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drinkanddestroy
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« on: March 26, 2017, 01:32:32 AM »

TCM will be showing a film noir every Sunday at 10 a.m. ET, hosted by Eddie Muller

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg188394#msg188394

TENSION (1949) - a pretty decent film - is first up this week
http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0041954/


I have seen this twice, a while ago. I think I gave it around a 7.5/10

« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 01:33:39 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 09:43:00 AM »

I'd go an 8, considering the presence of goddess Cyd Charisse.

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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 04:29:09 PM »

Tension isn't in my top 10 favorite Noirs, but it's a movie I like quite a lot.

One could argue if this movie is true Noir as it does not fit the "formula" perfectly, and while it has some Noir components it is certainly missing a few others. It is not a whodunnit, more a howdunnit and whydunnit, and relies much more on a psychological character study than most films of that genre.
The typical Noir photography is largely missing, there is barely any Chiaroscuro lighting, canted angles, wet pavements...However, typical Noir themes such as passion, greed, lust and betrayal are all there. And a great and trampy femme fatale.

The movie has a voice-over by Barry Sullivan, who plays the cop out to find the murderer. He supplies a very interesting intro in which he breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience directly. He is constantly playing with a rubber band which, as he explains, can be stretched until it reaches its breaking point, just like people can be worked on until they finally break under the tension. It's a bit of an obvious metaphor, but it works quite well for this type of movie.

Audrey Totter is great as one of the nastiest and most vicious bad girls ever. For a short time she can be all sweetness, pouting and teasing, but her true colors show fast when things don't go her way. She's bad news all the way. Every time she appears on the screen a special slutty-dame-music comes on. That alone is worth watching the movie for.
Totter has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but I agree that she has serious competition in Cyd Charisse, one of Hollywood's greatest beauties. Unfortunately Charisse never got to play a femme fatale.

In an interesting twist to the usual set-up, it's not the femme fatale who entraps others, it's the player who gets played and doesn't catch on until it is too late. Sullivan's cop works on Totter in a way that can only be called entrapment. He wines and dines her, makes her believe he's crazy about her... his methods are more than dubious but then again he's up against one of the baddest bad girls of Noir.

Extremely watchable Noir.

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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 07:46:27 PM »

Tension isn't in my top 10 favorite Noirs, but it's a movie I like quite a lot.

One could argue if this movie is true Noir as it does not fit the "formula" perfectly, and while it has some Noir components it is certainly missing a few others. It is not a whodunnit, more a howdunnit and whydunnit, and relies much more on a psychological character study than most films of that genre.
The typical Noir photography is largely missing, there is barely any Chiaroscuro lighting, canted angles, wet pavements...However, typical Noir themes such as passion, greed, lust and betrayal are all there. And a great and trampy femme fatale.

The movie has a voice-over by Barry Sullivan, who plays the cop out to find the murderer. He supplies a very interesting intro in which he breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience directly. He is constantly playing with a rubber band which, as he explains, can be stretched until it reaches its breaking point, just like people can be worked on until they finally break under the tension. It's a bit of an obvious metaphor, but it works quite well for this type of movie.

Audrey Totter is great as one of the nastiest and most vicious bad girls ever. For a short time she can be all sweetness, pouting and teasing, but her true colors show fast when things don't go her way. She's bad news all the way. Every time she appears on the screen a special slutty-dame-music comes on. That alone is worth watching the movie for.
Totter has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but I agree that she has serious competition in Cyd Charisse, one of Hollywood's greatest beauties. Unfortunately Charisse never got to play a femme fatale.

In an interesting twist to the usual set-up, it's not the femme fatale who entraps others, it's the player who gets played and doesn't catch on until it is too late. Sullivan's cop works on Totter in a way that can only be called entrapment. He wines and dines her, makes her believe he's crazy about her... his methods are more than dubious but then again he's up against one of the baddest bad girls of Noir.

Extremely watchable Noir.

Audrey Totter was an ugly girl.

Charisse as a femme fatale would be like Henry Fonda as a cold-blooded killer in OUATITW  Wink

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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 09:02:23 PM »

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Audrey Totter was an ugly girl.

