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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 381077 times)
T.H.
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« Reply #900 on: August 29, 2011, 03:21:27 PM »

I saw bits of that. and it didn't impress me much.

I might join the party and list my favorites (US 1941-59). I'm not going to count Sunset Blvd, Ace in the Hole, Leave Her to Heaven and Sweet Smell of Success.

01 In a Lonely Place
02 Out of the Past
03 Double Indemnity
04 They Live By Night
05 The Big Sleep
06 The Killing
07 Kiss Me Deadly
08 The Asphalt Jungle
09 Murder, My Sweet
10 The Big Heat
11 On Dangerous Ground
12 Touch of Evil
13 Crime Wave
14 Nightfall
15 The Big Steal
16 Where Danger Lives
17 Decoy
18 The Killers
19 Odds Against Tomorrow
20 The Set-Up
21 Act of Violence
22 Detour
23 Border Incident
24 The Narrow Margin
25 The Lady From Shanghai

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« Reply #901 on: August 30, 2011, 03:00:24 PM »

Saw Fallen Angel (1945) on TCM on their Linda Darnell "Summer Under The Stars" day as Hurricane Irene was bearing down, a gloomy night and a great turn by Darnell as a femme fatale 9/10

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« Reply #902 on: September 01, 2011, 05:18:58 PM »

Moontide (1942) More a routine love story with Noir-ish lighting than anything else, OK performances by Gabon, Lupino, and Raines, looks all set bound but the sets are not very interesting, nothing I'd recommend to hard core Noir lovers. 6.5/10

The Live By Night(1949) Dir Nicholas Ray, with Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, Howard Da Silva, Jay C. Flippen, Helen Craig, and Will Wright. This Noir balances better the romance and Noir elements than Moontide did, it has some great sequences with the three main male leads. Granger is Kid Bowie, Howard Da Silva is One-Eye Chickamaw, overly sensitive about having only one eye, goes ballistic everytime a radio announcer calls him One-Eye, lol,  and , Jay C. Flippen is T Dub the older wiser con,  O'Donnell is young "hillbilly" Keehie.

The three cons break out of prison and begin a spree of bank jobs, Bowie finds love with Keechie (Chickamaw's niece) at Chickamaw's brothers place where the gang is  hidingout till the heat is off. The gang eventually splits up with the loot and Keechie leaves with Bowie, they get married at a marriage mill and try to lead a normal life but the gang drags him back to pull another job, which goes to shit. Da Silva has a great close up as One-Eyed Chickamaw.

This is sort of a very loose riff on Bonnie & Clyde. 8/10

« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 05:20:06 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #903 on: September 13, 2011, 08:44:25 AM »

Niagara (1953) Dir. Henry Hathaway with Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton, Jean Peters, Max Showalter. Monroe & Cotton couple with serious marital problems after two years who are staying in a honeymoon cottage in Niagara Falls, Canada. Cotten may think they are there to rekindle their relationship, but Marilyn is meeting secretly with her lover and they are plotting to murder him. Jean Peters and Max Showalter are another couple on a delayed honeymoon who by default are intwined in the intrigue and are entertaining.

Great juxtaposition in the cinematography between the beauty and the ominous power of Niagara Falls which looms over the film. The falls and there heavy rush of water provide a tangible impression that events are in motion, unstoppable, and the results will be inevitable. The more traditional Noir archetypes of dark shadows thrown by window blinds and shutters are equally effective here when shot in color.

Marilyn as the gorgeous femme fatale is an inferno, driving her neurotic husband insane with both the innuendo of her denial of intimate affections and indications of infidelity causing rages of jealousy.

