Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 18, 2017, 03:36:59 AM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Other/Miscellaneous
| |-+  Off-Topic Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  99 River Street (1953)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: 99 River Street (1953)  (Read 1985 times)
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8301

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« on: June 04, 2012, 08:14:55 PM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045465/

99 River Street (1953)

plot synopsis and cast, courtesy of imdb


PLOT SYNOPSIS: A former boxer, turned cab driver, has to hide from the police, when his badgering wife is murdered by the jewel thief she was having an affair with.

                CAST

     John Payne    ...   Ernie Driscoll
    Evelyn Keyes    ...   Linda James
    Brad Dexter    ...   Victor Rawlins
    Frank Faylen    ...   Stan Hogan
    Peggie Castle    ...   Pauline Driscoll
    Jay Adler    ...   Christopher
    Jack Lambert    ...   Mickey
    Glenn Langan    ...   Lloyd Morgan (as Glen Langan)
    Eddy Waller    ...   Pop Durkee
    John Daheim    ...   Bud (as John Day)
    Ian Wolfe    ...   Waldo Daggett
    Peter Leeds    ...   Nat Finley
    William Tannen    ...   Director
    Gene Reynolds    ...   Chuck
-------------------------------------


Previous posts:

-------------

T.H.: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg136145#msg136145
99 River Street (1953)

The plot, as outrageous as it is, works pretty well. The opening boxing scene was every bit as good as those in Wise's THE SET-UP. I really only take issue with the ending, which disappoints; too conventional and ordinary. The score is standard stuff. I really like Phil Karlson.

----------------


cigar joe: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg144784#msg144784
99 River Street (1953) 7/10 Not a bad Noir caught most of it on TCM except the very beginning. Heavyweight boxer Payne will go blind if he enters ring again so he ends up driving a cab and gets framed for his wife's murder who is mixed up with diamond heist crooks so he goes after them. Has some great sequences with heavy Jack Lambert and a finally on the waterfront.

-----------------

dave jenkins: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg144786#msg144786 (dj quotes cj's previous post, and replies):

What's wrong with this review? Hmmm, well first, it doesn't mention that Evelyn Keyes is in it, giving one of her nuttiest performances, and THEN it doesn't note that Payne's wife is played by screen goddess Peggie Castle. Joe, are you taking your Viagra?

Seriously, though, this film does one thing particularly well: it introduces, in natural, un-forced ways, the talents of the leads at the beginning, and then allows them to use those talents later to successfully complete the adventure. For example, the Evelyn Keyes character is an actress, and her acting skills come in handy when, late in the day, she has to vamp Brad Dexter (who is wonderfully evil in this, probably his greatest role). And of course, the fact that Payne is playing an ex-boxer is useful when there are some fisticuffs and feats of endurance required at the climax.

---------------

cigar joe: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg144795#msg144795 (cj quotes the first sentence of the second paragraph of dj's previous post, and replies):


I missed all that, I caught it just before his wife is found dead in the cab

---------------

cigar joe http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg148067#msg148067 (here, cj quotes dj's entire previous post, and replies):

99 River Street

Reprise..... Watched the full movie tonight, what a difference, your right DJ, I missed a lot, the whole Evelyn Keyes in the theater sequence all of the Peggy Castle/Brad Dexter sequences, practically half the film, lol. This is an excellent Noir with some nice surprises. 10/10



« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 12:56:59 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8301

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 01:13:44 AM »

just saw the movie (for the second time); I give it a 7.5/10

It has one of the best scenes you will ever see in film noir, the Evelyn Keyes "acting" scene. Aside from the idea being cool, a nice piece of writing, that scene is also terrific for the camera work: once Keyes gets into her act, the camera stays on her the entire time, and in a single shot, mostly in closeup, never cutting to Payne. It's only once you find out the truth, that she is acting, that you realize why it was so awesome the way the scene was shot -- cuz the focus has to be on her acting; and in a stage-like, single take; cutting back and forth between Keyes and Payne would have ruined it.
Another thing about that scene -- and this I didn't realize until this second viewing -- is that you can see how Keyes is deliberately overacting -- and that's the point, cuz in this scene, she is acting an acting scene!


