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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 380753 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #600 on: January 06, 2011, 10:05:05 AM »


Nightfall (1957)
But the real treat in this film is the quite stylistically high contrasting cinematography, especially at the confrontation at the oil well pump, there are some nice location street shots that blend well into the studio city sets, great stuff reminiscent of the graphic novel & film Sin City, though tame in comparison. One also gets the vibe of  the Cohen Brothers film  "Fargo" in the Wyoming set sections.
Absolutely. You may want to also mention that this is a widescreen noir, a definite minority within the class. The nice thing about that Columbia set is that the films are from the 50s, which means they were shot black-and-white but also wide, a definite plus, especially in the case of Nightfall (which is the best of the bunch).

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« Reply #601 on: January 06, 2011, 06:42:56 PM »

The Brothers Rico (1957) Director, Phil Karlson with Richard Conte, Dianne Foster, Larry Gates, James Darren, Argentina Brunetti,     
Paul Picerni, and Rudy Bond. An entertaining Noir using the "you can't just quit the mob and expect to have everything come out smelling like roses" storyline. Doesn't quite have the great sets and locations of "Nightfall" but Conte keeps it interesting in this tale of a brother trusting in the mob and trying to save his siblings. 

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« Reply #602 on: January 07, 2011, 09:16:49 AM »

Conte is always interesting. I just saw Highway Dragnet on Netflix, a silly story about a man wrongfully accused of a murder on the run who commandeers a car driven by Joan Bennett and another woman. When it turns out that Bennett had motive and opportunity for the crime Conte is accused of . . . well, the writing is on the wall. But the film is still fun just because of Conte. He could make reading the phone book interesting.

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« Reply #603 on: January 07, 2011, 02:01:52 PM »

The Outfit (1973) 8/10. Robert Duvall gets out of the pen only to find that he's #1 with a bullet on The Outfit's Hit Parade. Seems the bank he went up for was Mob owned, and The Outfit doesn't  think his jail sentence was punitive enough. Deciding the best defense is a good offense, Bob recruits Joe Don Baker and Karen Black to help him take on The Organization. So effective is his strategy--robbing each of The Syndicate's high yield operations--that he gets the personal attention of head man Robert Ryan (in his last screen role). In the gun-battle climax Ryan asks, "Can we deal?" and Duvall replies with "Too late!" and some high-caliber punctuation.
Savant's more detailed take on the film and the new MOD disc: http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3407outf.html

He does a nice job of listing all the noir-age cameos:
Quote
The Outfit is one of Robert Ryan's last movies, made when he was dying of cancer. The role doesn't give him much more to do than simmer with anger. But the parade of familiar faces is like a who's who of noirdom. Here's the rundown: Emile Meyer (Panic in the Streets, The People Against O'Hara, The Mob, Shield for Murder, Sweet Smell of Success, Baby Face Nelson, The Lineup); Roy Roberts (The Brasher Doubloon, He Walked by Night, Force of Evil, The Killer that Stalked New York); Roy Jenson (The Getaway, Chinatown), Elisha Cook Jr. (Stranger on the Third Floor, The Maltese Falcon, Phantom Lady, The Big Sleep and everything else; Marie Windsor (Force of Evil, The Narrow Margin, The Sniper, City that Never Sleeps, The Killing); and the aforementioned Jane Greer (They Won't Believe Me, Out of the Past, The Big Steal, The Company She Keeps) and Timothy Carey (Crime Wave & The Killing). Some of these actors have rather tiny parts, but all make an impact, eliciting a nice, "ooh, thats...." reaction.

