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Topics - cigar joe

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1
Off-Topic Discussion / Hell Bound (1957) Tail Fin Noir
« on: September 30, 2021, 03:48:27 AM »
Hell Bound (1957) Tail Fin Noir

Here is a great review Hell Bound from fellow noir aficionada Jessica_Rabbit69. I thank Ms. Rabbit for pointing out this little gem of a noir from Bel-Air Productions (sounds like the name of dive hotel on Bunker Hill), watching this film was a real hoot.

"Jessica_Rabbit69 ? Thu Oct 6 2016 IMDb

At 69 minutes, this low-renter is a taut little crime caper that doesn?t overstay its welcome. Director William J. Hole worked almost exclusively in television, Hell Bound was his only Noir. He doesn?t bother with existentialist doom and gloom lurking in the shadows, moral ambiguity and obsession. He goes straight for violence, cynicism and a perfect heist.

The cinematography by Carl Guthrie is very good, though it is lacking the typical light and shadow play. The film is mostly fully lit, however, the movie lives off many wonderful exterior scenes of bleak industrial sites. The film is worth watching alone for the last scene of a chase through the desolate Los Angeles trolley graveyard, one of the most creative shooting locations I have seen.

John Russell plays utterly ruthless Jordan, the mastermind of a surplus narcotics heist worth $2 million from a cargo ship. He?ll supply a bogus seaman found adrift as the sole ?survivor? of a fishing boat accident, a fake health inspector called in to check up on him and a phony nurse, Russell?s girlfriend.

Russell just needs backing from crime boss Harry Quantro (Frank Fenton) who is willing to stake the heist under the condition that his girlfriend Paula (Playboy Playmate of January 1957 June Blair!) plays the nurse who will get the drugs off the ship. One needs insurance after all. The plan goes to pieces of course when Paula genuinely falls in love with unwitting ambulance driver Stuart Whitman.

The Noir cycle was coming to an end, and this is a late-entry B Noir that packs a punch or two. Wonderfully pulpy and seedy, it has everything a proper B Noir should have. Sexy dames, suggestive situations, good dialogue, harsh violence and a soundtrack by Les Baxter.

However it was 1957, and though Hell Bound was still Noir in the classic style, crime movies were heading towards a different direction. There is almost a bit of exploitation in the gleeful depiction of brutal violence here. The violence in the movie doesn?t shy away from ugliness. Jordan runs down a witness with his car, beats one of his cronies in the heist to a pulp, and also beats up Paula before he knives her.

Compared to other heist movies like Asphalt Jungle and The Killing, Hell Bound forgoes the sentimentality of earlier Noirs. Its entire philosophy is different. Very human down-and-out characters who are only looking for a way out are nowhere to be found here. No existential dreamers whose longing for a better life spurs them on and who have the audiences? sympathies all the way. Hell Bound is way too mean-spirited for that. A robbery is strictly business.

Russell had the very original idea of filming an ?infomercial? about his perfect crime to get the financial backing from Quantro he needs, but his real-life heist is anything but. It isn?t that one fateful mistake that ruins the perfect crime here, frankly Russell?s entire execution of the plan was a wreck from the get-go and could only end one way. His failure isn?t a case of ?I did something wrong once?. His recruits include a junkie, a neurotic unbalanced health inspector on the verge of a breakdown and a dame who goes soft. It isn?t fate that trips him up, it?s simply miscalculation which make the heist go south. Fool-proof plans are never that.

Very hunky John Russell (before he became the upright lawman of the West) is the epitome of cool here. Absolutely amoral, ice-cold, vicious and sadistic, he could be straight out of a Tarantino movie. Unflinchingly, he kills everybody who stands in his way and in the end he dies the way he lived.

June Blair makes for a great and very luscious Paula. She?s as pure as the driven slush. As a phony nurse, she doesn?t really know the ins and outs of her supposed profession, but that shouldn't pose any difficulties. She knows she has her own qualifications for the job. ?There isn?t any part of the anatomy I don?t know, even with my eyes closed?, she coos. Kicking off her shoes means it?s action time for some lucky guy.

The only jarring note in an otherwise nifty little caper is that Paula survives the knife attack and gets her happy ending. She really shouldn't have, it goes against the Noir code, but it's a minor flaw in an otherwise very entertaining film."


