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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 367670 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #1020 on: April 06, 2012, 06:16:40 AM »

Down Three Dark Streets (1954) - 7/10. When an FBI agent is killed, his supervisor (Broderick Crawford) takes over his caseload. Reasoning that the killing is tied up with one of the open cases, Crawford is doubly keen to solve each investigation quickly. The first case involves a killer-on-the-run with girlfriend Martha Hyer as Crawford's only lead. The second case is about an interstate hot car ring (huh?) headed by a very evil Claude Akins. The third case is one of extortion: widow Ruth Roman keeps getting calls threatening the safety of her daughter unless she pays off. Given that Roman is billed as Broderick's co-star, it's kinda obvious that this is going to develop into the main thread of the film. This is further confirmed by the presence in the thread of the movie's most interesting supporting characters: Jay Adler as a creepy uncle, and Casey Adams (aka Max Showalter) as an even creepier friend-of-the-family. There are lots of cool LA location shots (of many places that doubtless no longer exist), and a solid climax at the Hollywood sign. The film tries to move toward exploitation territory by showing first Hyer and then Roman in very attractive lingerie (there's even a moment suggesting Jay Adler is a voyeur). Ooooh, those filthy 50s!

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« Reply #1021 on: April 06, 2012, 07:11:52 AM »

Down Three Dark Streets (1954) - 7/10. When an FBI agent is killed, his supervisor (Broderick Crawford) takes over his caseload. Reasoning that the killing is tied up with one of the open cases, Crawford is doubly keen to solve each investigation quickly. The first case involves a killer-on-the-run with girlfriend Martha Hyer as Crawford's only lead. The second case is about an interstate hot car ring (huh?) headed by a very evil Claude Akins. The third case is one of extortion: widow Ruth Roman keeps getting calls threatening the safety of her daughter unless she pays off. Given that Roman is billed as Broderick's co-star, it's kinda obvious that this is going to develop into the main thread of the film. This is further confirmed by the presence in the thread of the movie's most interesting supporting characters: Jay Adler as a creepy uncle, and Casey Adams (aka Max Showalter) as an even creepier friend-of-the-family. There are lots of cool LA location shots (of many places that doubtless no longer exist), and a solid climax at the Hollywood sign. The film tries to move toward exploitation territory by showing first Hyer and then Roman in very attractive lingerie (there's even a moment suggesting Jay Adler is a voyeur). Ooooh, those filthy 50s!

I didn't like this movie all that much (I'd rate it a 6/10), but watching Ruth Roman is always a wonderful experience. She seems really sweet Smiley

An unrelated note on Ruth Roman: When  Strangers on a Train on TCM, I recall that Robert Osbourne (the TCM host) mentioned that Hitchcock didn't want Roman in that movie, and only used her cuz the studio forced him to (I see something similar on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strangers_on_a_Train_%28film%29#Cast )
 I have to agree with Jack Warner and disagree with Hitchcock: IMO, Roman was terrific in that movie -- one of the best parts of an overrated movie

« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 07:20:09 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #1022 on: April 06, 2012, 07:29:28 AM »

I didn't like this movie all that much (I'd rate it a 6/10), but watching Ruth Roman is always a wonderful experience. She seems really sweet Smiley
And stacked.

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« Reply #1023 on: April 06, 2012, 04:39:21 PM »

Down Three Dark Streets (1954) - 7/10. When an FBI agent is killed, his supervisor (Broderick Crawford) takes over his caseload. Reasoning that the killing is tied up with one of the open cases, Crawford is doubly keen to solve each investigation quickly. The first case involves a killer-on-the-run with girlfriend Martha Hyer as Crawford's only lead. The second case is about an interstate hot car ring (huh?) headed by a very evil Claude Akins. The third case is one of extortion: widow Ruth Roman keeps getting calls threatening the safety of her daughter unless she pays off. Given that Roman is billed as Broderick's co-star, it's kinda obvious that this is going to develop into the main thread of the film. This is further confirmed by the presence in the thread of the movie's most interesting supporting characters: Jay Adler as a creepy uncle, and Casey Adams (aka Max Showalter) as an even creepier friend-of-the-family. There are lots of cool LA location shots (of many places that doubtless no longer exist), and a solid climax at the Hollywood sign. The film tries to move toward exploitation territory by showing first Hyer and then Roman in very attractive lingerie (there's even a moment suggesting Jay Adler is a voyeur). Ooooh, those filthy 50s!

