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Topics - cigar joe

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Off-Topic Discussion / $ (1971) Hamburg Neo Noir
« on: Today at 10:57:23 AM »
Directed and Written by Richard Brooks.

Brooks directed  (Deadline - U.S.A.(1952), Blackboard Jungle (1955), In Cold Blood (1967), Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). Excellent Cinematography by Petrus R. Schl?mp and Music by Quincy Jones (In the Heat of the Night).

The film stars Warren Beatty (All Fall Down, Mickey One, Bonnie and Clyde, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Dick Tracy, Bugsy) as Joe Collins, Goldie Hawn (CrissCross) as hooker Dawn Divine, Gert Fr?be (Goldfinger) as Mr. Kessel. Robert Webber (in Noirs Highway 301, Harper, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia and also 12 Angry Men) as Attorney  Mr. North, Scott Brady (He Walked By Night, Undertow, Port Of New York, The Night Strangler) as Sarge, Arthur Brauss (Cross of Iron) as Candy Man aka "Mister Sunglasses" with Robert Stiles as Major, Christiane Maybach as Helga, and Hamburg circa 1970.

Richard Brooks slips in some Classic Noir references. The Candy Man character reminds us of Alan Ladd in This Gun for Hire when he feeds his cat. The Candy Man's sunglasses are also maybe a homage to Sam Fuller's Underworld USA. The displayed gold bar in the bank connected with Gert Fr?be is obviously a nod to Goldfinger, lol. The chase through the railyards and the trains at night possibly homages Brit Noir It Always Rains On Sunday and French Poetic Realist Noir Le Bette Humaine. There's even a mention of 14 Hours at one point, lol, intentional or coincidence. There may be more to look for.

Warren Beaty's Sam is just a variation of his John McCabe character from McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Goldie Hawn is just doing her giggly, silly, groovy hippie chick character we all probably first  noticed from Laugh In. It works, adequately as an updated version of the same type of silly, ditsy characters Marilyn Monreo played in Some Like It Hot and The Seven Year Itch or Barbara Nichols for that matter. Scott Brady is great, (and the most impressive) as a more deadly and serious version of Sergeant Bilko, playing a shady black marketeer. Robert Webber is good as the slightly kinked mob mouthpiece and Arthur Brauss is scary as the alienated and obsessed mob hit man / junkie.

This film functions like Hamburg's Naked City. The film is a wonderful archival treasure trove of Hamburg circa 1970s. And if you are a railfan there are some great train sequences throughout. It's two slight flaws are probably the over long chase sequence (though I didn't mind it), and what seems like a tacked on "happy" ending (were they thinking of a possible sequel?). 8/10

Off-Topic Discussion / Midnight Diner - Tokyo Stories 2019
« on: January 06, 2023, 05:36:38 PM »

Off-Topic Discussion / I, the Jury (1953)
« on: October 23, 2022, 08:42:00 AM »
Can't believe we didn't have a seperate thread for this

This is all I could find on our board and it came in the "Best Mike Hammer" tread

I've seen "I, The Jury" (1953) with Biff Elliot in the role of Hammer and  Peggy Castel as Charlotte Manning and Tani Guthrie as Mary Bellamy were hot. Elliot on the other hand was a bit miscast

Now it's due for a real review...

Wow a restored release

General Discussion / AFOD, FADM, GBU, DYS
« on: September 30, 2022, 02:13:51 PM »
Ok this is going way back but it has to do with the colors of the DVD's & the Blu's

I remember back in 1966-67 one review actually did mentioned the golden Mediterranean light. Back then I read reviews from the NY Times, the NY Daily News, The Long Island Star Journal, Time, Newsweek, and a couple of other Film review publications so it had to be one of them. I've been uploading images from a past European trip and that discussion we had and that review again came back to me when I was uploading the images.

In Parma



even Cortina in the Dolomites

There is a more golden hue to the blue sky in the Mediterranean.

Off-Topic Discussion / RIP Henry Silva
« on: September 17, 2022, 06:20:10 AM »
I liked him in The Manchurian Candidate, The Bravados, Viva Zapata!, The Tall T, Ocean's Eleven

Off-Topic Discussion / Accused of Murder (1956)
« on: July 13, 2022, 02:38:20 PM »

None of the women in this look remotely like the poster, lol.


