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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: cigar joe on January 17, 2013, 04:29:28 PM

Title: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: cigar joe on January 17, 2013, 04:29:28 PM
Cry Danger (1951) Dir by Robert Parrish. This film I liked, The opening title sequence with the Sunset Limited is cool, the quirky trailer park setting along with its resident trailer trash is unique,  and the story keeps you interested great performances by Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Nancy Morgan, Richard Erdman, William Conrad, Regis Toomey, Jean Porter,  and Jay Adler. 7/10 initially

Saw this quite a while ago on TCM but re-watched it on Netflix last night. I almost forgot how good, in a non-conventional way this one is.

Cry Danger was directed by Robert Parrish, and stars Dick Powell as just released con Rocky, Rhonda Flemming as Nancy, Richard Erdman as Delong, William Conrad as mob bookie Castro, Regis Toomey as Regis Toomey as lawman Cobb, and Jean Porter as blond dish Darlene.

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

Nice opening title sequence of passenger train making its journey to the City of Angles. At Union Station, Rocky (Powell) is met by cop Cobb (Toomey) and the man who provided his alibi (five years late) that got him released from the pen, an alcoholic  marine with a wooden leg named Delong (Erdman). Cobb buys the drinks and asks Rocky about the missing $100,000 loot from the robbery that got him incarcerated along with his best friend. Rocky sticks to his story that he was framed and that he knows nothing about the money.

After cop leaves the bar Rocky confronts Delong and he admits that he made up Rocky's alibi and that a greatfull Rocky should part with some of the hidden loot. Rocky tells him that he really doesn't know anything about the robbery but he knows who might and that is Castro (Conrad) a local mob bookie, headquartered upstairs at the Amigo Club, but he is greatfull for the alibi and befriends Delong. Before confronting Castro, Rocky first wants to visit his best friends wife Nancy (Flemming) who was a former girlfriend of Rocky's.

Delong & Rocky driving a decadent looking Nash Ambassador (that bobs up and down like a boat on an easy-glide suspension) go to find Nancy.

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

Nancy lives in a seedy run down trailer court near downtown LA. Rocky and Delong go to the court and rent a decaying trailer from a crusty ukulele playing manager while waiting for Nancy to return from work. While passing the time they befriend a cute blond sunbather named Darlene. Delong, Darlene, Rocky and Nancy start hanging out together while Rocky begins to unravel the frame that got him set to prison.

What's to like?

This is a great little noir all set in a rundown low rent neighborhood of LA replete with fleabag hotels, sleazy bars, and corner deli's.

The trailer park location is great, it provides a nice contrast to conventional all dark Noirs and it gives that creepy "just flipped over rock and bugs scurrying from the sun" feeling to the film. The park and its denizens provide a lot of amusing laughs interspersed with seriousness of the confrontations between Rocky, Castro, and Castro's henchmen.

The Nash Ambassador is a hoot, you can't help but chuckle everytime you see tough guy Rocky driving around in what looks like a ridiculous upside down bathtub.

Rocky's memorable confrontation with Castro, after Castro tries to frame him the second time.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/CD2.jpg)

Cutie Darlene who shows lots of skin while almost constantly sunbathing on a lounger in the trailer park.

A nice twist.

I'll give this one a 10/10. This needs a DVD release, please!
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 17, 2013, 10:17:34 PM
Just saw it for the first time, on TCM. The Film Noir Foundation recently restored this one,along with UCLA Film Archive. The print looked great, they did a nice job with the restoration but  they haven't gotten around to releasing a dvd yet.

I didn't love this one all that much. I'd give it a 6/10.

There's just something missing with Rhonda Fleming in black and white, you can't see her red hair and green eyes   :(
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 17, 2017, 06:45:25 PM
Image quality is pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF5N5QdFLw0
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: titoli on March 17, 2017, 09:40:50 PM
CJ gives it 10\10 and I can't see why. To me it makes a generous 6/10 only because of Powell (and Conrad, especially the russian roulette scene), the rest is cheap and seen before.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: cigar joe on March 18, 2017, 02:24:47 AM
CJ gives it 10\10 and I can't see why. To me it makes a generous 6/10 only because of Powell (and Conrad, especially the russian roulette scene), the rest is cheap and seen before.



