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Favorite "new" noir, thanks to Summer of Darkness?


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Since both the Summer of Darkness TCM special and class are winding down, I was thinking about what "new" noir favorites I've discovered over the past two months. So far, I think "Deadline at Dawn" and "Berlin Express" (the on site filming of post-WWII Europe is unbelievable!) are my two new faves. I also really enjoyed James Garner in "Marlowe" (I'm a Garner/Rockford Files fan, and the cameo Bruce Lee appearance was a huge bonus--his scene in the office is epic!). I have LOTS more noirs stored up on DVR that I will be watching over the next few weeks, so probably more will be found. :-)

What are some of your new favorites discovered through Summer of Darkness?

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It wasn't one of the films we covered, but "Tension".  There's also one I can't remember the title of, but it had been restored by UCLA and premiered during one of the first Friday nights of the class.  It was also interesting to see where some of my favorite actors got their start.

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I have seen and/or own most of these Films Noir. There are a handful that are new to me, and the one that is now on my "Favorite Noir" list is The Narrow Margin. I was just in awe as I was watching this evening. 

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The Set Up (which I'm really surprised about because I'm not really into boxing films), The Hitchhiker, The Window, and Shadow on the Wall, Caged,  Cause for Alarm,  and Beware, My lovely are noir films I've never seen before and which I am SO glad I had the chance to watch and are now favorites!!

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Great list of movies, everyone! I haven't seen "The Killers" or "The Third Man" before, but both of them are waiting on my DVR. :-)

 

"The Racket", "Armored Car Robbery", and "The Narrow Margin" are ones I've seen once before, but watched again recently because of Summer of Darkness, so I'd put those on my list of "new" favorites too. After watching "The Narrow Margin" again, that might go on my list of all-time favorite noirs. It's just so amazing.

 

Aside from "new" favorite movies, I'd also have to add Charles McGraw as a new favorite actor. I didn't really know who he was until I started watching some of these again and started recognizing him as "hey! it's that guy!" in "Side Street", "Armored Car Robbery", "Berlin Express", and "The Narrow Margin." He'll probably show up in a few more movies before my Summer of Darkness DVR viewing is done, lol.

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I also enjoyed Berlin Express as a new "find" from this course.  It got me wondering whether Agatha Christie had ever seen it, vis a vis Murder on the Orient Express.  

 

Other new favorites for me include La Bete Humaine, High Wall, The Set-Up, and 99 River Street.

 

Films I had seen before but gained a new appreciation for include Gun Crazy, Out of the Past, and Dark Passage.  Bacall said in an interview she considers it the weakest of the films she did with Bogart, with which I used to agree.  Now I'm thinking I might put this one above To Have and Have Not, in spite of the hokey plastic surgery gimmick.

 

Films I didn't like all that much but am glad to have had exposure to are Born to Kill, The Stranger, the Hitch-Hiker, Too Late for Tears, and The Long Goodbye.  I've never been a big Robert Altman fan, but this may be the film of his I like the best.  I enjoyed his and Elliott Gould's take on Marlowe.

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Aside from "new" favorite movies, I'd also have to add Charles McGraw as a new favorite actor. I didn't really know who he was until I started watching some of these again and started recognizing him as "hey! it's that guy!" in "Side Street", "Armored Car Robbery", "Berlin Express", and "The Narrow Margin." He'll probably show up in a few more movies before my Summer of Darkness DVR viewing is done, lol.

You have to check out T Men it starts with McGraw's face slithering out of the darkness like a moray eel.  ;)

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I had not seen Too Late For Tears previously, and it's a good-un.  Easily my favorite among the ones I hadn't seen before.  I'm glad the efforts to save it came before it was too late.

 

Favorite line among the movies I hadn't seen before occurrs in The Racket.  In response to Welsh's concern over a potentially negative newspaper report, Turk says there's no need to worry about people that read the paper; "...it goes in one eye and out the other"

 

Prior to this summer, the strangest thing I had encountered in noir was the wolf whistle in D.O.A. It's like something out of an Abbott and Costello move.  I don't think anything will ever top it, but Vincent Price's character in His Kind Of Woman, ranks right up there with it on the quirky scale.  I had not seen His Kind Of Woman previously.  As a result, I'm looking forward to reading Fleicher's autobiography, Just Tell Me When To Cry.  

 

In more than one way, it has been a Summer of Darkness here in Texas.  No Blue Bell ice cream : (

Nevertheless, it has been fun.  I'm hoping for a Summer of Sci-Fi next year!

 

 

 

 

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Did I miss something? I haven't seen anyone mention WOMAN ON THE RUN yet. That's my choice for favorite 'new' noir discovered through the Summer of Darkness series.

 

Women on the Run would be my choice,  followed by Too Late for Tears,  but these were the only two films TCM showed that I hadn't seen before.

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Women on the Run would be my choice,  followed by Too Late for Tears,  but these were the only two films TCM showed that I hadn't seen before.

