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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 381278 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #1275 on: December 21, 2014, 01:38:40 PM »

According to what we're told at the start of the film (twice, in fact), the action in The Lady in the Lake begins "three days before Chirstmas." That would mean the 22nd, tomorrow, would be a most opportune time to revisit the title, should any on this board care to do so. Just saying. Smiley

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« Reply #1276 on: December 21, 2014, 08:59:13 PM »

I've never actually seen it either, but I'm not embarrassed to admit it. It's been hard to see, particularly in a decent form. And one of the reasons, apparently, is that Criterion has been sitting on the title for who-knows-how-long. Meaning no one else could bring it out on home video in the meantime. I just hope it doesn't turn out to be a huge disappointment.

If you and other members are going to buy I might wait and see if it's worth buying. I am not a fan of Lady in the Lake at all, but that's due to the direction, so we'll see.

I assume that I had chances to see this on TCM or youtube or finding it on the net somewhere. But I pretty much refuse to watch movies on a pc these days, I can't stand it.

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« Reply #1277 on: December 22, 2014, 07:03:13 PM »

The list of films and schedule for Noir City 13 are now up: http://www.noircity.com/

Of most interest are the 2 restorations. I haven't seen The Guilty (apparently an evil twin Woolrich story), but Woman on the Run is a pretty good flick (I've only seen it on a crappy gray-market disc). Maybe we'll get these new prints at MoMA or Film Forum sometime next year.

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« Reply #1278 on: December 25, 2014, 05:43:45 AM »

Saw Shadow on the Wall (1950) on TCM the other day.

Zachary Scott plays a man wrongfully convicted of killing his wife; the real killer was his sister-in-law (Ann Sothern). Scott's little daughter (nice performance by child actress Gigi Perreau) saw the killing, but is too shell-shocked to recall or speak about it. After Scott is sent to prison, Pereau is sent to an orphanage, where the psychologist (Nancy Davis, later First Lady Nancy Reagan) tries to make the child recall the traumatizing event, believing that will cure the child, and find the real killer. But when Sothern finds out what Davis is up to, she determines to do whatever it takes to stop the psychologist from doing her work with the child before she is successful in helping the child recall the event.



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« Reply #1279 on: December 25, 2014, 08:36:24 AM »

Saw Shadow on the Wall (1950) on TCM the other day.

Zachary Scott plays a man wrongfully convicted of killing his wife; the real killer was his sister-in-law (Ann Sothern). Scott's little daughter (nice performance by child actress Gigi Perreau) saw the killing, but is too shell-shocked to recall or speak about it. After Scott is sent to prison, Pereau is sent to an orphanage, where the psychologist (Nancy Davis, later First Lady Nancy Reagan) tries to make the child recall the traumatizing event, believing that will cure the child, and find the real killer. But when Sothern finds out what Davis is up to, she determines to do whatever it takes to stop the psychologist from doing her work with the child before she is successful in helping the child recall the event.




rating?

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« Reply #1280 on: December 25, 2014, 11:57:52 AM »

rating?

whoops, sorry I forgot about that.

I give it about a 6/10, possibly a half-point higher or so.


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« Reply #1281 on: December 27, 2014, 11:10:33 PM »

According to what we're told at the start of the film (twice, in fact), the action in The Lady in the Lake begins "three days before Chirstmas." That would mean the 22nd, tomorrow, would be a most opportune time to revisit the title, should any on this board care to do so. Just saying. Smiley

Lady in the Lake will be playing on TCM on Monday at 10 PM EST

http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.html?tz=est&sdate=2014-12-28

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« Reply #1282 on: January 06, 2015, 03:44:21 AM »

Just saw Criss Cross for the first time.

Enjoyed the whole movie, but then it all falls off the table at the end. I thought the ending was a letdown. I give it a 7.5/10.

I really liked that dance scene toward the beginning. It was filmed wonderfully, largely in closeup, just seeing de Carlo's head moving. Normally, you'd expect a dance scene like that to be filmed in medium shot (with some long shots of the whole dance floor, as well) so you can see her whole body moving, but here much of it is filmed just of her head, or say from the shoulders up, and you just see the upper part of her body moving, but you imagine how the rest of her body must be moving. I don't mean this in an overtly sexual sense, I mean yeah it's a sensual dance, but in filming this dance, it's really cool how you basically just see her head and maybe her shoulders, and imagine the rest of the body dancing, it works so wonderfully here. It's one of my favorite dance scenes in the movies.




SPOILER ALERT TILL END OF POST

DJ extols what he calls one of the bleakest endings in noir. WHAT IS SO BLEAK HERE? that the girl crossed up Lancaster, that she just wanted the money and didn't love him? big deal, that's what noir/femme fatale is all about. Dija really think Lancaster was gonna walk off into the sunset with her? So the girl crosses him up, they die in each other's arms, and Duryea is presumably about to be arrested. Is this more bleak than a dozen other noirs?
The title tells you, in case you couldn't figure it out, that the whole thing will be a big double cross. What bothered me was not what happened, it's not like I'm disappointed about the plot ending; just how it happened. From the moment the lieutenant leaves Lancaster's hospital room, I didn't enjoy the rest of the movie nearly as much as I'd been enjoying it up to that point.