"It's perfect, trailer parks, trashy dames, Bunker Hill, bathtub cars, you have lousy noir taste, "one man's crap is another man's cannoli". The Professor below talking about Highway Dragnet puts it beautifully, emphasis on the last line.

"The movie’s “man on the run” premise is a cliché, but it’s the sort of cliché that got that way because it’s such great film fodder. It goes something like this: Conte’s character has just drummed out of the Marine Corps after a rough stint slogging a flamethrower up and down hills in Korea. With a few bucks in his pocket and plenty of time on his hands he heads for the Vegas strip. He plans to connect with an old pal (he never makes it) and do the strip before heading west to renovate his dilapidated fixer-upper on California’s Salton Sea. While waiting on his buddy, Conte gets bored with the penny slots and wanders into the casino bar — wood-paneled like a basement rec-room and chock-full of lounge lizards and greasy pompadours. He settles into an unmanned stool right beside a peroxide blonde, Mary Beth Hughes, dolled up but cheap-looking, two sheets to the wind and working on three. The stage is set for the best sequence in Highway Dragnet — a scene so authentic that it only makes the subsequent letdown all the more painful.

Bars make for a useful narrative setting in cheap filmmaking, and are consequently a B-noir staple. But they also resonate with me, because I spent more than a decade standing at the doors of shitty dives with my arms crossed, trying to make like a tough guy — and occasionally having to be one. I’ve seen my share unpleasant things in the thousands of hours I’ve spent eyeballing barrooms, and I have an understanding of, and undoubtedly some affection for those sad souls who rot away on barstools — perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to the losers that populate crime films. The bar offers filmmakers a convenient place to aim characters at one another, to set them on a collision course, particularly characters of the opposite sex. What better symbolizes the seediness of the city than the bar? What could be a more emblematic of recklessness, danger, and the allure of easy sex? What better place to be noticed, or to go unnoticed; to conduct nefarious business or a illicit affair? And then there’s the booze itself, any screenwriter’s most expedient gateway to sex, violence, or oblivion — in life, as in art. Bars are often put to such purpose in film noir, so it’s hardly surprising that Highway Dragnet, a 70-minute chase picture, opens with a man and a woman sparring over drinks. The scene is brief, spectacular, and best of all: absolutely authentic — so I’m going to slobber over it. If you are anxious for a summary, just go watch the movie — it’s plenty short enough, and if I know you it’s already in your instant queue.

The scene gets moving after Conte does the polite thing and offers Hughes a drink in exchange for the vacant seat, currently occupied by her handbag. She hungrily accepts, but not before making a floozy’s feint at good-girl morality: “I’m not here for that.” Oh, yes she is. They chit-chat about their pasts, how they each got from there to here, with both actors coming over as only casually interested in one another — or maybe suspiciously disinterested. Here are two performers who understand the way that life-hardened souls interact in a bar, nursing secret little hopes as they rattle the ice in their drinks. Men and women let their guards down over cocktails, sitting side-by-side instead of across from one another. Everything comes so much more easily when looking up doesn’t mean looking at, and lighting a cigarette isn’t necessarily foreplay, it’s just another step in a tried-and-tested ritual. Conte and Hughes intuit all of this, and their performances take on the unexpected air of truth.

He’s good, but she’s great, playing tipsy just right, Hughes’s head not quite steady as she smiles in his direction, her brassiere showing under her dress as she shifts unsteadily on her stool. The pair share the easy banter of those who believe that sex is either impossible or inevitable, and their certainty is what makes this scene so good: Hughes thinks she’s hooked him while Conte is just wasting time. She tells him she’s an ex-fashion model — her glossy is hanging on the wall, just over there, on your right — yet he blunders when he says, “Hey, you were really beautiful then.” There are few creatures more perilous than the woman sitting alone at the bar: her vulnerability makes her dangerous, and Hughes reacts like a classic mad drunk: she gets aggressive. Conte grabs her, pinning her arms behind back, but to his surprise she smiles — she’s finally getting what she wanted the whole time: human contact. Hard or soft, it doesn’t matter. Her body relaxes and she leers into a kiss, just like she planned it that way, and the scene fades out. It’s a moment that reminds me why I love B-pictures: sometimes, because of their meager budgets and lowbrow subject matter, these tawdry movies get it exactly right.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 18, 2017, 06:31:30 AM
CJ gives it 10\10 and I can't see why. To me it makes a generous 6/10 only because of Powell (and Conrad, especially the russian roulette scene), the rest is cheap and seen before.
You must watch this with the Italian dub, or with bad sub-titles. If you watched it without titles in its original dub AND you understood English you'd note the film's strongest quality: the dialog. For snappy patter the great noirs are these, in descending order: Double Indemnity; Out of the Past; Murder, My Sweet; Cry Danger. In some films all the good lines go to a single character; not so here, where Powell and Erdman trade lines so fast it's hard for listeners to keep up. Even for listeners who know the language.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: Novecento on March 18, 2017, 07:07:57 AM
For snappy patter the great noirs are these, in descending order: Double Indemnity; Out of the Past; Murder, My Sweat; Cry Danger.

