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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 366142 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #1245 on: September 14, 2014, 10:37:41 AM »

thanks

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« Reply #1246 on: September 14, 2014, 11:09:24 AM »

I Died a Thousand Times is a hilariously-funny-in-how-comically-ridiculous-it-is, color/CinemaScope re-make of High Sierra. Some cast members are good actors, some are atrocious, but the whole situation had me rolling on the floor in laughter, as I recall, the thugs are Earl Holliman in red hair that is one of the people whom I have no idea how he ever got a job in Hollywood, much less repeated significant supporting roles in big films with big actors; and Perdo Gonzalez Gonzalez, the very funny Mexican hotel owner in Rio Bravo. Jack Palance is an actor I enjoy watching, but Bogie's Roy Earle is one of his all-time great characters great performances; nobody not Jack Palance nor anyone else could have done a Roy Earle that challenged Bogie's.

Then, we have Shelley Winters, an ass-ugly chick with a whiny voice and no great acting skills - how the hell did she ever get any job in Hollywood that didn't mandate a bag pulled over her face and a sock stuffed in her mouth, much less get lotsa female leads and big supporting roles???

But hey, wtf do I know, I am just a lowly viewer .... who says that if you love High Sierra, and you haven't seen IDATT, catch it on TCM, at leas ta  few minutes of it, for as long as you can stand it; it'll be great comedy for you.

One genuinely good thing about IDAAT is the nice color images. In the mid-50's, I think most dramas were filmed in black-and-white, you don't get that much color footage of those locations; so you get nice color images of things that back then we usually only saw in black-and-white. For example, Earle stops at a gas station, and you see those lovely old gas stations with the red pumps.
 I don't think I saw those in color in any movie from that period besides this one. And Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez makes me laugh just when he opens his mouth (heck, I laugh even when I think of him. [Heck, I laugh even when I think of his name!] Maybe it's just cuz I am thinking of him in Rio Bravo, not sure.) So, those are the only positives I can think of: seeing some things in color that you usually don't, and Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez  Grin

p.s. there is another way to see the red gas pumps in color in one of my favorite paintings of all-time, Edward Hopper's Gas (1940)  Wink



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« Reply #1247 on: September 15, 2014, 05:13:31 AM »

I Died a Thousand Times is a hilariously-funny-in-how-comically-ridiculous-it-is, color/CinemaScope re-make of High Sierra. Some cast members are good actors, some are atrocious, but the whole situation had me rolling on the floor in laughter, as I recall, the thugs are Earl Holliman in red hair that is one of the people whom I have no idea how he ever got a job in Hollywood, much less repeated significant supporting roles in big films with big actors; and Perdo Gonzalez Gonzalez, the very funny Mexican hotel owner in Rio Bravo. Jack Palance is an actor I enjoy watching, but Bogie's Roy Earle is one of his all-time great characters great performances; nobody not Jack Palance nor anyone else could have done a Roy Earle that challenged Bogie's.

Then, we have Shelley Winters, an ass-ugly chick with a whiny voice and no great acting skills - how the hell did she ever get any job in Hollywood that didn't mandate a bag pulled over her face and a sock stuffed in her mouth, much less get lotsa female leads and big supporting roles???

But hey, wtf do I know, I am just a lowly viewer .... who says that if you love High Sierra, and you haven't seen IDATT, catch it on TCM, at leas ta  few minutes of it, for as long as you can stand it; it'll be great comedy for you.

One genuinely good thing about IDAAT is the nice color images. In the mid-50's, I think most dramas were filmed in black-and-white, you don't get that much color footage of those locations; so you get nice color images of things that back then we usually only saw in black-and-white. For example, Earle stops at a gas station, and you see those lovely old gas stations with the red pumps.
 I don't think I saw those in color in any movie from that period besides this one. And Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez makes me laugh just when he opens his mouth (heck, I laugh even when I think of him. [Heck, I laugh even when I think of his name!] Maybe it's just cuz I am thinking of him in Rio Bravo, not sure.) So, those are the only positives I can think of: seeing some things in color that you usually don't, and Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez  Grin

p.s. there is another way to see the red gas pumps in color in one of my favorite paintings of all-time, Edward Hopper's Gas (1940)  Wink




Yes I thought the best part of IDATT was the color location footage, especially during the final chase where the car heading up into the Sierras on a back country road gets stuck in the snow drift.

