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ROAD HOUSE (1948)

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feaito
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ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby feaito » April 15th, 2009, 7:08 pm

I watched this great Film Noir with my wife a couple of days ago and we had a grand time! I must commend especially Ida Lupino's flawless performance as the Night Club Singer. She actually sang terrificly -in my opinion- (she wasn't dubbed thank God) in a very husky, sexy way, kind of reminiscent of Anita O'Day's style. She sings "Again", "One for My Baby" and another song I can't recall. She plays a world-weary entertainer hired by the psycopathic character deftly portrayed by Richard Widmark, who owns the Road House of the title. This Road House is managed by Cornel Wilde, who's Widmark best friend and Celeste Holm is the cashier. Miss Holm is another of my favourites and she lifts any picture she's in -just like Joan Blondell, Eve Arden & Aline MacMahon. The plot is very absorbing and the film is extremely interesting, especially thanks to the complex, multi-layered character played by Miss Lupino. I read some opinions at us.imdb.com which stated that there was going on some kind of "sentimental" relationship between Widmark's and Wilde's character, which I failed to notice. I also read there that Miss Holm carried a torch for Widmark's character; I thought she was in love with Wilde's character!

A very engrossing film which I shall revisit. Any opinions?
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Dewey1960
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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby Dewey1960 » April 15th, 2009, 7:36 pm

I'm definitely a big fan of ROAD HOUSE. In fact, I think it's one of 20th Century Fox's best noirs (after NIGHTMARE ALLEY, THIEVES HIGHWAY and PICK UP ON SOUTH STREET it's probably my favorite) thanks largely to a great cast and Jean Negulesco's stylishly provocative direction. 1948 was a great year for film noir, perhaps my favorite year of all, and this jewel is only one small reason why.
Here's Ida doing her thing:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci7yze-WyGY&feature=PlayList&p=6DC3DF6976FB6A2A&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=38[/youtube]

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feaito
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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby feaito » April 15th, 2009, 9:15 pm

Thanks for posting that great clip Dewey! :D :D :D

"Nightmare Alley (1947) is a great Noir too and has a fantastic performance by Ty Power, one of his best ever, plus the marvelous Joan Blondell. I haven't seen the other two films you list as favorites.

BTW, Ida's outfits in RH raise the brows of many ladies in the film, especially the gowns she chose when she performed -just feminine envy-...and that improvised two-piece swimming suit she wore during the picnic!. She was a great actress and a beautiful woman. Nobody smoked more sexily than she!
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Professional Tourist
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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby Professional Tourist » April 15th, 2009, 10:10 pm

Interesting you should bring up the subject of Road House, feaito. I purchased this DVD recently for one reason -- to get a good look/listen at AM's first husband Jack Lee, who plays Sam the bartender. I have to admit that by this point in time, if Lee ever was a good actor, he was no longer (he had a big drinking problem). I ended up really enjoying the movie, and watched it a few times. The only thing I don't care for is the commentary track, which I find is a jokey/snarky riff by a couple of too-hip-for-their-shoes types.

I enjoyed all four of the main characters, although Celeste Holm not so much as the other three. Jefty turns out to be a real head-case, doesn't he. I enjoyed Ida Lupino and Cornel Wilde especially, and agree that it was great to hear Lupino sing in her own voice. After Lupino's first number, Holm says something with which almost everyone would agree: "She does more without a voice than anybody I've ever heard!" :)

Yes, it was the Cornel Wilde character upon whom Celeste Holm's character had a crush, not on Jefty -- which was one of the reasons she came to resent Ida Lupino's character, as a rival for Pete's attention. The "sentimental" relationship between Jefty and Pete probably went back to their childhood. They grew up together, worked together since they were kids, and were very close -- like brothers. Until they fell in love with the same woman. . . . :P

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Dewey1960
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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby Dewey1960 » April 16th, 2009, 7:37 am

‘Nando, I think you’ll really enjoy those other two FOX noirs!
THIEVES HIGHWAY is one of director Jules Dassin’s strongest,
most emotionally satisfying films. Richard Conte was seldom
better and Valentina Cortesa is an absolute knock-out!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS1mHTgdJBE[/youtube]
PICK UP ON SOUTH STREET is a great place to start if you’re
looking to investigate the films of Sam Fuller! One of the most
thrilling noir films of the 1950s!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23AFQ6pu71s[/youtube]

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feaito
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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby feaito » April 16th, 2009, 10:45 pm

Professional Tourist wrote:Interesting you should bring up the subject of Road House, feaito. I purchased this DVD recently for one reason -- to get a good look/listen at AM's first husband Jack Lee, who plays Sam the bartender. I have to admit that by this point in time, if Lee ever was a good actor, he was no longer (he had a big drinking problem). I ended up really enjoying the movie, and watched it a few times. The only thing I don't care for is the commentary track, which I find is a jokey/snarky riff by a couple of too-hip-for-their-shoes types.

