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5 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

It's got the crime angle, it's got the obsessed individual, noir as originally defined is about dark subject matters, any dark subject matter, including the wrongfully accused, the drug or alcohol addict, the deviant maniac, etc., etc., and it's got the gritty and stylistic cinematography. Noir isn't just about detectives, femme fatales and mysteries. Though in a way Jimmy Stewart is functioning as a sort of detective. For me, and this is also what got the noirs noticed by the French critics in the first place is the visual component, the dark cinematography. For me it's a noir.

I'll have to watch the film again for that "gritty and stylistic cinematography".    As we have discussed before you tend to focus more on those visuals,  while I tend to focus more on noir themes (as it relates to how 'noir' a film is),  and I only recall a few scenes that have "gritty and stylistic cinematography"  (e.g. the one where Stewart really challenges that so called eye witness in the run down apartment).  

I admit I could be bias in that "oh-shucks" Jimmy can't really function as a noir type PI.   (but he does have some very noir qualities in those fine Mann westerns).     

 

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17 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

...and I only recall a few scenes that have "gritty and stylistic cinematography"  (e.g. the one where Stewart really challenges that so called eye witness in the run down apartment).  

The on location work in Chicago, the night streets, the various dive bars he checks out looking for Wanda Skutnik, the tenements, it's sort of in Naked City style noir.

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Appointment With Danger (1951) Midwest Noir

Poster.jpg


Great opening sequence of a body disposal in the pouring rain I was hooked from the get go. Although, before you get to the story proper, you get a brief sort of rah rah, backslapping narrated infomercial, praising the US Postal Service. I guess you could say,  instead of what the french would call a "policier" its a postal.

The film can boast highly of some excellent railroad/railyard footage and copious amounts of atmospheric location work around the bleak industrial landscapes and brownfields of the Gary Indiana smelters and steel mills.

The director was Lewis Allen who has a string of Noirs to his name, (Desert Fury (1947), So Evil My Love (1948), Chicago Deadline (1949) Suddenly (1954), Illegal (1955)) before segueing into TV in the 1960s. The cinematography was by John F. Seitz (Double Indemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), Chicago Deadline (1949), Sunset Boulevard (1950), and Rogue Cop(1954)). The music was by Victor Young (Gun Crazy (1950)).

The film also stars Stacy Harris, David Wolfe, Dan Riss, Geraldine Wall, and George J. Lewis. A Paramount Pictures Production, filmed in Fort Wayne, La Porte, and Gary Indiana, also in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Very enjoyable romp through Noirsville 8/10.

Review with screencaps here in Film Noir/Gangster section.

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6 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

It's got the crime angle, it's got the obsessed individual, noir as originally defined is about dark subject matters, any dark subject matter, including the wrongfully accused, the drug or alcohol addict, the deviant maniac, etc., etc., and it's got the gritty and stylistic cinematography. Noir isn't just about detectives, femme fatales and mysteries. Though in a way Jimmy Stewart is functioning as a sort of detective. For me, and this is also what got the noirs noticed by the French critics in the first place is the visual component, the dark cinematography. For me it's a noir.

What does it matter if it's noir or not? So many noir buffs love to debate as to whether the label applies.

I thought that being a good or, at least, interesting film is what counted the most.

 

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23 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Appointment With Danger (1951) Midwest Noir

Poster.jpg

 

Appointment With Danger is a fun film. It's been a while since I saw it but I recall enjoying that moment in which Alan Ladd laid Jack Webb out cold.

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Edge of Darkness (1943)

Still frequently powerful WWII resistance melodrama, dealing with the German occupation of a small Norwegian town, Trollness, and the underground movement there waiting for the right time to stage an uprising against their captors.

A class "A" production from Warner Brothers, with striking photography and camerawork, and a strong cast providing solid performances. The film opens with German soldiers investigating a small town, where a Norwegian flag, rather than a German, is seen flying. Almost like the opening to Beau Geste, the camera pans across a village that has been a slaughterhouse, with the bodies of German soldiers and Norwegian villagers scattered everywhere. The rest of the film is a flashback to tell the story of the events that lead to this catastrophic scene of carnage.

Errol Flynn had been a replacement for Bogart as a fisherman who leads the town's underground movement. The actor had apparently wanted out of the project because of the smallness of his role. Indeed, while top billed, this is not a Flynn star vehicle.

He is part of an impressive ensemble cast which includes the likes of Ann Sheridan as his girlfriend, Walter Huston as her father, the town's respected doctor, who does not want to resist the Germans through a revolt, Judith Anderson as a hotel owner and underground worker, John Beal as Sheridan's quisling brother who cannot be trusted to not cooperate with the Germans, Ruth Gordon as Huston's day dreaming well meaning wife, and Charles Dingle as the slimy owner of the town's cannery who willingly cooperates with his German captors.

