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Noir Films

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feaito
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Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » June 8th, 2011, 11:26 am

Hi Theresa, Maureen made so many films, I don't want to answer for Wendy, but IMO at least "Skyscraper Souls" (1932) and "The Devil-Doll" (1936) should be definitely in the line-up!! :D
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movieman1957
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Re: Noir Films

Postby movieman1957 » June 8th, 2011, 11:27 am

The article is dated 1997. How nice to remember when AMC was worth watching. Ah, when we were young.
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MissGoddess
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Re: Noir Films

Postby MissGoddess » June 8th, 2011, 11:38 am

I missed most of the first half, and ironically, I loved what I saw of the rest of LET US LIVE. I didn't mind Maureen's over-acting, if you call it that. In fact it was refreshing to see her really put a lot of emotion and desperation into the situation. Sylvia Sydney by contrast, could seem too phlegmatic at times in the comparable You Only Live Once (a movie I really like, so this is no knock on Syd or Lang's film). But then, like Moira, I'm a MO'S fan and seeing her in a heavy drama was a joy. Though the script at times was a bit much, I was absolutely astonished at the bitter, cynical tone of the end in spite of how things worked out. That is so very much more 1940s in spirit. It is already now one of my favorite movies by interesting director, John Brahm, even without having seen the beginning.

I hope Let Us Live shows up again so I can watch it from the beginning. I never even heard of it until that day it aired. I wish I could keep up with the TCM schedule. :(
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Re: Noir Films

Postby JackFavell » June 8th, 2011, 11:43 am

I hadn't heard of Let Us Live either... it's odd when that happens, especially with stars like Fonda or O'Sullivan in the picture. Maybe I was too rough on the movie, or was expecting too much from the clip they showed in the Henry Fonda tribute. It wasn't a bad movie by any means, but Fonda has such a catalog of great movies, it didn't seem to live up to it for me. And for the record, I didn't think they were overacting either.

Maven -

Well, you could probably show all of her movies in a month, and TCM seems to have most of them - maybe Ted Turner had a crush on her? - but if I had to pick favorites, I'd say,

Hide-Out
Woman Wanted
Hannah and Her Sisters
Tarzan - (all of her Jane films)
Pride and Prejudice (to me, she is the only one who has ever been beautiful and sweet enough to play Jane Bennett. Some actresses get the sweet, and some the beautiful, but none of them seem to be both except for Maureen. To me, this proves what a good actress she was, in an unassuming way.)

David Copperfield
The Barrett's of Wimpole Street

The Thin Man
The Tall T
Maisie Was a Lady
The Emperor's Candlesticks
Stage Mother
The Big Clock
Anna Karenina
The Flame Within
Devil Doll
Payment Deferred
Let Us Live


I haven't seen a few of her more well known movies, like Tugboat Annie, Skyscraper Souls, or A Connecticut Yankee, and then there are a couple where she just shows up at the end, and doesn't have much to do, like Strange Interlude.

I would hope they could find a few that they don't seem to show, like Cardinal Richelieu, or The Bishop Misbehaves, Robber's Roost and The Call of Bugle Ann. Most of all, I want to see Port of Seven Seas, which is a remake, or rather a loose translation of Marcel Pagnol's Marius and Fanny movies, with Wallace Beery as Cesar, and Frank Morgan as Panisse!

She was also very good in a Christmas special made with Charles Boyer for his TV show, Four Star Playhouse.

I remember her coming onto my radar as an older actress in a striking way, in a PBS broadcast version of Morning's at Seven, the plot of which I can't remember at all, but would love to see again.

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Re: Noir Films

Postby kingrat » June 8th, 2011, 1:26 pm

MissG, I was also astonished by the bitter tone at the end of Let Us Live. Not at all what I expected.

