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Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #32: Over Now (Opening Scene from Criss Cross)

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Another very violent film ends the Daily Doses, though the violence comes much later in the film, and is not seen in this clip. But it is certainly foreshadowed in the conversation between Steve and Anna.

 

The intense music and the aerial shots of Los Angeles showcases the realism that came to post-war film noir. The startled look when a light shines on Steve and Anna. Fearful of who caught them. Then they resume their conversation.

 

And everybody's favorite noir sadist Dan Duryea interrogating the waiter and then Anna when she comes in.  We can also assume the waiter won't get any gratuity because he was nearby when Slim was talking to Anna. (Perhaps Slim's a lousy tipper to begin with)

 

As for what I learned in film noir, it's more than just criminals and glamorous femme fatales. It was a style all its own in response to the problems going on in the world. Starting in Europe and then making its way across the Atlantic, it left nothing untouched in the world of cinema.

 

It was a wild ride, and I am grateful to Prof Edwards for taking me and many others on this wild ride. Let me off at Summer Under the Stars, will ya?

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One of my favorites is The Dark Corner starring . . . [drum roll] . . . Lucille Ball, of I Love Lucy fame. She's another example of Eddie Muller's contention that the working woman in postwar America holds it all together. Even friends and family members who swear they don't like film noir or even movies at all (I know, but what can I do?!) love this movie. I've seen it several times and it never disappoints.

That's funny! You beat me by 7 seconds.  Great minds...

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 FYI:  The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia are Paramount films.    Alan Ladd was under contract with Paramount at the start of his career and therefore his noir films are from that studio.

 

I stand corrected. Thanks! Can't edit posts here, must be more careful!  :wacko: 

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Another very violent film ends the Daily Doses, though the violence comes much later in the film, and is not seen in this clip. But it is certainly foreshadowed in the conversation between Steve and Anna.

 

The intense music and the aerial shots of Los Angeles showcases the realism that came to post-war film noir. The startled look when a light shines on Steve and Anna. Fearful of who caught them. Then they resume their conversation.

 

And everybody's favorite noir sadist Dan Duryea interrogating the waiter and then Anna when she comes in.  We can also assume the waiter won't get any gratuity because he was nearby when Slim was talking to Anna. (Perhaps Slim's a lousy tipper to begin with)

 

As for what I learned in film noir, it's more than just criminals and glamorous femme fatales. It was a style all its own in response to the problems going on in the world. Starting in Europe and then making its way across the Atlantic, it left nothing untouched in the world of cinema.

 

It was a wild ride, and I am grateful to Prof Edwards for taking me and many others on this wild ride. Let me off at Summer Under the Stars, will ya?

Me too, loved this wild summer ride through Noir Country.

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I've really enjoyed the Daily Doses, as well as the Friday films themselves (thank you, PVR!).

I'm surprised by how many of them I've seen before, thru rental or already owning them - Double Indemnity has been one of my just plain favourite movies for decades - but it's nice to re-watch the films thru the lens (ha! film metaphor!) of this course.

 

I think we all got an excellent sense of what the course was trying to teach us about the philosophical, technical and stylistic influences on the genre of film noir, as well as where the various directors, writers and producers took the genre over its lifetime.

There have been successful attempts to recreate this type of film over the intervening years; most notably, ChinatownL.A. Confidential, Miller's Crossing - and let's not forget Rian Johnson's wry take on the genre (in a high school setting!), Brick. If you haven't seen that one, be sure to check it out.

 

I'm grateful that I was able to participate in this course; to be able to post my own - and read others' - comments in these forums has been a learning experience in itself.

 

Thanks to everyone at TCM, Ball State U and Canvas Network for a swell five weeks!

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The last daily does: Over now!!!  How fitting///  :(  :(  Summer of Darkness is Over, Burt Lancaster is over, The whole thing is over

WAAAAHHHH!!! anyway I've loved these daily doses, the message boards and the class

sniff sniff

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To me, the opening shot is signature noir with the long shot setting the scene of some place we don’t know about yet, onto some characters we don’t know, who are involved in some situation we don’t know about, and all at night. The characters are so noir also, they are fiercely intense, their assignation is so dangerous and illicit that we must ask ourselves “what is going to happen next”.  Many films noir share this common formula, plus this opening has two noir icons, Burt Lancaster and Dan Duryea immediately present.  Just the actors alone set the table for the ensuing action.
All the Daily Doses helped me focus on how the noir universe is depicted, what features are most prominent, how those features are shown, and what those things come to signify. Going back to earlier comments, I also felt that I “could not define NOIR but I know it when I see it.”  Over the past weeks I have seen a lot of films that have that exemplified different aspects of noir, and those films have given me a better sense of what noir is but the definition is still quite elusive, but I expect this will be a work in progress for quite a while.