Brad Dexter, who plays the main villain here -- is, as Christopher Frayling says, the answer to a trivia question: when you ask people to name the Magnificent Seven, which one do they always get stuck on?
Well, I didn't realize it when watching him in a cowboy hat, but Dexter actually has one of the best faces ever for a noir villain! And he gives a great performance too.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 01:06:37 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8301

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 01:05:32 AM »

saw the movie for the third time... and now I raise it once again, to a 9/10. What a movie! (My only criticism is the voice-overs at the end, during the final chase/fight between Payne and Dexter; they're totally unnecessary.)

pretty funny how the NY Times thought it was "a tasteless melodrama with unpleasant hoods, two-timing blondes and lots of sequences of what purports to be everyday life in the underworld," and that the movie "managed to slip some objectionable scenes past the production code."  Grin - in other words, everything we love about noir today!

Here is the full review

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9F01E7D9143DE23BBC4B53DFB6678388649EDE


Movie Review
99 River Street (1953)
Melodrama of Murder
O. A. G.
Published: October 3, 1953

"99 River Street," an Edward Small Production that opened with a bill of vaudeville at the Palace yesterday under the banner of United Artists, is one of those tasteless melodramas peopled with unpleasant hoods, two-timing blondes and lots of sequences of what purports to be everyday life in the underworld. In this stale rehash, John Payne is a cabbie seething with dreams of what he might have been in the boxing world. He is saddled with a wife who is as shallow, larcenous and amoral as an oyster. There is the bag of stolen gems, the murder of Mr. Payne's wife, played juicily by Peggie Castle, and his frame-up. Naturally lovely Evelyn Keyes helps him out of these pestiferous circumstances, all the while acting as though she were animated by electric shocks. And to round out this sad, sad cinematic morsel is the familiar chase across dark and sinister piers with the hero, somewhat like a colander with all those bullet holes in him, forging on with that old school élan, bringing down the killer.

To say that this film is offensive would be kind; to point out that it induces an irritated boredom would be accurate. The defendants in this artistic felony are Robert Smith, the scenarist, and Phil Karlson, the director. It is interesting to ponder how Mr. Karlson managed to slip some objectionable scenes past the production code. Maybe it was just artistic license.




Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8301

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 01:20:36 AM »

A couple of reviews I saw on blogs, courtesy of IMDB:

here's one:

http://parallax-view.org/2011/02/15/99-river-street-bare-knuckle-noir/


99 River Street (MGM Limited Edition Collection)

Phil Karlson is, to my mind, the toughest of the film noir directors. Films like Kansas City Confidential (1952) and Phenix City Story (1955) gives us heroes who get knocked around by life and come up for more. 99 River Street (1953), arguably Karlson’s greatest film and certainly his most beautifully brutal, is a film driven by the fury of a man who is tired of being life’s punching bag.

The film opens on a boxing match shot Weegee style: spare, bright, all close-ups and hard light on our boxer hero, Ernie Driscoll (John Payne), getting one of the fiercest beatings I’ve seen in a classic Hollywood film. While Scorsese never acknowledged it specifically as an influence on his Raging Bull boxing scenes, the inspiration is obvious. The kicker to this prologue is too good to spoil, but suffice it to say that it is just one of the inventive storytelling inspirations that both enlivens the film and informs the character. Ernie was once a contender and while he still relives that fight in his head, he’s rolled with the blows and come up with a new plan, driving a cab while saving for a new, more modest dream. Not so his wife (Peggie Castle), who hitched herself to this rising star in anticipation of the high life and ended up in a crummy apartment and a job slinging drinks at a cocktail bar. She’s got plans and it involves a sleazy thief (Brad Dexter, playing it with an arrogant, greedy twinkle) and a fortune in jewels that his own arrogance has made worthless. He needs a patsy and Ernie is his guy.

Along with the working class milieu and the blue collar loyalty of his dispatcher buddy Stan (Frank Faylen in upbeat form) and still-idealistic young actress Linda (Evelyn Keyes), a buddy from his coffee-shop breaks, Karlson gives this brawny noir a shot of theatrical flair that joins it, if only momentarily, with a rarified sub-genre of noir where the exaggerated melodrama of theater and actors gets tangled in the “real world” of troubled characters, personal betrayal and criminal threats. Linda, so wrapped in her own dreams, twists the knife in wounds she has no idea even exist when she pulls Ernie into her world of make-believe, but redeems herself by using her talents (and putting herself on the line) with a performance in the theater of life.