I enjoyed all four of the main characters, although Celeste Holm not so much as the other three. Jefty turns out to be a real head-case, doesn't he. I enjoyed Ida Lupino and Cornel Wilde especially, and agree that it was great to hear Lupino sing in her own voice. After Lupino's first number, Holm says something with which almost everyone would agree: "She does more without a voice than anybody I've ever heard!" :)

Yes, it was the Cornel Wilde character upon whom Celeste Holm's character had a crush, not on Jefty -- which was one of the reasons she came to resent Ida Lupino's character, as a rival for Pete's attention. The "sentimental" relationship between Jefty and Pete probably went back to their childhood. They grew up together, worked together since they were kids, and were very close -- like brothers. Until they fell in love with the same woman. . . . :P


Thanks for your feedback PT.

About the sentimental relationship I really wanted to mean romantic involvement or relationship between Jefty and Lefty. That’s what some posters at us.imdb.com wrote about and in respect to those comments I said that something of sorts eluded me, because I did not notice anything of the kind.

I did not know that Jack Lee was Miss Moorehead’s first husband. How interesting!

I do not listen to commentary tracks in general. In fact, since the DVD Era began, I think that I have listened to only two or three commentary tracks and the one that I’ve enjoyed the most is the commentary which is included in the DVD edition of “Trouble in Paradise” (1932).

Dewey,

Thanks for posting those youtube clips of the movies you recommended to me. I can't wait to see them!
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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby Ollie » April 17th, 2009, 8:53 am

Feaito, thanks for bringing this film up. I'd seen it a few years ago and was hoping to be the 'first one in line' when the DVD was released. You'd mentioned your commentary track habits - I'm the same way. I keep thinking, "I'll listen to them next time!" but I don't.

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feaito
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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby feaito » April 17th, 2009, 12:22 pm

Welcome Ollie. We're kindred spirits when it comes to commentary tracks habits :wink: Besides, I have so little time for watching films that I privilege watching the films without commentaries, unless it is a film I'm very, very fond of and I need further information and insight. BTW, the commentary track included in the double DVD edition of "She" (1935) is also quite interesting and enlightening.
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Ollie
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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby Ollie » April 18th, 2009, 9:37 am

( Feaito, I stuck a note over on BUILD MY COLD WAR COLLECTION thread, seeing if you could think of some South American entries.)

I only found ROAD HOUSE because of a mistaken IMDB look-up choice from a query about Swayze's film. And being far more of a noir fan, this original ROAD HOUSE made my must-have list. I found a public-domain version of it years ago, pretty low-quality stuff, but last year's commercial DVD release made me appreciate the film all the more - good tales don't force me to have great video to enjoy them.

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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby Vienna » December 13th, 2012, 3:00 pm

ROAD HOUSE belongs to Ida Lupino and Richard Widmark. Surely two of the best roles ever for the two of them.
Ida's warbling in this will go down in Hollywood history. Thank goodness, indeed, she wasn't dubbed. The third song ,not sure of the title- "There's only one kind of loving" ? was also sung by Susan Hayward (Jane Froman's beautiful voice) in WITH A SONG IN MY HEART.
A pity Ida had to compete with the bowling alley!
Widmark should have been Oscar nominated for his Jefty who is so used to getting his own way, his true character emerging as the film develops.

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Re: ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Postby Western Guy » December 13th, 2012, 6:25 pm

Widmark had to be one of the greatest screen baddies of the post-WWII era. Oscar-nominated (as well he should have been) for his debut as vicious psychopath Tommy Udo in my personal favorite film noir KISS OF DEATH -- and quite an achievement for Widmark as he really has limited screen time, but he makes each moment count. Then more villain roles in THE STREET WITH NO NAME, ROAD HOUSE, YELLOW SKY. But a tribute to his talent that he could balance these with heroic roles in such films as HALLS OF MONTEZUMA and PANIC IN THE STREETS, then playing both sides of the street in PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, and once more sliding into sliminess in NIGHT AND THE CITY. Hero in THE LAST WAGON, bad guy in BROKEN LANCE. With such a seesaw career it's amazing that Richard the man never developed a schizophrenic personality.

I'm a HUGE Richard Widmark admirer. Villain or hero, he always gave a memorable performance.


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