   Bob Hope, King of funnynoir, once said, "Thanks for the memories".  This is my chance to thank the Daily Doses, they created some great memories for me.

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The last daily does: Over now!!!  How fitting///  :(  :(  Summer of Darkness is Over, Burt Lancaster is over, The whole thing is over

WAAAAHHHH!!! anyway I've loved these daily doses, the message boards and the classed

sniff sniff

 

Not so fast.   You should know by now that there's no escape; the fat lady never finishes her song in noir.   

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Definitely an opening scene that defines film noir at it's best.  Many familiar noir techniques are present such as the two characters standing in a confined space between the two cars.  These daily doses have helped me much in this course and to appreciate this films.  I am sad to see this class end but I hope there will be more to come soon.

 

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The waiter's line "Rotten line of work, rotten class of people your have to put up with" sums up the noir world perfectly & serves as an epitaph to the class. The opening shot, going from an aerial view shrouded in darkness to the lighted closeup of the lovers, foreshadows that nothing good will come to this couple. There will be an explosion before long.

 

I ha ve enjoyed this class & the daily doses. I wish that life circumstances would have allowed me to participate more fully, but that is a noir sentiment! I particularly wanted to discuss noir elements in the Three Stooges, of all places. But it was not meant to be. I have always liked film noir and the class an da daily doses have helped me gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of it.

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Looking forward to 2pm today. Thank you all on the message boards for all the information and insights to these great films. I learned a great deal from the discussions and mostly the take away was that we all share the love of this art form, and to know that you are not the only crazy that love these films makes it truly special.

 

I was wondering if you(all message board contributors) could name one movie that wasn't shown during this summer that you feel is one that was missed, so that i could watch them or look for them. I noticed that pickup on south street, wasn't shown but mentioned, so that one would be a great one to add, but i will add "life at stake" a b movie that i liked.

 

Many thanks again to all.............................

I would say "Quicksand" with Mickey Rooney. As mentioned on this board before by myself and others it was much better than the Rooney movie they showed. It even has Peter Lorre plus it's in public domain so it's easy to see. I also loved the "Dark Corner". She was also in a few dramatic radio plays and a 1939 drama called " Five Came Back" It's fun to see her in such different roles
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After watching this final Daily Dose, I can honestly say that all of the Daily Doses have contributed immensely to my further appreciation and understanding of film noir. I feel like I have learned so much these past two months about this fascinating genre of film that can only aid in future viewings of film noir and film in general.  My deepest thanks to all who made this wonderful learning opportunity available to so many of us!

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I would say "Quicksand" with Mickey Rooney. As mentioned on this board before by myself and others it was much better than the Rooney movie they showed. It even has Peter Lorre plus it's in public domain so it's easy to see. I also loved the "Dark Corner". She was also in a few dramatic radio plays and a 1939 drama called " Five Came Back" It's fun to see her in such different roles

 

I had forgotten about Quicksand which I had seen on TCM many years ago.   Nice film and one of Rooney's best performances.   The movie also has Jeanne Cagney,  sister of James,  as the femme fatale.    So many of these 'B' noir films from studios like United Artist.

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The opening scene of Criss Cross (1949) exemplifies the noir style via documentary realism ((the aerial night view of the city), night shooting, the dramatic and stirring music, and the angled and skewed compositions) and substance via the lovers' (Steve/Burt Lancaster and Anna/Yvonne De Carlo) formalistic discussion with each other in the parking lot which is desperate, and highlights their troubled pass with each other.  While the argument between the husband/Dan Duryea and his wife, Anna is grounded in realism with suppressed anger and hatred.  The husband distrusts his wife and takes his jealousy and anger out on the headwaiter/Vincent Renno.

 

Studying 32 daily doses across nine weeks definitely helped me to understand the style and substance of Film Noir films.  The doses picked emphasized or explained the points to be learned and were wonderful examples to view.  Committing to a dose a day kept me active in the coursework and on track with the lessons.  Thanks very much for the innovative idea! 

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The tension between our three leads is almost too much to bear! I love how Siodmak tells us so much by what the characters hold back and don't tell us. Yvonne de Carlo is passionate, yet restrained, keeping some secret. Burt Lancaster is all out, completely enamored. Dan Duryea is indeed chilling, menacing, fierce. The sweeping views of Los Angeles suggest a bigger picture than the three leads can contain or control. Every moment pushes us forward. Wonderful pick!

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Not so fast.   You should know by now that there's no escape; the fat lady never finishes her song in noir.   

Agreed!!  I really hope we can keep the discussions and sharing going on the message board after 8/3.  I've been learning so much from everyones' posts!!