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« Reply #604 on: January 10, 2011, 05:34:48 PM »

The rest of the Columbia Film Noir Set II:

Pushover (1954) Director,  Richard Quine with Fred MacMurray, Philip Carey, Kim Novak (in her film debut), Dorothy Malone, E.G. Marshall, and Allen Nourse.  A police detective played by MacMurray picks up gangster's girlfriend Novack as part of a ruse for the police department, they fall for each other with a dialog eerily reminiscent of the MacMurray-Stanwick exchange in "Double Indemnity" and go to the "Noir" side.  "Double Indemnity" it ain't but its an entertaining film none the less, 6.5-7/10

City of Fear (1959) Dir. by Irving Lerner, with Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer, Steven Ritch, and Patricia Blair. Edwards & a fellow inmate escape from prison stealing an ambulance and what they think is a canister of pharmaceutical grade cocaine from the prison hospital, what it actually is Cobalt 60, a highly dangerous radioactive substance. The chase ensues with the police employing a Geiger counter to trace the Cobalt 60. It will remind you a bit of "Panic in  the Streets" minus the great visuals of New Orleans and the Plance/Mostel chemistry. Edwards is good as the dying of radiation poisoning convict and the last shot of the film is a hoot. Another 6.5-7/10

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« Reply #605 on: January 11, 2011, 07:46:40 AM »

Born To Kill (1947) Director, Robert Wise with Claire Trevor, Lawrence Tierney, Walter Slezak, Phillip Terry, Audrey Long, Elisha Cook Jr., Isabel Jewell, and Esther Howard. Part of the Film Noir Classic's Collection #2. This one is great with a good cast who aside from Elisha Cook Jr., I was pretty unfamiliar with. Trevor plays a high society divorcee in Reno finalizing the divorce, who befriends beer swilling  landlady Ester Howard, in a great performance, and next door cutey Isabel Jewel who two times ladykiller hood Tierney as a way to keep him in line. Loose cannon Tierney who is in a sort of "Of Mice And Men" relationship with Elisha Cook Jr. (though not retarded as in the Steinbeck book, just dangerously impulsive) surprises Jewel & date in her house and kills them both. Trevor discovers the bodies but says nothing and leaves Reno on the train to San Fransisco with Tierney (who she met and becomes infatuated with in a casino while he was shadowing Jewel & her date), not knowing that he was the murderer. Walter Slezak is spot on in a classic characterization of a sleazy detective hired by Landlady Howard to find Jewel's killer.

Trevor is living with her wealth stepsister Audry Long and is engaged to a man with wealth Phillip Terry, the divorce paving the way for their marriage but she is now drawn fatally to Tierney who upon meeting Long projects his uncanny attraction to women and immediately focuses his attentions on Long to Trevor's dismay.

This is a good one, entertaining, with many twists, some great interior and location shots, all around great performances by the whole cast 10/10

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« Reply #606 on: January 11, 2011, 02:14:38 PM »

The Beav takes on The Outfit: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/dvd_reviews53/the_outfit.htm

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« Reply #607 on: January 12, 2011, 11:32:52 AM »

Whistle Stop (1945) Notable only for Ava Gardner at her most beautiful. Raft is too old for the part and McLaglen is better than wgen playing for Ford. But that amounts to little anyway because the plot is weak. 5\10

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« Reply #608 on: January 14, 2011, 12:18:44 PM »

Rope of Sand is coming to DVD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004J2FJ24/ref=pd_luc_mri?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I wish I could endorse it, but I saw it recently on Netflix and it's a poor man's Casablanca relocated to South Africa's "Diamondstad." Some of the Casablanca cast members are ported over: Claude Rains playing Claude Rains (again), and Peter Lorre as Peter Lorre. Even Paul Henreid is there, however, this time in the Major Strasser role. A very young and very fit Burt Lancaster is the male lead, not on the hunt for letters of transit, but rather diamonds. And of course Henreid is determined to catch him with the goods so he can visit upon him a very painful death. The film's biggest failing is with the female lead: Corinne Calvet is no Ingrid Bergman, and her world-weary act at the start is as phony as her later conversion-through-love for Lancaster. Rains does have enough wicked witticisms to keep things moving along, and Lancaster gives good Tough Guy, but the story isn't very compelling. 6/10.