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« Reply #1283 on: January 06, 2015, 02:23:01 PM »

Yeah, its ending is bleaker than most other noirs.

At the end of Double Indemnity, for example, Keyes expresses his love for Walter; Walter killed for money and the woman and got neither, but the ending is lightened by the fact that Keyes shows real affection for the man. That translates into a not-so-bleak finish.

At the end of Out of the Past Mitchum and Greer die, but there's the idea that Mitchum is sacrificing himself so that Ann can lead a happy life with her boyfriend. The deaf-mute kid seals the deal, figuring that's the way Bob would have wanted it. The noble-sacrifice ending is not in the least bleak.

At the end of The Killers there is the idea that justice has been served and the Swede avenged. And the O'Brien character solved the case.

At the end of D.O.A. O'Brien's character drops dead, but only after he's been able to have his revenge on the person who poisoned him. The fact that he avenged himself is very satisfying to most viewers.

And on and on. The code pretty much prevented utter nihilism from occurring. But the ending of Criss Cross almost gets there. There we find that Lancaster's efforts have all been in vain, AND, the entire program was wrong-headed from the word go. The Yvonne De Carlo character was never worth pursuing. Lancaster learns, at the point of dying, that his entire adult life has been one of misapprehension and failure. The fact that Duryea gets picked up by the cops is no consolation to either Lancaster--if he's even aware of it--or the audience. Duryea is going to jail, big deal. The guy we cared about, who we invested our feelings in, is dead, and all because of the worst kind of manipulative bitch that ever walked the earth. Maybe someday it'll happen to you, and on that day you'll realize just how bleak things can get.

Bleaksville, baby. It almost always takes a conniving bitch to get you there.


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« Reply #1284 on: January 06, 2015, 03:16:34 PM »

Haha nice work DJ  Afro

I've been hurt by my share of women, but never the maniplative bitch. And btw, de Carlo leaves Lancaster cuz he is hurting and can't flee, she isn't interested in being noble and helping him if she isn't gonna be able to get away with the money. But if he had been able to get away cleanly and unharmed, you so sure she wouldn't have stayed with him?

Also, RE: Double Indemnity: is Keyes's love a consolation for Neff? He had a good life and fucked it up for money and a woman and got neither. If anything, the fact that Keyes expresses his love just accentuates what a good life Neff had before he met Phyllis: he had a good job, was successful at it, good friends, and screwed it all and got nuthin for it. I don't think Keyes reaffirming his friendship mitigates that; it may even make it worse, showing that he threw away a good life for nothing.

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« Reply #1285 on: January 07, 2015, 08:07:16 AM »

And btw, de Carlo leaves Lancaster cuz he is hurting and can't flee, she isn't interested in being noble and helping him if she isn't gonna be able to get away with the money. But if he had been able to get away cleanly and unharmed, you so sure she wouldn't have stayed with him?

De Carlo's character is going to go with the BBD every time. If it looks like Lancaster can swing the BBD, she'll stick with him . . . until the next sucker comes along with an even bigger BBD. There's no way she was gonna go with Lancaster "forever."

Quote
Also, RE: Double Indemnity: is Keyes's love a consolation for Neff? He had a good life and fucked it up for money and a woman and got neither. If anything, the fact that Keyes expresses his love just accentuates what a good life Neff had before he met Phyllis: he had a good job, was successful at it, good friends, and screwed it all and got nuthin for it. I don't think Keyes reaffirming his friendship mitigates that; it may even make it worse, showing that he threw away a good life for nothing.
That may be true. I'm thinking more in terms of how the audience feels at the end. The demonstration of friendship (Keyes finally lighting one up for Walter after all the times Walter has given Keyes a light) makes people feel a bit warm and fuzzy in the midst of all the failure and missed chances. At least, that's the way it's always seemed to me.

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« Reply #1286 on: January 07, 2015, 10:58:46 AM »

Savant tips us to a nice link: http://www.cinephiliabeyond.org/billy-wilder-film-noir/

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« Reply #1287 on: January 07, 2015, 07:15:30 PM »


Indeed it is a nice link. IMO Wilder is not only one of the greatest directors, but also one of the greatest interviewees. Savant has finally made himself useful.  Afro

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« Reply #1288 on: January 15, 2015, 06:15:24 AM »

March 31: Strange Affair of Uncle Harry http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Affair-Uncle-Harry-Blu-ray/dp/B00S89IXTU/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1421327598&sr=1-1&keywords=Strange+Affair+of+Uncle+Harry+%5BBlu-ray%5D

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« Reply #1289 on: January 16, 2015, 08:58:12 PM »

Interesting:

http://noirworthwatching.blogspot.com/

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