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Last night on Amazon Instant Video, I watched the entirety of "Beetlejuice" for the first time. The last time I attempted to watch it, I only got about halfway through until I had to leave for rehearsal, and then I never got back to watching it. It was pretty much what I expected from a Tim Burton-directed film. I am a fan of essentially everyone in the film; it was nice to see some of them in a creepier movie than what I was used to. 

 

Another 80's film I watched for the first time recently, was "Footloose" (1984). I think the only film of Kevin Bacon's I've seen was "The River Wild" with Meryl Streep (where he played a villain), so this was a huge contrast. I was struck with the whole ideology of the town, and that they outlawed dancing/music and all other enjoyable activities. What really got to me, was when some of the townspeople started burning books, because in my mind, that's a huge offense. Overall, I was quite impressed with the cast. I need to watch more of Diane Wiest's films... 

 

I love Footloose! I always laugh about how they're not allowed to dance, but then at the prom in the next town over, suddenly everyone knows all the latest moves (I guess we assume everyone's been dancing in secret).  The only part I don't like is when Ariel's stupid boyfriend beats her.  Footloose is also quite a different role for John Lithgow (at least from what I've seen).  My favorite part is Kevin Bacon's (or Kevin Bacon's double) angry dance through the grain mill.  Footloose is my second favorite of the great 80s dance movie trilogy (Dirty Dancing being #1 and Flashdance following a distant 3rd). 

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"Carry On Screaming!" (1966)--Starring Fenella Fielding, Kenneth Williams, Harry H. Corbett, and Joan Sims.

 

  The movie starts in Hocombe Woods, where six women have disappeared over the past year.  Jim Dale and Angela Douglas play the young lovers who are interrupted by Something in the bushes.  After repeated screams from Douglas, Dale goes to investigate.  When he returns, there's no sign of Douglas; only a finger from a werewolf.  So begins this elaborate, very funny parody of Hammer horror films, American comedy/horror television series, and the occasional U.S. horror film.

 

Fielding is Valeria, a Morticia Addams lookalike, but with a spin that wouldn't have been shown on television.  Williams is Dr. Orlando Watt, who is Undead, (revived with  periodic electrical charges) and was a classmate of "Dr. Frankenstein AND Jekyll".  Corbett is Detective Sergeant Sidney ****: Corbett plays his role as a takeoff on Sherlock Holmes and a composite of all the dimwitted Hammer horror movie detectives.  Joan Sims is Emily ****, a composite of all the harridans the viewer wants to see  the Monster eliminate from a movie.  She is very funny and more than a match for the monsters.  The whole cast is near pitch perfect, even the zombified werewolves.

 

I counted spoofs of "The Mummy" (1959), "Curse of Frankenstein" (1957), and the Hammer version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", just to name a few.  

 

Marvelous spoof of the horror genre, Hammer in particular.  One of my favorites of the "Carry On..." series.  3.6/4.

 

Source--archive.org.  Search "Special Re Vamp Version Of Carry On Screaming On Monster Movie Night"  Movie is sandwiched between some unfunny Halloween shtik at the beginning and end of video.  Skip the first five minutes, fifty seconds of shtik and go directly to the movie.

 

As to Otto censoring the last names--go to imdb.com for character's last names.  

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"Carry On Screaming!" (1966)--Starring Fenella Fielding, Kenneth Williams, Harry H. Corbett, and Joan Sims.

 

.Fielding is Valeria, a Morticia Addams lookalike, but with a spin that wouldn't have been shown on television. 

 

 

?

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Sight Gag Giveaway:

 

 

Lorna--When Valeria asks Sidney if she may smoke, he says yes and smoke starts coming from Valerias' rear end.  Very mild gag now, but I bet it wouldn't have been allowed on U. S. television--couples still had to sleep in twin beds in 1966 (I think).

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Sight Gag Giveaway:

 

Lorna--When Valeria asks Sidney if she may smoke, he says yes and smoke starts coming from Valerias' rear end.  Very mild gag now, but I bet it wouldn't have been allowed on U. S. television

 

Actually, Morticia DID do that gag, but...not from that end.  

(Still, the smoke does seem to be coming up...)