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« Reply #1248 on: September 21, 2014, 01:17:36 PM »

New noir Blu's on the way: Possessed ('47) http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=15037
and a Region B The Killers ('46) http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=15033

Both titles are well served by their current DVD encodes, so it remains to be seen just how good the upgrades are.

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« Reply #1249 on: October 07, 2014, 01:09:03 PM »

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Killers-Blu-ray/109599/#Review

Criterion, are you on this?

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« Reply #1250 on: October 07, 2014, 07:31:35 PM »

This World, Then The Fireworks (1997) 50s Period piece story of one hell of a screwed up family, based on a Jim Thompson novel, some great visuals, Billy Zane, Sheryl Lee, and Gina Gershon looking like a dead ringer for Ava Gardner. Zane comes off a wee bit too modern, 7/10.

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« Reply #1251 on: October 13, 2014, 06:38:37 AM »

I just read The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, by Foster Hirsch

This is a pretty good book. There are a few mistakes (for example, he says that Joan Bennett loved Dan Duryea in The Woman in the Window and Scarlet Street obviously, its only true for the latter; in the former, Duryea is actually blackmailing Benett. Some little factual stuff like that.

Also, Hirsch neglects to mention a few noirs. He's not writing an encyclopedia (Alain Silver's Film Noir Encyclopedia was actually published a couple of years before Hirsch's book was publishd in 1981; but Hirsch says that when he started researching/planning his book, in 1978, Silver's book wasn't out yet and I'm not sure if any noir books were out yet. Still, to my recollection, Hirsch makes no mention of House of Strangers, a noir that I really like. (Perhaps you can argue it isn't really a noir cuz there really isn't a crime - of course, there is a bank fraud and subsequent jury tampering that takes place at the end, but that isn't really what the movie is about; it is really a family drama - but still, it is from the noir period and looks like a noir... and Hirsch does mention Clash by Night, another noir-style movie which is all family drama and no crime whatsoever.
Also, Hirsch doesn't mention two Richard Basehart noirs:  He Walked by Night or Tension. Neither is a great movie (I think I rated both like a 7/10 or 7.5/10 when I saw them) but IMO they are decent enough that they should have been mentioned. Especially HWBN cuz Basehart is a truly creepy murderer; his depiction of the crazy lone murderer is really good.
Also, he doesn't mention 99 River Street, which is a good noir and IMO Brad Dexter is a goor noir tough guy, it also should have been mentioned.

There are inevitably some other, minor noirs that weren't mentioned; but the ones I pointed out are IMO good enough that they should have been mentioned.

However, I don't blame Hirsch: the book was written in 1981, before Internet or any complete lists of noirs were popular, he says theis was way before the whole fascination with noir; his publisher even denied him a modest travel budget to go to Library of Congress's film division and check out some movies. So I won't blame him for missing a few titles. Overall, this is a very enjoyable read.

Hirsch also talks about those films that aren't considered noir but use noir techniques and influenced noir, prominently mentioning Citizen Kane. And German Expressionism. Although it doesn't involve crime, Welles uses lotsa techniques that would inspire noir. Hirsch says that the period noir truly flourished, the really fertile period, was from 1944-1949, but concedes that the general time period that is considered the noir period is from The Maltese Falcon in 1941 till Touch of Evil in 1958 (perhaps you can go to Odds Against Tomorrow, in 1959.) But he suggests that perhaps the start should not be considered from The Maltese Falcon, but from Citizen Kane.

Anyway, this is an enjoyable book  Afro

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« Reply #1252 on: October 14, 2014, 02:21:40 PM »

http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org/news.html
Here's the cream:
Quote
A pair of seemingly lost films, Woman on the Run (1950) and The Guilty (1947), are the Film Noir Foundation's "rescues" for 2014. Both have been restored in brand new 35mm negatives; pristine prints of each will be presented to audiences on the NOIR CITY festival circuit in 2015. Woman on the Run is a unique noir love story, shot largely on location in San Francisco, with star Ann Sheridan serving as the film's unbilled executive producer. The film vanished from circulation after the termination of the independent production's distribution deal with Universal in the mid-1950s. Following insistent prodding from festival programmers Eddie Muller and Anita Monga, a pristine 35mm print was discovered at Universal in 2002 and debuted at the first San Francisco NOIR CITY festival in 2003. Sadly, the lone U.S. 35mm print was destroyed in a 2008 fire that burned many films in the Universal vault. In 2013, the FNF discovered in the BFI archive original elements from the British release of the film; these served as the basis of the restoration.
 