More noir. Witness to Murder (1954, Roy Rowland): OK, the billing features Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Merrill, and George Sanders, but the real star of this movie is ChiO's main man John Alton, whose chiaroscuro lighting is the main reason to see the film. The script has some good ideas, and others that are far-fetched. I mean, if you were running to escape a killer, would you run toward crowds of other people who might help you, or would you climb a scaffolding where the villain could push you to your death? Stanwyck, Sanders, and Merrill are pros I enjoy watching, but the opening of the film, nearly silent, with Stanwyck seeing a man commit murder, are wonderful examples of John Alton's art, and I don't want to slight director Roy Rowland. Noiristas will probably want to see this one.

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feaito
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Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » June 8th, 2011, 3:27 pm

Wendy, I watched Cardinal Richelieu some years ago and I remember it being George Arliss' show all the way. Maureen played his ward and was in love with a young César Romero. An entertaining film. Since it's a 20th Century/United Artists release, Fox Channel owns the rights of the film.
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JackFavell
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Re: Noir Films

Postby JackFavell » June 8th, 2011, 4:01 pm

Thanks for the info, Fer! I won't expect it to be coming up on TCM then.

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feaito
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Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » June 8th, 2011, 4:48 pm

Welcome Wendy! Don't lose hope because to the best of my knowledge TCM has borrowed films from the Fox Library before.
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Re: Noir Films

Postby JackFavell » June 8th, 2011, 5:00 pm

There's always hope... :D

and I'm a very hopeful person. :)

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Re: Noir Films

Postby kingrat » July 12th, 2011, 7:15 pm

Recorded Touch of Evil from TCM. Had only previously seen it once years ago, on TV, in the old version with the credits over the spectacular opening shot. It was great to see the film in a version much closer to what Welles wanted. The opening shot and the long take in the motel room are so amazing I wanted to watch them over and over again. The film as a whole is certainly one of the best noir nightmares ever. You and your wife both get framed for murder? That's a noir nightmare.

What did not hold up well for me was Janet Leigh's performance. The part is poorly written--I mean there are dumb blondes and then there is this totally clueless blonde--and she showed only a fraction of the skill Hitchcock and Frankenheimer drew out of her later on. As for Dennis Weaver's atrocious overacting as the night desk clerk, part of my noir nightmare would include having to watch his endless scene with Charlton Heston over and over again. Because Weaver is a talented actor, I can only assume this is what Welles wanted. I rather like Heston, and he's perfectly believable as a Mexican official because Mexicans of European descent would have held the top positions in the government. (A friend of Czech and Italian ancestry is a dead ringer for former president of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari.)

The second viewing made the plot holes more obvious; can we really believe that the only hotel open in town is this remote motel with no customers? This can only be justified as dream/nightmare.

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Re: Noir Films

Postby ChiO » July 14th, 2011, 9:07 am

Last night was the last evening of a six week class I've been attending at Facets on "Domestic Noir". The focus was on the role of the woman in domestic space and the function of the visual aspects of the house in conveying her role or reality. To call some of the films "noir" requires an expansive view of the term (I'm always fine with that), but certainly they all have noir elements and often gothic ones, too, as well as "women's pictures" melodrama, making for some interesting discussion of the interplay and relationship among those types of films.

The films we watched and discussed were:

CRAIG'S WIFE (Arzner, 1936)
SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (Litvak, 1948)
MILDRED PIERCE (Curtiz, 1945)
THE HEIRESS (Wyler, 1949)
THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY (R. Siodmak, 1945)
THE RECKLESS MOMENT (M. Ophuls, 1949)

Two of the films were new for me: CRAIG'S WIFE and THE HEIRESS. And three of the remaining movies are pretty far down my list of favorite film noirs (luckily the class ended with one of Ophuls' works of genius, but, golly, he only had about seven of those, right?), but the discussions were always enlightening and forced one to watch and think about how inanimate objects can reflect or determine the female's position in various relationships.

