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Into the Darkness Video Lecture #2: The Set-Up (Official Discussion Thread)


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Like the first one, I enjoyed the video lecture a lot. As someone who isn't as familiar with the film noir genre as most people, I'd just like to reiterate one thing. The lecture made me curious about most of the sources mentioned just as much as it made me curious about film noir per se. I'll be sure to read Hammett's "Arson Plus" and Fellig's writings to learn more about the influence when I have a chance. Great job, Dr. Edwards.

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Thanks for all of this.   I have been a fan of TCM for years, and continue to marvel at how they keep themselves relevant.  Bravo!

 

I'd like to focus on the portion in this lecture about the "Noir Actor" and the quotes from the "Dark Side of the Screen," I'd like to present an example of how an actor can be both, in the same movie.

 

Case in point:  Edmund O'Brien in "The Killers."  For the most part, it evolves into his insurance investigation regarding the disappearance of the money from a payroll heist.  He interviews the many noir type characters in this film, themselves among the best examples of what a noir actors does, with a standout explosive performance by Jack Lambert as "Dum-Dum"...So, O'Brian is surrounded by all of these noir types as he's doing his "Citizen Kane" type interviews that induce flashbacks.  For most of the movie, he's this regular guy, an insurance investigator, a character that could be in any movie, any genre.  About 3/4s of the way through he concocts a plot to make Dum-Dum, who he suspects may know where the money is, think he's interested in keeping the money for himself.  O'Brien turns on the "noir" to such a convincing degree, that I, as the viewer, am not sure if he has crossed over to the other side of the law or not. He was, suddenly, this "glacial presence," not at all like the guy we've observed in the previous reels.  It's a subtle, yet massive difference, in tone of voice, delivery, physicality--amazing!  This side of his character could only be in a film noir.  And then, in the next scene, he's back to being that character who could be in any genre again.  Watch the scene. It takes place in Lancaster's murder room when Dum-Dum is searching to see if the money or a clue to its whereabouts is there.

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Thanks for all of this.   I have been a fan of TCM for years, and continue to marvel at how they keep themselves relevant.  Bravo!

 

I'd like to focus on the portion in this lecture about the "Noir Actor" and the quotes from the "Dark Side of the Screen," I'd like to present an example of how an actor can be both, in the same movie.

 

Case in point:  Edmund O'Brien in "The Killers."  For the most part, it evolves into his insurance investigation regarding the disappearance of the money from a payroll heist.  He interviews the many noir type characters in this film, themselves among the best examples of what a noir actors does, with a standout explosive performance by Jack Lambert as "Dum-Dum"...So, O'Brian is surrounded by all of these noir types as he's doing his "Citizen Kane" type interviews that induce flashbacks.  For most of the movie, he's this regular guy, an insurance investigator, a character that could be in any movie, any genre.  About 3/4s of the way through he concocts a plot to make Dum-Dum, who he suspects may know where the money is, think he's interested in keeping the money for himself.  O'Brien turns on the "noir" to such a convincing degree, that I, as the viewer, am not sure if he has crossed over to the other side of the law or not. He was, suddenly, this "glacial presence," not at all like the guy we've observed in the previous reels.  It's a subtle, yet massive difference, in tone of voice, delivery, physicality--amazing!  This side of his character could only be in a film noir.  And then, in the next scene, he's back to being that character who could be in any genre again.  Watch the scene. It takes place in Lancaster's murder room when Dum-Dum is searching to see if the money or a clue to its whereabouts is there.

Yes Jack lambert is great as "Dum-Dum", and also a shout out to Jeff Corey as the twitchy hop head "Blinkey".

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