Accused of Murder (1956)  What struck me in this run of the mill cop movie is the looks of the 2 female leads: ugly and old. Vera Ralston was about 33 at the time but she looks well in her '40s. But even in her youth I  doubt would have troubled anybody's dream. Virginia Grey was 39 but she could have subbed for Bette Davis  in Baby Jane. LVC has got a more relevant part than usual and it's the only reason to watch this one. 5-6/10

cigar joe


Visually, it all looked too artificial, and antiseptic. The streets are too clean and too empty, the dime a dance ballroom too big, the police office too big and too clean.  Also the widescreen enhances all of the above. Noirs should be more claustrophobic, in my opinion.  Accused of Murder had a few shots that looked good, but not many, you didn't see any Dutch angles and not much visual style.

I think once you see Noirs like The Naked City, Side Street, The Sniper, Kiss Me Deadly, The Line-Up and others heavy with on location work the studio set back lot Noirs look anemic in comparison.  Catch The Money Trap (1965) where mixing back lot with on location just doesn't look right.

Yea the leading ladies were definitely not eye candy, lol.

Off-Topic Discussion / Jean-Louis Trintignant RIP
« on: June 17, 2022, 03:01:43 PM »
Silenced RIP


A Cabaretera - Zoot Suit Noir that manages a magical fusion of gritty big city Film Noir with Afro-Caribbean-Cuban-Mexican Musical and the Western.                                                            (Noirsville)

Directed masterfully by Emilio Fern?ndez.

Written by Emilio Fern?ndez and Mauricio Magdaleno and based on Magdaleno's story. The phenomenal Cinematography was by the great Gabriel Figueroa, and the Music was by Antonio D?az Conde.

Just based on the amazing visuals that continually top those in the preceding frames this film has shot into my personal 10/10 list of Black & White International Noir. And get this, I first watched a streaming un-subtitled version that was cropped from an Academy ratio to a 1.78:1 (16:9). Its a simple story and since I'm part Italian and have lots of Hispanic friends, between the similarities of the two languages and the very animated acting, it is pretty easy to figure out what is going on. That says a lot, and I have since purchased the current DVD available (it has English subs), but I'd easily re purchase it again if a Blu comes out. The film plays like a Noir Music Video and and you can even enjoy it that way. If you are a Noir Visual junkie once you see it it will be unforgettable.

Emilio "El Indio" Fern?ndez creates a masterpiece in re-visiting Cabaretera Noir. His first was Salon Mexico (1949) This film checks all the boxes of what a great Noir made around the early 1950's should contain.

Gabe Figueroa's cinematography is visually dark, graphic, and gritty. He is an equal to Alton, Guffey, Diskant, Ballard, and Musuraca.

The story hits on all cylinders, the music and dance routines are eye openly progressive compared to any films produced by Hollywood of the same vintage.

The Music is for the most part diegetic and is provided by the P?rez Prado Orchestra, Rita Montaner, Jimmy Monterrey's "bongocero" rumba band, a un-credited Jalisco mariachi group playing Santiago's leitmotif "el tren," and even the famous Mexican crooner Pedro Vargas gets to do a number as a celebrity guest in the Chang?o audience.

Visual highlights are the warren like back alleys, the neon lit clubs, the early morning railyard views from El puente de Nonoalco, the prostitute cribs. Acosta's Zoot Suit "jive" dance, all of Nin?n Sevilla's numbers, Rita Montaner singing "Ay, Jos?" wink wink, which never would have been permitted by the Legion of Decency or the Motion Picture Production Code here, the "**** riot," and a cool Western gunfight at the railyard.

All the performances are spot on, Sevilla, Junco, Acosta are excellent and especially of note is the acting by Ismael P?rez as Juanito with some very compelling sequences. Screencaps from Mirada DVD 10/10.