Ta, ta, ta. It's true that Totter wasn't the most beautiful actress, BUT she'll always be one of the best Noir bad girls. She even managed to out-floozy Lana Turner in The Postman, and that's no mean feat. Cyd Charisse is utterly gorgeous though. But I thought guys like bad girls...  Wink

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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2017, 09:26:41 PM »

Ta, ta, ta. It's true that Totter wasn't the most beautiful actress, BUT she'll always be one of the best Noir bad girls. She even managed to out-floozy Lana Turner in The Postman, and that's no mean feat. Cyd Charisse is utterly gorgeous though. But I thought guys like bad girls...  Wink

But guys do not like ugly girls!

Lana Turner in Postman was far, far from the most evil femme fatale. She was relatively saintly compared to, e.g., Stanwyck in Double Indemnity

BTW, one the subject of looks, Stanwyck is far uglier than Totter. Totter I guess I could do if I had ten drinks and was knocked on the head. Stanwyck I wouldn't do if she was the last female left on earth. And she was no great actress, either. IMO she is the one bad thing about Double Indemnity, one of my all-time favorite movies.

And on the subject of Lana Turner in TPART, she sort of screwed up that movie. It is a very good movie, and she is beautiful, but she gives a bad performance: You don't feel for one second that she actually likes Garfield. And her character is supposed to really like Garfield - unlike, say, Stanwyck in DI, Turner's character in Postman really is in love with Garfield. But there is no chemistry there.

I read somewhere that when she heard that when Lana Turner heard that John Garfield was going to be cast opposite her in TPART, she exclaimed something like, "Couldn't they get someone who is good-looking?" Maybe she had something against Garfield, maybe she is a poor actress, I don't know, but I absolutely felt that the Garfield character was head over heels for Turner's, but I never for a moment felt that Turner's felt anything for Garfield's. (Maybe that's just cuz I always assume that men are crazy about women, but women don't give a damn about us Wink ) And that hurts TPART. Also the scene where she is supposed to lose her temper and decides she is going to confess ... she does that so badly.

Lana Turner was not a terrible actress; she was Oscar-nominated for Best Actress in Peyton Place, and she was pretty good in that movie. But she was not good in TPART.

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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 10:10:07 PM »

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Totter I guess I could do if I had ten drinks and was knocked on the head. Stanwyck I wouldn't do if she was the last female left on earth.

Dude, I think we're just not on the same page. I think Totter had all the goods, and so did Stanwyck. In fact Stanwyck is one of my all-time favorites. She was not classically beautiful, but she was damn sexy, even when she was older. As opposed to Crawford and Davis. But then I'm not sure where your priorities lie. Smiley Can't argue about taste. I think Stanwyck was one hell of an actress, as opposed to Lana. Yes, Lana won an Oscar, but that doesn't mean anything. And I like Lana.

I don't agree with Lana either about Garfield. Nothing wrong with him as far as I can tell.  Cheesy But my tastes seem to differ from other women too.

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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2017, 06:46:26 AM »

Unfortunately Charisse never got to play a femme fatale.

Not quite the same but Cyd Charisse plays a femme fatale in the final dance sequence of 'The Band Wagon'... And she is HOT in that number.

I should rewatch 'Tension', I enjoyed it quite a bit the last time I saw it (rated it 8/10 on IMDb), but tbh I hardly remember Charisse's part in the movie, mostly Audrey Totter ('Driffft') and Richard Basehart.
Totter was perfect for film noir, and to me she's quite beautiful too (and simply irresistible in 'Lady In The Lake')...

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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 08:58:38 AM »

Dude, I think we're just not on the same page. I think Totter had all the goods, and so did Stanwyck. In fact Stanwyck is one of my all-time favorites. She was not classically beautiful, but she was damn sexy, even when she was older. As opposed to Crawford and Davis. But then I'm not sure where your priorities lie. Smiley Can't argue about taste. I think Stanwyck was one hell of an actress, as opposed to Lana. Yes, Lana won an Oscar, but that doesn't mean anything. And I like Lana.

I don't agree with Lana either about Garfield. Nothing wrong with him as far as I can tell.  Cheesy But my tastes seem to differ from other women too.

Turner did not win an Oscar. She was nominated (once, for PEYTON PLACE).

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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 05:44:42 PM »

Oops, d & d, my mistake.

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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 02:32:37 AM »

Eddie Muller's introductory and closing comments to a recent showing of this movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBROz7jpUAM

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