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Another 80's film I watched for the first time recently, was "Footloose" (1984). I think the only film of Kevin Bacon's I've seen was "The River Wild" with Meryl Streep (where he played a villain), so this was a huge contrast. I was struck with the whole ideology of the town, and that they outlawed dancing/music and all other enjoyable activities. What really got to me, was when some of the townspeople started burning books, because in my mind, that's a huge offense. Overall, I was quite impressed with the cast. I need to watch more of Diane Wiest's films... 

 

There were areas in the central and southern Midwest where this was reality.  In the 70's and 80's there were some attempts to loosen the restrictions and allow proms and some were successful.  I remember that some girls in my high school gym class couldn't participate in any of the dance moves because of their religious beliefs so this was widespread.  I mostly liked the movie.   

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"Love & Friendship"  ( 2016 ) starring Kate Beckinsale and Xavier Samuel.  Written by Whit Stillman and based on a Jane Austen novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PETER IBBETSON (1935)

Online. completely exquisite film absolutely deserving of its reputation as being years and years ahead of its time. I've never really thought twice about Henry Hathaway as a director before, but this is one of those cases kind of like Douglas Sirk & "Hitler's madman," where every future film OF his I see: this one will always be in the back of my mind.

Layered, complex, just an extremely clever film. Wonderful sets, A really terrific sweeping score, a notable special-effects sequence, The supporting cast is incredible – Dickie Moore is wonderful as a young Peter, Virginia Weidler also impresses a great deal. Donald Meek was In it, and for the first time I heard him speak with his natural Scottish accent.

AnnHarding was very good and Gary Cooper, while on the whole uneven, had some extremely brilliant moments. Ida lupino was In it, using her natural (heavy) British accent, although she has a pretty useless and rather brief role.

Really. Really highly recommended, it was a very clear print I saw and like I said, it can be found online.

Ps- so excited after having just seen and I couldn't wait to get to my computer to tell you guys about it, so I'm doing this on my phone via voice transcription so if my grammar and punctuation is bad, that's why.

Pss- if the ending doesn't take your breath away, there is something wrong with you.

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Music in My Heart (1940).

 

Tony Martin plays a Broadway understudy who for some reason is about to be deported. On the way to the boat to take him back to Europe, his taxis careens into one with passenger Rita Hayworth, who is on her way to the same boat to meet wealthy fiancé Alan Mowbray.

 

Everybody knows that Martin is the right man for Hayworth, except for Mowbray and his butler, played by perpetual butler Eric Blore. You can figure where the story is going.

 

The story isn't a bad one, but is thoroughly unoriginal. Tony Martin has all the charisma of a urinal cake, and the "Russian émigrés" who run the restaurant where Rita works and lives are irritating. Blore is good as always, and Hayworth is adequately good-looking

 

4/10, and would be bumped a couple points higher if they has somebody like a Bob Cummings as the lead and didn't have Tony Martin's singing.

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Music in My Heart (1940).Tony Martin plays a Broadway understudy who for some reason is about to be deported. On the way to the boat to take him back to Europe, his taxis careens into one with passenger Rita Hayworth, who is on her way to the same boat to meet wealthy fiancé Alan Mowbray.Everybody knows that Martin is the right man for Hayworth, except for Mowbray and his butler, played by perpetual butler Eric Blore. You can figure where the story is going.The story isn't a bad one, but is thoroughly unoriginal. Tony Martin has all the charisma of a urinal cake, and the "Russian émigrés" who run the restaurant where Rita works and lives are irritating. Blore is good as always, and Hayworth is adequately good-looking4/10, and would be bumped a couple points higher if they has somebody like a Bob Cummings as the lead and didn't have Tony Martin's singing.

I just borrowed this from the library. It sounds like I may be glad I got it for free.

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Shadow in the Sky (1952)

 

Post-war story about the effects of what today we'd call PTSD.  Ralph Meeker is a former marine who's confined at a VA facility in California.  90% of the time, he's a standup guy who seems to have a promising future, but whenever it rains, he turns into a major head case who can't escape his past wartime experience in the South Pacific.  Nancy (Davis) Reagan plays his sister who is married to James Whitmore.  They vacillate between whether or not to take in Meeker to provide a little support for his condition and give him a stable home life, as well as a potential job working with Whitmore at his roadside gas station and garage.  Problem is, they've also got two young kids at home, and they don't want to expose them to their uncle's episodes whenever the weather turns inclement.  They also are afraid Meeker might really wig out and hurt his niece and nephew during one of his "bad" days.