Off-Topic Discussion / Cockfighter (1974)
« on: May 01, 2022, 04:55:58 PM »
Original thread accidently deleted
dave jenkins ? : April 23, 2022, 03:59:17 PM ?      
The Blu at last:

T.H. Re: Cockfighter (1974)
? #1 : April 29, 2022, 11:20:51 AM ?      
An old review of mine:

Warren Oates had to be the single best choice at that time to play a character that takes a vow of silence - his expressions and facial tics are really put on display here. Hellman brilliantly succeeds at perfecting the docudrama style and manages to accomplish that feat in the most humble way possible - this movie's south feels as real as something like Heartworn Highways. A-

dave jenkinsRe: Cockfighter (1974)
? #2 : April 29, 2022, 11:46:51 AM ?      
I did not read that before composing this earlier today:
Cockfighter (1974) - 9/10. Formulaic comeback story is redeemed by an unusual milieu, a good mix of non-actors and professionals, and an amazing non-speaking central performance by Warren Oates.  With Richard B. Shull, Harry Dean Stanton, Laurie Bird, Steve "She's destroyed worlds!" Railsback, and a young Ed Begley Jr.
You gave it an A- and I gave it a 9/10. Hmm, we are very close on this.

cigar joe Re: Cockfighter (1974)
? #3 : Today at 05:29:56 AM ?

« on: January 07, 2022, 10:42:42 AM »

The long take, slow pans, slow tracking shots, and lots rain Noir

Directed by Bela Tarr. Written by L?szl? Krasznahorkai and B?la Tarr. Cinematography by G?bor Medvigy and Music by Mih?ly Vig.

Tarr spends what seems like a good ten minutes of the opening with a long slow zoom out from the tramway. Then we are treated to Karrer shaving for another what sees like five minutes. This guy is depressed. Tarr could have saved a lot of film if he had just had Karrer cut his throat here. Its a bit of a monotonous type style but it does convey a sense of hopelessness to it all, which may be the point.

The best segment is the torch song sequence at the Titanik Bar.

Rain. A real soaker. Titanik Bar neon beckoning, The "r" burned out. Pack of dogs crossing the damp pavement. Inside another pack of men looking at the bitch in heat up on the stage. Outside Karrer watches. A VW drives up. The singers husband gets out and goes inside. Karrer crosses the street and goes into the Titanik. As he gets closer we hear the electric piano and sax. Inside men sit stupefied. She sings a haunting dirge about lost love "Maybe Never More."

For me its similar in tone to Michelangelo Antonioni's Il Grido (1957). Tarr creates a bleak, depressing world of broken dreams with his relentless visual style and sound design. It wont be for everyone. 7/10

Off-Topic Discussion / Peter Bogdanovich - DEAD
« on: January 06, 2022, 04:13:10 PM »
Liked Paper Moon and Last Picture show thought he was a real bloviating jackass.

by Peter Bogdanovich

My experiences with Leone prove that directors should never collaborate. It is, as Mailer has described it, a totalitarian job.

An American actor I know once had a passionate romance with a Russian ballerina, though neither of them spoke the other?s language, and it lasted just as long as they didn?t know what they were saying to each other; as soon as they did, the affair terminated abruptly. Strangely enough, the language barrier between director Sergio Leone and me didn?t have quite the same result, though probably if we?d understood each other from the start, I would have seen less of Rome than I did.

This all happened in late 1969. Leone, the father of the spaghetti Western (the Clint Eastwood ones beginning with A Fistful of Dollars) and the padrone of the extreme close-up, had, through United Artists, asked me to direct the first movie he was to produce only, rather than direct and produce. With assurances from U. A. that they would welcome radical changes of the first draft of the Mexican Revolution script I had received, and firm promises that Leone would really function only as producer and therefore leave me to make the film as I saw fit, and taking into consideration that it was a free trip to Italy, where I?d never been, and bearing in mind that I hadn?t made a picture for well over a year, that three projects I?d been preparing had fallen through, remembering too that a baby had just made us three and that the specter of having to go back to writing articles was hanging over me, I accepted, you might say, reluctantly.

