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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: cigar joe on September 21, 2011, 03:04:32 PM



Title: Illegal (1955)
Post by: cigar joe on September 21, 2011, 03:04:32 PM
Here is another barely Noir Noir, piggybacked with The Big Steal in a Warner Brothers Film Noir Collection set.

Illegal directed by Lewis Allen and stars Edward G. Robinson, Nina Foch, DeForrest Kelley, and Hugh Marlowe with Jayne Mansfield in her debut film. Story concerns a DA (Robinson) who sends an innocent man (Kelley) to the chair, It becomes traumatic and DA Scott resigns from office goes on a bender. When he finally sobers up he goes into private practice and defends various mob connected people for good sums of money. Its a bit more Noir-ish than its companion film, but not by much, some nice  night footage inserted here and there, but that is about it, mostly courtroom type drama torpidly setbound.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/TBSteel.jpg)

Mansfield doesn't do a whole lot either in very uninteresting clothes  ::) , DVD commentary is more about the limitations of acting in this film than about style, probably because there is none what so ever, 6/10 mostly for Robinson


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 22, 2011, 01:44:34 PM
I think the film has a killer ending. >:D

I actually like the film a lot. Apparently it's a remake (of The Mouthpiece), but I've never seen the original.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: cigar joe on September 22, 2011, 03:08:16 PM
I think the film has a killer ending. >:D

I actually like the film a lot. Apparently it's a remake (of The Mouthpiece), but I've never seen the original.

Its entertaining enough, but its lacking the Noir elements that I like most  8)


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: T.H. on May 07, 2013, 12:33:15 PM
I recently watched this, didn't care for it at all. I also wouldn't classify it as noir, and there was simply way too much plot for my liking - nothing visually interesting either. I wouldn't be surprised if the screenplay was created from two old scripts, which Warners did from time to time. Robinson is the only reason to watch this.

I found some of the courtroom shenanigans ridiculous (like drinking the poison) and it was so stupid for Robinson's character to basically tell Dekker's character: "Hey you pretty much have to kill me because I'm the only one who knows the information. If you could do it by about five-ish, I'd be much appreciated. Thanks."

This has no business being included the otherwise stellar Noir vol 4 collection.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 07, 2013, 01:24:18 PM
This has no business being included the otherwise stellar Noir vol 4 collection.
You mean, with that p-o-s The Big Steal ? Illegal is at least entertaining.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: T.H. on May 07, 2013, 01:29:43 PM
I love The Big Steal. It's short, fun, has good locations, is directed by Siegel and has Mitchum and Greer.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 07, 2013, 02:47:51 PM
The Big Steal is shit


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: stanton on May 08, 2013, 01:54:10 AM
Nah, it's a fast paced and very entertaining film.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 09, 2013, 05:42:39 AM
Nah, it's shit.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: T.H. on May 12, 2013, 12:47:23 PM
I revisited The Big Steal, and I must ask, do you guys not like B movies?

It's frenetically paced, a ton of fun and has some great framing, all the exterior stuff is beautiful.

There are a couple hokey dokey moments but this is a great chase film - maybe not noir but a nice crime adventure film. I want to christen it the 'Alfredo Garcia' of the 40s.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: stanton on May 12, 2013, 01:03:51 PM
Actually I can't understand that someone who is interested in film really can dismiss The Big Steal. Well, it's Siegel and Mitchum and kinda tongue in cheek.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 14, 2013, 05:58:20 AM
Yeah, "kinda" is right. It isn't funny. None of the dialogue works. The chase is boring. The plot doesn't make any sense (if the Bendix character is in on it, why does he have to chase Mitchum and Greer? He must already know where they're going--why doesn't he just go there?). It might have worked if there was, at any time, a sense that the leads could come to harm. They closest they get to danger is when their car has to cross a really, really big pothole. The gunplay is pathetic. And why are they even in Mexico, anyway?


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 25, 2013, 03:32:53 AM
Just saw Illegal for the first time; I give it an 8/10  O0
 
-- Edward G. Robinson is one of my favorite actors of all-time; it's always a pleasure to watch him.
-- The paintings in the movie are original paintings that were in Robinson's personal collection.
-----------------------------------

CJ's three main criticisms seem to be that A) the film is too setbound, B) not very noir, and C) Jayne Mansfield doesn't seem to be there exclusively for the purpose of wearing as little clothing as possible.

With respect for the great noir scholar CJ, I say....

A) the film is based on a play, (though it was re-written for the screen; and actually, IMO, for a film based on a play, the re-write seems to be significant, as there are quite a few settings)

B) the film never asked to be considered a noir. I don't consider it a noir at all; the fact that Warner Bros. packaged it as a noir for commercial purposes shouldn't be held against the film; if anything, it should be held against Warner Bros.
I often hear people criticizing a so-called noir for not being noir enough, criticisms that they'd never make if they just thought of it as a film rather trying to have it conform ex-post facto to the film noir style.


C) Mansfield is smoking hot even if she'd be wearing a potato sack. Anyway, I think Mansfield had real acting talent and it's a shame that once she became known as a sex symbol, she was basically used just for that. I haven't seen any of her movies in which she's used exclusively for her body; besides Illegal, the only movie of hers I have seen  is The Burglar in that film, it's early in her career, she has a significant supporting role, and she was used as an actress not a stripper, and I think she did a terrific acting job there.


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: cigar joe on September 25, 2013, 05:15:52 AM
Just saw Illegal for the first time; I give it an 8/10  O0
 
-- Edward G. Robinson is one of my favorite actors of all-time; it's always a pleasure to watch him.
-- The paintings in the movie are original paintings that were in Robinson's personal collection.
-----------------------------------

CJ's three main criticisms seem to be that A) the film is too setbound, B) not very noir, and C) Jayne Mansfield doesn't seem to be there exclusively for the purpose of wearing as little clothing as possible.

With respect for the great noir scholar CJ, I say....

A) the film is based on a play, (though it was re-written for the screen; and actually, IMO, for a film based on a play, the re-write seems to be significant, as there are quite a few settings)

B) the film never asked to be considered a noir. I don't consider it a noir at all; the fact that Warner Bros. packaged it as a noir for commercial purposes shouldn't be held against the film; if anything, it should be held against Warner Bros.
I often hear people criticizing a so-called noir for not being noir enough, criticisms that they'd never make if they just thought of it as a film rather trying to have it conform ex-post facto to the film noir style.


C) Mansfield is smoking hot even if she'd be wearing a potato sack. Anyway, I think Mansfield had real acting talent and it's a shame that once she became known as a sex symbol, she was basically used just for that. I haven't seen any of her movies in which she's used exclusively for her body; besides Illegal, the only movie of hers I have seen  is The Burglar in that film, it's early in her career, she has a significant supporting role, and she was used as an actress not a stripper, and I think she did a terrific acting job there.


different strokes.....


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 25, 2013, 05:57:22 AM
... for different blokes?  ;)


Title: Re: Illegal (1955)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 25, 2013, 06:38:49 AM
I often hear people criticizing a so-called noir for not being noir enough, criticisms that they'd never make if they just thought of it as a film rather trying to have it conform ex-post facto to the film noir style.
Well said. Wouldn't things be simpler if we just dropped the "noir" classification altogether?