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« Reply #609 on: January 15, 2011, 04:02:33 AM »

99 River Street (1953) 7/10 Not a bad Noir caught most of it on TCM except the very beginning. Heavyweight boxer Payne will go blind if he enters ring again so he ends up driving a cab and gets framed for his wife's murder who is mixed up with diamond heist crooks so he goes after them. Has some great sequences with heavy Jack Lambert and a finally on the waterfront.

Kansas City Confidential (1953) 7/10 Second time I've caught this film again very uneven, but its nice seeing Brand, Elam, & Van Cleef doing what they do best.

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« Reply #610 on: January 15, 2011, 08:34:00 AM »

99 River Street (1953) 7/10 Not a bad Noir caught most of it on TCM except the very beginning. Heavyweight boxer Payne will go blind if he enters ring again so he ends up driving a cab and gets framed for his wife's murder who is mixed up with diamond heist crooks so he goes after them. Has some great sequences with heavy Jack Lambert and a finally on the waterfront.
What's wrong with this review? Hmmm, well first, it doesn't mention that Evelyn Keyes is in it, giving one of her nuttiest performances, and THEN it doesn't note that Payne's wife is played by screen goddess Peggie Castle. Joe, are you taking your Viagra?

Seriously, though, this film does one thing particularly well: it introduces, in natural, un-forced ways, the talents of the leads at the beginning, and then allows them to use those talents later to successfully complete the adventure. For example, the Evelyn Keyes character is an actress, and her acting skills come in handy when, late in the day, she has to vamp Brad Dexter (who is wonderfully evil in this, probably his greatest role). And of course, the fact that Payne is playing an ex-boxer is useful when there are some fisticuffs and feats of endurance required at the climax.


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« Reply #611 on: January 15, 2011, 06:54:09 PM »

Quote
Seriously, though, this film does one thing particularly well: it introduces, in natural, un-forced ways, the talents of the leads at the beginning, and then allows them to use those talents later to successfully complete the adventure.


I missed all that, I caught it just before his wife is found dead in the cab  Sad

Continued here ...... : http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg148067#msg148067

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« Reply #612 on: January 15, 2011, 09:52:02 PM »

Kansas City Confidential (1953) 7/10 Second time I've caught this film again very uneven, but its nice seeing Brand, Elam, & Van Cleef doing what they do best.

As I was saying...

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« Reply #613 on: January 16, 2011, 05:29:09 PM »

The Black Book (1949)  I've seen at IMDB that this is listed as a noir film. I don't think it is, actually it reminded me more of some Universal horror productions of the time (the sets look very much like those used for british town like London or Edinburgh, or even those of some central european remote town) but as everything shot in b&w with some death is automatically included in that genre I posted this mini-review here. The first part is excellent, Mann and his dop John Alton do a great job and the movie really manages to communicate the Terror atmosphere of  Robespierre's rule. Afterward though it veers on Scarlet Pimpernel kind of action, with chases and poor ruses like that of the book on the bed: a pity. Basehart as Robespierre gives a Oscar-worthy performance: the way he use his arms in the mass scenes is astounding. Even the actor playing the chief of police (Arnold Moss: i don't think I saw him before) is good. 7\10   

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« Reply #614 on: January 17, 2011, 05:23:16 PM »

Crossfire 1947 Director: Edward Dmytryk with Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame, Paul Kelly, Sam Levene, George Cooper, a pretty good film entertaining. Ryan is a racist who murders Levene because he is a Jew, Cooper is accused of it. Young and Mitchum seek the truth. Gloria Graham is a cutie B-girl in this one with a small part that she really makes the most of, gotta love her. 8/10

Criss Cross (1949) Director: Robert Siodmak doomed Burt Lancaster is drawn into an armored car robbery by femme fatale ex wife Yvonne De Carlo,  with Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Esy Morales, Tom Pedi, Percy Helton. Good film with Bunker Hill section of LA used in bg. 7/10

Continued discussion of Criss Cross here: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg144835#msg144835

« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 07:20:36 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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