Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 14, 2017, 05:56:08 PM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Other/Miscellaneous
| |-+  Off-Topic Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread
0 Members and 4 Guests are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 41 42 [43] 44 45 ... 100 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 379984 times)
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #630 on: January 29, 2011, 08:48:54 AM »

They Live By Night (1948) I don't like movies where you guess that is gonna go wrong for the protagonist from the start: just look at Granger's face. I also don't like all that molasses: much of it could have been cut off, especially toward the end. I also don't like Granger, not masculine enough. A pity because for the rest the movie is perfect, with great performances by all the other actors. The direction is maybe Ray's best. The score negligible. 7\10

Logged

dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13706

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #631 on: January 29, 2011, 02:25:01 PM »

I also don't like Granger, not masculine enough.
He was just a place holder until Anthony Perkins could be found.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #632 on: January 29, 2011, 06:37:05 PM »

He was just a place holder until Anthony Perkins could be found.

I don't know, I don't think they have much in common: Perkins is a good actor, he's not. Maybe I should watch again Senso (a film I don't like, like all melodramas). Probably because of being dubbed is more tolerable there.


Continued here.........: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg150671#msg150671

« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 11:24:18 AM by cigar joe » Logged

cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12783


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #633 on: January 30, 2011, 03:54:38 AM »

I'm sure I've seen "They Live By Night", I just don't remember much of it.

Black Angel (1946) dir. by Roy William Neil with Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre, Broderick Crawford, Constance Dowling, Wallace Ford, Hobart Cavanaugh, Freddie Steele, and John Phillips, another good Dan Duryea film (see "Criss Cross"). You know I've come to discover that my whole perception of him has come from the impressions I made from the Westerns I've seen him in. He was never believable to me as a Western villain he always seemed somehow off, not comfortable in Westerns, too goofy. In Noir he works.

Sort of a who dun-nit, who killed  femme fatale Mavis (Constance Dowling).

7/10

« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 05:12:05 PM by cigar joe » Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #634 on: January 30, 2011, 09:54:46 AM »


another good Dan Duryea film (see "Criss Cross"). You know I've come to discover that my whole perception of him has come from the impressions I made from the Westerns I've seen him in. He was never believable to me as a Western villain he always seemed somehow off, not comfortable in Westerns, too goofy.

Too slick. He looks too much of a dandy for westerns. He needed the Leone treatment.

Criss-Cross (1949) I was sure I had seen it before, but I was probably making confusion with The Killers or Brute Force. It is shot masterfully, but some elements do not persuade me. Lancaster for one: he hadn't learned how to play at the time. He's even displayin full throttle his moronic grin in the first scenes: this was more of a Garfield part. Then the incessant repeating that the hold-up could only be an inside job while it is apparent that there are a million ways to do the crime without somebody in the inside. And the hospital left without a night ward? And how De Carlo got the money? Lancaster is said to have preserved one half of the loot from the bandits who, presumably, took the other half. 7\10

Logged

titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #635 on: January 31, 2011, 01:27:22 AM »

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) Another "Murphy's law" product. The plot turns are improbable, or contrived, or simply wrong. Some example: Malden happens on the murder scene and in five minutes can reconstruct how things went; Andrews can't accept how things really went, trying all his best to put the blame on Merril when it is clear he's innocent (but somehow everybody does his best to convince the viewer he's not, even Merril's sidekicks). So, after Merrill (we don't know how) reconstruct correctly all Andrews' moves, apparently he doesn't find necessary to bring his conclusions to Andrews' superiors (of course: it must be Andrews himself who must be allowed to show his repentance and pride). I could add other examples... So  Gene will wait for him, though: can anybody believe it? 6\10 just for the night scenes and photography and the whistled tune.

