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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 379043 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #795 on: April 30, 2011, 05:33:15 AM »

The Phenix City Story (1955) Directed by Phil Karlson, with John McIntire, as Albert L. Patterson, Richard Kiley as John Patterson,
Kathryn Grant as Ellie Rhodes, Edward Andrews as Rhett Tanner crime boss.

A  sort of semi documentary with a ten minute intro of a series of interviews with the actual participants. Basically an Alabama border town town is run by a crime syndicate that's grown fat on prostitution and crooked gambling, directed at soldiers from Fort Benning across the river in Georgia, all the vice is concentrated on 14th Street. Crusaders against the Good ol' Boys.

A hometown boy, Lawyer John Patterson, a army war crime prosecutor back from Germany, eventually is persuaded to fight the corruption when he visits the "Poppy Club" run  by Rhett Tanner and observers the mob in action. He joins up with reformers. With the help of Poppy Club dealer Ellie Rhodes and his father Albert Patterson who is persuaded to run for State Attorney General the process of cleaning up the town commences.

I'd seen the end of this once before but never the whole way through, in the beginning it concentrates mostly on the illegal gambling end of the corruption, has a very tame night club torch singer/"B" girl sequence (its probably supposed to suggest a strip tease, but its very lame), barely touches on prostitution (which is alluded to with scenes viewed of soldiers & women co-mingling on the street either in background shots, or viewed through traveling car windows). The way its depicted is that the rigged gambling was the main attraction when you know that with Fort Benning just across the river the soldiers were probably more after poon-tang than anything else.

From the point where the mob decides to teach Patterson a lesson to the end (which is the part I saw before) its entertaining, the documentary interview at the beginning is almost sleep inducing. What interesting is that a poster from Phenix City on IMDb says that it's still a shit hole, the corruption is still there just not "in your face" out in the open as before and its on both sides of the river now, lol, go figure.

"Touch of Evil" which covers the practically same territory, I like much better, you get a better feel of the sleazy side of corruption in the Wells film. John McIntire is always good and Richard Kiley also. If this would have developed a bit more of the corruption angle to juxtapose the crusaders it would have strengthened the story still I'll give this a 7/10

« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 05:45:39 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #796 on: April 30, 2011, 05:00:53 PM »

Murder My Sweet (1944) Though it is the 3d vision of the movie it was my first in english. And I didn't remember it took so many liberties with the plot which, in spite of my having read the novel repeatedly, I couldn't follow in depth. There was the good idea of making Ann Riordan Mr. Grayle's daughter, but eliminating the character completely, like Richards did, was even better. And that's about that. The gimmick of the temporary cecity of Marlowe's is just finalized to the final cheesy scene. The actors. As I said, Powell is my favourite Marlowe with Garner. But probably comes second. The girl playing Anne Riordan is perfect but, as said, the character is disposable. I take Trevor over Rampling just because I like her best. And I take O'Halloran over Mazurki because Moose is, literally, true to his name: Mazurki gives too much passion to a character who shows he has it in store only in the final meeting with Velma. The sanatorium scene is perfect, with a great Powell. That makes me give it a 8\10: still a vote under Richards's version.  

Watched this today, I too, even though I haven't read the book in years, was wondering why they deviated so much from the plot. I'll agree that in seeing it again that O"Halloran is the superior Malloy, thought I do like the "Pepper's Ghost" entrance of Malloy that is employed in this interpretation, the Richards film is superior and I believe more faithful to the book.  

This version ties up the loose ends in a beach house rather than on the gambling ship and the Burnette character is absent.  It also has a lame epilogue catering to the female audience.

Powell is great as Marlowe pretty much as I pictured him in my minds eye as I remember the book (Mitchum was just a tad too old and a tad too iconic, unfortunately), and I'll go with Rampling also she had a devious look in her eyes, Trevor wasn't as believable to me she played it a bit to "upper crust", all in all though, I prefer all the rest of the actors in the Richards version. 8/10 agreed.

Continued here............: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg149814#msg149814

« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 11:01:56 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #797 on: April 30, 2011, 05:13:54 PM »

What's your choice: Garner or Powell?

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« Reply #798 on: April 30, 2011, 06:10:09 PM »

What's your choice: Garner or Powell?

Hard to say, it just doesn't feel right without fedora's or Black & White, you have to have one or the other. Richards film proves you can do it in color, and Aldrich's "Kiss Me Deadly" updates Hammer and he's not wearing a fedora.

If Garner's film would have been in the right time frame I'd definitely say Garner.

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« Reply #799 on: April 30, 2011, 06:23:20 PM »

In fact I'm only referring to the actor, not to the movie, as Garner's movie can't compare to Powell's or Mitchum's or (but I should watch it again) Hawks'.

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« Reply #800 on: May 01, 2011, 02:08:20 PM »

I'm gonna have to read the novel again to have the literary Marlowe fresh in my mind to be able to be definitive about it.