The film acts also as almost a seemless travelogue for Niagara Falls as the two couples visit all the tourist highlights of note.
Its probably one the best of the color Film Noir. 9/10

« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 09:11:13 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #904 on: September 14, 2011, 02:38:22 AM »

The Locket (1946)   Not bad thriller, though you know how it is gonna end, and that end is little credible (the woman's crisis). Even Mitchum's demise could have got a better treatment, at least  planting the doubt it wasn't a suicide. 6\10

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« Reply #905 on: September 15, 2011, 10:31:09 AM »

The Hoodlum (1951) This a has a great opening title sequence and the whole story is told in a flashback. Directed by Max Nosseck. Lawrence Tierney is an ex-con Vincent Lubeck who gets paroled after 5 years when the pleads of his mother are heard by the parole board. Once out he goes to work for his younger brother Johnny in a service station. Honest work doesn't set well with him but his brothers girl Rosa talks Johnny into giving a second chance she also talks with Tierney and sparks begin to ignite between them. While working the station he begins to scheme about the bank across the street and the armored car that services it while also making time with one of the banks employees. He also semi-forces himself on his brothers not entirely Innocent girlfriend who comes to visit him after hours. He's not a nice guy.

They pull off the heist & get away in a funeral prosession but the gang turns on Vincent grabbing all the loot. Everything goes haywire, naturally. There is a good scene near the end where his dying mother tells him she should have let him rot in jail. Another good sequence is where his brother Johnny wants to finish off Vincent himself back at the stink of the City Dump where they grew up as kids, which brings us back to the title sequence. Entertaining enough for what it is 6.5/10.

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« Reply #906 on: September 18, 2011, 04:16:07 PM »

Call Northside 777 (1948) Directed by Henry Hathaway with James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb, & Helen Walker.  Based on a true story, a man, Conte, is accused of killing a cop by an eye witness who ran a speakeasy in the 30's, he's convicted and sent up for life, his mother washes floors for 11 years and saves enough money to run a Chicago Times newspaper add offering a reward to who ever can identify the real killer.

This interests the newspaper to assign Stewart to write a story about the add, which in turn, after Stewart interviews Conte's mother, starts Stewart on a crusade to refute the dubious eye witness testimony. This is an entertaining story supposedly filmed where ever possible at the actual Chicago locations where the events took place. Lots of great interior and exterior location shots around Chicago give the film a very gritty feel.

Another top notch noir from the Fox Film Noir Collection 10/10

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« Reply #907 on: September 20, 2011, 02:18:31 PM »

NOTICE

We are going to try and organize the Film Noir Discussion thread a little better try and limit this thread from now on to more generalized topics on Noir hopefully i.e, announcements, books, website links etc., etc., and create a New Topic for each Film title so we can keep all film discussion together.

So if you want to discuss a film first check the Index to see if it has a link, If it has a post in the old Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread follow the discussion (through links) as it jumps through the hyperspace wormhole to the last post that doesn't have a "continuation of discussion link (cod) and post your thoughts there.

Like the example in the post just below this one on The Big Steal titoli had made short blurb on it and I quoted his and posted an expanded review.

Eventually we'll try and get them all together chronologically when we have time.

If there is no link then start a new topic on the film in Off-Topic Discussion and have at it

Thanks,

cigar joe

« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 07:33:20 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #908 on: September 21, 2011, 02:40:12 PM »

The Big Steal (1949) Of course this is not a noir, but apparently somebody considers it to be, so here we are. This is one of the best chase movies I saw, it starts at 110 and keeps it until the end.  The end is a little awkward, overcomplicated and the episode of the mexican road workers idiotic. Still is vert enjoyable. 8\10

The 1.5 minute Noir- Your right this isn't very Noir, in fact the only Noir-ish lighting occurs at the end during a fight scene (and that's because Jane Greer knocked over a light, lol) and lasts a bit over a minute. Its mostly a chase film and a very good one, and aside from the processed shots with front and rear projections its pretty exciting stuff as the various factions race along the roads around Veracruz Mexico. The second unit shots of the cars what looks like a 1930's Chevy Coupe, and a 40's Plymouth are very exciting as they bob and weave almost out of control, pedal to the metal.



