fudd pop a cap in Daffy Duck's head (egged on by Bugs Bunny, no less!) and I've never done more than think longingly of doing the same to an annoying neighbor or co-worker or that idiot who cut me off and stole my parking place at the grocery store yesterday when I was OBVIOUSLY waiting for it, I had my blinker on and EVERYTHING, but I let her live. So see? No harm, no foul... :)

 

That?s because you aren?t one of those border-line cases.

 

Here?s an example of a border-line case, and a liberal judge:

 

?The couple had been married since 1996 and -- according to many friends and church members -- were seemingly the perfect family. However, one neighborhood family reported that Matthew Winkler had repeatedly threatened to shoot that family's dog after it strayed onto the Winklers' lawn. Also, other friends, as well as Mary Winkler's family, allege that Matthew Winkler was abusive to Mary Winkler.?

 

---

 

?Sentencing:

 

The sentencing phase was set to begin on May 18, 2007, but was delayed due to a scheduling conflict by one of the attorneys. On June 8, 2007, a Tennessee judge sentenced Mary Winkler to 210 days in prison for the conviction of voluntary manslaughter. She had credit for already serving 5 months and the judge permitted her to spend up to 60 days in a Western State Mental Health Facility in Bolivar, Tennessee. She was to be put on probation for the rest of her sentence.?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Winkler

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Well sure they do. Hundreds of Hollywood films in the 1930s and ?40s taught all Americans that black people were all stupid and uneducated. And that was the big era of the lynching of black people in this country.>>

 

FredC,

 

Stereotypes have existed long before the 1930s and 1940s and those stereotypes were in play even before film was invented. Hollywood did not teach "all Americans that black people were stupid and uneducated", from the South to the North to the Southwest to the Pacific Northwest, that stereotype existed and people believed it, just as they believed that Irish were drunks and Italians were mobsters.

 

"No Irish need apply" was around long before the movies.

 

We were a country of people who too often believed the stereotype instead of the truth because that was the norm back then.

 

I am not saying that every town and city was like that. Obviously, as you have posted, where you grew up was not like that. But the majority of towns and cities were.

 

Hollywood movies portrayed those stereotypes because those stereotypes were commonly held beliefs all around the country.

 

Blacks did not have the right to vote, they could not stay in any hotel they wanted to nor could they dine in all restaurants. Black children could not attend white schools until Brown vs the Board of Education and the Supreme Court changed that. Separate but equal was the belief of the day.

 

From Maine to Washington to California to Florida, there were laws on the books forbidding Blacks from voting to restrictions on where they could and could not live, shop, go to church and go to school. Those restrictions also applied to what jobs they could apply for.

 

 

Hollywood didn't cause that. Those restrictions were in place long before the movies. It wasn't until Brown vs the Board of Education and the Supreme Court that schools would begin to change and it would be another ten to fifteen years before integrated schools in some Northern cities became the norm.

 

Blacks would not gain the right to vote until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It wasn't Hollywood keeping Blacks from voting, it was various communities around the United States.

 

*Now that Hollywood has dropped that trend, starting in the 1970s, under pressure from Civil Rights organizations, there aren?t very many lynchings of black people anymore.*

 

Lynchings became less prevalent because of the Civil Rights movement and the Freedom Riders.

 

Night after night, on their nightly newscasts Americans watched in horror as sheriffs like Bull Connor turn fire hoses on groups of black children and teenagers because they wanted the right to eat at lunch counters and live their lives without the fear of segregation.

 

Journalists like David Halberstam and many other unknown journalists and cameramen covered this story and brought home to Americans around the country as they read their morning paper and watched their nightly newcasts over dinner, the stories of Diane Nash, John Lewis, James Bevel and countless others in their struggle for equality.

 

Americans watched as high school students spit on the black students trying to enter Central High in Little Rock. They watched in horror as those same white high school students basically said that blacks weren't as smart as they were and had no right being in their school. And they didn't call them blacks. They used the "N word" repeatedly.

 

Americans watched as a small town in Mississippi refused to admit that three Freedom Riders had met with death from the Klan until the bodies of Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were found in a nearby earthen dam. When brought to trial, the accused acted as if it were all a big ado about nothing and then walked away when the juror refused to convict them.

 

Emmett Till, a young black teen from Chicago, was beat, tortured and murdered because he dared whistle at a white woman when he visiting family in Money, Mississippi. A 70 lb cotton gin fan was found tied to his body. His mother insisted on an open casket so that everyone would see "what they did to my boy."

 

Medgar Evers, working to register black voters, was murdered outside his home as he walked from his driveway to his front door. His widow and children were inside and heard the shots.

 

Hollywood did not teach these murderers and those who covered up the murders up to do this.

 

Americans watched as the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech and were reminded of the better angels of our nature.

