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Author Topic: The Burglar (1957)  (Read 2344 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« on: February 21, 2013, 12:48:29 AM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049035/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

The Burglar (1957)

Plot synopsis and cast, courtesy of imdb

Dan Duryea and his cronies rob a fake spiritualist and then take it on the lam to Atlantic City.

Dan Duryea    ...    Nat Harbin
Jayne Mansfield    ...    Gladden
Martha Vickers    ...    Della
Peter Capell    ...    Baylock
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Dohmer
Wendell K. Phillips ... Police Captain
Phoebe Mackay    ...    Sister Sara
Stewart Bradley    ...    Charlie
John Facenda    ...    News Commentator
Sam Elber       ...    Person
Frank Hall            ...     News Reporter
Bob Wilson    ...    Newsreel Narrator
Steve Allison    ...    State Trooper
Richard Emery    ...    Harbin as a Child
Andrea McLaughlin ...    Gladden as a Child





previous post in the Film Noir Discussion Thread:

 http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg155066#msg155066

dave jenkins: Watched The Burglar (1957) last weekend and loved it. Here's a pretty thorough piece on it: http://members.boardhost.com/mrvalentine/msg/1330884149.html

One thing none of the posters noticed, apparently, are the bits that inspired Melville. There are some shots in this I definitely remember seeing in Le Doulos. Also, there's the matter of the bizzare score, mentioned in one of the comments above as distracting. It is that--but is that a sign of ineptitude on the filmmakers' part, or were they intentionally going for a Brechtian alienation effect? Each viewer will have to make up his or her own mind.
   

« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 01:54:31 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 01:56:26 AM »

just saw the movie, was real good, I give it an 8.5/10

I don't think I've ever seen any of Jayne Mansfield's other movies, which were apparently made to show off her body and nothing else, but in this early movie, in which she does not show much of her body, she does show considerable acting talent.

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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 05:27:41 AM »

just saw the movie, was real good, I give it an 8.5/10

I don't think I've ever seen any of Jayne Mansfield's other movies, which were apparently made to show off her body and nothing else, but in this early movie, in which she does not show much of her body, she does show considerable acting talent.

I was able to stay awake for part of it but I just dosed off from exhaustion. Got to catch it again next go round. What I saw I enjoyed, (the burglary ad the beginning of the getaway.

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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 01:38:13 PM »

I just saw the 1971 movie based on the same book, called The Burglars. It was made very differently than The Burglar. None of the noir stuff; this is in color and much more action-based. I found it hilarious that Jean-Paul Belmondo is supposed to be an American tourist (I think, I mean, steak and french fries is supposed to be American, right?) yet he speaks with his heavy French accent. If they wanted an American character, shouldn't they have had a real American dub his lines?

There is a really good car chase in the beginning, and toward the end, a chase scene where Belmondo is hopping from bus to bus through traffic -- and yes, it clearly is Belmondo himself doing much of the stunt work.

Much of this one makes for laughs, partially because of Belmondo's French accent trying to say these witty lines we usually associate with American tough guys  Grin Somehow, it's funny just because of how tough they are trying to be, I actually enjoyed myself.

In this version, less explanation is given for Belmondo's concern for the female gang member, the cop (played by Omar Sharif) reveals himself much earlier in the movie, and the ending is significantly different.

So the original is a noir; the re-make is an action movie that ends up having a lot of laughs, probably mostly unintended, cuz of with the guys with accents speaking English and trying to deliver the tough-guy dialogue, it's pretty funny. No doubt the original is better, but I could go as high as, say, an 8/10 for the re-make

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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 01:44:35 PM »

was reading Dan Duryea's bio on wikipedia, I liked this passage where he describes his motivation as an actor:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Duryea#Film

When interviewed by Hedda Hopper in the early 1950s, Duryea spoke of career goals and his preparation for roles: "Well, first of all, let's set the stage or goal I set for myself when I decided to become an actor ... not just 'an actor', but a successful one. I looked in the mirror and knew with my "puss" and 155-pound weakling body, I couldn't pass for a leading man, and I had to be different. And I sure had to be courageous, so I chose to be the meanest s.o.b. in the movies ... strictly against my mild nature, as I'm an ordinary, peace-loving husband and father. Inasmuch, as I admired fine actors like Richard Widmark, Victor Mature, Robert Mitchum, and others who had made their early marks in the dark, sordid, and guilt-ridden world of film noir; here, indeed, was a market for my talents. I thought the meaner I presented myself, the tougher I was with women, slapping them around in well produced films where evil and death seem to lurk in every nightmare alley and behind every venetian blind in every seedy apartment, I could find a market for my screen characters."