 

Jean Hagen plays Meeker's love interest.  She too has some kind of mental incapacity, but the film never really explains how she got that way.  And therein lies the problem with this picture.  It's a great story with good performances by the four leads, but the script is a real puzzler.  So many holes...so many unanswered questions...so little back story of the characters.  This movie was released about 3 months after ​"Singin' in the Rain" came out, and it was fun to see how good an actress Jean Hagen was when you compare the two pictures.  "Shadow in the Sky"  is only an hour and 18 minutes long, but if the script were given an extra 20 or 30 minutes, a fair movie could have been stretched into something good.  And speaking of stretched, the ladies (and men?) might appreciate Ralph Meeker in his speedo during a beach scene he played with Hagen!

 

2.6 out of 4 stars.

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I got Music in My Heart on one of those Mill Creek box sets that's got 8 movies for well under ten bucks. I got the set for The Solid Gold Cadillac and The Marrying Kind, which alone are worth the price of the set. Music in My Heart is one of the add-ons, as I see it. But yeah, I wouldn't spend the $5.99 to buy it as a stand-alone.

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I watched The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015), which was on Showtime. I'm surprised I had never heard of the film, although looking back I see that it was commented on here a while back, by kingrat and Rich. The film is about the Indian mathematician S. Ramanujan, his life and work in South India and Cambridge, and his death at 32.

 

A wonderful film about one of the great mathematical geniuses, still timely on a social level, with its brief focus on the discrimination (and occasional brutality) he endures from some of the English. It's nice to see people like G.H. Hardy (played by Jeremy Irons) and John Edensor Littlewood (played by Toby Jones) represented so well. In a smaller part, Jeremy Northam is very good as Bertrand Russell. Dev Patel is perfect in the leading role.

 

I think it was Rich who wrote that Jeremy Irons is beginning to remind him of Boris Karloff. I agree -- I thought that way back when I saw Irons in Damage in 1992.

 

I like the way The Man Who Knew Infinity opens with Irons' voice over. Reminded me of the opening of Brideshead Revisited. Of course that was Oxford, not Cambridge.

 

hqdefault.jpg

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Devil In A Blue Dress (1995).

 

An atmospheric neo noir, set in post-war L.A., different from others inasmuch as it's told from a black perspective.

 

As Easy Rawlins (what a great name), Denzel Washington's voice over narration immediately establishes the premise of the film with his first words, "It was summer 1948 and I needed money."

 

Easy is a war vet unfairly fired from a factory job, now falling behind on the mortgage payments of his two bedroom bungalow in a black suburb of town. He meets a man in a bar who "does favours for friends." He wants to hire Easy for a job without telling him what it is exactly.

 

After the man leaves the bartender, who knows the guy and just calls him a "businessman", tells Easy, "ain't nothing to worry about."

 

Says Washington in his narration, "Now when somebody tells me ain't nothing to worry about I usually look down to see if my fly is open."

 

Still, Easy needs the money and it won't be long, as we all know, before he will take that job which involves finding the missing girlfriend of a former mayoralty candidate who wants to patch things up with her, he is told. The girlfriend, who is white, likes black men, and, therefore, Easy is a good candidate to try to track her down in some of the illegal jazz and gambling black hot spots in town she may be inclined to frequent.

 

Along the way Easy Rawlins will encounter the usual ingredients to be found in films of this nature, including easy sex, a hood with a gun, a dead body, racist cops ready to frame him, more goons with guns and political corruption. Eventually feeling himself in over his head Easy will reluctantly call upon reinforcements in the form of an old street chum from Texas named Mouse. Mouse has a serious predilection towards derby hats, orange ties and shooting people - a lot.

 

Devil in a Blue Dress will be a delight for noir fans. It beautifully establishes the mood of late '40s segregated Los Angeles, with great art direction (the film opens with a wonderful crane shot of Central Avenue teaming with life), costumes and the jazz music, of course, emblematic of that time in African American culture.

