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January 27, 2023, 01:17:22 AM

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Off-Topic Discussion / Fugitive Lady (1950) An american noir in Rome
« on: October 25, 2021, 02:58:57 PM »
Though is a British-Iitalian production. That's funny, isn't it? First of all, the italian titles (I watched the italian dub: La strada buia/The Dark Road) list Marino Girolami as the director under the supervision of Salkow. Probably Girolami was on the set to help with locations and actors, I think the movie is by Salkow. But the interesting thing is that the movie is apparently based on a novel which on the italian titles is by Philip Yordan but at IMDB is by Doris Miles Disney. Funny, isn't it? So the movie is a straight crime story based on the investigations of a insurance operative (played by an italian actor I don't think I ever saw but who is well cast, also donning a mackintosh and a fedora in classic PI style). There is a femme fatale (but, alas, only plotwise because Janis Paige has got only youth on her side), married to a rich man only for his money (Ciannelli) but betraying him with Serato (who, with Marchetti, is the only actor I know here). The first hour is shot in plain style, with few roman exteriors and lot of footage in interiors, especially in what is called here, probably following the original english dialogue, "GP club" which is actually Le Grotte del Piccione, most famous restaurant and night club in Rome in the '50's and '60's. But the last 30 minutes are quite noir, shot at night, with heavy rain, wind, and a lot of classic noir elements which justify its inclusion in the history of the genre. 6-7/10

Once Upon A Time In The West / Fonda rating the movie
« on: October 25, 2021, 08:05:07 AM »
Everybody here knows Parkinson's interview so I won't bother with it. But this show from 1972  has just been posted:

and OUTW doesn't make it in his favourite two.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / The Skeleton
« on: October 24, 2021, 01:16:57 PM »

I had never heard of this before and I don't know what is the source either. Anyway, the skeleton looks as bogus as hell.

Other Films / Rust (2021?)
« on: October 22, 2021, 02:37:52 AM »

Off-Topic Discussion / Backlash (1947) another not noir
« on: October 16, 2021, 01:44:57 PM »
But watchable as a crime movie. Still some insists on considering it a noir for unfathomable, to me, reasons. Photographically is a noir only for a couple of minutes toward the end. Plotwise it reminds me more of serials of the '30's. Based on flashbacks, it has got a sustained pace and good dialogues. This is the first movie of the era where I saw a white man courting a black girl (throwing a surefire line in a insecure italian:"I bet you can make a dish of pasta with meatballs"). A good timewaster: 6/10

Off-Topic Discussion / Gambling House (1950) Half a noir
« on: October 14, 2021, 03:32:49 AM »
The other half you can skip it: about deportation, immigration and the romantic side with Mature falling for (and being redeemed by) Terry Moore, about whom I wondered all the time how she ever got the part. But  the beginning and the end of the movie are at least original and in noir style shot, and a good  casino "hold-up" scene. Except for a couple of minutes entirely shot in studio. Mature is perfect in his usual good bad guy part. Bendix, as the villiain, doesn't convince me (as he never does in any part). 6/10

Other Films / La piu' grande rapina del West (Halleluja for Django) (1967)
« on: September 03, 2021, 02:46:00 PM »
A gang of bank robbers, led by a Burl Ives clone (Walter Barnes) holds in thrall a whole town. Hilton (the town drunkard) and Betts (a gang member) get rid of the bandits and share (almost) the loot. This would earn a full 7/10 if it weren't too long (107') (the whole stable scene could have been cut). But it is full of plot twists and stunts (notably the way Hilton leaves at will his prison cell) and so it is not boring.

It has an excellent beginning and a good final part but what is in between makes little sense, logically: Berger-Sartana frees from prison three brothers to lead him to gold stolen from the army. The problem is that he does nothing to prevent them from table turning on him and when he escapes from death there is this long sequence of him stealing guns from them while the two survivors (he has killed one)  get ahold of all the horses. So Berger starts wandering in the "desert" (well, kinda) haunted by them who, instead  of making it home and get the hidden loot and make themselves scarce, insist on wanting to get back their guns which Berger (for no apparent reason) carries with him. Still, even thanx to the good actors (Preston and Berti) and a couple of good-looking females (unexpected the episode with the woman rescuing Berger) it earns a good 6/10. The OST by Martelli is under par for his usual good standards.