 

Finally, we as a country realized that our stereotypical believes were part of the problem.

 

Those beliefs, some of them dating back to the days of the Klan in the 1860s, were finally exposed for what they were.

 

And things began to change. And Hollywood, as always, followed.

 

Edited by: lzcutter for grammar

 

Edited by: lzcutter for prepositions

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Fred,

 

I'm not saying that Hollywood didn't contribute to the stereotype. I just don't believe as you do that Hollywood is the root of stereotypes and racist behavior in our common past.

 

Stereotypes and racist behavior far out date the movies.

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Hollywood made the situation much worse and promoted the stereotypes, via the movies, even in small towns that had no black people living in them, such as many Western towns and Midwestern towns.

 

The South didn?t make the blackface movies, Hollywood did.

 

You don?t have to lecture me about Medgar Evers. I knew him for a couple of years before he was killed, and I interviewed Byron de la Beckwith by telephone in 1964. I knew he killed Evers long before Hollywood made a movie about it.

 

Los Angeles, 1991:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROn_9302UHg

 

Edited by: FredCDobbs on Sep 17, 2010 10:18 PM

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*The South didn?t make the blackface movies, Hollywood did.*

 

Blackface was a popular form of entertainment from minstrel shows to vaudeville long before the movies were invented.

 

Again, Hollywood didn't invent the idea but Hollywood has always been known to follow and exploit a successful idea regardless of how much we may not like the stereotypes.

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

> Well sure they do. Hundreds of Hollywood films in the 1930s and 40s taught all Americans that black people were all stupid and uneducated. And that was the big era of the lynching of black people in this country.>>

>

> FredC,

>

> Stereotypes have existed long before the 1930s and 1940s and those stereotypes were in play even before film was invented. Hollywood did not teach "all Americans that black people were stupid and uneducated", from the South to the North to the Southwest to the Pacific Northwest, that stereotype existed and people believed it, just as they believed that Irish were drunks and Italians were mobsters.

>

> "No Irish need apply" was around long before the movies.

>

> We were a country of people who too often believed the stereotype instead of the truth because that was the norm back then.

>

> I am not saying that every town and city was like that. Obviously, as you have posted, where you grew up was not like that. But the majority of towns and cities were.

>

> Hollywood movies portrayed those stereotypes because those stereotypes were commonly held beliefs all around the country.

>

> Blacks did not have the right to vote, they could not stay in any hotel they wanted to nor could they dine in all restaurants. Black children could not attend white schools until Brown vs the Board of Education and the Supreme Court changed that. Separate but equal was the belief of the day.

>

> From Maine to Washington to California to Florida, there were laws on the books forbidding Blacks from voting to restrictions on where they could and could not live, shop, go to church and go to school. Those restrictions also applied to what jobs they could apply for.

>

>

> Hollywood didn't cause that. Those restrictions were in place long before the movies. It wasn't until Brown vs the Board of Education and the Supreme Court that schools would begin to change and it would be another ten to fifteen years before integrated schools in some Northern cities became the norm.

>

> Blacks would not gain the right to vote until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It wasn't Hollywood keeping Blacks from voting, it was various communities around the United States.

>

> *Now that Hollywood has dropped that trend, starting in the 1970s, under pressure from Civil Rights organizations, there arent very many lynchings of black people anymore.*

>

> Lynchings became less prevalent because of the Civil Rights movement and the Freedom Riders.

>

> Night after night, on their nightly newscasts Americans watched in horror as sheriffs like Bull Connor turn fire hoses on groups of black children and teenagers because they wanted the right to eat at lunch counters and live their lives without the fear of segregation.

>

> Journalists like David Halberstam and many other unknown journalists and cameramen covered this story and brought home to Americans around the country as they read their morning paper and watched their nightly newcasts over dinner, the stories of Diane Nash, John Lewis, James Bevel and countless others in their struggle for equality.

>

> Americans watched as high school students spit on the black students trying to enter Central High in Little Rock. They watched in horror as those same white high school students basically said that blacks weren't as smart as they were and had no right being in their school. And they didn't call them blacks. They used the "N word" repeatedly.

>

> Americans watched as a small town in Mississippi refused to admit that three Freedom Riders had met with death from the Klan until the bodies of Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were found in a nearby earthen dam. When brought to trial, the accused acted as if it were all a big ado about nothing and then walked away when the juror refused to convict them.

>

> Emmett Till, a young black teen from Chicago, was beat, tortured and murdered because he dared whistle at a white woman when he visiting family in Money, Mississippi. A 70 lb cotton gin fan was found tied to his body. His mother insisted on an open casket so that everyone would see "what they did to my boy."

>

> Medgar Evers, working to register black voters, was murdered outside his home as he walked from his driveway to his front door. His widow and children were inside and heard the shots.

>

> Hollywood did not teach these murders and those who covered the murders up to do this.

