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Author Topic: Night Editor (1946)  (Read 213 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« on: June 02, 2017, 06:07:24 PM »

Saw this movie on DVD (double bill, with "One Girl's Confession").

It's a nice, tight little noir. 8/10

Full movie available on YouTube https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f9mZVtvG3iQ

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 08:05:02 PM »

Thanks for posting. Saw this a few years ago and should rewatch. This is quite an old review of mine.

Night Editor is an interesting little B, maybe even C, Noir which stars William Gargan who is pretty unknown to me though his filmography is pretty extensive. Gargan plays a basically decent cop whos out at night with some high-class dame whos not his wife. He witnesses a murder and doesn't report the crime for fear of having his affair come out. The problem is Gargan is not very memorable.

This is another cheaply produced but great little film which provided all the dirty sleazy drama post-war audiences wanted. It doesn't quite rise to gem level, but it is very interesting. The film is mainly carried by good dialogue and an utterly depraved ice-queen femme fatale.

The story is told through flashbacks by a seemingly unrelated "night editor" of a newspaper. Its a slightly moralizing framing device (dont we know them) and doesn't add anything to the story. Apparently the movie was supposed to be the first in a new series which never materialized. The ending too seems to be tacked on.

The best thing about the picture is Janis Carter. She is quite good as one of the nastiest femme fatales I have seen in a long time. She has that perfectly imperturbable and glamorous 40's society girl look.
She's not just garden-variety sick, but a complete psychopath who, after having witnessed a young girl being bludgeoned to death, is desperate to view the corpse because she gets her kicks that way. She would gleefully let an innocent man go to the chair just so it doesn't inconvenience her life and then goes on and starts another affair with the real murderer because it excites her. I hate to say that but somehow she left a bad taste in my mouth. Jill Merrill is almost too vile to be fun.

For the 40's, sex, violence and sadism have seldom been so perversely and explicitly mixed as here, the Hays Office was apparently asleep again.

Obviously a must-watch.

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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2017, 07:46:45 PM »

Jessica,

Nice review as always. I disagree with you on a few things here  Wink

I also thought that the framing device was totally unnecessary and stupid ... until it surprisingly does tie in with the story. I thought it was cute; the moralizing did not bother me here. If I've seen dozens of noirs with a completely fatalistic ending, seeing one that has a good ending - and one that was a surprise, and does not feel like a forced "happily ever after" - did not bother me. The "night editor" title does seem awkward; interesting to hear that this was supposed to be a noir series; that makes sense.

True, the femme fatale here was VERY bad. I only wonder why she would fall in love with this cop. This rich, glamorous evil girl, I can see her having a torrid sex affair, but not falling in love like that. I also thought she got her kicks seeing the corpse ... until you find out that she knew the murderer and therefore there was a good chance that she knew the victim as well. So her desire to see the corpse can be interpreted as her just wanting to find out who the victim was. It's ambiguous. Perhaps intentionally so.

I'm fine with Gargan. He's not milquetoast; he has a self-destructive streak. I do not remember seeing him previously, but I thought he was fine.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 02:57:09 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2017, 01:44:34 PM »

Happy endings in Noir don't always bother me. I had no problem with Fallen Angel, The Woman in the Window and Pickup on South Street. Here it didn't quite ring true to me. Maybe I just like my Noir bleak.

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So her desire to see the corpse can be interpreted as her just wanting to find out who the victim was. It's ambiguous.

No it ain't. Wink Look at the scene again. She gets off on it.

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2017, 03:00:34 PM »



No it ain't. Wink Look at the scene again. She gets off on it.

yeah, at the time it looks like she gets off on it. But after you find out that she knows the murderer, I think there is a reasonable chance that she as interested for that reason .. enough to make it  a possibility IMO

Happy endings in Noir don't always bother me. I had no problem with Fallen Angel, The Woman in the Window and Pickup on South Street. Here it didn't quite ring true to me.



IMO the ending of the The Woman in the Window (which, btw, is one of my favorite noirs) was terrible.

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