Payne has never been better than here as the salt-of-the-earth mug who had his shot at the top, was knocked back and picked himself back up and returned to his blue-collar roots as a cab driver and saving for a gas station. But echoes of the fight that ended his career bounce around head and his anger over being played a chump explodes in a ferocity that almost blows his chances. Though once a light, blandly handsome lead in musicals and romantic comedies, Payne remade himself as a taciturn post-war tough guy and used his broad-shouldered physique and the strength of his physicality to make himself a formidable action hero. He’s as convincing a boxer as you’ve seen in the movies and the film plays on that identity—and the fury driving his desperate search to clear his name and save his life over the long night on the rough city streets and waterfront dives—to give the fight scenes a brutal ferocity.

While shot largely on studio sets, 99 River Street is one of the great urban noirs of the anonymous city. Taking place entirely at night, on city streets and waterfront docks, in corner coffee shops and cheap bars, boxing gyms and taxi garages, Karlson casts it all in shadow and fills it with the shady characters and criminal elements that come out at night. He makes brilliant use of the boxing ring play-by-play, which comes back as both tormenting memory and triumphant commentary in a superbly-executed climax. And he fills the soundtrack with a superb audio atmosphere of urban sounds echoing through the background, giving the film a far more modern quality than many of its era.

99 River Street is the epitome of bare-knuckle noir and one of the most underrated films of its era. Never before available on home video, it makes its debut on the MGM Limited Edition Collection, which offers DVD-R editions of catalogue titles from the MGM/Fox library through the MOD (manufacture on demand) model. Previously an Amazon exclusive, the MGM Limited Edition Collection is now available from multiple retailers, including Amazon, Oldies.com, Screen Archives and Movies Unlimited.

99 River Street is the best-looking disc of the numerous I’ve seen from MGM Limited Edition Collection: well mastered from an excellent print, with a vivid image, strong contrasts, sharp focus and good detail and texture. It ranks with the best of the Warner Archive Collection Remastered editions.

Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8301

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 01:22:28 AM »

and one more:

http://wheredangerlives.blogspot.com/2009/08/99-river-street-1953.html



August 16, 2009
99 RIVER STREET (1953)



“There are worse things than murder. You can kill someone an inch at a time.”


Dig this: you’re a prizefighter in the heavyweight division — a real comer after more than sixty bouts, never once knocked down­ — and you finally get a shot at the greatest crown in sports. Going into the last round up on all cards, you get a deep cut from an accidental bump and the ringside doc sends you to the showers — the loser. As if that weren’t enough, the state athletic commission bars you for life, claiming that another hard pop could punch your ticket. Three years later you pay the rent driving a cab through the five boroughs, and not one of your fares gives you a second glance. Your nag of wife has been working too many late nights, and now she’s flashing jewelry that you didn’t buy her — maybe that’s what you get for marrying a showgirl. You’re a nobody. A sucker. Just another schmuck in the big apple.

