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Robert Mitchum & The Big Steal


ElCid
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July 8th at 4:15 PM (ET), The Big Steal will be shown.  Not really a noir movie, more of a mystery with touches of comedy, but it is a really great movie.  Excellent performances by Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and William Bendix.  Directed by Don Siegel.  Unfortunately it is no longer available as a DVD, so this may be only chance for a few years (or more) to see it.  Assuming it is not pre-empted.

 

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July 8th at 4:15 PM (ET), The Big Steal will be shown.  Not really a noir movie, more of a mystery with touches of comedy, but it is a really great movie.  Excellent performances by Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and William Bendix.  Directed by Don Siegel.  Unfortunately it is no longer available as a DVD, so this may be only chance for a few years (or more) to see it.  Assuming it is not pre-empted.

 

I also highly recommend The Big Steal.    You're correct that it isn't really a noir movie but all three stars are noir icons;  all well known for iconic noir performances.

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July 8th at 4:15 PM (ET), The Big Steal will be shown.  Not really a noir movie, more of a mystery with touches of comedy, but it is a really great movie.  Excellent performances by Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and William Bendix.  Directed by Don Siegel.  Unfortunately it is no longer available as a DVD, so this may be only chance for a few years (or more) to see it.  Assuming it is not pre-empted.

Not sure if I saw it or not, but I love all those actors. Thanks for the heads up.

 

Oh, and on the 18th, at 6:00pm(ET), TCM is showing Rendevouz.

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THE BIG STEAL has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it on TCM several years ago. That film has a very interesting back story that explains how and why it was transformed from a "noir" type of story into a much lighter "action, romance, almost comic"  type of film.  It certainly isn't a "noir", maybe you could call it "noir lite".  The film certainly helped soften Mitchum's public image (a Hollywood bad boy) at a time when his troubles with the law (a simple conviction of possession of some pot) may have ruined his film career.  Regardless, judged on its own  this film is a fun, fast paced entertaining little gem.

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I've always been partial to The Big Steal, as well, Mitchum's first film after his release from jail on the marijuana charge. The studio may have been playing it a little safe by not making it a bigger budget production since no wonder knew for sure how the public would respond.

 

The on location shooting in Mexico adds an atmospheric pleasure that permeates the entire film and, of course, it's a pleasure seeing Bob reunited with Jane Greer.

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I'll join the chorus of admirers of this fine film.  Though I agree with the comments that it isn't really a noir, this picaresque tale does have some elements in it (such as the final fight scene) that give it that cast.  It was included in TCM's Film Noir Classic Collection (Vol. 4), but unfortunately appears to be sold out.  Despite its modest ambitions, there is a lot in it that is exceptional.  Of course, the best part about it is the chemistry and patter between Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum.  It shows that Out of the Past was no fluke.  Miss Greer also displays an unexpected flair for comedy.  Too bad it wasn't developed.  Her character is unique in movies of the time, I believe, for being the driver in a chase, and doing a nice job of it, thank you, while at it (a pity the chicken had to buy it).  It's also unusual for the way it depicts Mexicans.  The tone neither patronizing, or insulting, just a different culture. The police are competent and in control.

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Ramon Navarro is a big part of this pictures appeal to me. He almost "steals" the movie from Mitch and Jane.  

You are correct about Navarro.  In fact, after seeing him in this I have watched more movies featuring him.  Of course, he is more mature in this one and not a "romantic" lead as in his early pictures.

The previous DVD combined The Big Steal with Edward G. Robinson's Illegal, which I do not believe was a good pairing.  I have the DVD and have played Steal many, many times and Illegal twice.  DVD may be wearing out though.

Macao and His Kind of Woman are similar Mitchum movies.

BTW, Joan's car is a 1935 Buick, Blake's is a 1946 Buick and Fisk's (Patrick Knowles) is a 1941 Mercury.  You will really appreciate the upholstery in Fisk's car.

The Hotel Penafiel in Tehuacan was an actual hotel.

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July 8th at 4:15 PM (ET), The Big Steal will be shown.  Not really a noir movie, more of a mystery with touches of comedy, but it is a really great movie.  Excellent performances by Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and William Bendix.  Directed by Don Siegel.  Unfortunately it is no longer available as a DVD, so this may be only chance for a few years (or more) to see it.  Assuming it is not pre-empted.

This film has been mentioned on these boards before, as an example of a comic noir. Just what differentiates a noir from a crime film, anyway? THE MOB was on TCM last night. RO never ised the term "Noir" in discussing it.

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Slaytonf, a quick Google search shows it does still exist, open for business. Also worth noting is that the springs of Penafiel are famous, and that Penafiel sodas, not available in the US, AFAIK, are made there. I've had them, and they are great. Made with sparkling mineral water, and real fruit.

