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Author Topic: The Glass Wall (1953)  (Read 1553 times)
cigar joe
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« on: March 27, 2012, 10:26:51 PM »

Director: Maxwell Shane writer/director of those unambiguous noirs Fear in the Night (1947) and and its remake Nightmare (1956). It stars: Vittorio Gassman in his first American film, Gloria Grahame, Jerry Paris, Robin Raymond, and Ann Robinson. An off the radar light Noir with a message.



From IMDb: Peter (Gassman), a WW II 'displaced person' about to be deported jumps ship in New York harbor in an effort to find an ex-G.I named Tom (Paris)whom he helped during the war and can prove Peter's right to legal entry in the United States. It is a race against time for if he can't Tom within 24 hours and prove his case, he will be branded a fugitive and will be permanently disqualified for U.S. citizenship. His quest leads him to befriending Maggie (Grahame), a down-on-her-luck factory worker whom he rejuvenates through his good faith; a visit to a jazz club where Paris  is auditioning for Shorty Rogers and trombonist Jack Teagarden band playing, and an interlude with a good- hearted burlesque dancer, Tanya Zakoyla (Raymond), takes him to her mother's home for food and rest. The climax comes at dawn in the United Nations building (the "glass wall" of the title) where he goes to plead his case and that of all displaced persons. The film is very dark for probably 4/5ths of its length, until its finale at the UN.

Vittorio Gassman



Gassman and Grahame





Gassman stumbling around Manhattan with a broken rib



Some nice noir lighting of a Burlesque Theater stage door



and location shot on Times Square



Burlesque Dancer Robin Raymond





Jack Teagarden with his slush pump



The acting by Gassman, Grahame, Paris and the rest of the cast is excellent. Some great NYC location shots of Times Square, Mid Town Manhattan and the 3rd Avenue El (though some of them are obvious rear projections), and an entertaining enough story, and Gloria Grahame for once doesn't die in a Noir, lol. My only complaint is its a bit too short a few minutes longer with each vignette would have been nice. 7-8/10

This film is in a DVD set called The Bad Girls of Film Noir Volume 1 its companion film on the DVD is Bad For Each Other which is more of a tear jerker melodrama starring Charlton Heston and Lisbeth Scott that is not Noir at all and more of a soap opera.

But there is a 30 minute episode of a Ford Television Theater called The Payoff (see Below)starring Howard Duff (The Naked City) that is a PI Noir that's actually pretty good so if this set may be worth getting if the rest of the DVD's hold up. I'll get back to more info on the set when I rent them.




« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 04:27:40 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 06:11:57 AM »


This film is in a DVD set called The Bad Girls of Film Noir Volume 1 its companion film on the DVD is Bad For Each Other which is more of a tear jerker melodrama starring Charlton Heston and Lisbeth Scott that is not Noir at all and more of a soap opera.

But there is a 30 minute episode of a Ford Television Theater called The Payoff (see Below)starring Howard Duff (The Naked City) that is a PI Noir that's actually pretty good so if this set may be worth getting if the rest of the DVD's hold up. I'll get back to more info on the set when I rent them.

Joe, thanks. I've got this set, but didn't realize "The Payoff" was on it. I'll check it out. Afro

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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2014, 05:57:45 AM »

This is good for locations (it's probably the only movie which takes you back in time on Times Square, really conveying the impression of what it was likef) and the jazz. The story is flimsy, Gassman fares better than in his contemporary european movies but he'll learn how to act only in the late '50s. His final speech made my skin cringe. 6\10

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