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Author Topic: Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) New York Tail Fin Noir  (Read 3690 times)
cigar joe
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« on: October 20, 2012, 06:59:31 PM »

Considered one of the last classic Film noirs. New full review towards bottom.

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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 07:06:45 PM »

yeah, I just LOVED the locations on this movie, especially the Upper West Side locations. The town locations are pretty cool too  Wink


Both harry Belafonte and Robert Ryan are awesome here.

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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 06:26:21 AM »

I took a bunch of comparison shots then and now but I'm not entirely happy with the results needed to have better matching camera angles - I'll bring a bunch of screen screencaps next time and better duplicate camera angles.

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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 06:30:00 AM »

 Afro Afro Afro

What's the name of the town, again?

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cigar joe
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 06:46:55 AM »

Hudson - New York

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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 09:22:51 AM »

I'm not entirely happy with the results needed to have better matching camera angles - I'll bring a bunch of screen screencaps next time and better duplicate camera angles

screencaps seem to match fine to me, except the last one.

How far is this town from you?

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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 09:25:39 AM »

They can be almost spot on if I have the caps - the town is 35-45 minutes from here

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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 09:34:26 AM »

actually, I may be wrong about the bottom one, I may have been looking at it from the wrong angle; maybe that one is correct too  Smiley

The others look pretty damn near spot on to me. Nice work. I'll have to match you sometime by getting the shots of the Upper West side locations  Wink


People can talk all they want about nostalgia for the old days of Hollywood when they think movies were better (and maybe they are right), but IMO there is at least one very clear drawback about many of the early urban movies, that they were obviously shot on studio backlots, with absolutely no sense of location. How many movies of the 30's-40's that are set in a big city were actually shot in the city?

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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 02:32:36 PM »


People can talk all they want about nostalgia for the old days of Hollywood when they think movies were better (and maybe they are right), but IMO there is at least one very clear drawback about many of the early urban movies, that they were obviously shot on studio backlots, with absolutely no sense of location. How many movies of the 30's-40's that are set in a big city were actually shot in the city?
not many which is why those post war noirs are impressive  Afro

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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 10:48:09 PM »

did you have some resource instructing you as to the locations of specific shots in the movie, or is this all your own detective work?

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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 11:22:51 PM »

here's an earlier post I made on this movie:

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

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053133/

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) 8/10

Plot synopsis and cast, courtesy of imdb:

Dave Burke is looking to hire two men to assist him in a bank raid: Earl Slater, a white ex-convict, and Johnny Ingram, a black gambler. Both are reluctant; but Burke arranges for Ingram's creditors to put pressure on him, while Slater feels humiliated by his failure to provide for his girlfriend; they eventually accept. But Slater loathes and despises blacks, and the tensions in the gang rapidly mount.


   Harry Belafonte    ...   Johnny Ingram
    Robert Ryan    ...   Earle Slater
    Shelley Winters    ...   Lorry
    Ed Begley    ...   Dave Burke
    Gloria Grahame    ...   Helen
    Will Kuluva    ...   Bacco
    Kim Hamilton    ...   Ruth Ingram
    Mae Barnes    ...   Annie
    Richard Bright    ...   Coco
    Carmen De Lavallade    ...   Kittie
    Lew Gallo    ...   Moriarty
    Lois Thorne    ...   Edie Ingram
    Wayne Rogers    ...   Soldier in Bar
    Zohra Lampert    ...   Girl in Bar
    Allen Nourse    ...   Melton Police Chief




This is a caper film that is really much more about personal relationships than about the caper itself. We've all seen the caper movies where they assemble a team, and usually one guy doesn't wanna go along, but something happens where he REALLY needs the money and then he makes the inevitable phone call, "Johnny, I'm in." But this movie takes a long time for that to happen: there is one "mastermind," and he recruits two others, and they take a very long time to agree to do the job: we are halfway into the movie before they finally both make that phone call. Turns out that the movie really isn't all that much about the caper itself, but the relationships, and what drives the participants' behavior.

The "mastermind" is played by Ed Begley and we don't learn anything about him; it's really about the two guys he recruits: Harry Belafonte and Robert Ryan, both of whom are desperate for dough: Belafonte is a nightclub singer who is deeply in debt to a loan shark. He has a child with an ex-wife to whom he's making alimony payments; he still has feelings for her, and she does for him, but she had to leave him cuz she couldn't subject their daughter to that kind of life where his entire financial planning is based around a deck of cards and a horse-race betting form.

Ryan plays an ex-con, living with his wife played by Shelly Winters; she loves him deeply, has a decent job and is happy to be the breadwinner, but he is miserable cuz he feels emasculated that he canít provide for them, he doesnít want to be living off his wife.  Gloria Grahame plays Ryan's married neighbor; Grahame is turned on by the fact that Ryan once killed a man, and Ryan is well, turned on. (Shelly Winters is one of those people that I have no idea how she ever got an acting job; all she ever does is whine).

Ryan is a racist, and tensions in the gang begin to mount when he realizes that Begley has recruited the black Belafonte.

This is one of the best performances out of Ryan I have ever seen. Belafonte is terrific as well (Begley's good too, though in a much smaller role). I've never liked Gkloria Grahame in her femme fatale roles, I never thought she was attractive, just a whiny bitch. But here, she plays a dimwitted woman, and she does a very good job with the role. The woman who plays Belafonte's ex-wife is also very good, in a small role.

What I enjoyed most about this movie was the locations. Looks like all the exteriors are locations on the Upper West Side, and the heist occurs in an upstate town called Melton , not sure where it was shot, but it's all real locations as well. There isn't all that much of a story or a caper; but you enjoy the terrific performances and locations.

I was surprised to see that this 1959 movie was in 4:3; at first I thought the dvd may be a pan and scan, but I checked up on imdb and it indeed says that the aspect ratio is 1.37:1, and even without looking at  imdb, you can tell easily that the full image is in the frame (it's very easy to tell when a movie is pan and scanned). So the 4:3 aspect ratio is correct, though I'm kinda surprised, I thought that all movies after around 1953 were in widescreen.

There's nothing at all that's noir about this movie, but cj put it in the noir index, and who am I to argue with him 




Made it ma, on top of the world!   Wink

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

(Needless to say, RE: my argument that idk wtf is "noir" about this movie, CJ replied "alienated & obsessed characters possibly    Cool"

(If I had a dollar for every time we've had that exchange  Wink)

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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 03:25:45 AM »

did you have some resource instructing you as to the locations of specific shots in the movie, or is this all your own detective work?
I watched it that morning before I went-the bridge with the wooden deck is still there too.

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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 09:18:50 AM »

Nice work, CJ. I wouldn't mind visiting myself, but Google tells me Hudson is 2 hours away. I'd go if there were another compelling reason beside trainspoting some film locations. Like, ferinstance, if McSorley's was opening up a branch office or something . .  .

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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 01:46:15 PM »

I watched it that morning before I went-the bridge with the wooden deck is still there too [img]http://i841.photobucket.com

is there really a pharmacy or coffee shop around the corner from the bank?

Also, is that bank building still a bank?

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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 02:01:07 PM »

Are you thinking of knocking it over yourself, Drink? Now that you know what NOT to do . . . ? Evil

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