Arguably the best of all is Helmut Dantine as the ruthless Nazi commander of the occupation. Dantine's role may be a standard stereotype but he brings strength and intelligence to the role. Oh, there is also Nancy Coleman as Dantine's Polish mistress, clearly a conflicted individual, desperate to stay alive no matter what but torn by her betrayal of her people.

One of the more unusual aspects of this WWII propaganda film's screenplay is the inclusion of a sympathetic German soldier. All the other Germans are clearly bad guys here, but one soldier has a few polite encounters with Judith Anderson. He tells her how he is a carpenter, speaks of how they must get along after the war and how she reminds him of a friend he used to have. Anderson is cold towards him, telling him he is a German, but he responds with a look of understanding and sensitivity.

I can't think of another propaganda film of this era that had a similar portrait of humanity in a German soldier, and I wish the screenplay had explored his characterization and desire for a relationship with Anderson still further.

In stark contrast to that there is also a scene which depicts the rape of a villager by a German soldier. The scene is far from graphic but, instead, artfully done - you see the woman walking towards the camera as the camera glides down her legs. Suddenly a man's legs appear behind her as he picks her off the floor and carries her away. The camera continues to pull back outside the building in which the attack is occurring, as German troops march by, the camera then scanning upward to reveal the irony of the building in which it the sexual assault happened - a church. It's a fine moment by director Milestone of a scene which will lead to a cascading series of events in the film's story line.

The film's screenplay can be accused of its share of portentous dialogue, at times. "In times like this we must be like steel," Flynn says at one point. At another time villager Roman Bohnen beams as he looks straight at the camera and says, "In the future they will say there were giants in Trollness."

But this stilted dialogue is more than compensated for by the film's climactic action sequences, which boasts stunning camerawork and remarkable stunt work as the villagers finally storm the hotel in the woods, which Dantine and the Germans use as headquarters. Director Lewis Milestone and any second unit directors involved are to be fully congratulated for these stirring scenes.

If Flynn seems unusually low key it's perhaps understandable as he was reporting back to the soundstages of this film during the time of his statutory rape trial. Ann Sheridan, too, was preoccupied elsewhere as she was in the midst of a divorce. They're both generally effective here, though, as, indeed, is the entire cast.

Franz Waxman contributes a powerful, at times choir enhanced, musical score.

This film can be found as part of the "Errol Flynn Adventures" DVD box set in a fine, sharply defined print. If only all prints of pre-'50s films could look this good.

Edge+of+Darkness+10.jpg

3 out of 4

 

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2 hours ago, TomJH said:

Appointment With Danger is a fun film. It's been a while since I saw it but I recall enjoying that moment in which Alan Ladd laid Jack Webb out cold.

Then he gets the crushed ice in the towel and when he's through talking with Stewart he drops the bag of ice on Webb's face

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Just now, Hoganman1 said:

We recorded and watched The Window last night. It played on Noir Alley that morning. It was very good and the young Bobby Driscol was fantastic as The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

A great film, I've never read Woolrich's short story, can't ever seem to find it though in the story it's a bit more gruesome in details, the Stewart and Roman characters in the book actually cut up the body and put it in a coulpe of big suitcases and then go hide it in the abandoned building. 

It's similar in that respect to Lina Wertmuller's Seven Beauties

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6 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

A great film, I've never read Woolrich's short story, can't ever seem to find it though in the story it's a bit more gruesome in details, the Stewart and Roman characters in the book actually cut up the body and put it in a coulpe of big suitcases and then go hide it in the abandoned building. 

It's similar in that respect to Lina Wertmuller's Seven Beauties

Although it is pretty gruesome disposing of the victim that way makes more sense. I found it a little unbelievable that Stewart was able to carry a dead body out a window and up a fire escape ladder. I'm guessing the 1949 board of censors would not have allowed even the suggestion of a mutilation on film. Still a great flick, though.

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2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

A great film, I've never read Woolrich's short story, can't ever seem to find it though in the story it's a bit more gruesome in details, the Stewart and Roman characters in the book actually cut up the body and put it in a coulpe of big suitcases and then go hide it in the abandoned building. 

It's similar in that respect to Lina Wertmuller's Seven Beauties

I was searching the web to see if the story was available in PDF format, but alas, I was unsuccessful.

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4 minutes ago, Janet0312 said:

I was searching the web to see if the story was available in PDF format, but alas, I was unsuccessful.

Yep I've tried also. I did find Rear Window's Woolrich short story which was interesting, and very similar also. A different version of the same story, with different character dynamics. 