>

> Americans watched as the March on Washington and Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech and were reminded of the better angels of our nature.

>

> Finally, we as a country realized that our stereotypical believes were part of the problem.

>

> Those beliefs, some of them dating back to the days of the Klan in the 1860s, were finally exposed for what they were.

>

> And things began to change. And Hollywood, as always, followed.

>

> Edited by: lzcutter for grammar

 

What a sanctimonious...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwcpTOzdU5U

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

> *The South didnt make the blackface movies, Hollywood did.*

>

> Blackface was a popular form of entertainment from minstrel shows to vaudeville long before the movies were invented.

 

It wasn?t when I was a kid growing up in the South. I never saw it except in Hollywood movies. You are talking about New York vaudeville and Hollywood movies.

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*It wasn?t when I was a kid growing up in the South. I never saw it except in Hollywood movies. You are talking about New York vaudeville and Hollywood movies.*

 

 

Dobbsy,

 

This conversation has come up many times in the past and rather than continue to derail this thread,

I am going to agree to disagree with you.

 

Jake,

 

I don't think anyone is saying that it is all the South's fault for racism in America. What I am trying to say is that it is not all Hollywood's fault either.

 

There was racism and discrimination in this country long before movies were invented. Hollywood didn't invent this behavior. Hollywood helped re-enforce it but then so did every hotel, restaurant, bar etc that would not except people of color or people of certain religions as patrons, so did every place of employment that refused to hire people based on their color, religion, or ethnic mix. So did every movie theatre and dramatic theatre in cities throughout this country that made black people sit in seperate sections away from others.

 

You can read the bios of many entertainers from different walks of life and many of them talk about traveling by bus to get to gigs and the problems they had to face finding lodging for the black musicians, singers and dancers throughout America, not just the South.

 

If it was only the South or Hollywood that was practicing this racism and discrimination, there would have been no need for a Black Baseball League, no need for the Army to be integrated, no need for the Supreme Court to hear the "Plessy vs Ferguson" or "Brown vs the School Board" cases, no need for schools to be integrated sometimes only with the help of the National Guard and the Army.

 

This sort of discrimination and overt racism was rampant throughout every part of this country. In the South, it was more visible because of the Klan, murders, and the labeling of black and white fountains, restrooms and eating establishments and more in your face in some ways then the more subtle (but just as vile) ways of other cities

 

If America had wanted to see black people portrayed on the screen as equal to whites, Hollywood would have made those movies because even back then, money was the driving force of the motion picture business.

 

Those people we remember from the television footage of the Civil Rights movement didn't learn those hateful epithats they were spewing from Hollywood movies. They learned those epithats much closer to home and that is one of the things that makes so much of that footage so harrowing to watch even 50 years later. We don't like to think that people in this country were capable of saying such things and acting so heinous. But the truth is we were.

 

It took a lot of brave men and women, some very tragic events and even more tragic deaths and a great deal of courage on a number of people's parts to change the way we as a country dealt with racism and descrimination in the years after WW2.

 

As the country began to change it's way of thinking about race, integration, discrimination and equal rights, so, too, did Hollywood. And the movies reflected that change and sometimes, even, helped promote that change because more Americans were willing to pay money to see movies that had blacks doing more than just being servants.

 

I'm guess I'm going to have to agree to disagree with you on the subject.

 

I hope you both understand.

 

I'm going back to Film Noir.

 

Edited by: lzcutter for clarification and apologies because I promise this is my last stand.

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I believe basis for film noir is showing people are not simple constructs.

 

There is so much good in the worst of us,

And so much bad in the best of us,

That it hardly behooves any of us

To talk about the rest of us.

- Edward Wallis Hoch

 

Before advent of anti-hero most movies showed only one side of characters. Film noir showed good people can have dark side. Racism is one of those dark sides.

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

> I believe basis for film noir is showing people are not simple constructs.

 

I agree.

 

What do you think about the pre-noirs, such as ?Scarface? (1931) and ?Public Enemy? (1931)? Those gang leaders were presented as being very likable guys, even though they occasionally killed people, but then they finally got killed in the end.

 

Maybe the difference is that they were gang leaders, while a lot of guys in noir films of the ?40s and ?50s were just average guys. They could have been any one of us. And they got caught up in bad situations that they couldn?t avoid. Either by chance, or because of a dame, or because of the need of money. And then everything went downhill, such as with Robert Mitchum?s character in ?Out of the Past?.

 

He was basically an honest guy, until the first time he saw Cathy...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6NXIIpmbUk

 

We can tell by the expression on his face that he knows he?s already in trouble.

 

I mean, those of us who have experienced similar situations with dames, know what he is thinking as soon as he sees her and as soon as we see him seeing her.

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

> What do you think about the pre-noirs, such as Scarface (1931) and Public Enemy (1931)?

