The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.

CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

User avatar
ChiO
Posts: 3924
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby ChiO » March 21st, 2013, 11:54 am

Interesting discussion last night after viewing DEADLINE AT DAWN. The highlights (for me):

1. If This Is Noir, Where's the Femme Fatale? -- She's dead except for the first five or so minutes of the movie. Not the most common way of dealing with one of the most iconic elements of film noir.

2. Guilt, Guilt, Who's Got the Guilt? -- Why, everyone does, of course. Where's a not a Guilt-free denizen of the Morally Decaying City among them. And who is the most sympathetic character? The guy who committed the murder. Nasty stuff.

3. Are Wacky and Repressed the Same? -- The connection between film noir and Screwball Comedy has intrigued me for years, but I'd never let it enter my mind in connection with Woolrich generally and DEADLINE AT DAWN specifically. Until last night. One person commented that at various times, but especially in Edna Bartelli's apartment post-murder, it seemed as if the reason they were there -- a corpse in the room -- was ignored or treated as just another object in the room. Whereupon ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, HIS GIRL FRIDAY and, yes, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY were name-checked. Both wacky and repressed. Which led to...

4. Illusions and Allusions of Death? -- Every time I watch this movie, I'm always feel going into it and during it that the murder body-count is pretty high. The group, in large part, also felt that. But there is only one murder (plus a choked cat and a heart attack). Still, there is Death everywhere. When we first meet Edna, we think she's a corpse (there's a fly crawling on her face for goodness sake!). Sleepy's attire and demeanor upon his entrance could be that of an undertaker (and he is looking at a corpse-to-be). Alex's father is a mortician. Alex was, at the age of 12, declared clinically dead. June's last name is Goth. And Gus, at his age, is going to learn to play the harp.

Woolrich did not include a dedication in the novel, but he did have this preface:

...Each hour, each minute
Can hold all Hell or Heaven in it.
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

User avatar
CineMaven
Posts: 3818
Joined: September 24th, 2007, 9:54 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Contact:

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby CineMaven » March 21st, 2013, 2:17 pm

CineMaven sits in the back of the classroom, quietly listening, taking copious notes. She timidly raises her hand.

CINEMAVEN "Prof. Chi0, I have a question. If I wanted to convert a short story by Cornell Woolrich into a short indie film, do I have to buy the rights to Woolrich's story? Is his work in public domain? Would his estate charge me an arm and a leg? What can I do to legally circumvent paying such a very high fee? Thank you."
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

RedRiver
Posts: 4209
Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby RedRiver » March 21st, 2013, 2:41 pm

They would charge an arm and a leg, and smuggle them out in separate suitcases!

User avatar
ChiO
Posts: 3924
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby ChiO » March 21st, 2013, 2:44 pm

I believe that some university -- Columbia, I believe, is what it goes by -- in a Morally Decaying City has his papers, or at least he left his estate to said university to fund a scholarship for creative writing. The scholarship is named, of course, after his mother.

On the bright side (a ghastly thought in the context of Woolrich), Guilt, Obsession and Death are in the public domain.

Unfortunately, for Redemption, one must pay.
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

User avatar
Robert Regan
Posts: 290
Joined: June 12th, 2012, 3:59 pm

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby Robert Regan » March 21st, 2013, 8:41 pm

Theresa, which Woolrich are you interested in?

User avatar
CineMaven
Posts: 3818
Joined: September 24th, 2007, 9:54 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Contact:

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby CineMaven » March 22nd, 2013, 9:59 am

Thanx Chi0.

Hi Bob. Actually...I don't know which one I would want to tackle. I really would have to go through his work. I dread reading long novels. Are there any short stories you might recommend. Now that I'm done with "Meg Ramsey" I don't have a creative idea in my head. I like Woolrich's darkness, despair. I don't want the hero to escape. Any recommendations you can steer me towards?
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby JackFavell » March 22nd, 2013, 10:18 am

I just bought a set of Woolrich stories for my kindle. They are all very short... It's called Four Novellas of Fear and it includes

Eyes That Watch You
The Night I Died
You'll Never See Me Again
Murder Always Gathers Momentum


I guarantee that once you start reading, you won't stop till the end of a story. I'd love to see a movie version of Eyes That Watch You, just because it's all told from the point of view of a woman who can neither speak nor move. It's what makes it fascinating, but it's also the challenge cinematically speaking.