The "infomercial" must have cost Jordan (Russel) quite a bit of moola it has very high production values, besides it lays out the whole crime to all his movie cast and crew, and lets don't forget his narrator who minutely details all the action on the screen, Jordan would have had to commit a mass execution of everyone involved to keep anyone from talking, it's chuckle worthy when you think about it .

Paula (Blair) is very hot to trot with with almost anybody wearing pants. Her "boyfriend" Harry the money man for the job even remarks, at the heist meeting, to Jordan "Paula, like she has two heads on her shoulders, one of them for just thinking....." It's left to your imagination what she does with her "other" head. Later when the meeting is over, naughty Paula asks Jordan to help her put on her shoes, when he obliges she flips the recliner up so it suggests that he has a view up her skirt. Later when Paula has Jordan cornered in an apartment, she moves in for the kill only to find that Jordan is not responding in a normal way, she asks him "you better see a doctor Jordan you have a low blood count."

There is also this whole elaborate meeting of the junkie (George E. Mather) and "Daddy" (Dehl Berti) his creepy looking pusher sitting at a ringside table at a nightclub strip show. The junkie is itchin' and twitchin', slightly freaking out, needing a fix, while the pusher ignores him sitting calmly wearing dark sunglasses, and slicked back hair who is drinking a glass of milk. While the junkie pleads, the stripper (Virginia De Lee who was a cover girl who also BTW appeared in Playboy) gyrates directly in front of the pusher. The Pusher tells the junkie "shut up I want to enjoy this" You don't notice till the end of the strippers set that the pusher is holding on to a seeing eye dog.

Another great example of a Noir where tail fins are very noticeable putting this film solidly into the Tail Fin Noir list. Again an excellent little Noir that won't disappoint. The screencaps are from the MGM limited edition DVD entertaining. 7/10 - CJ

2
Off-Topic Discussion / Nightmare Alley (2021)
« on: September 18, 2021, 10:41:13 PM »

3
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / TCM screening 9/6/2021
« on: September 06, 2021, 10:01:54 PM »
Whatever release that they used (extended cut) the grass was way too green especially noticeable at Sad Hill during Ecstasy Of Gold should be more of a burnt grass yellow.

4
Off-Topic Discussion / Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987)
« on: September 06, 2021, 07:30:21 AM »
Directed by Norman Mailer, written by Norman Mailer and by Robert Towne(uncredited).
Starring Ryan O'Neal,Isabella Rossellini, Debra Stipe, Lawrence Tierney, Wings Hauser, Frances Fisher, and Penn Jillette

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fruwz-waPU

Supposed to have been restored

Based on his novel, Norman Mailer adapted and directed this film of mystery and murder. An alcoholic ex-con/writer finds himself implicated in murderous plots but cannot seem to remember much. He sets out to investigate the case on his own. Featured are performances by Ryan O'Neal, Isabella Rossellini, Debra Sundland and Lawrence Tierney.

"It?s considered one of the worst movies ever made and one of the best ?so bad, it?s good? movies ever also. I saw it a long time ago expecting a neo-noir but came away laughing my ass off instead."

Anybody here see it? I don't remember it at all.

5
Off-Topic Discussion / Not cell phone friendly
« on: August 17, 2021, 05:47:29 PM »
Man is this site not cell phone user friendly. Being stuck in Hawaii and using the phone for most on line browsing bings the shortcomings home. Oh well leaving to go back to the real world tomorrow.

6
Off-Topic Discussion / Native Son (1951)
« on: February 23, 2021, 05:52:21 PM »
Director: Pierre Chenal (Sinners of Paris (1958)) written by Pierre Chenal and Richard Wright and based on the novel by Richard Wright. The film stars Richard Wright, Jean Wallace, Nicholas Joy Gloria Madison, Charles Cane, and George Rigaud.

