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drinkanddestroy
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« on: October 23, 2013, 01:51:05 AM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042960/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Side Street (1950)

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There's one previous post on this movie in the Film Noir Discussion Thread http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg148608#msg148608

cigar joe:
Side Street (1950) D: Anthony Mann. Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig, Paul Kelly, Edmon Ryan, Paul Harvey, Jean Hagen, Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens, Harry Bellaver, Whit Bissell. Part-time mailman Granger impulsively stealing $30,000 of blackmail money from a ring led by a crooked lawer, and finding himself caught between the crooks and the cops.

Holy Shit another great NYC Noir that I've never heard of, this one with the benefit of a big budget that Kubrick didn’t have for the “Killers Kiss”. Great atmospheric location shots juxtaposed with seedy apartment interiors. A highlight is the grand finale cab vs. cop cruiser chase, through the narrow, deserted, Sunday morning streets of lower Manhattan, the high angle overhead shots make look like rats running around an elaborate maze, equals the chase in McQueen’s “Bullitt “ in a different way. 10/10


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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 02:07:55 AM »

just saw Side Street: yes the locations are great, but that's just about all the movie has going for it.

I've never liked Farley Granger - the only time I ever thought he was ok was in They Live by Night (the other side of the double feature dvd along with Side Street). Both movies also have  Cathy O'Donnell as lead actress. In They Live by Night, I thought O'Donnell was absolutely amazing – hers was one of the best female characters I have seen in a long time. But in Side Street, O'Donnell is wasted in a dumb role - she basically spends the whole movie in bed, or crying in Granger's arms.

The supporting cast is mostly good, with the exception of the awful Jean Hagen. Hagen was given a supporting role as what could have been a great character – the down and out singer, who probably dreamed of being a big star but is stuck in some crappy nightclub, who has to put down as many drinks as she can just to get through her set, and loves a man who abuses her – sure, it's a common noir character, but with a good actress, it can be a great role. But Hagen is so bad here, it's painful to watch.

The film has some completely useless narration in the beginning; thankfully it goes away after the first few minutes, befor returning at the end of the final scene. Really, did filmmakers think that audiences were that stupid that they couldn't figure out what was going on without a narrator? Did they really need a narrator to tell them that New York is a big city, with rich people and poor people living side by side, and that a poor person could be tempted by some cash he sees lying around.... and that he really isn't a bad guy or a good guy, just a normal guy like everyone else? I mean, really?Huh Misplaced narration can just needlessly reduce tension/suspense in a movie; and in this movie, every word of the narration was totally useless. Thank God the useless narration left the movies half a century ago; now, generally when a movie has narration it is warranted, rather than just having narration for its own sake.

As CJ detailed in the above post, there are great locations here; unlike CJ, I don't give a movie a 10/10 based on locations alone; but I will give it a 7/10

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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 02:38:18 AM »

This movie played yesterday on TCM's Noir Alley.

Eddie Muller's intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUeE0PewdwM&feature=youtu.be

Eddie Muller's afterword: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7pzx8OI9VE&feature=youtu.be


In the intro, Muller says that the other Farley Granger-Cathy O'Donnell noir, They Live by Night, was released "in November 1949, a few weeks before Side Street opened nationwide. So the public's big gift in the Christmas season of 1949 was a double dose of Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell ..."

Here are the IMDB pages with release dates of They Live by Night http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040872/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_ov_inf and Side Street http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042960/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_ov_inf

According to those IMDB pages They Live by Night was indeed released in the USA in the first week of November 1949 (it had been released in some other countries several months before) but Side Street did not open in the USA until more than 4 1/2 months later – March 23 in New York, and in April across the USA. I don't think anyone would consider 4 1/2 months to be "a few weeks," and I don't think anyone would consider March to be part of "the Christmas season of 1949." So somebody made a mistake here ...

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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2017, 08:41:40 AM »

Thanks, D & D.

I haven't seen this movie in a few years, have to rewatch. Just like you, Farley Granger is not my favorite actor.

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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 01:38:30 AM »

Hah, I wonder if Farley Granger is anybody's favorite actor? Certainly not mine either...  Grin OTOH, I adore Cathy O'Donnell, a wonderful actress.

I'll give it to Granger tho, he and O'Donnell were amazing in the superior They Live By Night. But he's just his usual bland self again here... Great shots of NYC notwithstanding, I also cannot go any higher than a 7/10.

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