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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 367062 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #525 on: July 15, 2010, 02:41:56 PM »

So except for the color, it could be called a noir. No, wait, there are some color films called noir. And I'm sure that the events in the film could take place in the present day (in the same way that revolutionary France is "always with us"). Go ahead, it's a noir.

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« Reply #526 on: July 15, 2010, 02:45:51 PM »

Not really.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #527 on: July 15, 2010, 02:48:51 PM »

My copies of the Sony set and the Warner set arrived together yesterday. Thirteen noirs to view and digest! This is the bestest summer ever!

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« Reply #528 on: July 15, 2010, 06:03:29 PM »

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. Let the reviewing begin:
Quote
Nightfall (1957) - 8/10. Aldo Ray is on the run from the cops (they think he bumped off his camping buddy), but there are also a couple of goons (Brian Keith and a sadistic Rudy Bond) who want to get to him first and ask the question: what happened to the missing $350,000? Enter Anne Bancroft as a faux femme fatale and a pre-Barney Miller James Gregory as a sympathetic insurance investigator. Add stunning b&w widescreen photography of LA and Wyoming (courtesy of Burnett Guffey), and impeccable direction by Jacques Tourneur, and you get a 78 minute cheapie that's better than most A pictures of the period. Tourneur adds further interest by building in a tripartite flashback structure, and establishes synchronicity between the hero and the insurance investigator through the use of some very inventive match cuts.

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« Reply #529 on: July 16, 2010, 05:49:04 PM »

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Armored Car Robbery (1950) - 7/10. Dave Purvus (William Talman) had the perfect heist figured . . . until it all went terribly wrong. Richard Fleischer directed this tight 68 minute police procedural. Its chief virtue lies in watching Talman improvise his way out of a number of corners, but Charles McGraw's dogged police detective provides some moments of fun as well. Too bad the ending is so pedestrian.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 07:50:03 PM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #530 on: July 16, 2010, 08:05:59 PM »

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City of Fear (1959) - 7/10. An escaped con (Vince Edwards) is loose on the streets of LA with a canister of what he thinks is heroin but which in fact contains "Cobalt 60." This follow-up to Murder By Contract is Irving Lerner's Panic in the Streets, but with a nuclear angle. Great widescreen b&w photography provided by Lucien Ballard, and an impressive score from Jerry Goldsmith. The plot is little more than the premise followed to its logical conclusion, but it's entertaining enough.

Review continues here: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg144723#msg144723

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« Reply #531 on: July 19, 2010, 01:32:38 PM »

Erickson on the new Sony set: http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3228noir.html

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« Reply #532 on: July 19, 2010, 05:48:04 PM »

Erickson on the coming DVD of Appointment With Danger: http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3243dang.html

This bit in particular caught my eye:
Quote
The writers were surely hoping to achieve the word-of-mouth buzz enjoyed by Henry Hathaway's Kiss of Death, with its controversial scene in which Richard Widmark pushes an old lady in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs. Appointment with Danger  tries to top that brutality by having the dominant hit man Regas (Jack Webb) beat his submissive partner Soderquist (Harry Morgan) to death with Soderquist's own baby's bronzed booties.

That's sold me!

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« Reply #533 on: July 19, 2010, 08:59:54 PM »

Noir or non? You make the call: http://www.hulu.com/watch/95170/big-house-usa

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« Reply #534 on: July 19, 2010, 09:06:24 PM »

Me:
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New York Confidential (1955) - 7/10. Richard Conte is a stone cold killer working for Broderick Crawford in the NY branch of "the Syndicate." Early on the rules are established: the Syndicate always comes first, and individuals who in any way threaten its existence (or are perceived to threaten it) are eliminated. This dictum is rigorously enforced, so that by the end of the film all the players have changed but the Organization keeps chugging along. The virtue of this approach is that the film maintains a hard edge throughout, with nary a hint of sentimentality. However, it also means there are few surprises. By way of compensation we do get some fun performances: Conte is pitiless, and Crawford should have won an award for his scenery chewing. And then there's Anne Bancroft, playing the boss's daughter who wants only to get out from under, who had, in her day, the loveliest bones in the industry.

Erickson: http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3247york.html

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« Reply #535 on: July 22, 2010, 08:13:09 AM »

Deadline at Dawn (1946) - 8/10. A sailor (Bill Williams) on liberty in NYC must prove his innocence once his "escort" from earlier in the evening is found dead, and he must do it in time to catch a 6 a.m. bus back to his ship (the deadline of the title). Helping him is a cynical taxi dancer (a young and scrumptious looking Susan Hayward) and eventually a cabbie with a weird accent (Paul Lukas). The cast of suspects include (shock!) Joseph Calleia as a gangster (never better). The improbabilities keep piling on (the body of the murdered woman has countless visitors but remains undetected by the police until almost the end of the picture--although a police station is right across the street!). At several points I wanted to throw up my hands, but I kept watching because of the script's endless string of inventive quips (IMDb has some of them here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038458/quotes). One exchange absolutely floored me. In a reflective moment alone with Lukas Susan Hayward speaks wistfully:
Quote
Hayward: How can you love a boy you've just met?