Interesting film noir that delves into race relations with Buenos Aries filling in for Chicago.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042781/?ref_=tt_urv




7
Off-Topic Discussion / The Killers (1964)
« on: February 01, 2021, 03:44:33 AM »
Combined thread.

Quote from: titoli on February 05, 2011, 03:27:05 PM

The Killers (1964) I saw it first in the early 70's (but probably I'm wrong there, it seems that this got a circulation visa in 1978. The dubbing though seems like it was done in the '60's. I'm curious about the vicissitudes of the movie in Italy) in a cinema and was amazed. I saw it again twice on tv and was amazed again. Today I watched it again on a big screen (but, alas, the italian dvd is fullscreen) and, again, this is still one of my favourite movies. Still I give it only a 9\10 because I don't like Cassavetes, especially in the beginning (his grins while driving are ridiculous) though I like him when he discovers the truth. And I don't like Gulager, who tries his best to portray a nevrotic individual besieged by tics and with sudden violence eruptions but who, to me, looks rather nerdy, especially as he mostly seen shoulder to shoulder with the real thing. I also think that the racing sequence is too long). 

cigar joe

I don't recall ever seeing this film, so I watched it tonight, interesting retelling of the story, now I'll have to go back and watch the original version again, and possibly search out Hemingway's short story. I won't give it as high a rating as titoli, though.  Aside from Marvin, Akins, and Dickinson I really didn't like any of the characters.

Cassavetes again looks like a demented Jerry Lewis grinning and slightly cross-eyed. I just can't take his character seriously. The racing sequences are way too long (but I'm not a racing fan so it may be different strokes for different folks) and TV production values pale this film in comparison to the 46 version. Again for me the look of the stylized Noir lighting and sets just puts the original in another class, its worth a look to see Ronald Reagan playing a crook entertaining 7/10.

drinkanddestroy

Eddie showed the 1964 remake of The Killers on Noir Alley, I posted the intro/outro in the thread for the 1946 film
http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11346.msg202225#msg202225

8
Off-Topic Discussion / The Flame (1947)
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:57:38 PM »
A Christmas - New Year Noir Meller.



Directed by John H. Auer written by Lawrence Kimblefro a story by Robert T. Shannon.

Here's a "C" Noir from Republic Pictures that's just a bit of a ratchet up from every Hugo Hass "prodution" I've seen. But what Hugo always got right is the inclusion of a sleazy blonde bombshell in every one of his Noirs. A blonde who knew the sore and could always make a living on her back in a pinch

Auger includes a foreign born blonde but instead of sexy she comes off demure and mousy. Vera Ralston, a born in Czechoslovakia ice skater, is playing an ex French Nurse, she must be Republic's answer to Belita, another foreign blonde who failed to ignite in America.

Auer went to to make two other excellent noir The City That Never Sleeps and a favorite of mine Hell's Half Acre.

What The Flame has going for it is a great opening Noir eight minutes that has a jazzy almost rockabilly soundtrack, and then periodic appearances from Broderick Crawford and Constance Dowling which tend to make up for the draggy soap opera sequences.

The opening eight
https://www.facebook.com/isidore.ducasse.35912/videos/103344365074080/

After those first eight minutes the flame out begins when we get to the flashback. Much like The Set Up,( thought it's actual runtime is 1:37 minutes)  The Flame in real time takes place in the hour before 12 on New Years Eve.

9
Off-Topic Discussion / Lee Van Ceef in Raybans
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:22:15 PM »

10
Other Films / Frenchie (1950)
« on: December 05, 2020, 11:54:18 AM »
Directed by Louis King, written by Oscar Brodney (story and screenplay) starring Joel McCrea, Shelley Winters, Marie Windsor, Elsa Lanchester, John Russell, Regis Toomey. and Paul Kelly.

Frenchie Fontaine sells her successful gambling business in New Orleans nd heads West to find the men who killed her father, Frank Dawson. But she only knows one of the two who did and she's determined to find out the other. Entertaining to watch. Winters looks pretty good in this one. 6.5/10

11
Off-Topic Discussion / Nightfall (1956)
« on: November 09, 2020, 04:02:05 AM »
Directed by Jacques Tourneur, written by Stirling Silliphant based on a David Goodis novel. The film stars  Aldo Ray, Anne Bancroft, Brian Keith.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049552/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3

This never had a formal entry just a daisy chain of comments.