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Siodmak did it again. He created a classic, although, not well known film noir with plenty of emotional heft.The opening scene is an aerial view of L.A. at night. It seems innocent but the music immediately sets you in the world of the unknown.Camera zeros in on a dark parking lot with two lovers embraced in a kiss.(DeCarlo and Lancaster) Not just two lovers, they are past lovers reunited for a heist and a possible permanent hook-up.Their conversation has angst, desperation and a touch of evil.The scene cuts to a Latin nightclub where Dan Duryea, Mr Noir Villain, is sardonically questioning his head waiter on his wife's whereabouts. DeCarlo struts in from her rendezvous confident and very curt with her husband.Siodmak gives us all of the components for a story already in motion, as fellow student,ColeCorri puts it.At this point, you instinctively know what's coming.........deception, betrayal, and more if you include the title. Lovers trying to get rid of a third person...a common theme in the movies we learned about in this course.

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Here are a few discussion starters (though feel free to come up with your own):

 

-- Discuss how the opening of this film exemplifies the noir style and substance.

 

You start off by hearing the dread, doom, and ultimate destruction of someone. The two do not belong together yet they do. What disaster awaits them. This is film noir at its pinnacle.

 

-- Now that you have seen all 32 Daily Doses, what did you take away from the Daily Doses assignment? Did it contribute to your learning about film noir?

 

The daily doses gave me a view into what film noir, was, is and the contribution of this classic style. In addition, reading other classmates' post gave different and varying perspectives about each daily dose. I answered each dose during this class and now that we are at the end, I feel a sadness because the class has been extremely enjoyable and educational.

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  Looking forward to 2pm today.  Thank you all on the message boards for all the information and insights to these great films.  I learned a great deal from the discussions and mostly the take away was that we all share the love of this art form, and to know that you are not the only crazy that love these films makes it truly special.  

 

  I was wondering if you(all message board contributors)  could name one movie that wasn't shown during this summer that you feel is one that was missed, so that i could watch them or look for them.  I noticed that pickup on south street, wasn't shown but mentioned, so that one would be a great one to add, but i will add "life at stake" a b movie that i liked.  

 

 Many thanks again to all.............................

I highly recommend to you "Leave Her to Heaven" as a great film noir viewing experience starring Gene Tierney. It is one of my favorite noir films.  

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I wish they would have shown My name is Julia Ross. It has Dame Mae Whitty being a **gasp** not so good guy, i mean lady, Nina Foch and George McReady. It's a b-movie and darn good one too and very british

 

 

 I was wondering if you(all message board contributors)  could name one movie that wasn't shown during this summer that you feel is one that was missed, so that i could watch them or look for them.  I noticed that pickup on south street, wasn't shown but mentioned, so that one would be a great one to add, but i will add "life at stake" a b movie that i liked.  

 

 Many thanks again to all.............................

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Love it, maybe if we hear of any good noirs out there, coming up on TCM we can alert each other on the boards

Agreed!!  I really hope we can keep the discussions and sharing going on the message board after 8/3.  I've been learning so much from everyones' posts!!

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Film Noir: There is no build up of any scene. You are dropped right in the middle of the story and are a mere witness to all the double-crossing. There are rarely any happy endings. As is often stated: It's a Bitter Little World.

 

 

I've enjoyed each Daily Dose and the curated responses by Dr. Edwards. I came into this course with a strong background on Film Noir, but I realized that no matter how much I already know, there is still plenty more to learn. Throughout these 9 weeks, I have re-evaluated my position on what Film Noir is. I've always maintained the belief that film noir is a mood. I still believe this, but I also accept that it could be a style with respect to the technical aspects of film noir. Is it a genre? Before, I would've said no. Now? I'm not so sure. Regardless of its definition, I have very much enjoyed "new to me" films noir presented on TCM as well as a new look at previously viewed films.

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The Daily Doses have been incredibly helpful in introducing me important points in the course without doing it in an overwhelming way. Plus, I absolutely appreciated the suggestions Dr. Edwards provided for the different angles and approaches I could take with each film clip. I've thoroughly enjoyed this film noir class over the summer, and I find it quite hard to believe it's nearly over. 

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I wish they would have shown My name is Julia Ross. It has Dame Mae Whitty being a **gasp** not so good guy, i mean lady, Nina Foch and George McReady. It's a b-movie and darn good one too and very british

 

 

 I was wondering if you(all message board contributors)  could name one movie that wasn't shown during this summer that you feel is one that was missed, so that i could watch them or look for them.  I noticed that pickup on south street, wasn't shown but mentioned, so that one would be a great one to add, but i will add "life at stake" a b movie that i liked.  

 

 Many thanks again to all.............................

have it written down, thanks will look for it.  

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