The class I enrolled in that starts on Monday: The Unseen on Screen: The Neglected Films of ______ (What was his name? It's on the tip of my tongue....Oh, yeah....) Orson Welles. If I'm disappointed, someone at Facets is going to pay a steep price.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: Noir Films

Postby kingrat » July 14th, 2011, 12:32 pm

ChiO, this sounds like a cool course, even if I'm struggling to find anything noirish about Craig's Wife or The Heiress. Craig's Wife is all about the house, however, and the different houses, restaurants, and nightclubs couldn't be more important in Mildred Pierce. I love the intersection of noir and the woman's film. It would be great to watch and discuss such films as:

Double Indemnity (Stanwyck as femme fatale) vs. No Man of Her Own (Stanwyck as heroine of noirish woman's film)
Perfect blends of noir and romance: Moonrise (man as central character) vs. Deep Valley (woman as central character)
The Guilt of Janet Ames: noir, woman's film, and problems of returning WWII vets

Not to mention that film we had so much fun discussing last year:

The Secret Beyond the Door

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Re: Noir Films

Postby JackFavell » July 14th, 2011, 12:52 pm

Kingrat you forgot another woman's noir - Clash By Night.

ChiO- I really love all of those domestic noirs - but I come down opposite of kingrat and say there's a lot of noir at least in the style of The Heiress and the way it's shot.

I was thinking of bringing up Ruth Chatterton in Journal of a Crime (1934) here in the noir section the other day. When I watched it on TCM Monday morning, I couldn't stop seeing it as a noir prototype. it seems to me to fit the domestic noir label quite well, much better than Craig's Wife.

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Re: Noir Films

Postby ChiO » July 14th, 2011, 1:47 pm

THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (though I'm not a big fan), DARK WATERS (big fan) and MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (huge fan) are the ones that came to my mind, along with THE SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR. I'm ashamed to say that CLASH BY NIGHT hadn't occurred to me.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles

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Re: Noir Films

Postby moira finnie » July 14th, 2011, 4:22 pm

The biggies in female noir seem to get all the attention: Ida Lupino, Jane Greer, Barbara Stanwyck, Gloria Grahame, Lizabeth Scott, Joan Crawford, Audrey Totter, and Marie Windsor readily come to mind. A few that probably should also be mentioned are below. Many of these dames ought to be a Star of the Month--especially since their movies aren't nearly as well known as the many guy-centric outings in this genre. I know that there are probably many more that deserve to be seen on our lists, and I haven't seen all of these since I was a kid, but most left their mark on my psyche:

Female Noir, Gritty Side of the Street:
Ann Sheridan in proto-noir City for Conquest, Nora Prentiss, The Unfaithful, Woman on the Run

Claire Trevor in Murder, My Sweet, Johnny Angel, Crack-Up, Raw Deal, Born to Kill, Borderline, Hard, Fast and Beautiful, My Man and I (she was fantastic in the latter!)

Jan Sterling in Ace in the Hole, Appointment with Danger, Caged, Mystery Street, Union Station, Flesh and Fury (she was outstanding!), Split Second, The Human Jungle, Women's Prison.

Adele Jergens in I Love Trouble, Side Street, Armored Car Robbery, Edge of Doom, The Sound of Fury

Eleanor Parker in Chained Lightning, Caged, Detective Story (She should have had an Oscar for the last two)

Janis Carter in The Night Editor, Framed, The Power of the Whistler, The Woman on Pier 13

It pains me to admit it, but I think one would have to include the whiny, the insufferable...the realistically annoying...Shelley Winters in A Double Life, Larceny, Cry of the City, He Ran All the Way, Johnny Stool Pigeon, The Raging Tide, My Man and I

Female Noir, Glossy Division:

Joan Fontaine in Kiss the Blood Off My Hands, Born to Be Bad

Claudette Colbert in The Secret Heart, Sleep, My Love, The Secret Fury

June Allyson in The Secret Heart, The Shrike ( I always thought June had the potential to be a really scary villainess)
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