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Author Topic: No Questions Asked (1951)  (Read 449 times)
cigar joe
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« on: August 29, 2014, 05:10:23 AM »



Director: Harold F. Kress, Writers: Sidney Sheldon (screenplay), Berne Giler (story), Stars: Barry Sullivan, Arlene Dahl, Jean Hagen, George Murphy. Steve Keiver (Sullivan) needs money to marry Dahl. He can't get a raise from the insurance company he works for but he hears his boss remark that he'd pay a large sum "no questions asked" for return of stolen property to avoid paying a much larger payout so he becomes the go between the criminal element and the insurance company trying to stave off paying on loss claims and reaping a percentage for his troubles, it has a nice twist, an entertaining enough noir, caught it on TCM I've always been a Barry Sullivan fan and Jean Hagen and Arlene Dahl are nice eye candy.  7/10


Hagen, Sullivan, Dahl


from IMDb
Noirish look at insurance scams marred by indifferent acting

14 February 2001 | by bmacv (Western New York)

No Questions Asked takes us down the primrose path followed by ambitious insurance agent Barry Sullivan (but all quality comparisons to Double Indemnity end there). He links up with mobsters who guarantee the return of stolen goods in exchange for a payoff consisting of a percent of their insured value -- and the insurance company acquiesces in this bottom-line trimming. (Sullivan's fiancee, Arlene Dahl, aspires to a higher standard of living.) Soon he's raking in big bucks, to the chagrin of his former co-worker Jean Hagen, who carries a torch for him. There are some good scenes (including a heist in a theater's ladies' lounge by two torpedoes in drag as society dames) and plot twists; some of the cinematography is not bad, either, though it's pretty cliched noir. The worst part of this movie, however, is the generic acting from all involved, except for that of Jean Hagen -- Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain -- and a couple of the bit players. Still, it's worth a first look, if not a second viewing.

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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 06:16:08 AM »


from IMDb
Noirish look at insurance scams marred by indifferent acting

14 February 2001 | by bmacv (Western New York)

No Questions Asked takes us down the primrose path followed by ambitious insurance agent Barry Sullivan (but all quality comparisons to Double Indemnity end there). He links up with mobsters who guarantee the return of stolen goods in exchange for a payoff consisting of a percent of their insured value -- and the insurance company acquiesces in this bottom-line trimming. (Sullivan's fiancee, Arlene Dahl, aspires to a higher standard of living.) Soon he's raking in big bucks, to the chagrin of his former co-worker Jean Hagen, who carries a torch for him. There are some good scenes (including a heist in a theater's ladies' lounge by two torpedoes in drag as society dames) and plot twists; some of the cinematography is not bad, either, though it's pretty cliched noir. The worst part of this movie, however, is the generic acting from all involved, except for that of Jean Hagen -- Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain -- and a couple of the bit players. Still, it's worth a first look, if not a second viewing.


Good plot twists? i would really like to know what is such a good plot twist in this movie. Like, what exactly happens that is extremely unexpected or brilliant or whatever? I liked the movie a lot, I'd give it a 7.5/10, but I don't know what this reviewer is talking about with "plot twists."

And he makes  a point of praising Jean Hagen, who probably makes me more nervous than any other actress in Hollywood history - besides having a face like a female Jay Leno (I never forgave her for maybe the worst/most annoying performance ever, in what could have been a juicy supporting role, in Side Street, and that colors my view of every performance of hers; maybe she did a decent acting job here but she can't help but make me nervous looking at her. How the hell did that face ever have any sort of success as a Hollywood love interest?)

Arlene Dahl is a very pretty girl.
 
I wouldn't bash Barry Sullivan's acting; I mean, he is never gonna win any Oscars, but he is generally serviceable, as he is here IMO. I don't think there are any great performances here but most of the actors were alright for their jobs.

IMO, the framing device and bit of narration at the beginning is (as in many noirs) completely unnecessary, and Jean Hagen always makes me very nervous, but I liked this movie.

Also, I think it felt more like a small-town movie, I don't know why they felt a need to make it New York.
When Barry Sullivan goes to the theater, he says it is a Broadway premiere, and the theater supposedly on 47th Street, so that means it is New York - but that is the only implication in the whole movie of it being set in New York, aside from the opening and closing shot of the movie being a shot of the Manhattan skyline. If they would have simply said that when Sullivan goes to the theater, it was opening night of the show any local theater, then the movie would have been set in Anytown, USA. And IMO, it has much more of an Anytown feel .... it's has lots of studio streets, and some location footage that certainly doesn't feel like New York; the cops don't feel like NYPD; considering that Sullivan has control of the town's mobsters, it would feel much more realistic if it was a smaller town, rather than one dude getting so powerful in New York. Somehow, it just had more of a small-town feel and if you ignore the mention of a Broadway premiere, it really is a small-town movie.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 07:18:13 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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