That’s how it is for Ernie Driscoll at the beginning of 99 River Street — one of the most hardboiled, brutal, and inexplicably forgotten films of the noir cycle. Self-pity is the deadliest of emotions and it defines Driscoll. There’s a certain kind of guy who, having fought for the heavyweight crown and lost on an accidental cut, would strut through life like a big shot. He’d hit the bars after his shift to tell fight stories and relive the good old days — jabbing and hooking to the applause of drunks and floozies. John Payne’s Driscoll isn’t that guy. Instead, after coming so close and having it all snatched away, he’s a bitter, brooding, short-tempered hulk who considers his ring years a waste. Yet he’s also like the schoolgirl who’s had her heart broken — not eager to stick his chin out again. So what’s a guy like him, stumbling through life in a daze, angry at the world and hating himself for it, choose for a dream? He wants to buy a gas station. Saving up his tips to pump gas along some suburban highway is an absurd an ambition for a man who recently stood toe to toe with the champ, but everyone, including Ernie, knows he’ll probably never make it happen. Driscoll is a man devoured by his own failures, consumed by self pity. Payne’s performance sweats with pathos and verisimilitude.
The story is a knockout. Phil Karlson takes a complicated script and delivers a fast-paced and coherent movie that plows ahead with well-drawn, convincing characters. A plot summary would read like an unwieldy mishmash so I’ll omit it — and besides, some of the film’s best moments are meant to surprise. The picture opens with first-rate ring footage where a beefed-out Payne makes like a real fighter. Heads snap from punches that resound with the crash of hammer blows. In one of 99’s clever directorial nuances, what at first appears to be a live event turns out to be a televised ‘classic fights’ rerun that Ernie is watching on the small set in his dingy flat. Payne is transformed from hero to hangdog with one simple camera movement. Wife Pauline, played by Peggie Castle, turns the set off in a bickering exchange that is pure Dana Andrews and Virginia Mayo: “I’d have been a star if I hadn’t married you,” she says, and he fires back, “You were a showgirl — I could have been champion.” To which she smirks with venom and sarcasm, “Could have been.” Ernie then shuffles off to his cab for a night that will change his life forever. Before the sun rises again he’ll discover the truth about his marriage, and then scramble to steer clear of cops and crooks after Pauline turns up stiff in the back seat of his taxi.

The supporting cast is made up of a broad pastiche of downtown night dwellers — from hoodlums and hustlers to philanderers and insomniacs. Whether through lucky casting or plain good direction each role is strikingly realized. Evelyn Keyes, coffee shop habitué and Broadway wannabe, is Linda, the gal pal who makes a chump out of Ernie (in the film’s slickest and, possibly, most memorable scene) and then has to get square. Fighters and their trainers are never far apart in classic films, so it makes sense that Ernie’s best friend and former corner man is also his dispatcher at the cab company. Frank Faylen (who in a strange bit of movie serendipity played a cab driver named Ernie in It’s A Wonderful Life) is Driscoll’s pal and confidant, though his part is the least colorful in the cast. Brad Dexter plays John Rawlins, the reptilian jewel thief who cuckolds Driscoll. He’s even more memorable here than he was three years earlier as a crooked investigator in Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle. Both parts call for the same sort of viperous scumbag, but Dexter is better in this film if for no other reason than his role has more meat. The best support in the film is offered by Jay Adler as Christopher, pet shop owner by day and big time jewelry fence after dark. Adler, with his quiet demeanor and air of almost grandfatherly respectability, makes Christopher into the most coolly terrifying presence in the film. Even amongst such a strong cast Adler is the scene-stealer.
The film’s brutality is plentiful and vividly cinematic. Films of this period often age poorly due to the artificial quality of their violence. Not so here. From the beginning boxing match to the climactic sequence at the titular address, the punches, slaps, gunshots, and crashes are unusually authentic. Blood spreads across cheeks and foreheads with surprising regularity and loving care. The film embraces the spectacular physicality of criminal life, and lingers blithely on those moments. Jack Lambert plays in many of those scenes, his face instantly recognizable as one of the more grotesque hoodlums in film history. Here he’s Mickey, an ambitious young thug who works for Christopher. In once scene, Pauline and Rawlins visit the pet store that serves as Christopher’s front. As they enter Mickey feeds milk to a puppy from a baby’s bottle, but within minutes he’s slapping Pauline to the floor while holding Rawlins at bay with a .38. Later he gives Driscoll the third degree, punctuating each question with a heavy chop, Ernie’s head jarring from one side of the screen to the other. Yet Mickey takes the beating of his life when he discovers, the hard way, that Driscoll was just waiting for an opening. Ernie makes the hoodlum pay for not remembering him as he unloads every ounce of pent up frustration onto poor Mickey’s face — and we get to see every punch. The closing set piece is potent and rewarding, and includes one of the best “deaths by car” in noir history, as well as an operatic climax where cruel fate finally rewards Driscoll: he’s shot, he’s exhausted, and he’s nearly broken, yet he’s given the chance to rise to his feet and answer that bell one final time.
Within the canon of film noir there are numerous fight films — from the famous Body and Soul and The Set-Up to the slightly less well known, yet equally brilliant, Champion with Kirk Douglas. 99 River Street isn’t a boxing film per se, but it is a story concerned with a boxer whose life and sense of self are defined by the events of one fateful night in the ring. In part what makes noir films so wonderful is their oppressive atmosphere of alienation and menace. However that atmosphere needn’t carry beyond the conclusion of the story — the film noir hero can occasionally live happily ever after. The doomed lovers from such archetypical examples as Criss-Cross, Double Indemnity, and Out of the Past don’t survive their respective films, yet despite the extraordinary popularity of those pictures they represent a fairly small percentage of noirs where the protagonist doesn’t end up alive, kicking, and somehow redeemed through his ordeal. For every cocksure Walter Neff who deserves the hand fate deals him there’s an Ernie Driscoll who endures circumstances worthy of Job in order to claim his own fair share of redemption. 99 River Street screams “Look at this sap. Life gave him a kick in the teeth and he deserves better, but brother, he’s gotta pay for it.” Things are grim for Ernie in the beginning and they get worse as the reels unspool, but the same narrative convention that assures us Walter Neff will get his in the end also promises that Driscoll will come out on the other side, and that payoff is what keeps us watching. We ache for slobs like Ernie — we want to see him get clear of his bad luck and find some sort of happiness. Despite its violence, cruelty, and capricious fates, in the end 99 River Street reveals itself to be a film that rewards our hopes.

Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2014, 06:36:53 AM »

I'm not so enthus about it: the plot is, to say the least, improbable (even the theatre scene is so badly acted by Keyes that one instanctly sees through her scheme, though Payne isn't supposed to be smart and falls for it). Yes, Dexter is huge in this and I like Payne, but I don't want to see it again. 6\10

Logged

drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8301

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2014, 07:25:12 AM »

I'm not so enthus about it: the plot is, to say the least, improbable (even the theatre scene is so badly acted by Keyes that one instanctly sees through her scheme, though Payne isn't supposed to be smart and falls for it). Yes, Dexter is huge in this and I like Payne, but I don't want to see it again. 6\10

she is supposed to be clearly overacting, a performance within a performance; you appreciate it much more the second time around, knowing why she is doing it

and what is so improbable about this plot more than a hundred other noirs? yeah, the theater scene probably wouldn't happen in real life, but IMO it's not beyond normal movie suspension of disbelief.
Actually, come to think of it, the one thing that is real BS is the theater manager having Payne arrested on bullshit charges just to get publicity for the show. yeah, that's one thing that is bullshit.

Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2014, 07:41:55 AM »

she is supposed to be clearly overacting, a performance within a performance; you appreciate it much more the second time around, knowing why she is doing it

I didn't make myself clear: I went hip to her scheme at once.

Quote
and what is so improbable about this plot more than a hundred other noirs? yeah, the theater scene probably wouldn't happen in real life, but IMO it's not beyond normal movie suspension of disbelief.


So Payne is unaware that his wife has a lover, that she has helped him in a theft, that he is easile convinced that some whispered words about making a child will help saving his wedding.  Dexter knows his fence won't have women in his business and still goes to him with a woman. The, to solve the problem, kills the woman and tries to frame Payne...The theatre scene, the final confrontation betw. P and D which is nothing short of ridiculous. 

Logged

drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8301

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2014, 08:05:58 AM »


So Payne is unaware that his wife has a lover, that she has helped him in a theft, that he is easile convinced that some whispered words about making a child will help saving his wedding.  Dexter knows his fence won't have women in his business and still goes to him with a woman. The, to solve the problem, kills the woman and tries to frame Payne...The theatre scene, the final confrontation betw. P and D which is nothing short of ridiculous. 

wow, didn't you guys all used to get on ME for once or twice mentioning the word "unrealistic" or "lacking realism"? Man, if you find all that beyond the normal suspension of disbelief, then I don't know how you ever enjoy any noirs

Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2014, 08:28:46 AM »

wow, didn't you guys all used to get on ME for once or twice mentioning the word "unrealistic" or "lacking realism"? Man, if you find all that beyond the normal suspension of disbelief, then I don't know how you ever enjoy any noirs

You can have one, two moments in which you can suspend disbelief, not for an entire movie.

