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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 380953 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #810 on: May 11, 2011, 04:39:47 PM »

I was kind of specifically relating the question to Fuller's Noirs.  Wink

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« Reply #811 on: May 12, 2011, 08:20:39 AM »

Saw this quite a while ago on TCM but re-watched it on Netflix last night. I almost forgot how good, in a non-conventional way this one is.

Cry Danger was directed by Robert Parrish, and stars Dick Powell as just released con Rocky, Rhonda Flemming as Nancy, Richard Erdman as Delong, William Conrad as mob bookie Castro, Regis Toomey as Regis Toomey as lawman Cobb, and Jean Porter as blond dish Darlene.



Nice opening title sequence of passenger train making its journey to the City of Angles. At Union Station, Rocky (Powell) is met by cop Cobb (Toomey) and the man who provided his alibi (five years late) that got him released from the pen, an alcoholic  marine with a wooden leg named Delong (Erdman). Cobb buys the drinks and asks Rocky about the missing $100,000 loot from the robbery that got him incarcerated along with his best friend. Rocky sticks to his story that he was framed and that he knows nothing about the money.

After cop leaves the bar Rocky confronts Delong and he admits that he made up Rocky's alibi and that a greatfull Rocky should part with some of the hidden loot. Rocky tells him that he really doesn't know anything about the robbery but he knows who might and that is Castro (Conrad) a local mob bookie, headquartered upstairs at the Amigo Club, but he is greatfull for the alibi and befriends Delong. Before confronting Castro, Rocky first wants to visit his best friends wife Nancy (Flemming) who was a former girlfriend of Rocky's.

Delong & Rocky driving a decadent looking Nash Ambassador (that bobs up and down like a boat on an easy-glide suspension) go to find Nancy.



Nancy lives in a seedy run down trailer court near downtown LA. Rocky and Delong go to the court and rent a decaying trailer from a crusty ukulele playing manager while waiting for Nancy to return from work. While passing the time they befriend a cute blond sunbather named Darlene. Delong, Darlene, Rocky and Nancy start hanging out together while Rocky begins to unravel the frame that got him set to prison.

What's to like?

This is a great little noir all set in a rundown low rent neighborhood of LA replete with fleabag hotels, sleazy bars, and corner deli's.

The trailer park location is great, it provides a nice contrast to conventional all dark Noirs and it gives that creepy "just flipped over rock and bugs scurrying from the sun" feeling to the film. The park and its denizens provide a lot of amusing laughs interspersed with seriousness of the confrontations between Rocky, Castro, and Castro's henchmen.

The Nash Ambassador is a hoot, you can't help but chuckle everytime you see tough guy Rocky driving around in what looks like a ridiculous upside down bathtub.

Rocky's memorable confrontation with Castro, after Castro tries to frame him the second time.



Cutie Darlene who shows lots of skin while almost constantly sunbathing on a lounger in the trailer park.

A nice twist.

I'll give this one a 10/10. This needs a DVD release, please!

« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 09:12:05 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #812 on: May 12, 2011, 11:25:29 AM »

I'll give this one a 10/10. This needs a DVD release, please!
It's coming (I'm guessing from VCI, who brought out The Prowler after its restoration-and-rerelease).

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« Reply #813 on: May 12, 2011, 07:15:48 PM »

One week to go! http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReview/paleflower.htm

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« Reply #814 on: May 13, 2011, 05:12:52 AM »

Revisited Killer's Kiss (1955) director Stanley Kubric, with Frank Silvera as sleazy dime-a-dance hall owner Vincent Rapallo, Jamie Smith as boxer Davey Gordon, Irene Kane as ballroom taxi dancer Gloria Price and Jerry Jarrett as Albert (the fight manager). Could very well be the quintessential New York Noir, from the opening scenes of the old Pennsylvania Station, the decadence of Times Square to the industrial alleys and rooftops of lower Manhattan, it speaks volumes of what can be accomplished in a short film on a shoe string using real locations, and of the talent of Kubric as a director, writter, cinematographer, and editor.

The story is basically, a prize fighter falls for the taxi dancer he peeps on from across the air shaft in his apartment house, juxtaposed cuts of him fighting a loosing bout in the ring and her fighting off the advances of her horny boss establish the dynamics of the story. He comes to her rescue after Rapallo accosts Gloria in her apartment, and they hit it off. Exchanging hard luck stories they decide to take a vacation from the city and to travel West to Seattle to a horse farm that Davey's uncle owns.

Davey needs his money from his last fight and Gloria needs her paycheck. They arrange with Davey's manager to meet at the ballroom. All goes hay-wire and the events that propel the story to a memorable conclusion are started in motion.

Definitely on the A-list with another 10/10.

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« Reply #815 on: May 13, 2011, 09:28:39 AM »


Here's blu-ray.com's review

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Pale-Flower-Blu-ray/20815/

I bought way too many movies lately - I took advantage of that amazon sale - and I didn't even realize that Pale Flower, Alien and Aliens came out so soon. Good thing I pre-orded West.

