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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 367933 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #705 on: March 21, 2011, 05:56:05 AM »

Haven't read it, never claimed to. Irrelevant to the point I was making, to wit, that "I have just to trust what's written in the film credits" is the statement of a hopeless naif. Btw, titoli, if you're interested I can get you a deal on one of the large bridges in my neighborhood . . . .

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« Reply #706 on: March 21, 2011, 06:24:56 AM »

Haven't read it, never claimed to. Irrelevant to the point I was making, to wit, that "I have just to trust what's written in the film credits" is the statement of a hopeless naif. Btw, titoli, if you're interested I can get you a deal on one of the large bridges in my neighborhood . . . .

The point you were making was that the Lang's movie isn't based on the novel but on a former movie based on the same novel. How can you say that if you haven't read the novel? OK, that is irrelevant to the point you were making, to wit that you can say whatever passes in your mind and it's no use discussing anything with you because you make of inconsistence and contradiction your style. 
About the bridge, we have in the vicinity of the town the famous bridge of Ariccia. It might turn useful to you.

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titoli
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« Reply #707 on: March 21, 2011, 06:28:01 AM »

Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954) director Jacques Becker A great little Crime Noir

What is there of "little"?

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #708 on: March 21, 2011, 02:11:49 PM »

titoli, you are amusing as ever. How you like to pose and rant! Actually you are arguing in bad faith because it's clear you aren't really interested in the merits of the case.

If you were, you'd have pointed out that there is stage adaptation, by the improbably named André Mouézy-Éon, that interposes between the source work and the two films. If IMDb is to be believed, Renior's film as well as Lang's credit both the original author (Georges de La Fouchardière) and the adaptation. This is particularly interesting because the two films are, in terms of plot, nearly identical. You could make the plausible argument, then, that the two films are so similar because they draw not only from de La Fouchardière but from Mouézy-Éon. That would have been a pretty good argument if you'd been willing to make it.

It would not have persuaded me, though. To buy it, I would have to believe that in the period 1931 to 1944 neither Lang, nor any of his collaborators, ever saw Renoir's film. I just find that incredible. Even the Coens, who claim to have adapted their recent True Grit from Portis and not from Hathaway, admit that they saw the 1969 film when it "first came out." So, although Lang (or his studio) made the point of paying off both novelist and playwright (or their estates), thus obviating the need to credit Renoir (and think of the grief Leone might have spared himself if he'd credited FOD to Hammett), I'm pretty sure his main inspiration for SS was Renoir's film. I don't know that for a fact (and it would be nice to check the original novel, but there doesn't seem to be one in print in English), but that's the way film people usually do business. They re-make films, their own and others, simple as that.

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« Reply #709 on: March 21, 2011, 03:34:32 PM »

What is there of "little"?

"little" as in tight, simple, little story, not extravagant, or convoluted. Wink

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« Reply #710 on: March 21, 2011, 04:11:57 PM »

"little" as in tight, simple, little story, not extravagant, or convoluted. Wink
CJ, have you seen Casque d'Or (1952) also by Jacques Becker? I haven't seen Touchez Pas au Grisbi but I have a feeling you would get a big kick out of Casque d'or. It's been 2-3 years since I saw it but it appears that I gave it full 10/10 on IMDb.

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« Reply #711 on: March 21, 2011, 04:33:20 PM »

CJ, have you seen Casque d'Or (1952) also by Jacques Becker? I haven't seen Touchez Pas au Grisbi but I have a feeling you would get a big kick out of Casque d'or. It's been 2-3 years since I saw it but it appears that I gave it full 10/10 on IMDb.

I'll place it on the Netflix list.  Afro

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« Reply #712 on: March 21, 2011, 09:47:21 PM »

titoli, you are amusing as ever. How you like to pose and rant! Actually you are arguing in bad faith because it's clear you aren't really interested in the merits of the case.

If you were, you'd have pointed out that there is stage adaptation, by the improbably named André Mouézy-Éon, that interposes between the source work and the two films. If IMDb is to be believed, Renior's film as well as Lang's credit both the original author (Georges de La Fouchardière) and the adaptation. This is particularly interesting because the two films are, in terms of plot, nearly identical. You could make the plausible argument, then, that the two films are so similar because they draw not only from de La Fouchardière but from Mouézy-Éon. That would have been a pretty good argument if you'd been willing to make it.

It would not have persuaded me, though. To buy it, I would have to believe that in the period 1931 to 1944 neither Lang, nor any of his collaborators, ever saw Renoir's film. I just find that incredible. Even the Coens, who claim to have adapted their recent True Grit from Portis and not from Hathaway, admit that they saw the 1969 film when it "first came out." So, although Lang (or his studio) made the point of paying off both novelist and playwright (or their estates), thus obviating the need to credit Renoir (and think of the grief Leone might have spared himself if he'd credited FOD to Hammett), I'm pretty sure his main inspiration for SS was Renoir's film. I don't know that for a fact (and it would be nice to check the original novel, but there doesn't seem to be one in print in English), but that's the way film people usually do business. They re-make films, their own and others, simple as that.