"At first it was very hard as I am a very even-tempered guy, but I used my past life experiences to motivate me as I thought about some of the people I hated in my early as well as later life ... like the school bully who used to try and beat the hell out of me at least once a week ... a sadistic family doctor that believed feeling pain when he treated you was the birthright of every man inasmuch as women suffered giving birth ... little incidents with trade-people who enjoyed acting superior because they owned their business, overcharging you. Then the one I used when I had to slap a woman around was easy! I was slapping the over-bearing teacher who would fail you in their 'holier-than-thou' class and enjoy it! And especially the experiences I had dealing with the unbelievable pompous 'know-it-all-experts' that I dealt with during my advertising agency days ... almost going 'nuts' trying to please these 'corporate heads' until I finally got out of that racket!"

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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 03:16:21 PM »

Anybody else notice something strange about this "quote"?
Quote
When interviewed by Hedda Hopper in the early 1950s, Duryea spoke of career goals and his preparation for roles: "Well [. . .] Inasmuch, as I admired fine actors like Richard Widmark, Victor Mature, Robert Mitchum, and others who had made their early marks in the dark, sordid, and guilt-ridden world of film noir..."
Underlining mine.

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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 03:48:36 PM »

no such animal then  Afro

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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 04:33:56 PM »

I noticed that too. Then I looked at wikipedia's page on film noir, they claim the term was first used in 1946

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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 07:22:00 PM »

I noticed that too. Then I looked at wikipedia's page on film noir, they claim the term was first used in 1946

In France, not in Hollywood. It would be unusual for Duryea to even know the term existed in the early 50's.

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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 07:50:27 PM »

yeah, the footnote on that quote, (footnote 7) says it's from Duryea's imdb page, but when I clicked on that link http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002053/bio I couldn't find that quote

I did some Googling, I found this pdf http://classicnoirdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/dan-duryea-classic-images.pdf that also has that quote and says the interview with Hopper was in the early 50's. (Of course, it's always possible that multiple articles are quoting from the same mistaken source).

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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 11:55:42 AM »

Nobody in America was using the term "film noir" in the 50s, or even the 60s. The term did not gain currency in the U.S. until the early 70s.

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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2013, 11:47:40 PM »

Nobody in America was using the term "film noir" in the 50s, or even the 60s. The term did not gain currency in the U.S. until the early 70s.

well Duryea died in 1968, so (with a nod to Yogi Berra), he had to have said it before he died  Wink



btw, I just sort of accidentally clicked on a link to DVD Savant's review of the Columbia Noir Classics Vol. III. I generally avoid Savant the way I avoid the clap, but occasionally I decide to amuse (or torture?) myself by reading a few words by that jackass. This is his review of the set http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3737noir3.html he reviews The Burglar last. A few choice lines:
"....The Burglar is a disaster."
"The Burglar is excruciating."
"It's as if everything went wrong..."

Incidentally, the one other film I saw in this set, Tight Spot, is a terrific film with an amazing performance by Ginger Rogers, and of course, Savant says, "The problem with the film is Ginger Rogers..."

I wouldn't have it any other way. The day Savant ever says a word I agree with, I'll start wondering if I am losing good taste.

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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2013, 05:41:43 AM »

well Duryea died in 1968, so (with a nod to Yogi Berra), he had to have said it before he died  Wink

He may never have said it at all. Misattribution happens all the time.

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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2013, 02:45:25 PM »

Just watched it all the way through, its got some nice sequences, Mansfield plays it just right, Duryea is great. 7.5-8/10

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