 

As to TBS. It is a favorite of mine, for many of the reasons stated. Unless one thinks that there can be no comedy in noir, I think it is a noir, and you can append lite, or comedy to it if you like. One thing that makes it noir for me is that the guy who's supposed to be bad, is proven good, and the guy who's supposed to be good, is bad, and we have a mystery woman.

 

Okay, I guess that's three things...

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This film has been mentioned on these boards before, as an example of a comic noir. Just what differentiates a noir from a crime film, anyway? THE MOB was on TCM last night. RO never ised the term "Noir" in discussing it.

 

I'm going to avoid the subject of noir vs. crime as the lines seem to get less distinct as marketers realize you can call just about anything a noir and it automatically gains in prestige. I've given up, especially as fans of one tend to like the other.

 

I did note that Osborne was given a script that referred to Charles Bronson as being 20 when he made this film. He was born in 1921 and the film is from 1951 - was the math that difficult? For RUMBLE ON THE DOCKS, he referred to Robert Blake's age at the time twice, calling him 22 the first time and 23 the next. These intros really need a proof reader.

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Slaytonf, a quick Google search shows it does still exist, open for business. Also worth noting is that the springs of Penafiel are famous, and that Penafiel sodas, not available in the US, AFAIK, are made there. I've had them, and they are great. Made with sparkling mineral water, and real fruit.

 

Thanks, VX.  Might stay there one day.

 

The TCM Film Noir Classic Collections, V. 4 with The Big Steal is available at amazon.com.

 

 

Okay, I guess that's three things...

 

Surprise, fear, and a ruthless efficiency?

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Although I have only ever  seen THE BIG STEAL and ILLEGAL as part of the 5 dvd boxed set (10 films in all and a lot of them are good titles) it appears that at some time there was a release of  THE BIG STEAL by itself, and "colorized" no less. I like the dvd in the boxed set with the commentary option.

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I'm going to avoid the subject of noir vs. crime as the lines seem to get less distinct as marketers realize you can call just about anything a noir and it automatically gains in prestige. I've given up, especially as fans of one tend to like the other.

 

 

 

 

I've come up with this, "Noir" films are a style/tool of film making used in certain film/plot sequences, or even for a films entirety, that was used to conveyed claustrophobia, alienation, obsession, and events spiraling out of control. This style/tool came to fruition in the roughly the period of the last two and a half decades of B&W film. 
 
This style is also evident in Horror (The Val Lewton Productions) and other genres Period Drama (Reign of Terror (1949), Period Thriller The Tall Target (1951), Western Blood On The Moon (1948) 
 
Coincidentally the last two and a half decades of B&W film also had an uptick with Crime/Suspense/ThrillerGenre films so what we call "Noir" are actually predominantly Crime, with the rest Suspense/Thriller films shot to varying degrees in a Noir style. The Classic Crime Noir period faded out as the Crime Genre migrated over to TV mid 50's to mid 60's.
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Thanks, VX.  Might stay there one day.

 

The TCM Film Noir Classic Collections, V. 4 with The Big Steal is available at amazon.com.

 

 

Okay, I guess that's three things...

 

Surprise, fear, and a ruthless efficiency?

Thanks, but I do not patronize Amazon because of many of it's policies.

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Thanks, but I do not patronize Amazon because of many of it's policies.

??? Policies?

 

Free 2 day shipping, free television shows without commercials? All with Amazon Prime of course. What I save on Netflix and a DVR I enjoy with Amazon.

 

Which many policies, pray tell?

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It's more like a chase movie with some noir elements in it. I'll try to remember to watch it. Havent seen it in awhile.

 

I'd never seen The Mob Sat. night. Interesting movie. Lots of rapid fire dialog...

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It's more like a chase movie with some noir elements in it. I'll try to remember to watch it. Havent seen it in awhile.

 

I'd never seen The Mob Sat. night. Interesting movie. Lots of rapid fire dialog...

Crawford had the perfect persona for noir. It's a shame he didn't do more of it.

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You can find it other places, as well.  Just search Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 4.

Thanks, I tried that and found it, but when I tried to order it, got a response that it was not available.

Maybe Warner or TCM will bring it back in a different set.  Think it would go great with Macao, Out of the Past, His Kind of Woman or maybe some others.

Actually I obtained the DVD I have by ordering the Vol. 4 set.  Gave all of them away except the one with The Big Steal on it.

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Some years ago I got on a kick to buy just about every film noir dvd that I could find, many in those boxed sets .  Looking back  the WB volume #4 was one of the best collections in my opinion.  Not a ringer in the bunch, and several were films that I had never seen. To this day several of the films get very little air time.  If you can find this set, and at a reasonable price,  I highly recommend grabbing it.  And the picture/sound quality is good on all of the films.

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