The Guilty is the second John Reinhardt-directed film to be restored by the FNF, following in the wake of High Tide (1948), restored in 2013. The 71-minute B feature was the first film produced by Texas oil magnate Jack Wrather, and like High Tide was distributed by Monogram Pictures. It's based on the Cornell Woolrich short story, "Two Men in a Furnished Room" ."The Woolrich connection gives the film cachet," said Eddie Muller, "and it might just be the best of the low-budget Hollywood adaptations of his work. The modest production values enhance the seediness of the story. A desolate, late-night Woolrich vibe saturates the film. I'm thrilled we could rescue this one."

The restorations have been fully funded by the FNF, with elements supplied by the British Film Institute and project management provided by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. A recent grant of $25,000 by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association accounted for almost a third of Woman's restoration budget. The endowment was accepted by FNF advisory council member Rose McGowan at the HFPA's annual Grants Banquet on August 14. The majority of restoration funding, however, is provided by FNF donors, and ticket sales from the annual NOIR CITY festival in San Francisco. You can help us keep restoring classic films noir by donating to the FNF.

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« Reply #1253 on: October 15, 2014, 07:07:33 AM »


I thought they were doing Too Late For Tears

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« Reply #1254 on: October 15, 2014, 09:14:57 AM »

Already in the can. It played at FF over the summer but I couldn't get to it (OR, I chose not to). Anyway, it should be coming out on Blu in the not-too-distant-future (I'm guessing either from Olive or Kino).

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« Reply #1255 on: October 21, 2014, 03:38:37 PM »

Holy Noir, Batman, The Hunted is out on DVD-R! Savant has the lowdown: http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s4628hunt.html

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« Reply #1256 on: October 22, 2014, 07:17:50 AM »

Holy Noir, Batman, The Hunted is out on DVD-R! Savant has the lowdown: http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s4628hunt.html

Cool, have you seen it before?

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« Reply #1257 on: October 22, 2014, 08:04:22 AM »

Nope, only the poster. Ordered!

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« Reply #1258 on: October 30, 2014, 03:08:47 AM »

Film Forum is showing a bunch of movies from four famous pulp/noir writers in a series entitled "CHANDLER, HAMMETT, WOOLRICH, & CAIN" from Dec. 12-Dec. 24, 2014.
Discussion in the "Upcoming Screenings of Classic Movies" thread http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11250.msg174660#msg174660

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« Reply #1259 on: October 30, 2014, 10:59:08 AM »

Not that I really think this is a noir, but it's usually thought to be, so I place the link here: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Possessed-Blu-ray/113525/#Review
Money Quote:
Quote
The Warner Archive Collection has produced another sterling rendition of a black-and-white classic with its 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray of Possessed, which was shot by Joseph A. Valentine (Shadow of a Doubt, Rope and Victor Fleming's Joan of Arc). The blacks, grays and whites are precisely rendered with excellent densities, giving the image an almost tactile quality that is essential to director Bernhardt's compositions, which are often deliberately unsettling: claustrophobic, oddly angled, off-balance. In scene after scene, Crawford's Louise is crowded by objects in the frame, bisected by shadows or props, imprisoned by pillars, windows frames or shadows cast by stair railings or other architectural elements. The commentary by Drew Casper points out more of these than you ever thought possible, and once you start looking for them, they're everywhere. Not since Possessed was shown on 35mm film have they been so easy to spot.

The film's grain pattern appears to be fine and natural, and the detail is consistently excellent throughout (except, of course, where scenes are intentionally dark). WAC has followed its usual practicing of mastering the disc at a high average bitrate, in this case 38.00 Mbps.
I have a copy and I agree the transfer looks great. Up there with the best transfers for films of the period.

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