I reviewed this someplace on this thread, its one of the ones we must have missed, its not showing up in a search but I found it

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg147579#msg147579

Down Three Dark Streets (1954) directed by Arnold Laven with Broderick Crawford, Ruth Roman, Martha Hyer, Marisa Pavan, Max Showalter (Niagara), Kenneth Tobey, Gene Reynolds, and William Johnstone.

Sort of a police procedural, quasi-documentary, stars Broderick Crawford as FBI Agent John Ripley.When fellow G-man Zack Stewart is murdered, Ripley takes over the trio of cases Stewart had been working on assuming one of them will reveal his killer. This one is also entertaining but its a bit fuzzy in logic with the motives of the actual murderer the connection of why he killed the FBI man and his girlfriend? or whatever she was is never connected. Martha Hyer is a cute mobsters girlfriend.

It does have some great location shots of LA and the streetcar system and ends up at a great set piece at the base of the iconic  HOLLYWOOD sign.

Entertaining, but the lack of connection explained above drops this to a 7/10

   

« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 04:52:00 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #1024 on: April 09, 2012, 09:42:50 AM »

Martha Stewart, who played the murder victim in In A Lonely Place, has died. http://www.altfg.com/blog/movie/martha-stewart-death/

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« Reply #1025 on: April 09, 2012, 05:19:36 PM »

And stacked.

Forgive my ignorance -- and I have much ignorance when it comes to lingo -- but I don't believe I've ever heard that term...

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« Reply #1026 on: April 09, 2012, 06:37:30 PM »

Forgive my ignorance -- and I have much ignorance when it comes to lingo -- but I don't believe I've ever heard that term...

Stacked as in pancakes, a short stack = flat chested, get the picture?  Wink

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« Reply #1027 on: April 09, 2012, 08:24:14 PM »

Stacked as in pancakes, a short stack = flat chested, get the picture?  Wink

o well, she's still beautiful.... And I prefer flat to fake tits. (But for some reason I prefer a nose job to really bad nose; is that contradictory?)

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« Reply #1028 on: April 10, 2012, 01:49:15 PM »

o well, she's still beautiful....
He's not saying Roman is short-stacked, he's just expanding the vocabulary (as in "stacked" vs. "a short stack"). Roman is amply endowed, as I'm sure Joe will admit.

I agree with you on fake boobs, though. Keep things natural, come what may.

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« Reply #1029 on: April 10, 2012, 02:37:31 PM »

He's not saying Roman is short-stacked, he's just expanding the vocabulary (as in "stacked" vs. "a short stack"). Roman is amply endowed, as I'm sure Joe will admit.


That paragraph went TOTALLY over my head

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« Reply #1030 on: April 13, 2012, 06:49:37 AM »

Interesting Op-ed piece in today's NYT:
Quote
April 12, 2012
Sam Spade at Starbucks
By DAVID BROOKS
If you attend a certain sort of conference, hang out at a certain sort of coffee shop or visit a certain sort of university, you’ve probably run into some of these wonderful young people who are doing good. Typically, they’ve spent a year studying abroad. They’ve traveled in the poorer regions of the world. Now they have devoted themselves to a purpose larger than self.

Often they are bursting with enthusiasm for some social entrepreneurship project: making a cheap water-purification system, starting a company that will empower Rwandan women by selling their crafts in boutiques around the world.

These people are refreshingly uncynical. Their hip service ethos is setting the moral tone for the age. Idealistic and uplifting, their worldview is spread by enlightened advertising campaigns, from Bennetton years ago to everything Apple has ever done.

It’s hard not to feel inspired by all these idealists, but their service religion does have some shortcomings. In the first place, many of these social entrepreneurs think they can evade politics. They have little faith in the political process and believe that real change happens on the ground beneath it.

That’s a delusion. You can cram all the nongovernmental organizations you want into a country, but if there is no rule of law and if the ruling class is predatory then your achievements won’t add up to much.