 

I love them both but I do not personally consider them film noir. They do not fit 'average guy with a dark side' idea.

 

> I mean, those of us who have experienced similar situations with dames, know what he is thinking as soon as he sees her and as soon as we see him seeing her.

 

I look more at woman's face when she knows he is looking at her. I am delighted to see: 'This is going to be fun.' look. You can tell whether she intends to play with his mind or with his body. It means there is going to roller-coaster of actions and emotions.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> Many times I've felt like using the old dynamite stick/cigar trick on somebody, but

> only with explosives supplied by the fine Acme Co.

>

> Winkler's story is very interesting. Too bad there's no link to a movie or TV show

> that led to her actions.

 

I remember that they used to sell exploding cigarette/cigar caps in Spencer Gifts catalog. And maybe even in the stores? Along with fake ****, pseudo vomit and those hi ball glasses featuring the girls with disapearing bikinis.

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Sooner, sometimes later, many threads go off topic, sometimes a little and sometimes

a lot. I think Miss W is on vacation, so she need not know about any of this. Going off

topic can be without rhyme or reason, confounding expectations, and going into dark,

shadowy areas, just like noirs. Racism is rather interesting in this respect-while the trench-

coated guys and femme fatales had to contend with an amoral, cynical world on the

silver screen, back in the real world racism was truly harmful.

 

And the old fly in the plastic ice cube (have to start somewhere). Fake **** and vomit.

Occasionally, fake is "better" than the real thing

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Just a quick post about my favorite film noir: first of all I don't count any Hitchcock film as film noir (for me Hitchcock is his own thing) or the film Night of the Hunter. I say this because I do like these films a lot and I am not excluding them on purpose (there are always a few films that people discount as Noir and I am sure there will be some on my list that people disagree with as well).

 

_In Alphabetical Order_

 

Ace in the Hole

The Big Sleep

Double Indemnity

In a Lonely Place

The Maltese Falcon

Out of the Past

Rififi (French Noir)

Sunset Blvd

The Third Man (British Noir)

 

I can't decide between a few for my 10th favorite so I will leave it at a top 9 for now. :)

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Go away on vacation for a couple of weeks, and a six page thread on my favorite genre beaks out...

 

What I like about film noir is its punch in the gut realism, its earthiness. Even though it is generally in contrasty black and white, it shows just how ambiguous and gray the world really is. Its characters may be amoral, immoral, or down right evil, but still the tales are moral ones.

 

I guess I never saw a noir I didn't like. Many of my favorites have been mentioned, but a some haven't. So, here's sort of a scattershot list -

 

*The Devil Thumbs a Ride*, staring Lawrence Tierney. Sort of a cross between *Detour* and *Born To Kill*. Not quite as good as those, but still gripping.

 

Robert Mitchum is, IMO, king of noir. Two of my favorite noirs are westerns, starring him - *Pursued*, and *Blood on the Moon*.

 

I like neonoirs. I think *Blood Simple* and *Memento* are two of the best.

 

I like Japanese noir - Kurosawa's *Stray Dog* being a good example, as are many of the films of Seijun Suzuki from the 60s, like *Branded to Kill*.

 

A tremendously good Japanese neonoir is Takeshi Kitano's *Fireworks*, made in 1997. I read somewhere that Quentin Tarantino said he would give his left nut to have made that film. I think it's worth a lot more than that. It's available on DVD.

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Very well said indeed!!

 

Just to add, I am loving the noir I have been able to discover thanks to TCM.

 

There are so many out there that I can only hope see the light of day on TV. I read that they are good, or bad - but I rather be the judge of that! I too have not watched a noir I didn't like. Even when some seem to have contrived plots, or a quick "wrap up" of the whole plot in the last 3 minutes, I can still watch it again. I like that I don't know what the heck is going on in THE BIG SLEEP or what exactly the "luminous toxin" is that'll eventually kill Frank Bigelow in D.O.A. but I can watch these films over, and over, and over again.

 

Another big part about noir I like is the "world weariness" of many of the protagonists. Really adds to the realistic feeling of the characters.

 

Although not a noir, I can watch 1940's IT ALL CAME TRUE over and over and over again....it has a noirish/comedy/drama/musical feel to it and had it been made in 1950, it probably would have even come off as a spoof of the genre.

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

> I like that I don't know... ... what exactly the "luminous toxin" is that'll eventually kill Frank Bigelow in D.O.A.

 

That was Thallium. As I recall, there was a Russian assassinated with it in the last year or two. I think he was in England when he died.

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

> ......and, except for DI, I don't count any Wilder film as a noir.

 

Just curious for your opinion....why is this??

 

people also seem to hold Hitchcock in a league of his own when it comes to his films....*Strangers on a Train* is as noirish as *The Narrow Margin* in my opinion so I don't get it.

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