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I agree, and especially because it was the first teaming of Lancaster and Douglas, I can't see why it's not considered a more important noir. I guess some of the plot elements don't hold together that well. For example, Scott quits in a huff when she finds that Douglas is going to marry another woman, yet there she is singing the next night. Also, the fountain pen disguised as a gun is a bit ridiculous.

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But something as good as the "KIrk and Burt" show is something that most other noirs do not have, and that alone elevates it over most other noirs. Even in OUT OF THE PAST, the sparks flying between Mitchum and Douglas are not as combustible as those between Lancaster and Douglas. There is a good reason why they were teamed so often, comparable to the teaming of Lemmon and Matthau.

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Kirk and Burt are the best thing in the movie, but even they can't save it

from being a rather routine gangster flick. They do make a good "team"

since they're both so intense. Mitchum has more of that sleepy eyed,

don't bother me dude, I'm trying to take a nap here look, at least a good

part of the time, which makes his pairing with Douglas seem a lot less

flamable and distinctive.

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Not really. Even though to me it seems more like a gangster film,

I could see it as a noir. Either way, to me it didn't seem very special.

Entertaining, but nothing out of the usual.

 

 

Burt: I've spent the last fourteen years in prison. What have you been

doing kid?

 

Liz: Well before I worked here I sang in a small night club where hecklers

would interrupt my songs and they watered down the drinks.

 

Burt: Boy, you've really had it rough.

 

Liz: Yeah, tell me about it.

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I don't think Lancaster or Scott do much good acting in I Walk Alone but Douglas is great. But the plot is full of holes. The entire ending where Douglas panics is a joke. While Lancaster could prove he didn't shoot his brother I didn't see where the cops could prove Douglas did. The hit man wasn't going to rat him out. So why panic. Lancaster was an x-con so no one was going to care what he had to say.

 

The movie does have it moments, Scott looks great and it has some good noir elements but over all I would say it was a B- effort.

 

 

 

 

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Well there was the frozen confession, and though written under the gun,

it still had the necessary info. And the hit man just might have ratted Kirk

out, especially the way the cops used to lean on guys back in those 1940s

movies. So maybe he figured he'd better try to get away before he went to

the station and things got out of his control.

 

 

 

 

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That confession wouldn't of stood up in court since it was made under a threat and Douglas said so and Lancaster and Scott agreed it was right in front of the police. The fact the 'gun' was a 'pen' doesn't matter. The confession was made under threat. No court would of admitted it.

 

Thus while Douglas would of been the #1 suspect the DA still didn't have anything on him unless they could get the hit man to talk. Yea a guy that was going to get the chair was going to talk. No way. Unlike the Lancaster character Douglas was the smart guy. A guy that knew how the modern (post WWII) world worked. As you know the difference between smart Douglas and the backwards Lancaster was central to the plot. Lancaster was still a thug, not Douglas. He was a respected member of the community. Douglas acting like a common thug at the end was contrary to everything we had seen up to that point and thus didn't make any sense. But hey it made for a great shoot out ending!

 

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Yes, the confession probably would not have stood up in court.

But the cops already have it. So they get Douglas and the trigger

man in separate rooms and play them off against one another. Say

Skinner, Dink says you shot Dave all on your own. Then back to Dink,

Hey Dink, Skinner says you were the one who had him make that hit.

Sweat 'em out for a few hours and see what happens. Tell Skinner

that he can cheat the chair if he agrees to testify against Dink, then

it's every man for himself. And back in the day, in the movies and in

real life, the authorities weren't so interested in following the letter of

the law. So I think that might very well work.

 

I hardly call the deal they made at the beginning of the picture a valid

contract. Two guys shaking hands? So what? And can you make a binding

contract concerning illegal activities? Burt didn't really go to jail for Kirk,

but he could have ratted him out and didn't. That's a big debt Kirk owes.

Kirk is still a thug at heart, he just does it in a more refined way, but

when the guns have to come out, he has no problem with it. And there's

no reason not to think the hard approach might have worked for Burt. After

he finds out he really can't make a move to get an interest in all the various

companies, he should have gone back to the old protection racket. Kirk

will give him a certain percentage of the weekly profits or else things might

get rough in that fancy nightclub. It wouldn't take much to convince him.

Break the joint up a few times. What was old is new again.

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Well we clearly disagree about what this movies. The book Film Noir explains the theme of the movie. That theme was that the days of the Lancaster types was long gone. Booze was legal now and the use of violence was only to be used when necessary. This is a common theme in film noir (e.g. The Racket), where the old time thug is no longer useful and less important than a good lawyer or accountant.

 

But instead of a noir ending we get a romantic one. To stay true to noir Frankly would of killed Dirk but been sent back to jail for murder. Instead he gets the girl.

 

Now Dink had to kill Dave because Dave was going to talk regardless of the fact Dave would also get jail time for cooking the books. But Dink wouldn't of picked a sapp to do the killing that would of talked just because the police knock him around. Dink would of got the guy a first class lawyer and the shooter would of been out the next day. Dink for sure wasn't going to talk. He was about to marry a rich dame and thus it is fair to assume she had friends in higher places. The street cops would of been told to back off.

 

There is no way Frankly was going to get anything. He was an X-Con. H would of been given 10 years just for having a gun on him. There was many ways Dink could use his connections to get Frankly since Frankly was so hot headed.

 

To me the best part of the movie is when the young punk killer that Franky hires to take over the club says he is sorry for Dirk for joining up with a nothing like Frankly, and Dirk says for him to stop by the club someday. That is the theme of the movie; yea, they are crooks but it is all just business.