Other Films / Inginocchiati straniero... i cadaveri non fanno ombra! (1970)
« on: September 03, 2021, 02:00:40 AM »
By Fidani's standards this is a kolossal: at least 50 people can be watched on the screen and the women are real, not just men in drag. The story is a mess, though if some plot twists had been better concocted might have earned a 6/10 rating for the flick. For example, Jack Betts appiies a kind of silencer to his gun, but for no apparent reason. again, Betts and Borelli concoct a plan to deceive the killers, but the viewer doesn't know what the plan is and we know that Betts planned to deceive Borelli who, instead, deceived Betts by killing (we don't know how) Manni and so on. And the title: yes, the corpses make no shadow. But why a stranger ought to kneel first? Anyway, this gets a 4-5/10.

Other Films / Perche' uccidi ancora (Why Go On Killing?) (1965)
« on: September 02, 2021, 03:31:18 PM »
Steffen is his father's avenger and kills (almost) all of the 17 who shot at him. There are some not bad confrontation scenes (the ones who have him kill the two brothers) but still it is too stretched out and at 85' is 50' too long. It is well shot (or maybe is the copy at youtube which is VG) and the bare spanish landscapes are new to me. Ida Galli is pretty as usual and Berti plays a good villain. And Stanley Kent is not Stelio Candelli and Lewis (sic) Induni is nowhere to be seen.  5/10

Off-Topic Discussion / The House on 92nd Street (1945) Noir?
« on: August 18, 2021, 02:04:50 PM »
Can't see how. Corny narration, semi-documentary style coupled with hollywooden plot (based on real events? I doubt it), usual nazi morons. Only good  thing is Nolan's performance. 4/10

Off-Topic Discussion / Roger Touhy, Gangster (1944)
« on: August 05, 2021, 04:15:01 PM »
I read Touhy's autobio a couple of weeks ago and though the facts therein, with maybe a couple of exceptions, are mostly fantasy, I was intrigued by this Chicago bootlegger who stood up to Capone and was imprisoned for a  kidnapping  that never happened. The movie was made after Touhy's escape from Stateville prison and is centered on the kidnapping (that never was), the prison time and the escape and final recapture. Of course, nobody knew that ten years later a judge would rule Touhy as innocent of the bogus kidnapping, though that didn't mean he was free as he had to spend another 5 years before being granted parole. And being murdered a month later by some mob killers. And the "victim" of the kidnapping (actually an international swindler) was granted a pardon by President Kennedy!
The movie cannot be judged as from its initial 95 minutes the Hays office required a 30'cut of violent scenes. A pity because you have a notable cast and a competent director. The final 10' are surely noir both as to photography and to angles.   

Off-Topic Discussion / Under the Gun (1951)
« on: July 21, 2021, 06:22:15 AM »
This is actually a prison movie with a frame which, plotwise, makes little sense if not for giving Totter (not particularly attractive here at 34) a part. But the prison part is excellent, all based on the trick of the prisoner-warden (shooter, more precisely) and the pardon scheme (was it for real? If so I can't imagine some delinquent waiting for somebody to escape to shoot at him. Anyway, it's the USA). Conte is great and so is Jaffe, McIntire and Totter playing just a minor part. Plotwise, the frame makes little sense (why does Conte get to the town where he knows one of his victim's brother wants a revenge? And how can he be so sure Totter won't flip on him? And why  he doesn't lift Jaffe's diary? And why Totter is waiting for him and go on the lam instead?). Without the frame it would be 8-9/10, as it is it's 7/10. 

And it steals from that movie the fire lighting trick (but it gives it a bigger role) and the "baby" calling. Ann Savage never did anything for me and all the more so here with a terrible hair-do. But though the photography cannot even be compared to the one of the original the pace is very fast in the second half and makes for a suspenseful vision. I think a noir fan must see it. 7/10

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