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« Reply #816 on: May 16, 2011, 06:50:57 PM »

The Gambler and the Lady (1952) a Hammer Film Noir directed by Patrick Jenkins and Terence Fisher with Dane Clark, Kathleen Byron, Naomi Chance, Meredith Edwards, Anthony Forwood, Eric Pohlmann, and Enzo Coticchia. Imdb says: A social-climbing American with a business in illegal gambling falls in love with a blue blood, but gangsters and a jealous ex-girlfriend stand in the way of happiness. Pretty much sums it up, its mildly amusing, but barely noir-ish the best sequence is right before the titles. 6/10

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« Reply #817 on: May 17, 2011, 06:15:18 AM »

Revisited Killer's Kiss (1955) director Stanley Kubric, with Frank Silvera as sleazy dime-a-dance hall owner Vincent Rapallo, Jamie Smith as boxer Davey Gordon, Irene Kane as ballroom taxi dancer Gloria Price and Jerry Jarrett as Albert (the fight manager). Could very well be the quintessential New York Noir, from the opening scenes of the old Pennsylvania Station, the decadence of Times Square to the industrial alleys and rooftops of lower Manhattan, it speaks volumes of what can be accomplished in a short film on a shoe string using real locations, and of the talent of Kubric as a director, writter, cinematographer, and editor.

The story is basically, a prize fighter falls for the taxi dancer he peeps on from across the air shaft in his apartment house, juxtaposed cuts of him fighting a loosing bout in the ring and her fighting off the advances of her horny boss establish the dynamics of the story. He comes to her rescue after Rapallo accosts Gloria in her apartment, and they hit it off. Exchanging hard luck stories they decide to take a vacation from the city and to travel West to Seattle to a horse farm that Davey's uncle owns.

Davey needs his money from his last fight and Gloria needs her paycheck. They arrange with Davey's manager to meet at the ballroom. All goes hay-wire and the events that propel the story to a memorable conclusion are started in motion.

Definitely on the A-list with another 10/10.
Interestingly, Criterion is bringing out The Killing on DVD and BD and will be including Killer's Kiss as an extra.

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« Reply #818 on: May 18, 2011, 10:37:25 AM »

This is the first I've heard that. Great news.

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« Reply #819 on: May 18, 2011, 11:47:40 AM »

Just announced this week. Apparently Killer's Kiss, on the BD, will also be in 1080p.

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« Reply #820 on: May 19, 2011, 07:48:25 PM »

On TMC today caught most of these or parts but seen most before with one surprize.

Escape In The Desert (1945) A  remake of The Petrified Forest, Nazi spies infiltrate a hotel in the American Southwest with.Dir: Edward A. Blatt Cast: Jean Sullivan,Philip Dorn, Irene Manning. Edward A. Blatt. Philip Dorn, Helmut Dantine, Jean Sullivan, Alan Hale. Lot of obvious painted backdrop studio shots Never seen before, 5/10

Petrified Forest, The (1936) D: Archie Mayo. Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Dick Foran, Humphrey Bogart, Genevieve Tobin, Charley Grapewin, Porter Hall. Drags until Bogart shows up the Leslie Howard/Bette Davis romance is a snoozer. Bogart is Duke Mantee, escaped gangster, who holds writer Howard, dreamer Davis, and others hostage at roadside restaurant in Arizona. Seen parts but never the whole 6/10

The Killers  (1946) D: Robert Siodmak. Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker, Sam Levene, Virginia Christine, William Conrad, Charles McGraw. Ex-fighter found murdered, subsequent investigation. Story told in flash back. Great stylized cinematography  with outstanding  cast, excellent 10/10

Where Danger Lives (1950) D: John Farrow. Robert Mitchum, Faith Domergue, Claude Rains, Maureen O'Sullivan. Mitchum falls for suicidal Domergue who leads him on thinking that she is Claude Rains’ daughter rather than his young wife. A confrontation leads to a fight with Rains landing blows from a fire place poker on Mitchum’s noggin before Mitchum lands a blow that knocks Rains out. Mitchum suffering from a concussion leaves the living room and Domergue finishes Rains off smothering him with a pillow. She lets Mitchum think that he killed Rains and the two flee towards Mexico   Atmospheric, stylized not a bad Noir though Domergue doesn’t quite gel in the part . 7/10

His Kind Of Woman (1951 D: John Farrow. Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Tim Holt, Raymond Burr, Charles McGraw, Marjorie Reynolds, Jim Backus. Mitchum blindly goes to Mexico for a payoff of 50 grand, discovers he's the soon-to-be-dead chump whose identity will help deported gangster Burr re-enter the country.  Only saw part of it but Vincent Price is a hoot as a ham actor (I’m sure it wasn’t much of a stretch for him) Only caught the beginning and bits and pieces before I had chores to do. This has a huge write up in the Encyclopedia of American Film Noir will have to revist.