 

The story, written by the film's director, Carl Franklin, is serviceable enough upon which to hang the framework of this film, the tale involving enough to keep viewers attentive. But it's really the ambience of the film, that time capsule feeling for noirish L.A., and the performances of the cast that really seize and hold the attention here.

 

Denzel Washington is wonderful in his not overly bright everyman role as a guy who needs the money and starts to play amateur detective. Washington brings great conviction, as well as charm, to the part of an ordinary guy who soon finds himself in deep waters. He has the strong likeability factor that makes a viewer automatically root for his character.

 

Tom Sizemore is chillingly effective as the gangster who hires him. He is a person ready to commit acts of great violence and then laugh it off a few seconds later. There is a scene in which Sizemore comes to Washington's "rescue" when the latter is surrounded by some loud mouthed white preppy types, but the violent manner in which he saves him may disturb Easy's character even more the white youths ready to physically accost him.

 

Perhaps best of all in the film, though, is Don Cheadle's scene stealing portrayal of "Mouse," Easy's street pal who thinks that a gun is a solution for every problem. Mouse is clearly psychopathic in his impulsive homicidal inclinations but, fortunately for Easy, he genuinely likes him and wants to help. He is a good psychopath to have on Easy's side, but even Easy has to watch out when Mouse is drunk.

 

There is a dark humour to be found in the film, at times, much of it involving Mouse. At one point Easy tells him, "You haven't been in my house five minutes and you done shot somebody."

 

In a later scene he tells Mouse not to shoot a captive he leaves in his custody. When he later returns to find the captive dead (choked by Mouse, not shot, his companion is eager to point out to him) though Easy still doesn't appreciate the subtle difference, the man still being dead and all, Mouse replies, "Easy, look, if you didn't want him killed, why'd you leave him with me?"

 

Devil in a Blue Dress is a stylish, satisfying, emotionally involving film noir trip to the seedy side of segregated post-war L.A. that, I strongly suspect, many viewers will want to take more than one time. I just discovered this little jewel and know I will.

 

Devil_in_a_blue_dress2.jpg

 

3 out of 4

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Devil in a Blue Dress was based on the first of the "Easy" Rawlins books by Walter Mosely, published in 1990. To date there have been 14 books in the series. They had hoped to adapt more with Denzel,  but this one underperformed at the box-office. There have been occasional attempts to make another Rawlins film with a recast lead, but to no avail. The latest news is that FX is attempting to make a TV series out of them.

 

I enjoyed this version well enough, and I also singled out Don Cheadle for his role as Mouse over in the Best Performances thread.

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Devil in a Blue Dress was based on the first of the "Easy" Rawlins books by Walter Mosely, published in 1990. To date there have been 14 books in the series. They had hoped to adapt more with Denzel,  but this one underperformed at the box-office. There have been occasional attempts to make another Rawlins film with a recast lead, but to no avail. The latest news is that FX is attempting to make a TV series out of them.

 

I enjoyed this version well enough, and I also singled out Don Cheadle for his role as Mouse over in the Best Performances thread.

 

I'm sorry that there couldn't have been more films of this nature with Denzel. He'd be a great private eye actor.

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Revenge of the Creature.

I like this film. I really do. It's not all that great, but I love that the creature is on land a lot of the time. I did a little bit of research on this, because the suit looked smaller than in the original film. The only differences were that they painted the head and suit a little bit differently. But the creature looks so much smaller in this version. Oh, well. Still a fun flick.

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Revenge of the Creature.

I like this film. I really do. It's not all that great, but I love that the creature is on land a lot of the time. I did a little bit of research on this, because the suit looked smaller than in the original film. The only differences were that they painted the head and suit a little bit differently. But the creature looks so much smaller in this version. Oh, well. Still a fun flick.

 

I don't know if it's my cable (SPECTRUM) or my Roku TV, but the sound on live TV has been TOTALLY OUT OF SYNC now for three days now and I first noticed it during CREATURE...I was very bummed out I couldn't watch it....although it was fun to watch Whit Bissell talking in Julie Adams' voice for a couple minutes before it got old....

 

I'm a big fan of the MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER version of REVENGE OF THE CREATURE, available online I think- they give the film (and John Agar especially) a good ribbing, but they don't tear it up too bad.