Oh, here at last your argument: Lang has copied Renoir because that's how film business goes. How can one reply to that?

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titoli
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« Reply #713 on: March 21, 2011, 09:49:05 PM »

"little" as in tight, simple, little story, not extravagant, or convoluted. Wink

I like the other definitions better.

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« Reply #714 on: March 22, 2011, 08:19:38 AM »

Let's be clear. The consensus--not something I came up with on my own--is that Scarlet Street is a remake of La Chienne. Consensus is not always correct, of course, but if one wants to challenge consensus one has to do so with evidence. And in this case, your claim--that SS is unique in the annals of film by being a direct adaptation of a source novel without reference to any intervening adaptations--is truly extraordinary. And as the saying goes: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

But the evidence you provide is not extraordinary: a credit listed on film titles. This is not extraordinary evidence because, as everyone who knows anything about Hollywood knows, credits in films are highly unreliable. One can go down a long list of examples of lying credits, but I'll cite two. First, there was the old Hollywood practice during the studio system of crediting the guys who ran the various departments for the studio with things in individual studio films regardless of their actual creative contributions to those films--they could even get credit for having done nothing. Second, there has always been a lack of clarity about writing credits in Hollywood films; even today, unless you are responsible for one-third or more of the content of the finished film, writers are not entitled to credit for their work. These examples go on and on. Credit in Hollywood has never been about scholarly attribution, but entirely about the fulfillment of industry protocols and the need to forestall lawsuits.

So more evidence is needed. Attempting to shift the burden of proof to me is a non-starter. I am not making the extraordinary claim, I am standing with the consensus (at least until I see evidence to the contrary). You are the one making the claim, so you must provide the proof.

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« Reply #715 on: March 22, 2011, 11:26:20 AM »

All this fuss over Scarlet Street?

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Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre. What did you think of the script?
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« Reply #716 on: March 22, 2011, 11:28:03 AM »

yeah, damn good film

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« Reply #717 on: March 22, 2011, 11:37:11 AM »

Many of Lang's movies just don't stick with me - this and The Woman in the Window being the two best examples. They would have been better had they been shot in technicolor because they contain some tough to describe pristine quality that doesn't compliment the B&W visuals.

I'm more of a Big Heat fan than Lang admirer, I guess.

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« Reply #718 on: March 22, 2011, 03:15:22 PM »

So now you're trying to turn tables on me, as usual.  First you simply say that Lang's movie is based on Renoir's movie, adding later that this is because how film business goes and finally conceding that it is just because you read it somewhere and calling it (rather bombastically) "consensus". And this should be enough to set the burden of proof on me....  I just asked you how you could be sure that Lang based his movie on Renoir's: which might very well have been the case, but I wonder how many of those unnamed sources (IMDB?) checked the novel to see if Lang took anything there which is absent from Renoir's movie, for example. That wouldn't be an insignificant detail, I guess. I don't know anything about the affair and I couldn't care less about the two movies. Still, if you say something as definite as what you said you should be able to support it, if not with facts, at least with reliable secondary sources, like the Eisner's book I gave away many years ago.  Or at least say so right away and save me the time for this useless discussion.     

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« Reply #719 on: March 23, 2011, 12:30:26 AM »

Poodle Springs (1998) There is the famous anecdote about the people filming The Big Sleep about not knowing who had killed a secondary character of the story and Chandler, asked by them about it, didn't remember either. Well, I don't know what poor Leigh Brackett and Howard Hawks could have made if they had to transpose this for the screen. I mean, I haven't read the novel (and I never intended to, out of respect for Chandler) but if I assume (as jenkins is wont to) that Rafelson simplified the story once he brought it on the screen I can't imagine what the original novel (a development on the first 6 chapters left by Chandler) by Robert B. Parker was like.  But that is not the question because that is not why people, I think, read P.I. novels. You read Agatha Christie for the plot, you read Chandler or Spillane or even Stout for the characters, the dialogues, the city descriptions. Here the dialogues are standard, nothing memorable. Characters are standard and forgettable as well. The final explication and shooting are embarrassing. And, most of all, James Caan does nothing to sympathize with his character: and he looks old, older than Mitchum in his own Marlowe movies. I think Caan could have made a good (don't know how good) Mike Hammer in the '70's or even the '80's. But his Marlowe at 58 sucks. I think the best Marlowe, or at least the one that suits better my idea of him, is James Garner's, even though The Little Sister is not the best movie of the series. 6\10

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