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7 minutes ago, Fedya said:

 

 

The 1954 censors did for Rear Window.

"Must've splattered a lot... Come on, that's what we're all thinkin'. He killed her in there, now he has to clean up those stains before he leaves." 

Hitchcock did a good job alluding to Raymond Burr's wife's head being buried in the flower garden, before the neighbor's dog got too curious and Burr had to move the head. 

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Just now, Fedya said:

Thelma Ritter always got to deliver such great lines.

She does.  She has the best lines in Rear Window and All About Eve.  I like that her characters don't beat around the bush, she just comes out and says what everyone is thinking.  In All About Eve, before she unfortunately disappears while retrieving the movie star's sable, Ritter serves as Bette Davis' "get a grip" friend--the type of friend that everyone needs. 

Back to Rear Window...

Frankly, I'm glad that the mutilation of Mrs. Thorwald's remains was played down and her dismemberment was only hinted at, though don't the police state something about her being scattered all over Manhattan?  Personally, I'm glad it was only hinted at that her head was buried in the garden, I don't want a decapitated head popping out at me.  The only time that a decapitated head scene has been effective for me is in Jaws when Richard Dreyfuss is underwater exploring the sunken ship of Ben Gardner's boat. 

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I love Thelma's clever lines here and in other films.  I too am glad that Mrs. Thorwald's remains anddismemberment was spoken little of.  That is awful even about her head maybe buried in the garden!  Yes, Thorwald was terrible, even bumping of the little dog in the basket. 

This film was effectively chilling without going too far in the descriptions of murder!  I for one agree there.

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I just watched THE IMMORTAL SERGEANT '43 starring Henry Fonda & Maureen O'Hara. The film group I belong to screened it as our Veterans Day movie of our "Monday Night Series" and is the only movie this season I had never seen before.

Henry Fonda was a shy guy, kind of walked all over as a civilian who enlisted in the Army in the early days of WW2. The movie followed a small group camped in the northernmost African desert commanded by the great Thomas Mitchell as the Sergeant. There are a few white knuckle scenes as they skirmish with the enemy and of course things go from bad to worse. They lose men, equipment and tragically, they lose their Sergeant, Mitchell.

The guys are stranded in the desert, and now Fonda's charactor is in command. All the while you hear Mitchell's voice, as Fonda recollects what his Sergeant would tell him in such a situation. Gorgeous Maureen O'Hara also pops up in Fonda's mind, in flashbacks of incidents "back home". These touches make the desert bearable for Fonda as well as us.

Of course, a few of them survive and Fonda reunites with O'Hara a changed man. But in this case, he's changed for the better, now confident & assertive after his war ordeal.

This obviously was an enlistment recruiting "feel good" film for WW2. Fonda was really good, especially when knowing he didn't want to make this movie. I especially enjoyed Melville Cooper as one of the troop instead of in his more typical snotty milquetoast roles. Another highlight was seeing Mitchell breathing -obviously still alive- while the cast stands over his "dead" body! You see things like that on the big screen.

You know a movie "has" an audience when you could hear a pin drop for most of the picture. The group erupted in applause at the end and walked out smiling.

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I watched "Here Comes Mr. Jordon" this past Sunday night and everytime I watch it I enjoy it even more.  The movies is a complete summary of why movies were "golden" in the "golden era" of movies.  The supporting actors of Claude Raines, Edward Everett Horton and James Gleason make this movie a classic representative of what studios did best in the 40's. 

When I see movies such as this as well as some others that rely heavily on the character actors to give the film that something special it saddens me that at TCM they really don't get the recognition they deserve.  I know they had a focus on character actors this past year but they hardly touched the well of talent that the character actors possessed.

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4 hours ago, Emily Dean said:

I watched "Here Comes Mr. Jordon" this past Sunday night and everytime I watch it I enjoy it even more.  The movies is a complete summary of why movies were "golden" in the "golden era" of movies.  The supporting actors of Claude Raines, Edward Everett Horton and James Gleason make this movie a classic representative of what studios did best in the 40's. 

Most people don't know that Columbia, for some odd reason, decided to boost Rita Hayworth's Down to Earth (1947)--a movie unfairly cited as "inspiring 'Xanadu'", which is thoroughly inaccurate--into a pseudo-sequel to Jordan, with Horton and Gleason's characters returning, as Gleason now can't get anyone to believe his claims of Greek mythological characters in the city.

No idea why, but a funny follow-up to watch.

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On 11/15/2017 at 10:27 AM, JakeHolman said:

This afternoon I'll see Casablanca at my local CineMark theater sponsored by TCM...

Thank you TCM...

 

Great movie to watch on the Big Screen.  Time well spent...

 

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