Logged

T.H.
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1767



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2014, 12:23:53 PM »

I agree that this movie holds up on additional views, and while I understand why some can take issue with the plot, I think 99 River St is a rare example where the writer(s) covered all the potential loose ends. This was clearly very well thought out in the writing process, and I'll usually always buy what happens when that's the case - there was never anything concocted out of laziness or hackery. It's a really fun ride and an under-appreciated noir, probably Karlson's best movie. Only Kansas City Confidential comes to mind in the debate, though I'd give this the edge because of the photography.

I saw these two movies on the big screen a little while back, it was a great way to see them a second or third time.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 12:54:08 PM by T.H. » Logged


Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre. What did you think of the script?
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13627

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2014, 06:45:28 PM »

I think 99 River St is a rare example where the writer(s) covered all the potential loose ends. This was clearly very well thought out in the writing process, and I'll usually always buy what happens when that's the case - there was never anything concocted out of laziness or hackery. It's a really fun ride and an under-appreciated noir, probably Karlson's best movie.
Hear hear.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for lying in the middle of the road.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13627

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2017, 05:27:25 PM »

And just in case someone on this board hasn't seen it yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw1DCpi-_ao

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for lying in the middle of the road.
Spikeopath
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 506


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2017, 06:09:35 AM »

Good thread, nice to see some wholesome posts. Adding my review >

Keep your theatre and the rats in it.

99 River Street is directed by Phil Karlson and adapted to screenplay by Robert Smith from a story by George Zuckerman. It stars John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter, Frank Faylen, Jay Adler, Eddie Waller and Peggie Castle. Music is by Arthur Lange and Emil Newman and cinematography by Franz Planer.

After sustaining a serious eye injury, boxer Ernie Driscoll (Payne) has had to retire from the ring and now drives a cab for a living. Constantly chided by his beautiful wife, Pauline (Castle), for being a failure, Ernie is close to breaking point when he finds that she is having an affair with a charismatic jewel thief. So when Pauline turns up dead in the back of Ernie's cab, he's obviously the chief suspect. But along with actress friend Linda James (Keyes), he attempts to unravel the mystery that is threatening to destroy his life.

Tough as old boots, 99 River Street is the kind of unsung film noir crying out to be discovered by more like minded cinephiles. Though short of expressionistic verve, which was never Karlson's thing anyway, all the elements for a nitty-gritty noir are in place. New York forms the backdrop as a city of broken dreams, shattered illusions, a place frequented by unfaithful spouses, shifty fences, violent thieves and theatrical luvvies so far removed from the real post war world it would be funny were it no so sad! Smack bang in the middle of this tainted Americana is Ernie Driscoll, basically a good guy, but when pushed into a corner emotionally or physically, he strikes out in the only way he knows how, with his fists.

As Karlson blurs the lines between the theatrical world and that of the real one, deftly essayed by Ernie and Linda, the director is clearly enjoying having such colourful characters to work with. Payne's tough guy anti-hero, Keyes' savvy heroine, Adler's unerringly menacing fence, Dexter's oily villain and Castle's disgustingly selfish wife. Throw in some thugs, persistent coppers and humane counterpoints portrayed by Faylen and Waller, and it's a nicely simmering broth of bad news, sexual suggestion and off-kilter redemption's. Violence is rife, and it's not the sort of staged violence that reeks of fake scents, this stuff hits hard, something which Karlson was always very adept at.

The director also introduces some striking filming techniques to pump the picture with an edgy frankness. The opening sequence featuring Ernie's last fight is wonderfully staged, low angles and close ups put the sweat and pain front and centre, it's a smart set-up for when the story comes full circle at film's punchy finale. Another sequence features a panic stricken Linda begging Ernie for his help with something, the camera sticks rigidly to her, this also is a delightful set-up that has a sting in the tail. There's mirror images dropped in, scene echoes that mean something of note, one of which sees Karlson film a shot dead centre through the spread legs of Castle. So cheeky, and what a pair of legs as well!

An unsung noir full of unsung actors (Payne is excellent) and directed with cunning absorption, 99 River Street is a must see. 8/10

Logged

Out you get Hooky, you done your bit.
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.033 seconds with 18 queries.