Logged

dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13706

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #636 on: January 31, 2011, 10:53:38 AM »

I don't know, I don't think they have much in common: Perkins is a good actor, he's not. Maybe I should watch again Senso (a film I don't like, like all melodramas). Probably because of being dubbed is more tolerable there.
I agree that Perkins was a much better actor than Granger. Hence my use of the term "place holder": Perkins essentially put Granger out of work, since he became the go-to guy when a "sensitive" type was required. There weren't enough gigs for both men, so the better actor beat the other out (that's my theory, anyway).

The BD of Senso is coming from Criterion in about a month-and-a-half. I've never seen it, but I'll be giving it a spin. I don't know what my dubbing options will be.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #637 on: January 31, 2011, 11:01:22 AM »

So you think that, had Perkins had had a mortal accident in 1958, Granger would have been Norman Bates? Well, bah...

Logged

dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13706

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #638 on: January 31, 2011, 11:08:59 AM »

Well, Hitchcock had used Granger twice before, nicht wahr? Although, without Perkins, maybe the Psycho project would never have gone forward anyway.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #639 on: January 31, 2011, 12:46:35 PM »

Well, Hitchcock had used Granger twice before, nicht wahr? Although, without Perkins, maybe the Psycho project would never have gone forward anyway.

Robert Wagner was much more convincing as a psycho in A Kiss Before Dying than Granger could ever have been. But of course you needed a new face for playing Bates. Anyway I still can see little similarity with Perkins.

Logged

titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #640 on: February 01, 2011, 10:10:59 AM »

Detour (1945)  I liked it better this time than the first, probably because this time I had the original audio. Still I can't see why this is considered a classic. We have had hundreds of telefilms in the '50's and 60's shot with the same meagre budget and just as good. 7\10

Logged

dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13706

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #641 on: February 01, 2011, 10:58:57 AM »

Hmmm, maybe it's time to reprise this bit of boffo scholarship ["Thank you, Mr. Jenkins." "No, Dave, thank you!"]:

Detour (Ulmer, 1945) is rightly considered one of the greatest of films noir. It contains the essential elements of noir: bizarre circumstances, a feckless hero crossing from light into darkness, a femme fatale. The film was also made quickly and for little money, lending an appropriate air of crudeness to the proceedings. This crudeness serves to camouflage, if some are to be believed, a work of considerable sophistication.

Quote
Most critics of Detour have taken Al’s story at face value: He was unlucky in love; he lost the good girl and was savaged by the bad girl; he was an innocent who looked guilty even to himself. But the critic Andrew Britton argues a more intriguing theory in Ian Cameron’s Book of Film Noir. He emphasizes that the narration is addressed directly to us. We’re not hearing what happened, but what Al Roberts wants us to believe happened. It’s a “spurious but flattering account,” he writes, pointing out that Sue the singer hardly fits Al’s description of her, that Al is less in love than in need of her paycheck, and that his cover-up of Haskell’s death is a rationalization for any easy theft. (Ebert 134-136).

Even before Britton’s clever reading, others had questioned Al’s veracity:

Quote
. . . .  Roberts believes that fate controls these circumstances, and that is why he is so afraid. No matter what he does to try to escape his predicament, fate reaches out and produces another fantastic turn of events that makes things even worse.

The existential answer to this mythic dilemma is a realization that one is not simply a pawn in the hands of mysterious, evil forces. Ulmer subtly implies that Roberts ironically controls his own fate by emphasizing the close relationship between his fear and the freakish chain of events that reinforces it. He expects the worst and the worst occurs. Roberts maintains that he only expects the worst because he knows some exterior fate has “put the finger on me,” but how does he know this? It seems just as reasonable to assume that this is just his way of tyrannizing himself. (Selby 29)

Apparently, the author of the Detour entry in Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style had his doubts about Roberts also. Glenn Erickson expands on ideas found there:

Quote
Critic Blake Lucas correctly pegged Al’s detour from the straight and narrow path as the road he really wants to take. Unlike other noir antagonists who struggle in dark corners, Al’s destiny has a definite self-willed quality.

