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July 24-Summer of Darkness


ElCid
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Some good ones coming up July 24.  I highly recommend Kansas City Confidential, Macao, The Narrow Margin and His Kind of Woman.

Charles McGraw is in Narrow Margin and His Kind of Woman.  He is also in Roadblock, but I haven't seen that one yet.

Robert Mitchum is in Macao and His Kind of Woman.  Also in The Locket and Angel Face, but not as good as others in my opinion.  Jane Russell also in Macao and HKOW.

The Narrow Margin is one of best Film Noirs and also features Marie Windsor and Jacqueline White.  One of the best "train" movies out of Hollywood, but there are some accuracy glitches.  Still very entertaining.  Was remade in 1990 as Narrow Margin with Gene Hackman and Anne Archer.  A very good neo-noir (whatever that is).  It is probably a better "train" movie.

Some other very good actors spread across all of these movies.

John Payne, Coleen Gray, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam do very well in KCC.  The role in this one seems to fit Payne' acting style better than some of his others.

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Some good ones coming up July 24.  I highly recommend Kansas City Confidential, Macao, The Narrow Margin and His Kind of Woman.

Charles McGraw is in Narrow Margin and His Kind of Woman.  He is also in Roadblock, but I haven't seen that one yet.

Robert Mitchum is in Macao and His Kind of Woman.  Also in The Locket and Angel Face, but not as good as others in my opinion.  Jane Russell also in Macao and HKOW.

The Narrow Margin is one of best Film Noirs and also features Marie Windsor and Jacqueline White.  One of the best "train" movies out of Hollywood, but there are some accuracy glitches.  Still very entertaining.  Was remade in 1990 as Narrow Margin with Gene Hackman and Anne Archer.  A very good neo-noir (whatever that is).  It is probably a better "train" movie.

Some other very good actors spread across all of these movies.

John Payne, Coleen Gray, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam do very well in KCC.  The role in this one seems to fit Payne' acting style better than some of his others.

 

There's not a cough in that entire lineup's carload, but I'm most looking forward to  Roadblock (1951), because (1) it's the only one I haven't seen; and (2) For a nice change of pace, Charles McGraw is playing an ordinary man turned crook, rather than a pure thug or a sadistic cop.

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There's not a cough in that entire lineup's carload, but I'm most looking forward to  Roadblock (1951), because (1) it's the only one I haven't seen; and (2) For a nice change of pace, Charles McGraw is playing an ordinary man turned crook, rather than a pure thug or a sadistic cop.

For a real change of pace, how about Charles McGraw as a concert pianist?

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I don't think I've see Roadblock. 6:45 is pretty early for me, but guess what? I'm filling in 3rd shift Thursday night and may get home in time to see it on Friday morning. Yay!!

 

I hope they continue the noirs on a regular basis.

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I can only tape 8 hours worth of films on Friday and want to tape the best of the best

noirs. Recommendations, please.

 

Well I would recommend 3 Mitchum films;

 

  Macao with Jane Russell,  William Bendix and Gloria Grahame.   

  His Kind of Women with Russell,  Vincent Price, Raymond Burr and Charles McGraw

  Angel Face with Jean Simmons and Herbert Marshall

 

As for the 4th film:  Well either The Narrow Margin (McGraw and Marie Windsor) or Kansas City Confidential (John Payne, Coleen Gray  and Preston Foster).            

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There's not a cough in that entire lineup's carload, but I'm most looking forward to  Roadblock (1951), because (1) it's the only one I haven't seen; and (2) For a nice change of pace, Charles McGraw is playing an ordinary man turned crook, rather than a pure thug or a sadistic cop.

Actually he's an insurance PI.

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FitzMularkey; my picks:

 

Angel Face (1953)--Jean Simmons & Robert Mitchum make a great pair.

The Narrow Margin (1952)--One of the best noirs ever.

Macao (1952)--Mitchum & Jane Russell, directed by Josef von Sternberg.

 

Fourth pick is a tie between

"Clash by Night" (1952)--don't know if this would count, but it's the best of what's left, IMHO---Or

"His Kind of Woman"--(1951)--Mitchum, Russell, & Vincent Price play as a parody of film noir--it's good also.

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I can only tape 8 hours worth of films on Friday and want to tape the best of the best

noirs. Recommendations, please.

I would recommend His Kind of Woman, The Narrow Margin, Macao and Kansas City Confidential

TNM is straight Noir, very little humor, but excellent.  No wasted movements or time. Takes place primarily on a train.

HKOW is Noir, but with a little humor and very good performances by Mitchum, Russell, Price, Raymond Burr and McGraw.  Takes place primarily at a resort in Mexico.  Price is "hammy," but he is supposed to be and does it very well.

Macao has very good performances by Mitchum and Russell and William Bendix and Gloria Graham.

KCC primarily takes place at a Mexican resort and is more serious.  Great opportunity to see three classic "B" heavies-Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam.  I think John Payne does better in this one than in some of his other roles.

One advantage to some of these old Noirs is that they are fairly short.

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I can only tape 8 hours worth of films on Friday and want to tape the best of the best

noirs. Recommendations, please.

 

Leaving out the only one I haven't seen (Roadblock), here's how I'd fill up the 8 hours, with a few shorts included to fill up the tape:

 

 

1:05 PM I Love Children, But -8 min.