Yes, and both were TCM premieres. I am sure there are plenty of noir classics (from Republic and Paramount) that are still awaiting their TCM premieres.

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Did I miss something? I haven't seen anyone mention WOMAN ON THE RUN yet. That's my choice for favorite 'new' noir discovered through the Summer of Darkness series.

 

I love Woman on the Run but I had seen a bad copy of it a few years ago (thanks public domain). I saw it again earlier this year at Noir City 13 for its restoration premier. Considering this question was "new" noir, I didn't mention any of the classics as I already seen them before (as I'm sure others have, too). But yes, Woman on the Run is a great film.

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I'm still pecking away at my DVR list!

But so far: Born To Kill, The Set Up, Tension, Raw Deal, and No Questions Asked were all films I watched for the first time this summer and consider "new" favorites.

Also, this course and TCM have given me a new appreciation for Barry Sullivan. I'd seen his work before (in The Bad and the Beautiful, for instance) but never thought too much of him as an actor. He was great in No Questions Asked!

Noir really did allow the actors to shine.

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lots of DVRing to go, but so far

The Gangster

Hollow Triumph

Johnny Belinda (which I consider noir light)

The Mask of Dimitrios

Nora Prentiss

Nobody Lives Forever

Tomorrow is Another Day

The Third Man

The Window

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I've seen so many that I find it almost impossible to recollect their names.

 

I really enjoyed Detour - not for the guy (he was a sap) but for the wildness of Ann Savage! I'd have loved for her to have survived and cause mayhem for men across the US! 

 

The Set Up too, was terrific. I'd not seen it before and I thought it was just so well scripted and acted. 

 

I don't like Orson Welles, but I finally watched and (almost) loved The Third Man but the Zither music came close to ruining the whole thing for me...if only there was a Zither-free DVD on the market! 

 

An actor discovery for me: Charles McGraw, who proved to be a greater sum than his Dick-Tracy-like appearance. And an actress: Audrey Totter, who I liked in pretty well everything I saw. 

 

As to dislikes - which I know is off-topic but there you are - there have been a few. Nothing annoyed me more than The Long Goodbye, which seemed to me to deliberately set out to annoy and dismay the legions of Philip Marlowe fans out there. But then, I pretty well hated all of the neo-Noirs, so perhaps that speaks more about me than anything else. Of the "classic" Noirs, I disliked the experiment of Lady in the Lake but my least favorite has to be The Lady from Shanghai. I know that last is controversial but I just do not get the Welles love and thought it was atrocious. Of course there are poor B movies, but I don't like that movie in particular because it's no B, and it's held up as such a great example all the time! 

 

All in all though, what a great course: I've found so many films I've not see, so many I've enjoyed. 

 

 

 

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I don't like Orson Welles, but I finally watched and (almost) loved The Third Man but the Zither music came close to ruining the whole thing for me...if only there was a Zither-free DVD on the market! 

 

 

I don't ever like to tell people their opinions are wrong, but, well, you're wrong. That zither music is amazingly appropriate for the soundtrack. It sounds a bit off-putting at first, but watch it again. It fits perfectly. It's mournful when it needs to be, jaunty when it needs to be, and adds a certain level of irony to every scene. 

 

Also, Welles was only an actor for hire, though he wrote some of his own dialogue. Carol Reed/Graham Greene are the true architects of the film. They had a great collaboration, and their three films are all definite must-sees. The Fallen Idol and Our Man In Havana. Check 'em out!

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I don't ever like to tell people their opinions are wrong, but, well, you're wrong. That zither music is amazingly appropriate for the soundtrack. It sounds a bit off-putting at first, but watch it again. It fits perfectly. It's mournful when it needs to be, jaunty when it needs to be, and adds a certain level of irony to every scene. 

 

Also, Welles was only an actor for hire, though he wrote some of his own dialogue. Carol Reed/Graham Greene are the true architects of the film. They had a great collaboration, and their three films are all definite must-sees. The Fallen Idol and Our Man In Havana. Check 'em out!

 

 

I agree completely! The zither-music actually made the film that much better! If you were to remove it, you will have an entirely different film with a completely different mood/tone and perception.

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I don't ever like to tell people their opinions are wrong, but, well, you're wrong. That zither music is amazingly appropriate for the soundtrack. It sounds a bit off-putting at first, but watch it again. It fits perfectly. It's mournful when it needs to be, jaunty when it needs to be, and adds a certain level of irony to every scene. 

 

Also, Welles was only an actor for hire, though he wrote some of his own dialogue. Carol Reed/Graham Greene are the true architects of the film. They had a great collaboration, and their three films are all definite must-sees. The Fallen Idol and Our Man In Havana. Check 'em out!

 

While I agree that the zither music soundtrack really helps drive the film,  I can understand why some people would find it is a very annoying and unpleasant sound (because in many ways it is).   e.g. I wouldn't want to listen to a zither music when doing housework!     One isn't wrong having that impression of the music and the zither instrument.  

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