Al makes two crippling decisions, choices proving that character determines his fate, not the ‘mysterious force’ he whines about at the film’s end. He’s convinced that his vagrant status will prejudice the law against him, but Haskell’s accidental death isn’t all that mysterious. The dead man’s pills should prove that he had an existing heart condition. Al makes the accident appear to be a crime and takes Haskell’s identity, thus guaranteeing a murder charge if he’s caught. These are the acts of a masochist. So thoroughly does Roberts frame himself, the only explanation is that he secretly wants to be a criminal. (Erickson in Silver and Ursini, 27).

As we have seen, there is another explanation possible: Roberts, a social deviant, is relating an ex post facto rationalization for his criminal acts. But let’s return to Erickson.

Quote
Later on Al laments the fact that he can’t hook up with Sue “with a thing like that hanging over my head.” In actuality, that happened as soon as he left his ID on Haskell’s body. Roberts is really that kind of complicated man who professes to have strong goals yet all the while purposely engineers his own failure. In real life these maladjusted types want attention, or for someone else to step in and relieve them of their responsibilities. It’s the urge that keeps a potential high-class musician like Al playing piano in a dive: he can curse his cruel fate while avoiding the feared struggle for success in the competitive world. This allows him to trumpet his superiority while cursing the system that he claims has victimized him. (Erickson in Silver and Ursini 28).
Most critics taking this line do so by demonstrating inconsistencies between the narration and what appears on screen. But as Selby points out, we are not merely dealing with an unreliable narrator. "Such speculations are certainly being encouraged by the film’s ending, where Roberts only imagines his final capture. Through this clever twist, Ulmer forces the viewer to make his own judgment about Roberts’ real fate, which in turn forces him to admit how great his identification has become." (Selby 29)

On this view, it is not only the narration we may question in the final moments, but the visuals as well. Selby doesn’t push this understanding far enough, however. If the final images are coming from the narrator’s imagination, why not the entire film? Why trust anything we see when the whole is being mediated through Roberts’ perspective?

In fact, the plot sounds like a yarn told in the exercise yard by an inmate who has worked it up to demonstrate the injustice of his sentence. He’s innocent, a victim of “fate” and circumstances. Maybe the film is just Roberts’ first run-through before the cops pick him up, a rehearsal to make sure he’s got his facts “straight.”

Detour is, at least for some, a film about being conned. For others, Detour will remain what it purports to be, a true testament of a man driven by circumstances to crime. But then there are always those willing to pay out to panhandlers and snake oil dealers, those who take any tale at face value, however outlandish, those who will not scruple even to accept the words of French critics with a fancy name for a group of films. Detour is for them too.

Works Cited: Ebert's The Great Movies/Selby's Dark City: The Film Noir/Silver and Ursini's Film Noir Reader 4

Continued comments here........ : http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg145275#msg145275

« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 07:50:09 AM by cigar joe » Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #642 on: February 01, 2011, 03:14:20 PM »

And I'm sure I missed a gay subtext somewhere.

Logged

cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12783


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #643 on: February 02, 2011, 03:58:23 AM »

Fear In The Night (1947) Director:  Maxwell Shane with  Paul Kelly (DeForest Kelley), Ann Doran, Kay Scott, Charles Victor, Robert Emmett Keane, Jeff York, not great, watchable very poor quality DVD from Netflix. 6/10

« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 11:10:45 AM by cigar joe » Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13706

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #644 on: February 02, 2011, 08:27:03 AM »

The DVD is here! http://www.amazon.com/Prowler-Van-Heflin/dp/B004C2523M/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_4

Fabulous extras! Talking head doc, an interview with a gushing Bernard Tavernier, a very interesting doc on noir film restorations (including some hints about titles now in the pipeline).  I watched the film last night with the Eddie Muller commentary turned on. That's entertainment!

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
Pages: 1 ... 41 42 [43] 44 45 ... 100 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.037 seconds with 20 queries.