Furthermore, important issues always spark disagreement. Unless there is a healthy political process to resolve disputes, the ensuing hatred and conflict will destroy everything the altruists are trying to build.

There’s little social progress without political progress. Unfortunately, many of today’s young activists are really good at thinking locally and globally, but not as good at thinking nationally and regionally.

Second, the prevailing service religion underestimates the problem of disorder. Many of the activists talk as if the world can be healed if we could only insert more care, compassion and resources into it.

History is not kind to this assumption. Most poverty and suffering — whether in a country, a family or a person — flows from disorganization. A stable social order is an artificial accomplishment, the result of an accumulation of habits, hectoring, moral stricture and physical coercion. Once order is dissolved, it takes hard measures to restore it.

Yet one rarely hears social entrepreneurs talk about professional policing, honest courts or strict standards of behavior; it’s more uplifting to talk about microloans and sustainable agriculture.

In short, there’s only so much good you can do unless you are willing to confront corruption, venality and disorder head-on. So if I could, presumptuously, recommend a reading list to help these activists fill in the gaps in the prevailing service ethos, I’d start with the novels of Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler, or at least the movies based on them.

The noir heroes like Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon” served as models for a generation of Americans, and they put the focus squarely on venality, corruption and disorder and how you should behave in the face of it.

A noir hero is a moral realist. He assumes that everybody is dappled with virtue and vice, especially himself. He makes no social-class distinction and only provisional moral distinctions between the private eyes like himself and the criminals he pursues. The assumption in a Hammett book is that the good guy has a spotty past, does spotty things and that the private eye and the criminal are two sides to the same personality.

He (or she — the women in these stories follow the same code) adopts a layered personality. He hardens himself on the outside in order to protect whatever is left of the finer self within.

He is reticent, allergic to self-righteousness and appears unfeeling, but he is motivated by a disillusioned sense of honor. The world often rewards the wrong things, but each job comes with obligations and even if everything is decaying you should still take pride in your work. Under the cynical mask, there is still a basic sense of good order, that crime should be punished and bad behavior shouldn’t go uncorrected. He knows he’s not going to be uplifted by his work; that to tackle the hard jobs he’ll have to risk coarsening himself, but he doggedly plows ahead.

This worldview had a huge influence as a generation confronted crime, corruption, fascism and communism. I’m not sure I can see today’s social entrepreneurs wearing fedoras and trench coats. But noir’s moral realism would be a nice supplement to today’s prevailing ethos. It would fold some hardheadedness in with today’s service mentality. It would focus attention on the core issues: order and rule of law. And it would be necessary. Contemporary Washington, not to mention parts of the developing world, may be less seedy than the cities in the noir stories, but they are equally laced with self-deception and self-dealing.

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« Reply #1031 on: April 13, 2012, 02:13:29 PM »

A shame I can't be in SF in May (why can't these kinds of things wait for the summer?): http://roxie.com/events/details.cfm?eventID=E5E5072D-1143-DBB3-C6AF978DD134E5FD

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« Reply #1032 on: April 13, 2012, 03:04:41 PM »

A shame I can't be in SF in May (why can't these kinds of things wait for the summer?): http://roxie.com/events/details.cfm?eventID=E5E5072D-1143-DBB3-C6AF978DD134E5FD

cool

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« Reply #1033 on: April 14, 2012, 10:01:30 PM »

RE: that op-ed dj posted:

I think David Brooks is such a jackass. This article may indeed be enjoyable to hardcore noir fans, having the noir world referenced. But as for the substance, it's the typical Brooks nonsense.

I particularly despise Brooks because the Times puts him up there as the supposed conservative dissenter, when he in fact is nothing more than a moderate AT BEST, and an idiot at that. So that's the plan: put a bumbling fool up there, who advocates half of the liberals' ideals, and spends the other half of his time criticizing real conservatives; and then proclaim that THIS IS THE CONSERVATIVE. Brilliant  Roll Eyes

But I digress....

Yeah, I wish more people were like Samuel Spade, and less were like David Brooks  Wink

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« Reply #1034 on: April 15, 2012, 07:09:42 AM »

I'd rather that type of conservative than a lunatic like Pat Buchanan or Ron Paul.

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