User avatar
ChiO
Posts: 3924
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby ChiO » March 22nd, 2013, 10:21 am

Two collections of short stories that should be readily available are:

Night and Fear: A Centenary Collection of Stories (14 short stories)

Darkness at Dawn: Early Suspense Classics by Cornell Woolrich (13 short stories)

A couple of noir literature collections that should also be readily available are:

The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps (includes two Woolrich short stories) – Collection of more than 50 short stories written for pulp magazines in the ‘20s-‘40s. Authors included are Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Horace McCoy, Harlan Ellison and Steve Fisher.

The Best American Noir of the Century (includes one Woolrich short story) – Collection of more than thirty noir short stories, co-edited by James Ellroy. Authors included are James M. Cain, Steve Fisher, Mickey Spillane, David Goodis, Elmore Leonard, and Patricia Highsmith.
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

User avatar
CineMaven
Posts: 3818
Joined: September 24th, 2007, 9:54 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Contact:

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby CineMaven » March 22nd, 2013, 10:41 am

JackFavell wrote:I just bought a set of Woolrich stories for my kindle. They are all very short... It's called Four Novellas of Fear...


ChiO wrote:Two collections of short stories that should be readily available are...Darkness at Dawn: Early Suspense Classics by Cornell Woolrich (13 short stories)...


Thank you Jaxxxon, and Chi0 for those suggestions. I just got a Barnes & Noble gift certificate for my birthday. I'll take a look and see if they have either of those books.

Let the Woolrich estate sue me. I'll thank him at the Oscars...I mean the Academy Awards.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

User avatar
Robert Regan
Posts: 290
Joined: June 12th, 2012, 3:59 pm

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby Robert Regan » March 22nd, 2013, 11:38 am

That's a tough one, Theresa. I have tons of Woolrich books which are at your service. Am I sick or something for liking him so much? I've read all his novels, including the pre-pulp ones and a LOT of his short stories.

User avatar
CineMaven
Posts: 3818
Joined: September 24th, 2007, 9:54 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Contact:

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby CineMaven » March 22nd, 2013, 1:07 pm

Ahhhhh. Do you have any of the stories that Wendy and Owen mentioned? If so...you'll be my personal Barnes & Noble.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

User avatar
Robert Regan
Posts: 290
Joined: June 12th, 2012, 3:59 pm

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby Robert Regan » March 22nd, 2013, 1:24 pm

Indeed I do!

User avatar
CineMaven
Posts: 3818
Joined: September 24th, 2007, 9:54 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Contact:

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby CineMaven » March 22nd, 2013, 2:11 pm

You're waaaaaay further than Barnes & Noble. And a lot costlier than a Metrocard.

But you're WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more fun. Take your Woolriches off the shelves. I'll let'cha know when I'm comin' up!
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

User avatar
Robert Regan
Posts: 290
Joined: June 12th, 2012, 3:59 pm

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby Robert Regan » March 22nd, 2013, 2:16 pm

Any time, Babe!

RedRiver
Posts: 4209
Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: CORNELL WOOLRICH : King of Noir

Postby RedRiver » March 23rd, 2013, 3:55 pm

I dread reading long novels

The King of Noir usually wrote in short form. I MARRIED A DEAD MAN is a day's read. THE BRIDE WORE BLACK and the similar RENDEZOUS IN BLACK are brief and thrilling. And of course, there are more short stories than you'll ever get around to reading (unless you're Robert Regan). There's a collection that cashes in on the popularity of REAR WINDOW; maybe half a dozen stories. They're good choices. Dark, ironic. And REALLY bizarre!


Return to “Film Noir and Crime”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest