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Noir City Visits Chicago

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RedRiver
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby RedRiver » August 25th, 2012, 2:25 pm

You're no Hack Favell. But for once, we disagree. To me, Hank is the hero of the story. Cody is the main character; the focal point. But Hank is the one who takes risks in order to achieve a goal. He doesn't "go to the cops." He is a cop! Apprehending criminals is his job. It's Hank around whom most of the suspense centers. Quick thinking, almost being caught, that nail-biting scene in the gas station men's room. These are the best moments in the movie, and Hank my favorite character.

I respect Hank in the way I do Peter Graves' German spy in STALAG 17. Sure, he's a plant. A dirty stoolie. He's a soldier! He's under orders. James Bond schmoozes Goldfinger until the jig is up, then resorts to action. We don't take that story as seriously as a Raoul Walsh drama. But the comparison stands.

more police procedural at the beginning, but man! What a nihilistic vision by the end!

That works so well. Like the stories of Ed McBain, the movies of Anthony Mann, this methodical stalking of the target provides slow boiling excitement. By the time it literally blows up, the thrills are on a much grander scale. The writing of this classic is phenomenal.

THE GODFATHER is always cited as the gangster film to reckon with. Copolla's landmark production is quite good. But for "top of the world," I'll take Walsh's contribution.

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JackFavell
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby JackFavell » August 25th, 2012, 2:54 pm

I completely respect your opinion, Red! And I do see your points. For me, the reason I keep coming back to the movie is Cody, and his weird mix of humanity and monster. I think you know I'm not totally against Hank, Cody must be stopped, and by any means possible, but I just don't know how he can live with himself after such an epic betrayal.

I do agree that the most tense scene is the one in the men's room, followed by Cody's return to Verna and Big Ed after Ma's death.

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CineMaven
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby CineMaven » August 25th, 2012, 11:11 pm

RR and JF you both make such excellent compelling arguments for your point of view. "WHITE HEAT" is no doubt an amazing film. Still holds up ( imho ) and many films from today can't hold a candle to it.

I s'pose in the credo of "honor among thieves" Hank's betrayal is devastating. But then again Cody IS the homicidal psychopathic maniac with one Achilles heel.

No wonder Cody finds it preferable to go up in a nuclear explosion than live with human beings who are whores and traitors. How comfortable would you be having Hank as your friend after Cody goes up in flames?

That's quite a provocative thought Wendy. One might look askance at Hank; but then again, Cody is such a baad baad boy.

Oh yeah, of course I come back again and again to watch Cody. He's compelling. I cannot...take...my...eyes... off...of...him.

If you all have a chance, watch these brief featurettes:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPu6NKVt_wI&feature=c-shelf-119[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUp_awfrB2o&feature=fvwp[/youtube]

You'll see there's something in what you BOTH say.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

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JackFavell
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby JackFavell » August 26th, 2012, 8:49 am

Thanks, Maven, I'm glad no one here thinks I'm a raving psychopath for my views on Hank and Cody. I can't wait to watch those clips!

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CineMaven
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby CineMaven » August 26th, 2012, 8:58 am

No. Not at all. You're a good writer, common sense, sense of humor, very fair-minded, and a prison guard to Lily. Uhmmmm...I mean, did I mention a sense of humor?
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

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JackFavell
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby JackFavell » August 26th, 2012, 9:29 am

Ha! You're lucky I DO have a sense of humor.

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CineMaven
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby CineMaven » August 26th, 2012, 9:48 am

Uhmmmmm...uh-oh. :oops:
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

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JackFavell
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby JackFavell » August 26th, 2012, 9:59 am

just kidding! We're good. :D

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CineMaven
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby CineMaven » August 26th, 2012, 12:55 pm

:) Whew! :)
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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RedRiver
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby RedRiver » August 26th, 2012, 3:33 pm

I'll have to watch the clips another time, Teresita. Being at the library, my computer time is limited. I was willing to bet somebody would point out the validity of both arguments. There are multiple ways of looking at a great story. This is a safe, and respectful, message board.

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CineMaven
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby CineMaven » August 26th, 2012, 4:25 pm

Yes. There's room for all opinions here at the SSO.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

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JackFavell
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby JackFavell » August 26th, 2012, 5:56 pm

My opinion's the best. :shock:



Just kidding.

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CineMaven
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby CineMaven » August 26th, 2012, 7:18 pm

:lol:

See...this always happens when I censor myself. Someone else gets the best line!!
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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ChiO
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby ChiO » August 27th, 2012, 5:49 am

My opinion's the best.

The best what?
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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ChiO
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Re: Noir City Visits Chicago

Postby ChiO » August 27th, 2012, 9:47 am

I certainly can understand your approach to Cody, JF. But here's where we diverge:

Cody's likely insanity, although no fault of his own, does not alter the reality of him being a killer. It would (at least today) likely alter his culpability and how the justice system might handle him when tried for those killings, but he still would need to be stopped and brought to some form of justice. Pardo (Fallon) is the means of stopping him. While the police generally may be ineffectual, Pardo isn't. He's very effective. (Aside: I differ a bit from Red in that I don't see Fallon (Pardo) as just following orders. He has chosen to be an undercover cop. Maybe he would have preferred not to take this specific assignment for personal reasons, but he knows a killer must be stopped and he's the best man to do it.) The issue of Cody's sanity would usually cause me to have some sympathy for him, but there is one scene -- not much more than 60 seconds long -- that occurs relatively early and tells me not to have any sympathy for him.

The gang is in the hide-out waiting for a storm to create a diversion for their escape. One of the gang is bandaged. Cody tells the gang that it's time to leave and, in the bandaged guy's presence, that they'll send a doctor back for him. Outside, not only does Cody betray him in disclosing that no doctor will be sent, Cody assigns the task of murdering him to the bandaged guy's best friend -- so it's not merely a betrayal by Cody, but a demand that another gang member betray his best friend. And Cody looks pretty gleeful in doing that -- not merely his exercise of dominance over the gang, but his betrayal and the forcing of another to commit a betrayal -- and there is no evidence that that decision and glee is due to his headaches. At that point, for me, all bets are off and (in the movie world) any future "betrayal" in the form of a professional undercover cop (not a street stoolie with ulterior motives) gaining Cody's confidence is acceptable.
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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