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« Reply #801 on: May 01, 2011, 03:05:10 PM »

Here are some screencaps from "Murder My Sweet"

The Pepper's ghost Malloy intro:





Velma:



Marlowe's Dali-esque drug induced hallucination:



One of my favorite sequences Marlowe lights a match off Cupid's ass:






« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 04:32:10 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #802 on: May 01, 2011, 05:41:14 PM »

 Afro Afro Afro

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« Reply #803 on: May 02, 2011, 08:54:53 PM »

Railroaded! (1947) Directed by Anthony Mann with John Ireland, Hugh Beaumont, Sheila Ryan, and Jane Randolph, another low budget Noir, with a lame script.

Sexy beautician Clara Calhoun (Randolph), who has a bookie operation in her back room, connives with her boyfriend, mob collector Duke Martin (Ireland), to stage a robbery of the day's take. But the caper turns violent; a cop and Duke's partner are shot; and Duke arranges for innocent Steve Ryan, owner of the car they stole, to be framed. Sheila Ryan plays love interest to cop Hugh Beaumont. A few too many contrived plot points for me but Ireland puts in a very good turn as mobster, watch it for Ireland. Randolph is a looker. 6.5/10

« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 08:59:38 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #804 on: May 03, 2011, 03:16:39 PM »

My Gun is Quick has been released today on an R1 DVD (maybe a DVD-R). Didn't spot this on the radar and now it's suddenly available. I guess I'll get it.

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« Reply #805 on: May 03, 2011, 08:33:11 PM »

Impact (1949) directed by Arthur Lubin with Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn, Helen Walker, Tony Barrett. and Anna May Wong.

This one had decent story line that made up for its lack of being very Noir-ish. Basically Walker and Barrett plan on killing her husband Donlevy an auto company executive working in San Francisco.  I'd have killed him myself for the unbearably overly attentive husband shtick routine he was playing. Anyway once the attempted murder goes haywire (a bumbling Barrett accidentally drives into a gasoline tanker and is burned beyond recognition),  the police assume the body is Donlevy's.

Donlevy, who was conked on the head and left for dead regains conscious climbs into a parked moving van, passes out, and wakes up someplace in Nevada.

Humiliated and devastated by his wife's complicity in the attempted murder, Donlevy gets a job as a mechanic working for Raines in a fly speck town in Idaho. He does not reveal his identity and, lets his wife get indicted as an accomplice in his murder. There is an unexpected twist. 6.5-7/10

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« Reply #806 on: May 05, 2011, 07:15:59 PM »

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.



99 River Street

Reprise..... Watched the full movie tonight, what a difference, your right DJ, I missed a lot, the whole Evelyn Keyes in the theater sequence all of the Peggy Castle/Brad Dexter sequences, practically half the film, lol. This is an excellent Noir with some nice surprises. 10/10

« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 07:25:27 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #807 on: May 08, 2011, 06:58:01 PM »

The Crimson Kimono (1959) director Sam Fuller, with Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta, Anna Lee, and Gloria Pall. Stripper killed and LAPD detectives hunt killer in Little Tokyo. Turns into a sort of message movie on Asian/Caucasian integration, some nice noir sequences but way too much talk. The more noir I see of Fuller the more he doesn't quite ever reach the standards of "Pickup on South Street " or "House of Bamboo". 6/10

DJ enlighten us, what gives, is it the demise of the studio system directly related to the end of stylized noir?

I am aware that both color film and TV required bright lighting and that may have effected production with regards to the after market market, but the style of "Pickup on South Street" is markedly different from "The Naked Kiss" almost as if they had two different directors.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 05:52:59 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #808 on: May 11, 2011, 06:00:27 AM »

Crime Against Joe (1956) Director: Lee Sholem with John Bromfield, Julie London, Henry Calvin, Patricia Blair, Joel Ashley, Robert Keys, Alika Louis, John Pickard.

After Waking up after a night of drinking and flirting with nightclub singer Irene (Alika Louis), war veteran and struggling artist Joe Manning (John Bromfield) is horrified when he learns that she was murdered -- and he's the prime suspect. The cops release Joe after his friend Slacks (Julie London) lies to give him an alibi, and the pair sets off in search of the real killer, who may be one of Joe's high school classmates.

This one is bad, lousy acting, horrible day for night shots that match badly with the studio footage, Julie London a car hop in slacks? Give me a break. Netflix streaming, its should stream right into the trash can.  How noir should not be made 1/10.


   

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« Reply #809 on: May 11, 2011, 06:05:33 AM »

[DJ enlighten us, what gives, is it the demise of the studio system directly related to the end of stylized noir?

I'm just guessing, but I'd say the culprits are TV and color. Noir migrated to the small screen in the late 50s (Check out Perry Mason, M-Squad, etc.) while color spectaculars took over the big screen. Then TV went all color, and there was nowhere left for noir to go.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2011, 06:13:09 AM by dave jenkins » Logged


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