- The Sweet Smell of Success?
- The Big Sleep (particularly the lesser IMO theatrical release)?
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: titoli on March 18, 2017, 07:29:11 AM
You must watch this with the Italian dub, or with bad sub-titles.

I'll follow your advice.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 18, 2017, 09:56:49 AM
I'll follow your advice.
Again your lack of English understanding is telling. Here "must" is not prescriptive, but shows probability.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 18, 2017, 10:11:42 AM
- The Sweet Smell of Success?
Not a noir.
Quote
- The Big Sleep (particularly the lesser IMO theatrical release)?
This might go into 5th place. I like the stuff at the beginning between Bogart and Bacall and between Bogart and the butler. After that there isn't much I like in terms of witty byplay: the girls Bogart meets say obvious things; Bogart and Bacall never recapture that earlier give-and-take (the exchange using the horse-racing metaphor is particularly strained); there's nothing good between Bogart and Toomey; maybe a little of the Bogart-Eddie Mars dialog works. No, the best Chandler (and sub-Chandler) chat is in DI and Murder, My Sweet. It doesn't get any better than, "My bank account was trying to crawl under a duck."
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 18, 2017, 10:27:30 AM
Image quality is pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF5N5QdFLw0
Wow, it was up yesterday, down today. The rights holders must read this board!
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: titoli on March 18, 2017, 11:00:22 AM
Again your lack of English understanding is telling. Here "must" is not prescriptive, but shows probability.

Probability of what?
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 18, 2017, 11:29:27 AM
Probability of what?
Probability that you're an ass.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: titoli on March 18, 2017, 02:18:08 PM
Probability that you're an ass.

At least it is not a certainty, as it is for you.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 18, 2017, 03:22:03 PM
At least it is not a certainty, as it is for you.
What a comeback! Do write all your own material, or does your sister help you?
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 18, 2017, 08:23:07 PM
Again your lack of English understanding is telling. Here "must" is not prescriptive, but shows probability.

Sorry my American friend, you're wrong here. You should have written, "You must HAVE WATCHED this ..." You were trying to say that you assumed that he watched it that way.

 The way you wrote it, it sounds like you were telling him to do it that way.


Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: titoli on March 18, 2017, 08:35:22 PM
Sorry my American friend, you're wrong here. You should have written, "You must HAVE WATCHED this ..." You were trying to say that you assumed that he watched it that way.

 The way you wrote it, it sounds like you were telling him to do it that way.




What I was trying to elicit from Herr Professor himself. But, as usual, as he realized his glaring mistake, he changed his course. After all these years he still thinks I'm Japanese.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: titoli on March 18, 2017, 08:40:20 PM
And can't imagine the kind of PM he's going to send to his lawyer.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 18, 2017, 10:00:48 PM
What I was trying to elicit from Herr Professor himself. But, as usual, as he realized his glaring mistake, he changed his course. After all these years he still thinks I'm Japanese.

So Mussolini had a Jap cousin after all? :o
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: titoli on March 18, 2017, 11:03:13 PM
So Mussolini had a Jap cousin after all? :o


Ask Herr Professor.
(These are the times I miss the late Groggy. :-\)
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 19, 2017, 09:12:15 AM
Sorry my American friend, you're wrong here. You should have written, "You must HAVE WATCHED this ..." You were trying to say that you assumed that he watched it that way.

