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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 379058 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #750 on: April 08, 2011, 04:34:03 PM »

No, it's available. "Farewell, My Lovely," however, is not.

You are right, my mistake, it's now on my Netflix list. "The Brasher Doubloon" is not. Afro

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« Reply #751 on: April 08, 2011, 05:35:50 PM »

The Phantom Lady (1944) Director Robert Siodmak, with Franchot Tone as Jack Marlow, Ella Raines as Carol Richman, Alan Curtis    as Scott Henderson, Aurora Miranda as Estela Monteiro, Thomas Gomez as Inspector Burgess, Fay Helm as Ann Terry, Elisha Cook Jr. as Cliff, and Regis Toomey as Detective Chewing Gum.

A sort of a flimsy implausible story on this one that started out very good then disintegrates, but it has some interesting sequences that I liked a lot.

An unhappily married Scott Henderson waiting to attend a show is stood up by his wife at a bar. Frustrated, he notices that a hat-wearing woman seated also at the bar looks lost and in distress. He makes some small talk with her and first offers her the show tickets to try and cheer her up,  but one thing leads to another and he ends up spending the evening on a no-name basis with her. Returning home, he finds his wife strangled and the police waiting and he becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Every effort to prove his alibi fails; oddly no one seems to remember seeing the phantom lady (or her hat). Scott is convicted and sent to Sing Sing. His secretary, "Kansas," (Raines) sets out to locate the "phantom" lady.

An interesting mix of unlikely characters with probably husky Thomas Gomez as the Inspector being the most surprising. This film looks entirely shot in the studio with nicely detailed sets, one that represents one of the old New York City El's is magnificent. There is one series of sequences where Raines, dressed up as a two bit floozy, seduces orchestra drummer Elisha Cook Jr. to get information, and they head off to a wild jazz band rehearsal in a tenement basement before they end up in Cook's crash pad.

All in all, the jazz, the characters, and the sets are great, the story so so. 7/10

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« Reply #752 on: April 08, 2011, 05:48:47 PM »

Dementia - Daughter of Horror (1955) I thought I was in for some cheap budgeted horror foray, instead this is a quintessential noir. Even though the nightmare element is pervading, the techniques of the movie remind me more of noir flicks than horror ones. What i can't digest of this movie is the fact that all the women are below-average, expecially the protagonist. Had she been more appetizing I could have given this movie 9\10 (because, of course, they can say in the blurbs on the cover that this compares with Un chien andalou: but it doesn't have the force (and the irony) of Bunuel's classic). But to make a cheap budgeted movie with those results makes it a solid 8\10. 

Bizarre film, like mentioned above could have used better looking women, they did a good job with what they had but its no "Carnival of Souls".

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« Reply #753 on: April 08, 2011, 06:09:51 PM »

The Phantom Lady (1944)
All in all, the jazz, the characters, and the sets are great, the story so so. 7/10
That squares with my view of the matter, although, as an Ella Raines devotee, I'd be tempted to give it another point.

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« Reply #754 on: April 08, 2011, 06:28:10 PM »

Bizarre film, like mentioned above could have used better looking women, they did a good job with what they had but its no "Carnival of Souls".

Rating?
And what version did you see? The uncut without comment (not that it makes much difference)?

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« Reply #755 on: April 09, 2011, 12:51:12 AM »

Carnival of Souls (1962) I followed CJ's tip and watched it, but didn't appreciate it much. I do not even think it belongs in this thread. Once you get the hang of it it becomes boring, just a bloated up episode of Twilight Zone: with a 25-30 minutes cut it could have fared better. The female lead is appetizing but doesn't show much of herself.  6\10

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« Reply #756 on: April 09, 2011, 04:29:47 AM »

Rating?
And what version did you see? The uncut without comment (not that it makes much difference)?

Uncut I think, but it was a bit too low budget for me 6/10 for effort, now as to Carnival of Souls the un-cut pristine version of that I'd go as 8/10, partly for the innovative locations the Peeping Tom in the boarding house segment, and sentimental (Candace Hilligoss) reasons.  Cool

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« Reply #757 on: April 09, 2011, 04:41:26 AM »

That squares with my view of the matter, although, as an Ella Raines devotee, I'd be tempted to give it another point.

She is great in this, (The Phantom Lady) and I like the way you don't know at first who the main protagonists are going to be, but in order for everything to make sense you're asked to swallow that Marlow killed the wife suddenly on impulse then spied on Henderson's every move with enough cash in his pocket to pay off every body Henderson came in contact with, then hangs around making sure that nobody spills the beans,  then after killing Cliff removes all evidence of "Kansas" being there in Cliff's apartment and then keeps that evidence in a draw in his studio. come on.....

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« Reply #758 on: April 10, 2011, 05:45:12 PM »

Screen Caps from "The Phantom Lady":

The Phantom Lady with Scott Henderson


"Kansas" follows bartender to El station


El station platform


El station platform


"Kansas" dressed as hooker


Cliff notices "Kansas"


"Kansas" in basement Jazz bar.