In those days, Sergio didn?t wear a beard; in fact, he was a rather unimpressive looking guy?medium height, pot belly (usually with a cashmere sweater pulled down tight over it), hardly any chin to speak of. But he met me at the airport with the majesty of a Roman emperor expending a bit of largess on a worthy, if nonetheless decidedly inferior, underling. It was subtle, the feeling behind that first meeting, but the impression was confirmed in the weeks that followed. Actually, Sergio wanted me to believe he was a great director; he didn?t believe it, which is perhaps why it was so important that those who worked for him did. I had only just liked a couple of his movies, so it was a difficult act for me to play, though for a while I tried to imply admiring thoughts in the way I said things rather than in what I said, most of which I guess was negative.

Luciano Vincenzoni, the writer of Leone?s two best films (For a Few Dollars More; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), had been hired to work on this one too, and he and I got on famously right from the start, though his job was the not very appetizing one of being translator, mediator, arbiter, and scenarist all at once. Luciano, by the way, is everyone?s ideal Italian?he could be exported as a tourist attraction?charming, gracious, enthusiastic, good-looking, and funny. For some reason best known to himself, he really wanted me to direct this picture?a lot more than 1 did?and much of our time alone together was spent in his trying to get me to be more politic with Sergio. Our script conferences were usually called for 11 a.m., at which time I would arrive at Luciano?s apartment and we would wait for Sergio. Around one o?clock he would call to say he?d be a little late so why didn?t we go out and have some lunch. About three o?clock we?d return and Sergio would arrive promptly at 4:30 for two hours of work. After a couple of weeks of this, Sergio inexplicably presented me with a watch (an old one of his)?presumably to keep him from being late?a joke I made and Luciano says he translated.

Anyway, the conferences would usually begin with my complaining about the title of the film, which was Duck, You Sucker! (The men at U. A. had assured me it had to be changed, though I don?t believe they ever bothered to tell Sergio this; but then they probably didn?t refer to him as Benito to his face either.) Sergio would carefully explain that ?Duck, you sucker? was a common American expression, to which I would reply that personally I?d never come across it before. I would then point out that the substitution of an ?f? or the transposition of the ?s? could result?in English, anyway?in some rather less than polite expletives. In answer, he would say that this title was in his view an Americanization of a well-known Italian expression, ?Giu la testa, coglioni,?? which literally translated means, ?Duck your head, balls,? and which he intended to use as the Italian title, with the ??coglioni?? part left off. I said the idea sounded splendid, but that while this Italian saying probably received immediate recognition from his countrymen, ?Duck, you sucker? would not have the same effect on Americans. Well then, he would say?this conversation really did happen more than once?what was a comparable American expression? I replied that I couldn?t think of one quite as colorful, but that we were known to say things like, ?Watch it!? or ?Hit the dirt!? or ?Heads up!? or ?Look out!? or even, simply, ?Duck!? This was met with incomprehension and distrust from Sergio, who I?m sure was becoming convinced I wasn?t a real American at all.        To be Continued

Off-Topic Discussion / The St. Louis Bank Robbery (1959)
« on: November 16, 2021, 05:42:39 PM »
 Directed by Charles Guggenheim and John Stix.
Guggenheim was a director  who specialized mostly in documentaries. John Stix was a TV director. Written by Richard T. Heffron.   Cinematography was by Victor Duncan and Music was by Bernardo Segall.

The film stars Steve McQueen as George Fowler, Crahan Denton To Kill A Mocking Bird as John Egan, the gang boss, David Clarke Raw Deal, The Set-Up, Abandoned, Edge Of Doom, The Narrow Margin, Odds Against Tomorrow as Gino, Ann's brother, James Dukas The Hustler, The Detective, Ironweed as Willy, the driver, Molly McCarthy Blast Of Silence as Ann, George's ex-girlfriend and Gino's sister, Martha Gable as Eddie's wife, Larry Gerst as Eddie.

This has (no surprise) a quasi documentary feel to it. Great use of locations. McQueen plays vulnerable convincingly. The rest of the cast is equally believable

There is a nice sequence showing Gino going stir crazy. Gino is shaving in the bathroom and George comes into the hotel flop and shuts the bathroom door as he passes it. Everything around him becomes enhanced, the dripping sink, the Coriolis of the draining tub. Claustrophobia. The four walls start spinning

The homosexual subtext is pretty out in the open. The St. Louis locations have an archival importance. Interesting film from 1959. 7/10

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