 The way you wrote it, it sounds like you were telling him to do it that way.
Sorry, my journalist friend, but you are an idiot. I used simple present tense to indicate a habitual activity, because I know titoli has watched the movie more than once and will probably do so again. "You must watch it" means: "when you watch it, you probably watch it with the Italian dub or with bad subtitles . . ."

Do you really make your living writing in English?
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 19, 2017, 09:17:01 AM
What I was trying to elicit from Herr Professor himself. But, as usual, as he realized his glaring mistake, he changed his course. After all these years he still thinks I'm Japanese.
As I indicated above, I made no mistake. There are 12 verb tenses in English and I am master of them all. Not so Mr. Dipshit and Destroy. At least you have the excuse of not being a native user of the language. Your bad English comes naturally.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 19, 2017, 10:18:12 AM
Sorry, my journalist friend, but you are an idiot. I used simple present tense to indicate a habitual activity, because I know titoli has watched the movie more than once and will probably do so again. "You must watch it" means: "when you watch it, you probably watch it with the Italian dub or with bad subtitles . . ."

Do you really make your living writing in English?


The way you wrote it would only make sense if he is constantly watching this movie, rather than referring to a specific time that he watched it. Who the hell watches CRY DANGER regularly besides you, captain of the one-man Richard Erdman Fan Club?

Let's leave it to titoli to answer: have you seen this movie more than once? If yes, you are an idiot along with my idiot friend who teaches Jap kids how to bungle the Engrish ranguage
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: titoli on March 19, 2017, 11:11:13 AM


Let's leave it to titoli to answer: have you seen this movie more than once? If yes, you are an idiot along with my idiot friend who teaches Jap kids how to bungle the Engrish ranguage

As I said, this is an occasion where I miss the twice-dead Groggy so much: he really knew how to take Herr Professor Un-rat master of 12 tenses for a ride leaving him no quarter (I have no heart for that. And no time). Anyway, you're taking me for a fool, watching again a movie I rated 6/10? To watch again a movie it must score from 8/10 up. If I find the time). And when I wrote here that I had seen it again? You believe in jinx bullshit? But here's the correct use of the verb I take from some site:

Expresses positive logical assumptions (Must + have + past participle)

    That must have been my mother calling me last night, nobody else has my number.
    He must have won the lottery with the new house and car he has just bought.
    She must have been at home - her car was there.

Of course, if I quote from Webster (but I won't waste time this time like it happened a few years ago) he will say that the daily use of the language is different from the one found in grammars or dictionaries, so I will leave it at that.  Let him teach japs.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 19, 2017, 11:53:09 AM
As I said, this is an occasion where I miss the twice-dead Groggy so much: he really knew how to take Herr Professor Un-rat master of 12 tenses for a ride leaving him no quarter (I have no heart for that. And no time). Anyway, you're taking me for a fool, watching again a movie I rated 6/10? To watch again a movie it must score from 8/10 up. If I find the time). And when I wrote here that I had seen it again? You believe in jinx bullshit? But here's the correct use of the verb I take from some site:

Expresses positive logical assumptions (Must + have + past participle)

    That must have been my mother calling me last night, nobody else has my number.
    He must have won the lottery with the new house and car he has just bought.
    She must have been at home - her car was there.

Of course, if I quote from Webster (but I won't waste time this time like it happened a few years ago) he will say that the daily use of the language is different from the one found in grammars or dictionaries, so I will leave it at that.  Let him teach japs.



exactly my point: nobody (other than dj and cj) would watch this movie more than once. Therefore the way Jenkins wrote is wrong.

 Anyway, he is wrong for other reasons, which an English teacher should know: a speaker has to speak in a way that he will not be misunderstood. If he speaks in a way that can be easily misunderstood, he is wrong - listeners should not have to analyze and debate his words.

 If I ever have a child with a Japanese girl, I will not send the kid to learn English by Jenks.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: XhcnoirX on March 19, 2017, 12:04:22 PM
Good noir, proving once again that (IMHO) Dick Powell was one of the best at delivering hard-boiled lines. It's an easy 8/10 for me.
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: Novecento on March 19, 2017, 03:41:11 PM
Not a noir.

The Sweet Smell of Success is a noir in my book
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: Spikeopath on October 14, 2017, 12:03:57 AM
Weeping Wit.