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« Reply #759 on: April 10, 2011, 07:26:11 PM »

She is great in this, (The Phantom Lady) and I like the way you don't know at first who the main protagonists are going to be, but in order for everything to make sense you're asked to swallow that Marlow killed the wife suddenly on impulse then spied on Henderson's every move with enough cash in his pocket to pay off every body Henderson came in contact with, then hangs around making sure that nobody spills the beans,  then after killing Cliff removes all evidence of "Kansas" being there in Cliff's apartment and then keeps that evidence in a draw in his studio. come on.....
Well, putting it like that, I'm starting to go off on this one . . .

Thanks for posting the screen caps. All the El station stuff are matte paintings!

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« Reply #760 on: April 11, 2011, 08:07:13 AM »

Well, putting it like that, I'm starting to go off on this one . . .

Thanks for posting the screen caps. All the El station stuff are matte paintings!

That is what is so fantastic about it they came out looking great. My only quibble would be that their weren't enough lit windows depicted in the sky scrapers to realistically look like New York City.

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« Reply #761 on: April 11, 2011, 09:44:04 PM »

Farewell My Lovely (1975) Directed by Dick Richard, with Noir Icons Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, and John Ireland as Det. Lt., Nulty, with a supporting cast that includes Charlotte Rampling as Helen Grayle, Sylvia Miles very impressive as alcoholic floozy Jessie Halstead Florian, Anthony Zerbe as sleazy Laird Brunette, another great performance by Harry Dean Stanton as crooked on the take Det. Billy Rolfe, Jack O'Halloran in his film debut with an adequate interpretation of Moose Malloy, Joe Spinell as Nick, and a very young Sylvester Stallone as whorehouse punk, Jonnie. Novelist, Jim Thomson puts in an appearance as Judge Grayle.

Story line "man mountain", not too bright Moose Malloy, is out of prison after seven years for a robbery rap, he's looking for his former squeeze Velma Velento former chanteuse and dancer at Florians, he hires Marlowe to find her.

I really, really, enjoyed this version of "Farewell My Lovely", and I'd have to say it equals "Murder My Sweet" not point for point but for different reasons, "Murder My Sweet" has an unforgettably well done first meet between Marlowe (Dick Powell) and Moose Malloy (Mike Mazurki) and while on Mike, for me he is still the Malloy to beat, he is the actor that has the cachet, the cinematic memory, he is what I most remember about that version of the Chandler Story, him and the Noir cinematography. I'll have to watch it again, but I have a feeling that it will be tough to beat the outstanding cast of the 1975 film.

That said "Farewell My Lovely" has four unforgettable Marlowe & Molloy go to Florian's sequence, the two Marlowe and Jessie Florian sequences, the Marlowe meets Femme Fatale Helen Grayle (Charlotte Rampling) sequence (and Rampling BTY has some beautiful green eyes, you know  I don't even recall Claire Trevor's performance in "Murder My Sweet"), and the Nulty gets religion in the police car sequence, then add in all the Marlowe/Nulty vignettes, this film is one not too miss. Sets and interiors suitably seedy and not hampered by the Hays Code and the script is Pre PC so there is no pulling punches in the various lines and situations, bravo.

The cinematography of the interiors was excellent, everything depicted had aura of decay, one minor quibble, it could have probably alluded just a bit more to classic noir films than it did, there were a number of sequences shot against a backdrop of brightly lit windows (Marlowe's office and Jessie Florian's parlor come to mind) that had venetian blinds but the blinds were either closed or pulled up so we get none of the staple barred shadows, a shame, it would have been a nice bonus.

What I remember most vividly from the novel is the character Jessie Florian and description of the dump she lives in, and Chandler is in top form here. And out of all that detail rendered, what sticks in my memory most is Chandlers description of the fingerprint encrusted glasses Jessie comes back with to drink the booze out of. The film doesn't quite go to that depth but its close, and it probably paints Jessie just a tab bit more comely and sympathetically than the novel does.

Mitchum is Mitchum, like John Wayne when you reach iconic status its hard to separate character from personality, but you can overlook it here. I'll almost have to re-read the novel (I'd bet its been 20 years since I did) to give a definitive answer on who's is the best Marlowe Mitchum, Montgomery, Powell, Garner. Regardless the Mitchum/Ireland scenes are a visual treat and direct link to Classic Noir.

Soundtrack is great and for a Chandler adaptation this one placed in the correct time period is probably the best one in that respect. 9/10 mainly for Jack O'Halloran, now if they had cast Richard Kiel, William Smith, or as titoli mentioned Dan Blocker as Moose it could have upped the cachet a notch.


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« Reply #762 on: April 12, 2011, 02:54:26 AM »

"the best Marlowe Mitchum, Montgomery, Powell, Garner."

I presume you're alluding to "George" Montgomery, as "Robert" is mostly heard. That's a weird choice.   

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« Reply #763 on: April 12, 2011, 04:38:12 AM »

"the best Marlowe Mitchum, Montgomery, Powell, Garner."

I presume you're alluding to "George" Montgomery, as "Robert" is mostly heard. That's a weird choice.  

No, I haven't seen The Brasher Doubloon, so I just listing the Marlowe performances I've seen, I should have added Bogart and Gould to that list,  they never come to mind, and they are not the best regardless.

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« Reply #764 on: April 12, 2011, 10:03:05 AM »

But if you mean "Robert" Montgomery, then you have to include all the OTR Marlowes.

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