 

1:15 PM Kansas City Confidential - 99 min.

 

6:03 PM Nostradamus Says So! - 11 min.

 

6:15 PM Split Second - 86 min.

8:00 PM The Narrow Margin - 72 min.

11:45 PM The Locket - 85 min.

 

1:21 AM Getting Glamour - 8 min.

 

3:13 AM The Future Is Now - 15 min.

 

3:30 AM Elevator to the Gallows - 91 min.

 

That's 7 hours and 55 minutes of entertainment for the whole family.  Pot 'n' popcorn not included.

 

The absolute Essentials™  are The Narrow Margin and Elevator to the Gallows, though in truth if you could record the entire 24 hours you couldn't really go wrong on any of them.

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I have never seen KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL, but if you miss it, or if you don't want to wait, it is in the public domain and you can find it online.

 

The two I'd recommend out of tomorrow's line-up are The Strip, largely because the music is terrific although the film is not bad, and The Locket, which is on late- but is a really intriguing film in terms of its narrative (it's plotted like one of those Russian dolls you keep opening up and finding another, smaller one inside.)

 

The only SKIP! on the list is CLASH BY NIGHT, which has a wonderful cast and a ceaselessly talky, ambitiously action-free script by Clifford Odets. It is a film that practically dares you to watch it.

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Yeah, but why?

 

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS in re: THE NARROW MARGIN

 

It's been a little while since I've seen it, but I've sat all the way through it a couple of times and then seen bits and pieces of it on a few other occasions....and each time I wanted to like it, but each time I found it dull and didn't find Charles McGraw to be that interesting, and I ADORE Marie Windsor, but...I don't care for her in this role at all. There are also numerous instances where her expressions when she is alone do not match up with the truth about her character when we find it out. That's an awkward sentence, I know, but basically I'll just say that once you know the plot twist and you rewatch the film, you'll see that a lot of things that don't add up.

 

I think a lot of the dialogue is weak and the situations needed some punching up and it is obviously a cheap film without much directorial flourish (again, as I recall it.)

 

Specific beefs I can recall having- there is an extended scene wherein McGraw tries to get breakfast for Marie Windsor's character without letting anyone know she's in his compartment. It's too drawn out and farcical and doesn't fit the tone of the movie. I also don't like that Windsor's character doesn't get a proper send off, a simple shot of a body being unloaded from the train while McGraw looks on would be nice. I also don't buy the actress playing the real mob wife, she seems about as mafia to me as June Allyson.

 

Again, I know this was  a little disjointed, I will certainly try to watch it again tomorrow- but each time I see some of it, little issues pop up here and there.

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--SPOILERS--SPOILERS--SPOILERS

 

 

LornaHansonForbes--the continuity of The Narrow Margin (TNM) (1952) may be questionable, but it is one of the most tightly edited noirs & is a quick watch (no endless dialogue, plot is short & to the point, even including the twist, film is only 72 minutes long--it is Definitely worth watching all the way through, IMHO.  As for Windsor getting a proper sendoff--isn't part of the appeal of noirs Not being traditional?

 

As for Clash by Night (1952)--Has Barbara Stanwyck & Robert Ryan in an improper romance, & Marilyn Monroe in one of the few roles where she got dialogue by a major playwright (Clifford Odets)--& she did a *** good job--no whispering from her--we disagree on CBN.

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LornaHansonForbes:

 

I like the movie overall but I agree with you about the "real" wife.  It's one of the few things I find contrived about Narrow Margin.  Not that the wife had to be a gun totting moll but really . . . are we really supposed to buy that uber refined, sweet young thing as the wife?

 

L

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LornaHansonForbes:

 

I like the movie overall but I agree with you about the "real" wife.  It's one of the few things I find contrived about Narrow Margin.  Not that the wife had to be a gun totting moll but really . . . are we really supposed to buy that uber refined, sweet young thing as the wife?

 

L

 

Well there is the social convention where a guy that lives on the edges will seek a refined,  highly socially acceptable wife as a way to add balance in his life (or at least the appearance of).     But yea,  like a lot of The Narrow Margin,  the writer and director overplayed their hand.

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My earliest memory of CLASH BY NIGHT, is from the mid-60s, when my mother and I laughed hysterically, at what seemed like the endless sight of Stanwyck lighting and tossing cigarettes.  I have no recollection of seeing it, since.  I just may record the entire line-up.  Oooo, THE LINE-UP.  Now, that's a film I love.

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--SPOILERS--SPOILERS--SPOILERS

 

 

LornaHansonForbes--the continuity of The Narrow Margin (TNM) (1952) may be questionable, but it is one of the most tightly edited noirs & is a quick watch (no endless dialogue, plot is short & to the point, even including the twist, film is only 72 minutes long--it is Definitely worth watching all the way through, IMHO.  As for Windsor getting a proper sendoff--isn't part of the appeal of noirs Not being traditional?

 

As for Clash by Night (1952)--Has Barbara Stanwyck & Robert Ryan in an improper romance, & Marilyn Monroe in one of the few roles where she got dialogue by a major playwright (Clifford Odets)--& she did a *** good job--no whispering from her--we disagree on CBN.

 

 

From what I recall reading, there was a scene that deals with WIndor's demise, but it was cut. In the final version she does seem forgotten about..........

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