Directed by Don Siegel, and stars Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix, Ramon Navarro and Patric Knowles. The story is quite ridiculous especially after the opening sequence between Bendix & Mitchum, when you get to the end, you say WTF? Even the Czar of Noir calls this a Romantic Comedy/noir (my emphasis) lol. Its more a crime/chase than anything else. Problems with filming occurred because of Mitchum's marijuana bust and his days in jail.

Biggest Disappointment - Jane Greer

Now Jane Greer made this just two years after "Out Of The Past" and she looks frumpy, 10 years older, with a lot of miles on her, especially noticeable are the bags under her eyes, and her hair looks terrible too. It may be because she was pregnant during filming but she just doesn't look good.

Greer in the Big Steal                                                                                    Greer in Out Of The Past


What's to like?

The Chase footage
Great Mexican Locations
Mitchum & Bendix

Special Features include an adequate commentary by Richard B. Jewell and through out that commentary he mentions how much the original script was changed to appease the censors, jettisoning fight and sexual scenes between Mitchum & Greer.

If somebody could find that original script this may make an exciting remake, but only if you could replicate Mexico of the 40-50's perhaps rewrite it to what ever now is the most undeveloped Latin American country.

I won't go quite as high as titoli and give it a 7/10




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« Reply #909 on: September 26, 2011, 08:56:55 PM »


The Killers (1964) I saw it first in the early 70's (but probably I'm wrong there, it seems that this got a circulation visa in 1978. The dubbing though seems like it was done in the '60's. I'm curious about the vicissitudes of the movie in Italy) in a cinema and was amazed. I saw it again twice on tv and was amazed again. Today I watched it again on a big screen (but, alas, the italian dvd is fullscreen) and, again, this is still one of my favourite movies. Still I give it only a 9\10 because I don't like Cassavetes, especially in the beginning (his grins while driving are ridiculous) though I like him when he discovers the truth. And I don't like Gulager, who tries his best to portray a nevrotic individual besieged by tics and with sudden violence eruptions but who, to me, looks rather nerdy, especially as he mostly seen shoulder to shoulder with the real thing. I also think that the racing sequence is too long).  

I don't recall ever seeing this film, so I watched it tonight, interesting retelling of the story, now I'll have to go back and watch the original version again, and possibly search out Hemingway's short story. I won't give it as high a rating as titoli, though.  Aside from Marvin, Akins, and Dickinson I really didn't like any of the characters.

Cassavetes again looks like a demented Jerry Lewis grinning and slightly cross-eyed. I just can't take his character seriously. The racing sequences are way too long (but I'm not a racing fan so it may be different strokes for different folks) and TV production values pale this film in comparison to the 46 version. Again for me the look of the stylized Noir lighting and sets just puts the original in another class, its worth a look to see Ronald Reagan playing a crook entertaining 7/10.

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« Reply #910 on: September 27, 2011, 04:51:29 AM »

Cassavetes again looks like a demented Jerry Lewis grinning and slightly cross-eyed.

You nailed it. BTW I have always considered Cassavetes a mediocre actor. And not so an interesting director.
But what makes me give this movie the high rating is Marvin: his best performance ever?

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« Reply #911 on: September 27, 2011, 06:49:13 AM »

But what makes me give this movie the high rating is Marvin: his best performance ever?
This or the one in Point Blank.

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« Reply #912 on: September 27, 2011, 09:11:04 AM »

This or the one in Point Blank.

Seen it a couple of times, even in a theatre, and always found it boring after a good start (if I remember well, until  Vernon's dive). And anyway I don't think Marvin is as good as here. I'd rather go for Comancheros as contender.

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« Reply #913 on: September 27, 2011, 11:29:10 AM »

And anyway I don't think Marvin is as good as here. I'd rather go for Comancheros as contender.
Where he's in a supporting role? You're changing the rules in the middle of the game.

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« Reply #914 on: September 27, 2011, 01:15:35 PM »

Where he's in a supporting role? You're changing the rules in the middle of the game.

I haven't seen Cat Ballou, though. Never found the guts to, I'll admit it.

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