Lukas: How can a casual passing stranger change your entire life? You'd be amazed. My wife I met and loved in a minute. In a dentist's office. With all the vitamins, too. I love her to this day . . . although it's 16 years since she's been gone.

Hayward: No children?

Lukas: A girl. She's married now. Last year I put her husband in a dry-cleaning establishment. I had some savings. I'd die for that girl.

Hayward: Does she remember her mother?

Lukas: My daughter? Oh, very well. She even remembers the man.

Hayward: What man?

Lukas: The man my wife ran off with. You won't believe it, the first six years, I shaved every night before I went to bed. I thought she might come back.

The plot is absurd, but for dialog like this (which actually contains clues to the solution of the crime) the film is worth watching and re-watching.

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« Reply #536 on: July 22, 2010, 08:15:17 PM »

sounds good  Afro

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« Reply #537 on: August 04, 2010, 05:15:01 PM »

Good news: http://www.wbshop.com/Locket-The-1946/1000168099,default,pd.html?cgid=ARCHIVENEW

The Film Noir Forum has this review of the film (http://members.boardhost.com/mrvalentine/msg/1280945501.html):

Quote
Made in the stark "film noir" style that was popular for crime dramas in the forties and fifties, "The Locket" deals with a similar theme to Alfred Hitchcock's "Marnie", that of a beautiful but psychologically disturbed young woman whose disturbance manifests itself as kleptomania, an uncontrollable impulse to steal. The main character, Nancy Monks, is a working-class girl who as a child was wrongly accused by her mother's wealthy employer of stealing a valuable locket and harshly beaten. The memory of this injustice has scarred Nancy ever since, and in adult life she tries to revenge herself on the world by stealing jewelery. Her compulsion to steal wrecks first her relationship with Norman Clyde, a young artist, and then her marriage to Harry Blair, a psychiatrist. Nancy's crimes may, indeed, go beyond mere theft; there is a suggestion that she may have committed a murder in the course of one robbery, a murder for which an innocent man suffers the death penalty.

Much of the comment on this film has centred on its unusually baroque structure, complex even by today's standards and even more so by those of the forties. It has been described as a "flashback within a flashback within a flashback". (The main action takes place on the morning of Nancy's second wedding. The story of her marriage to Blair is told in the first flashback, which contains a second flashback telling Clyde's story as told to Blair, which in turn contains a flashback narrating the story of her childhood). Despite this intricate construction, however, the plot line is never difficult to follow.

The film's links to Hitchcock's works go beyond a thematic resemblance to "Marnie". The set used for the house of Nancy's mother's employer is the same one used for the house of Alex Sebastian in "Notorious"; in both cases it serves to suggest opulent wealth combined with coldness. More importantly, the film-makers clearly shared the fascination with psychology that was obvious in such Hitchcock films as "Spellbound" or "Psycho". Such a fascination, particularly with the theories of Freud, was, in fact, quite common in the cinema around this period, although these theories were often somewhat bowdlerised. The censors were clearly uncomfortable with Freud's insistence on the particular importance of sexual experiences in influencing the human psyche. (I was interested to read the comments of the reviewer who pointed out the use of the locket of the title as a symbol of repressed memory).

Despite these thematic links it is not really accurate to describe the film as "minor league Hitchcock" as one reviewer did. I have not seen any of John Brahm's other films, but "The Locket" is the work of a major-league player. It is not a suspense film in the normal Hitchcock style but rather a melodrama. Brahm is able to get good performances out of his actors, particularly from Robert Mitchum as Clyde and Laraine Day, an actress with whom I was not previously familiar, as Nancy. The melodramatic style requires a non-naturalistic heightening of emotion; in some films this might have come across as over-acting, but here it is quite deliberate, done for increased dramatic effect and in line with the dark, neo-Gothic tone of the film. This is not a well-known film today, but I was lucky enough to catch it when it was recently shown on British television, and was not disappointed.


Continued here..........: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg150897#msg150897

« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 11:27:21 AM by cigar joe » Logged


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« Reply #538 on: August 10, 2010, 05:22:21 AM »

[quote from: cigar joe on November 24, 2009, 12:21:05 PM
The Big Combo (1955) dir Joseph H. Lewis, with Cornel Wilde, a great slightly over wound and the top Richard Conte in this one, Brian Donlevy, Jean Wallace, Susan Lowell, Robert Middleton, Lee Van Cleef, and Earl Holliman. "First is first and second is nobody" Its good to see Van Cleef in this. [/quote]

Yeah, but a small combo, actually. Conte is huge, the actors are all good, the photography excellent. So what is missing? Production values. You never have the impression that Conte is more than a small time gangster. Some plot turns are ridiculous (the bomb he personally delivers to the henchmen; the cop's kidnapping like it was all a joke). Still the execution is perfect. 7\10


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« Reply #539 on: August 10, 2010, 04:01:18 PM »

Pushover (1954) - A poor man's Double Indemnity. Fred MacMurray conspires with a larcenous Blonde to bump off her old man and split a large payday. Will this sap never learn? The slick b&w widescreen photography can't hide the fact that the whole film is shot on about 4 sets (and one backlot location). This movie doesn't have much, except for Kim Novak in her first credited appearance--but that's enough.


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