12
Off-Topic Discussion / Billy Bathgate (1991)
« on: October 30, 2020, 07:38:28 AM »
Directed by Robert Benton and written Tom Stoppard and based on the noel by E.L. Doctorow. Saw this before probably back in 1991 when it premiered in a theater. Watched the DVD last night. With all the water that's gone under the bridge in the intervening years, I was more impressed this go round. It's the story about the love that blossoms between Billy (Loren Dean), a teenaged gofer for Jewish Gangster Dutch Schultz played by Dustin Hoffman) and a sluming socialite wayward wife Drew Preston (Nicole Kidman). The rest of the cast is impressive Bruce Willis as Bo Weinberg, Steven Hill   as Otto Berman
Steve Buscemi as Irving and Stanley Tucci as Lucky Luciano. 7/10

13
Once Upon A Time In The West / According to Jack Elam
« on: August 16, 2020, 03:03:51 AM »
According to Jack Elam, there are five stages to a character actor?s career: (1) Who is Jack Elam? (2) Get me Jack Elam. (3) Get me a Jack Elam. (4) Get me a young Jack Elam. (5) Who?s Jack Elam?

14
Off-Topic Discussion / The Getaway (1994)
« on: August 14, 2020, 06:34:59 PM »
Well I finally rectified not seeing the 1994 remake. I wasn't expecting too much but was pleasantly surprised. I knew it was Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger taking the place of McQueen and MacGraw but didn't realize that the rest of the cast was a future all star line up. James Woods excepted Michael Madsen, Jennifer Tilly, Richard Farnsworth and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The others David Morse and James Stephens are OK. Some sequences are a bit more fleshed (wink, wink) out.

Director Roger Donaldson since he was making almost a shot by shot remake of Peckinpah couldn't screw it up too bad. I give it an 8/10

15
Off-Topic Discussion / Eddie Constantine
« on: July 28, 2020, 09:08:59 AM »
So here's the story. I'd seen him before a long time ago in Alphaville then a few years ago in an Italian gangster flick that titoli sent as a avi file, don't remember its name. So with those two films as a sampler I wasn't impressed.....

Then I was checking in a similar fashion the films of Diana Dors. Again like with Eddie Id seen her long ago in The Long Haul with Victor Mature then caught her again in The Unholy Wife. The first film wasn't much of a showcase but the second was better, however the film wasn't as good as it could have been. So my next sample was Tread Softly Stranger where Dors is a real sexpot who looks like she is going to constantly spill her boobs out of her various tops. It had some amusing in your face visual sexual innuendos like a giant rod poking into a hot furnace at an iron works rather than a fade to black when Dors and George Baker have sex.

So next up for Dors was Room 43 aka Passport to Shame more of an ensemble cast about the sex trade in London. The film also starred Herbert Lom as the pimp, Odile Versois, Brenda de Banzie, Robert Brown and Eddie Constantine in the lead playing a Canadian cab driver and speaking American English. That film was a 7-8/10 and Eddie was great it was an eye opener.

Eddie Constantine looks and sounds like he could be Michael Shannon's father.


Eddie Constantine


Michael Shannon

So I then fortunately found La m?me vert de aka Poison Ivy (1953) in an English language release, its cut slightly (there is a new Blu where you can see what got cut mostly a strip show act at the Shipwreck Bar) but its impressive for the second film by the director and first starring role for Constantine as character Lemule "Lemmie" Caution. Plus its shot all in Casablanca (no Rick's place though lol) and environs it was a decent 7/10. The English cut is on Amazon Prime the Blu is streaming on OK

Another eye opener is the Lemmie Caution US FBI character, who is a combination of James Bond 007 without the gadgets and Matt Helm's womanizer, always with a cigarette and drink in his hand and a bit of Daren McGavin's toned down version of Mike Hammer.

The Lemmie Caution character caught on in France and Europe like Lex Baker with Old Shatterhand in Germany and like Eastwood's The Man With No Name phenom caught on in Italy and eventually with the world.

Now trying to find more Caution flicks especially the second flick This Man Is Dangerous (1953) which is only available for streaming on Alocine and even though I joined, not available to stream.  :'(

Missing from any (known to me) sources are Dames Get Along aka Les femmes s'en balancent (1954) and Diamond Machine aka Vous pigez? (1955)

I have found Women Are Like That aka Comment qu'elle est? (1960) which was another 6-7/10 on Amazon Prime and the Italian titled Passoporto Falso which is ?a va ?tre ta f?te (1960) and is very well made I'm about 18 minutes into it on Youtube

I haven't searched for Ladies' Man aka Lemmy pour les dames (1962) Your Turn, Darling aka ? toi de faire... mignonne (1963)

After the above came Alphaville(1965)
 



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