The Big Sleep (1946) D: Howard Hawks. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers, Louis Jean Heydt, Regis Toomey, Peggy Knudsen, Dorothy Malone, Bob Steele, Elisha Cook, Jr. Raymond Chandler's first novel; detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart) becomes involved with wealthy Bacall and her uncontrollable little sister Vickers. Its ok but Bogart & Bacall are Bogart & Bacall and not Marlow & Sternwood. Caught this from after the first hour mark to the end, my least favorite Big Screen Marlowe, so far, but I haven’t seen the Brasher Doubloon yet 6.5/10

Crime in the Streets (1956) D: Donald Siegel. James Whitmore, John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo, Mark Rydell, Virginia Gregg, Denise Alexander, Will Kuluva, Peter Votrian, Malcolm Atterbury. Draggy drama of angry, alienated youth Cassavetes, who conspires to commit murder. Cassavetes always reminds me of a demented Jerry Lewis, saw just the end of this studio bound film boring, 5/10

Side Street (1950) D: Anthony Mann. Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig, Paul Kelly, Edmon Ryan, Paul Harvey, Jean Hagen, Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens, Harry Bellaver, Whit Bissell. Part-time mailman Granger impulsively stealing $30,000 of blackmail money from a ring led by a crooked lawer, and finding himself caught between the crooks and the cops.

Holy Shit another great NYC Noir that I've never heard of, this one with the benefit of a big budget that Kubrick didn’t have for the “Killers Kiss”. Great atmospheric location shots juxtaposed with seedy apartment interiors. A highlight is the grand finale cab vs. cop cruiser chase, through the narrow, deserted, Sunday morning streets of lower Manhattan, the high angle overhead shots make look like rats running around an elaborate maze, equals the chase in McQueen’s “Bullitt “ in a different way. 10/10

« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 05:02:36 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #821 on: May 25, 2011, 07:40:58 PM »

Moonrise (1948) Director: Frank Borzage with Dane Clark, Gail Russell, Ethel Barrymore, Allyn Joslyn, Rex Ingram, Harry Morgan, Harry Carey Jr, and Lloyd Bridges. A Republic Pictures entry into the dark side, Noir comes to Dog Patch, the hills run black, actually for a studio set bound film its got its moments. The hanging of the leads father in the rain segues into a crying baby with a shadow of a doll hanging by a cord looming across the crib. A bit crude but effective. One particularly nice sequence is when Dane Clark confronts mute Harry Morgan and bumps a hanging overhead shaded light bulb the subsequent swinging shadows are reminiscent of the trading post kerosene lamp in Once Upon a Time in the West.

Story is essentially, boy grows up (Clark) with taunts from other children about the hanging of his father which continue from bankers son Bridges into adulthood. At a backwoods dance Bridges again taunts Clark, they fight, Bridges picks up rock and hits Clark who wrestles it away and kills Bridges with it. Clark hides body in swamp and rejoins dance and Gail Russell. Clark is afraid to notify the police and Russell tries to influence him to admit his guilt, but he runs away.

A bit too corn-pone, Clark is not a convincing hillbilly, it drags a bit , but is mildly entertaining, with some interesting characters i.e.,  the sheriff Allyn Joslyn, and the coon hound handler Houseley Stevenson who are actually more interesting than the leads. Night of the Hunter traveling in the same holler is way better 6.5/10

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« Reply #822 on: May 26, 2011, 08:37:54 AM »

Moonrise (1948) A bit too corn-pone, Clark is not a convincing hillbilly, it drags a bit , but is mildly entertaining, with some interesting characters i.e.,  the sheriff Allyn Joslyn, and the coon hound handler Houseley Stevenson who are actually more interesting than the leads. Night of the Hunter traveling in the same holler is way better 6.5/10
Yep, that's the way I remember it. A bit of a disappointment, I was expecting more out of the leads.

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« Reply #823 on: May 27, 2011, 04:58:17 AM »

Hell's Island (1955) director Phil Karlson, with John Payne, Mary Murphy, Eduardo Noriega, Francis L. Sullivan, Arnold Moss, and Paul Picerni, Payne an ex DA from LA is an employee of a Casino in Vegas he is approached by Barzland to go to a Caribbean Island to recover a precious ruby that Barzland suspects Murphy, Payne's ex-girlfriend is hiding. Once torch carrying Payne is told about Murphy's involvement he's all set to go. So begins this obviously studio bound color Noir that despite those two detractions isn't all that bad with a few twists along the way. Murphy is a cute and ruthless femme fatale. 7/10   

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« Reply #824 on: May 28, 2011, 11:31:11 AM »

Pickup on South Street (1953)  I saw this a couple of times some decades ago (dubbed on tv) but this time (on a big screen and undubbed) I liked it even more. The pace is just about perfect (82' running time: why films nowadays must be 2h long?), the love story is not an encumbrance because it reflects on the plot development, the actors give great performances (W., Peters and Ritter) with some great dialogues. Minor complaints about Richard Kiley: he's good but something is missing in his performance. The score is remarkable. 8\10

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