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Author Topic: High Wall (1947)  (Read 590 times)
cigar joe
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« on: January 14, 2015, 03:26:23 AM »

Director: Curtis Bernhardt Stars: Robert Taylor, Audrey Totter, Herbert Marshall.



Robert Taylor, suffering from a recurring brain injury, appears to have strangled his wife. Having confessed, he's committed to an understaffed county asylum full of pathetic inmates. There, Dr. Lorrison (Audrey Totter) is initially skeptical about his story but she begins to doubt his guilt, nice rainy noir atmosphere cinematography by Paul Vogel (Lady In The Lake, Dial 1119, The Sellout, The Tall Target.) 7/10

From IMDb:

Taylor & Totter Triumph
9 April 2001 | by mackjay (Out there in the dark)

As another reviewer has remarked, "The High Wall" contains a fine performance from the often wooden Robert Taylor. The main character is this tale is in an archetypal "fugitive" situation: he is determined to find the true murderer of his own wife, a crime of which he is himself accused. Taylor underplays the desperation nicely, and he elicits a convincing concern for his young son. This 1947 film also captures Taylor at the tail end of his best looks. The stony appearance that calcified his later career is here only incipient.

What distinguishes "The High Wall" even more strongly is the oppressively 'noir' quality of its cinematography. Several scenes have a powerful 'noir' mood: dark, rainy streets, claustrophobic apartment rooms. Moreover, there are a couple of well done 'whirlpool' flashbacks, as well as some surprising violence.

The film is economically and atmospherically directed by Curtis Bernhardt, who guided Joan Crawford through one of her best performances in "Possessed" (also 1947).

Every other performer in "The High Wall" is in top form, but the underappreciated Audrey Totter must be singled out. For some reason, this gifted actress has been virtually ignored in appreciation of 1940s films, particularly in regard to 'film noir'. She has created several memorable and beautifully played characters in 'films noirs' like "Tension", "The Setup", "The Lady in the Lake" "The Postman Always Rings Twice"--to name a few. In "The High Wall", Totter balances the weight of the drama perfectly against Taylor's character. Together, they bring distinction to what could have been ordinary fare.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 03:48:13 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2017, 02:05:44 AM »

High Wall was this week's selection on TCM's "Noir Alley." I give this a 6/10

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

Eddie Muller's afterword: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5FMkJdl8pw&feature=youtu.be

« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 03:48:33 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 07:40:50 AM »

Wow, what meaty spots! Way to go, TCM.

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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 09:05:47 AM »

Thank you, D & D. I saw the movie not long ago, liked it. Totter was a very underrated actress.

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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2017, 09:10:25 PM »

Thank you, D & D. I saw the movie not long ago, liked it. Totter was a very underrated actress.

I agree that Totter was a good actress.

Often in noirs, she is supposed to be playing a sexy type, and I do not find her sexy at all (her pair of D's notwithstanding  Wink ). In this movie, her character is not supposed to be the sexy type, so for the first time I was able to just focus on her acting, and, for the first time, I realized and appreciated her acting skills  Wink Afro

« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 10:49:34 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 09:00:55 AM »

Quote
she is supposed to be playing a sexy type, and I do not find her sexy at all
You're weird, man.

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2017, 10:52:01 AM »

You're weird, man.

The other girl here, kjrwe, says she has no opinion on women's sexiness, insisting that she is a "straight female" http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=12997.msg190628#msg190628

I'm glad you're different  Wink

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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2017, 02:01:45 PM »

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I'm glad you're different
Funny. But sorry, nothing doing there. Tongue

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