Cry Danger is directed by Robert Parish and written by William Bowers from a story by Jerome Cady. It stars Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Erdman, Regis Toomey and William Conrad. Music is by Paul Dunlap and Emil Newman and cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc.

It often makes for most interesting conversation in film fan circles, that of film noir, what constitutes it? what does each viewer demand? what is your favourite strand to this most desirable style of film making? Rarely does a group of noir heads agree wholesale, which of course only further strengthens the argument on why many love it so. I raise this as a point of opening reference because the first review of Cry Danger that I happened upon questioned its noir worth! Madness I tell you...

Plot is on the surface simplicity, Rocky Mulloy (Powell) is a man wrongly imprisoned for five years and now is out and now out to nail the real perpetrator of the crime. Cops are interested in his whereabouts, as they are the missing money from the crime he was locked up for. So far so standard crime revenger then? Not so for we are in noirville, in a less affluent part of Los Angeles, where the tale is spun out from the center point of a trailer park. Here we find Mulloy armed with calmness, toughness and always a dry quip on the lips. He's accompanied by Delong (Erdman), a crippled alcoholic army veteran, himself full of witticisms as he takes his alcoholism in a resigned stride. The cops are led by Detectice Lt. Gus Cobb (Toomey), a wise head, grizzled and not shy of razor sharp dialogue himself. And the babe of the piece, Nancy Morgan (Fleming), she's an ex of Mulloy, but husband of Mulloy's pal, a man who himself is rotting in prison for the crime at the core of this all. Add in creepy mustachioed villain Louie Castro (Conrad) and a weasel ukulele playing trailer park manager (Jay Adler), and you get a noir stew ripe for sampling.

As the dialogue pings about the story with waspish glee, the narrative holds tight via strong thematically noir traits such as greed and betrayal, with the added bonus of an ending worthy of the noir name. Production wise it's a job well done, the moderate budget not a worry, in fact it's only come the end of the show you realise you just had a pic running at 80 minutes that was without padding and pointless filler. All scenes are relevant here, and such is the sharpness of this character driven piece, you need to hang on every word and character interactions and reactions. In an ideal world there would be a ream of chiaroscuro to aid the mood, but Biroc and Parrish show skills to compliment a number of scenes via lighting and useful back and foreground locations. Cast are on top form, led by a superbly laconic Powell (sarcasm in a suit), to which this rounds out as one for noir lovers to put on their to see lists. 8/10
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 06, 2018, 11:28:44 PM
Eddie Muller's intro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAeytSqzFpg

Eddie Muller's afterword https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rw1Co17bW4
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: T.H. on July 27, 2021, 10:40:04 AM
The Bunker Hill locations, Dick Powell and the dialogue really elevate a solid but unspectacular plot. There's a very liberated feel here for a movie shot in '50 or '51 that I didn't pick up on my initial view years ago. There's a great wide shot of cops and criminals exchanging gun fire on location, plus some Russian roulette thrown in there. Not too shabby for '51. The Olive bluray is very nice and would have to be on the verge of going out of print at some point. A-
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 27, 2021, 03:15:42 PM
The Bunker Hill locations, Dick Powell and the dialogue really elevate a solid but unspectacular plot. There's a very liberated feel here for a movie shot in '50 or '51 that I didn't pick up on my initial view years ago. There's a great wide shot of cops and criminals exchanging gun fire on location, plus some Russian roulette thrown in there. Not too shabby for '51. The Olive bluray is very nice and would have to be on the verge of going out of print at some point. A-
I agree with everything you said, but . . . how can you skip mentioning Richard Erdman?
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 27, 2021, 03:37:46 PM
I agree with everything you said, but . . . how can you skip mentioning Richard Erdman?
I was going to say the same thing as soon as I saw T.H.'s post. But I figured I'd let dj have the honors, as he is chairman of the Richard Erdman Fan Club, and I knew it wouldn't be long before he jumped in. It wasn't ....
Title: Re: Cry Danger (1951)
Post by: T.H. on July 27, 2021, 04:01:41 PM
Darlene: You drinkin' that stuff so early?

Delong: Listen, doll girl, when you drink as much as I do, you gotta start early.


Yeah, definitely an oversight on my part.