 

 

 

 

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I understand the theme of the former thug becoming a businessman and

leaving behind much of the crude rough stuff from the good old days. It is

an interesting one, but Kirk is still a crook, keeping two sets of books. He's

just a more sophisticated type of crook. I still think the cops could have

gotten the hit man to implicate Kirk. He did give Burt a bad deal, so he got

more or less what he deserved.

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It no way was I defending the character of Dirk. Of course he is a rat but in the noir world often the innocent get what they do NOT deserve. Take Out of The Past - Jeff didn't commit any acts where he deserved death.

 

Thus to be a better noir ending to I Walk Alone would of been for Frankly to get sent back to prison for killing Dirk, and Dirk being viewed as just a businessman killed by an X-con. Only Liz Scott and a few of Dirk's employees would of known the actual truth (that Dirk was the real bad gut).

 

That type of ending is just more true to noir in my book instead of the happy ending in the movie.

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I don't know for sure, but I'd guess the French critics have batted

it around the old cinematheque more than a few times. Perhaps

it would have seemed more noirish if Kirk and Burt both came to a

bad end, either jail or death. A lot of noirs seem to end that way.

Nobody wins. But in this one Burt walks away free. I still think of it

more as a gangster film than a noir, but if somebody wants to call

it a noir, I'm okay with that too.

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

> I still stick by my points here; at the ending the two main characters switch places in terms of who they were (Burt becomes the thinking guy, and Kirk the thug) and I just find that a major plot flaw.

>

 

I don't find that to be a flaw at all. Burt is evolving, learning, wising up, and Kirk is, in desperation, reverting to being a thug. I rate this one highly - at least 8 out of 10. One of my favorite noirs. I'm also a Lizbeth Scott fan. Glad to have seen it, it's been a while.

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*Underworld USA* was shown today, very good Noir with a son killing off the crooks that beat his father to death. The ending was a bit odd, he was careful to avoid bumping off a couple of them directly but just goes after the big guy in the pool. He was a large toadly guy that should have been able to hold his breath for a few minutes but couldn't, lol.

 

The plot has a couple of nice twists, cracking the safe of the investigator and then using that to get the crooks to fight each other by placing false information. Shame on those illegal tactics, but it worked. ;)

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and on the same Disc:

 

The 1.5 minute Noir- *The Big Steal* (1949) isn't very Noir, in fact the only Noir-ish lighting occurs at the end during a fight scene (and that's because Jane Greer knocked over a light, lol) and lasts a bit over a minute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its mostly a chase film and a very good one, and aside from the processed shots with front and rear projections its pretty exciting stuff as the various factions race along the roads around Veracruz Mexico. The second unit shots of the cars {font:arial, helvetica, sans-serif}1934 Buick, Patric Knowles is in a 1941 Ford, and a late 40's Buick sedan, {font}are very exciting as they bob and weave almost out of control, pedal to the metal.

 

Directed by Don Siegel, and stars Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix, Ramon Navarro and Patric Knowles.

 

The story is quite ridiculous especially after the opening sequence between Bendix & Mitchum, when you get to the end, you say WHAT? Even the Czar of Noir Ursini calls this a Romantic Comedy/noir. Its more a crime/chase than anything else. Problems with filming occurred because of Mitchum's marijuana bust and his days in jail.

 

 

 

Biggest Disappointment - Jane Greer

 

Now Jane Greer made this just two years after "Out Of The Past" and she looks frumpy, at least 10 years older, with an impression of lot of miles on her odometer, especially noticeable are the bags under her eyes, and her hair looks terrible too. It may be because she was pregnant during filming but she just doesn't look good and her costumes don’t help.

 

Greer in Out of The Past

OOTP.jpg

 

Greer in The Big Steal

JG1.jpg

 

 

 

What's to like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chase footage

 

The great Mexican Locations

 

Mitchum & Bendix mixing it up

 

 

 

Special Features include an adequate commentary by Richard B. Jewell and through out that commentary he mentions how much the original script was changed to appease the censors, jettisoning fight and also sexual squences between Mitchum & Greer.

 

 

 

If somebody could find that original script this may make an exciting remake, but only if you could replicate Mexico of the 40-50's perhaps rewrite it to what ever now is the most undeveloped Latin American country. Part of Warner Brother’s Film Noir Collection 7/10

Edited by: cigarjoe on Sep 22, 2011 9:50 AM

 

Edited by: cigarjoe on Sep 22, 2011 11:19 AM to correct vehicle makes.

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*The Big Steal* is a big favorite of mine, I just find it a very entertaining film. The Mitchum situation (his "drug bust") had everything to do with the lightening up of this noir story. Has anyone read the story "The Road To Carmichael's", the basis for this film? It would be enlightening, I would like to read it myself. The car Jane and Bob are driving is a 1934 Buick, Patric Knowles is in a 1941 Ford, Bendix is in a late 40's Buick sedan (then a new car). Jane Greer was only 22 in *Out Of The Past*, she looks even a little younger. Just 2/3 years later, as you say in *The Big Steal*, Jane was pregnant during filming so that can explain her look a little, but I can't criticize her for that. The wardrobe people had to camouflage her condition, if you didn't know she was pregnant could you tell? Maybe I am just trying too hard, but in some shots her face looks a little fuller. They did shoot some scenes before Mitchum's jail time, 2 months later the balance. Jane's condition certainly changed some. As for her hair and costume, come on . She didn't have time to go buy outfits and get her hair styled. I think Jane looks mighty fine in this picture. --- I do agree, a remake that would more closely follow the original story could be good. But then it wouldn't be a remake of the Mitchum film either.

 

 

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