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: $ (1971) Hamburg Neo Noir  ( 248 )
cigar joe
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« : January 27, 2023, 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


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« #1 : January 28, 2023, 08:52:53 AM »

I saw it a couple of times and didn't think it had anything to do with noir or neonoir or anything noir. Will have to watch it again. I was also sure it had come up on the forum, but apparently I was wrong.


cigar joe
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« #2 : January 28, 2023, 11:55:53 AM »

I saw it a couple of times and didn't think it had anything to do with noir or neonoir or anything noir. Will have to watch it again. I was also sure it had come up on the forum, but apparently I was wrong.

Once you realize Noir is a Style rather than a sub genre of Crime, you'll see it. Just look at the Pottersville sequence from It's A Wonderful Life 1946) nobody is calling that film a Noir but that Pottersville sequence is filmed in the Noir Style.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXQhTmNDTGo


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« #3 : January 28, 2023, 01:51:20 PM »

Once you realize Noir is a Style rather than a sub genre of Crime, you'll see it. Just look at the Pottersville sequence from It's A Wonderful Life 1946) nobody is calling that film a Noir but that Pottersville sequence is filmed in the Noir Style.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXQhTmNDTGo

Yeah, the scene is shot in noir style, so the movie is noir? Of course, not. That proves that it takes more than style to make a noir (or neo-noir). That movie is as anti-noir as can be, isn't it? And that goes also for other movies which may have a noir visual style. I think noir is a sub-genre of crime for a series of reasons (main one being a dark vision of reality). So, in my book, a happy ending is sufficient not to classify a movie as noir. But it's useless to discuss, we'd never agree. And apart  from that I can't remember this movie being visually noirish, but I'l have to re-watch it.


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