Well, we survived the non-Rapture at the Roxy Theater this evening. Marco (moraldorubini) and I joined ChiO and Dewey for an afternoon/evening of rare film noir.
Ride the Pink Horse was up first. As soon as I saw the credits, I was reminded that we were making of habit of seeing the talented Montgomery family on the big screen. Last year at this same time, we went to Dewey's fest to see Cop Killer and Johnny Cool. Cool co-starred Robert's talented daughter, Elizabeth. Pink Horse starred her dad, Robert. It was definitely the better of the two films.
Almost all of it was shot on soundstages but the opening shot of a vintage Greyhound bus was fun as were the establishing shots of Santa Fe in 1947. Thomas Gomez, looking a bit like Edmund O'Brien in The Wild Bunch stole the movie. Fred Clark as the big bad was on-hand as well. The script was by Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer and that definitely helped.
ChiO had seen I Love Trouble earlier in the afternoon and warned us that Franchot Tone was the weak link in the film. Boy, was he right. The star of the movie for me was post-war Los Angeles. From the opening shots of Westwood in 1948, I was in heaven. Westwood Village has changed a great deal in the almost 40 years I have been here but some of the buildings are still standing and I recognized immediately the old Bank of America building.
From there the plot took us down to Venice with a shot of the old Ocean Park amusement park and it's giant ferris wheel. And oil derricks everywhere. And I mean everywhere, like every three feet. Working oil derricks in neighborhoods, in business areas, everywhere. I think Curtis Hanson must have watched this film prior to making LA Confidential.
The downtown financial area, mid-Wilshire, Beverly Hills, all those location shots made this City of Angels girl suddenly very home-sick.
The movie, co-starring Janet Blair, Janis Carter and the always wonderful, Glenda Farrell were joined by John Ireland and a duo of heavies (one of which is an incredibly young Raymond Burr) that are more comedy than intended.
Eduardo Ciannelli even had a scene or two.
Written by Roy Huggins (from his popular novel), Franchot Tone played private detective Stuart Bailey. Efrem Zimbalist, jr would have much more luck with the character of Stuart Bailey when Huggins took the idea to television and produced the series, 77 Sunset Strip.
Dewey was able to secure actual prints and the audience was appreciative. The big reveal in Trouble took some of the audience by surprise and that was fun.
All and all, much more fun and better than any Rapture could have been.
Lynn in Sherman Oaks
"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."
"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese
Avatar-Bob's Big Boy-Toluca Lake, designed in 1948 by Wayne McAllister, still in business.