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"Religulous" (2008)--Narrated by Bill Maher.

 

Documentary that got a limited release (it played 568 theaters at its' high point of distribution; that information is from boxofficemojo.com) looks at the religions of the world, primarily Christianity and Islam, and tries to understand where scientific fact and faith meet--or if that's possible.

 

Film is guaranteed to anger some, amuse others; at the least, it should make one think about the rationality of Religion(s).  Maher is funny.  I enjoyed the film.

 

Best line: from Then Senator Mark Pryor of AR: "You don't have to pass an IQ test to be a senator."

 

Source--archive.com--there are multiple copies of the film.  I saw the print Archived June 7th, 2016.

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The Lookout (2007) Fargo-esque Christmas Neo Noir

 

lookout%2Bposter1.jpg

 

The Lookout is an excellent example of the correct way to create a Neo Noir. All the characters are either everyday schmucks, just getting by survivors, or small time lowlife losers. People you can identify with. No fancy cars or car chases, no explosions, no machinegun firefights, the direction is tight, clean, and simple.

 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is excellent in his portrayal of the damaged protagonist. Jeff Daniels' Lewis is quite entertaining as the I may be blind but I wasn't born yesterday blindman. He senses that something is way off. Gary Spargo plays the sleazeball card pimping out his girlfriend and cruelly bullshitting Chris into feeling he's an accepted part of the crew. Screencaps are from the Echo Bridge Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011. A masterpiece 10/10.

 

Full review in Film Noir - Gangster page and with even more screencaps here: http://http://noirsville.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-lookout-2007-fargo-esque-christmas.html

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"Religulous" (2008)--Narrated by Bill Maher.


Best line: from Then Senator Mark Pryor of AR: "You don't have to pass an IQ test to be a senator."


 


The Tiki family often quotes favorite line from RELIGULOUS, "..an old man with a long while beard living in the clouds..."

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INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)

Alright. So this is the first time I've watched this film in its entirety in a long time. I think my father showed me this when I was very young, so I felt it was time to give it another watch. 

 

This movie is slightly comical in moments it's not intended to be. One thing I also noticed was that the name of one of the nightclubs was "Obi Wan." (whoever was assigned as George Lucas' impulse control really dropped the ball on this one, not that I'm complaining). I think it was quite interesting that Spielberg met his wife, Kate Capshaw, on the set of this movie. Talk about movie magic. Also, I much prefer Marian (from the first film) to Willie (Capshaw). But I approve of the choice to have a different flame in each of the movies. It truly adds some character development to Mr. Jones. 

 

Needless to say, this movie was rather hokey in times, but I love me a good 80's movie. 

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Devil In A Blue Dress (1995).

 

An atmospheric neo noir, set in post-war L.A., different from others inasmuch as it's told from a black perspective.

 

As Easy Rawlins (what a great name), Denzel Washington's voice over narration immediately establishes the premise of the film with his first words, "It was summer 1948 and I needed money."

 

Easy is a war vet unfairly fired from a factory job, now falling behind on the mortgage payments of his two bedroom bungalow in a black suburb of town. He meets a man in a bar who "does favours for friends." He wants to hire Easy for a job without telling him what it is exactly.

 

After the man leaves the bartender, who knows the guy and just calls him a "businessman", tells Easy, "ain't nothing to worry about."

 

Says Washington in his narration, "Now when somebody tells me ain't nothing to worry about I usually look down to see if my fly is open."

 

Still, Easy needs the money and it won't be long, as we all know, before he will take that job which involves finding the missing girlfriend of a former mayoralty candidate who wants to patch things up with her, he is told. The girlfriend, who is white, likes black men, and, therefore, Easy is a good candidate to try to track her down in some of the illegal jazz and gambling black hot spots in town she may be inclined to frequent.

 

Along the way Easy Rawlins will encounter the usual ingredients to be found in films of this nature, including easy sex, a hood with a gun, a dead body, racist cops ready to frame him, more goons with guns and political corruption. Eventually feeling himself in over his head Easy will reluctantly call upon reinforcements in the form of an old street chum from Texas named Mouse. Mouse has a serious predilection towards derby hats, orange ties and shooting people - a lot.

 

Devil in a Blue Dress will be a delight for noir fans. It beautifully establishes the mood of late '40s segregated Los Angeles, with great art direction (the film opens with a wonderful crane shot of Central Avenue teaming with life), costumes and the jazz music, of course, emblematic of that time in African American culture.

 

The story, written by the film's director, Carl Franklin, is serviceable enough upon which to hang the framework of this film, the tale involving enough to keep viewers attentive. But it's really the ambience of the film, that time capsule feeling for noirish L.A., and the performances of the cast that really seize and hold the attention here.

 

Denzel Washington is wonderful in his not overly bright everyman role as a guy who needs the money and starts to play amateur detective. Washington brings great conviction, as well as charm, to the part of an ordinary guy who soon finds himself in deep waters. He has the strong likeability factor that makes a viewer automatically root for his character.

 

Tom Sizemore is chillingly effective as the gangster who hires him. He is a person ready to commit acts of great violence and then laugh it off a few seconds later. There is a scene in which Sizemore comes to Washington's "rescue" when the latter is surrounded by some loud mouthed white preppy types, but the violent manner in which he saves him may disturb Easy's character even more the white youths ready to physically accost him.

 

Perhaps best of all in the film, though, is Don Cheadle's scene stealing portrayal of "Mouse," Easy's street pal who thinks that a gun is a solution for every problem. Mouse is clearly psychopathic in his impulsive homicidal inclinations but, fortunately for Easy, he genuinely likes him and wants to help. He is a good psychopath to have on Easy's side, but even Easy has to watch out when Mouse is drunk.

 

There is a dark humour to be found in the film, at times, much of it involving Mouse. At one point Easy tells him, "You haven't been in my house five minutes and you done shot somebody."

 

In a later scene he tells Mouse not to shoot a captive he leaves in his custody. When he later returns to find the captive dead (choked by Mouse, not shot, his companion is eager to point out to him) though Easy still doesn't appreciate the subtle difference, the man still being dead and all, Mouse replies, "Easy, look, if you didn't want him killed, why'd you leave him with me?"

 

Devil in a Blue Dress is a stylish, satisfying, emotionally involving film noir trip to the seedy side of segregated post-war L.A. that, I strongly suspect, many viewers will want to take more than one time. I just discovered this little jewel and know I will.

 

Devil_in_a_blue_dress2.jpg

 

3 out of 4

I really enjoyed this film when I saw it in a theater. Great write-up but why no love for Jennifer Beal? I think this is where I realized how much she resembled Linda Darnell, and would've done a good portrayal of her in a biopic or other film portrayal of Darnell, if it had been done when Beal was young enough.

 

I agree it is a shame that Denzel didn't do a series of this character.

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The Street With No Name (1948). Lloyd Nolan, Mark Stevens, Richard

Widmark. Another crime flick taken from the files of the F.B.I, the kind

where the names and locations are as close as possible to the real

deal. But then why is the city where the film takes place called Center

City? Never heard of it. No biggie. Now, after the war the small time

hoods of the pre-war era are now the much more dangerous organized

criminals of 1948. Thanks, Uncle Sam. One of these criminal gangs is

headed by Richard Widmark, who likes to organize his robberies like

a military operation. The fact that Dicky is a control freak with a very

short temper gets in the way of the military organization thing a little

bit. F.B.I. newbie Mark Stevens will go undercover to infiltrate Widmark's

gang, which is already responsible for a number of murders. His boss

is straight arrow Lloyd Nolan. Stevens roams the cheap pool halls,

cheap bars, and cheap dumps of the underbelly of Center City and

catches Widmark's eye and is soon a member of the gang. Through an

inside informer in the police department, Widmark finds out the truth

about Stevens and plans to kill him. But since crime cannot pay, it is

Dicky who is killed and Stevens who lives to demonstrate the crack

crime fighting abilities of the F.B.I. The End. Well done movie with some

noirish overtones in what is basically a F.B.I. procedural with a good

amount of suspense and action. There is also the standard occasional

narration about what the boys in the lab are doing with their spectograph-

icalotometers, but this fades after the first twenty minutes or so. Not

inspired by the U2 song with a similar title, but by the early intro scroll

about the ubiquity of crime by none other than J. Edgar himself. Hoover

warning about crime. Now that's funny. I give it a solid B.

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