Noir Alley

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jamesjazzguitar
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by jamesjazzguitar »

kingrat wrote: June 9th, 2024, 1:58 pm One of the many beautiful moments was the shot in Hummingbird of the blind Aunt Rosa and her niece Maria listening to the men upstairs. The camera is shooting up at their faces, which are bathed in light, as the women listen intently to figure out what is going on upstairs.

And yes, the house in the first film displayed not merely wealth, but immaculate good taste.
The use of light and shadows was first rate in Hummingbird. Like in Hummingbird, in If I Should Die a flashlight is also used to good effect, but also the moon. The bottom line for me was that while each of the choices made by the first-rate crew that made these films could be consider minor and one could say "well, I've seen that used in other films", the sum of these small parts ends up being stunning.
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Allhallowsday
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by Allhallowsday »

cmovieviewer wrote: June 3rd, 2024, 12:32 pm ...Never Open That Door (1952)
ttps://www.imdb.com/title/tt0184782/
and
If I Should Die Before I Wake (1952)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0184901/
And I watched quite a bit of both... but I have no Spanish and the subtitles would've been great 30years ago... I kept going back because of how they looked. Dreamy, and ominous.
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Hibi
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Re: Noir Alley

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I had to go away for the wknd and had to miss Noir Alley last wknd, but I recorded it. I'll need to catch up on these two! Were they from the same director?
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jamesjazzguitar
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by jamesjazzguitar »

Hibi wrote: June 10th, 2024, 8:27 am I had to go away for the wknd and had to miss Noir Alley last wknd, but I recorded it. I'll need to catch up on these two! Were they from the same director?
The first one is two separate stories, and yes all have the same director, Carlos Hugo Christensen.
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Hibi
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by Hibi »

jamesjazzguitar wrote: June 10th, 2024, 9:34 am
Hibi wrote: June 10th, 2024, 8:27 am I had to go away for the wknd and had to miss Noir Alley last wknd, but I recorded it. I'll need to catch up on these two! Were they from the same director?
The first one is two separate stories, and yes all have the same director, Carlos Hugo Christensen.
Thanks.
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Andree
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by Andree »

The first film was a bit like two episodes of AHP, though above average episodes
but with the usual trick ending and with nice visual touches. I didn't feel like
staying up late for the second film, so I watched it Sunday morning. For the most
part serial killers don't wait three or four years between killings, though it happens.
It also had an interesting subplot about puppy love that takes away some of the
gloom.
Every man has a right to an umbrella.~Dostoyevsky
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LostHorizons
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by LostHorizons »

Never open that door

The first episode was like a really lame version of the Twilight Zone with a stupid ending. The ending doesn’t really make sense and isn’t deep. My initial thought was actually that it was a separate guy who was also working with this gambler and the gambler just happened to use the same five rings phone call with him. The second episode was a bit better but didn’t save it. 4/10
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cmovieviewer
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by cmovieviewer »

This weekend's Noir Alley feature is Call Northside 777 (1948), with Jimmy Stewart, Richard Conte, and Lee J. Cobb. As a Fox film, it is not shown on TCM very often - the last time was in 2017. It will also be a premiere showing for Noir Alley:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040202/
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cmovieviewer
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by cmovieviewer »

I enjoyed Call Northside 777 very much, especially the on-location cinematography and the pathos of the mother seeking justice for her son.
I was surprised that the story does not go into the details of what was behind the murder, or how the false witness came to be coerced into telling the lie. Also, the authorities were so intent on stopping the later investigation I was wondering if there was someone more directly involved in a cover-up. But since the film did not go there I came to the conclusion that it was just a general intent to defend the system and the status quo. "Don't blame us for the mistakes of the previous party in power" - even if it results in an innocent man staying in prison. It is hard to accept that one eyewitness was sufficient to get a conviction, since there were two other witnesses who disagreed. This was all supposed to have been upheld by the Supreme Court as well!

Another part that bothered me was that noone seemed concerned about finding the real killer(s). But I realize from the introduction they said there were so many killings that year (practically one per day) they must have categorized it as just another mob hit. I suppose they were more interested in seeing someone go to prison so they could give the impression they were doing something about it. In the end this film was focused on the effort to free someone who was wrongfully convicted and was not intended to present what the other facts were behind the original crime.
kingrat
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by kingrat »

Yes, I thought of 1970s films like Serpico and Prince of the City which deal much more directly with police corruption. Call Northside 777 raises the subject but then backs away from it. According to Eddie Muller, Henry Fonda turned down the lead in Call Northside 777 for Daisy Kenyon. Though Eddie doesn't mention it, Fonda gets only third billing in Daisy Kenyon, below Joan Crawford and Dana Andrews. Perhaps he was attracted by the role of the veteran with what we would now call PTSD.

Because Helen Walker is so memorable as the amoral psychiatrist in Nightmare Alley, it's interesting to see her play a loving wife just as convincingly. Betty Garde, who had been the original Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!, is totally committed to the dark side as the lying witness Wanda Skutnik. What a great name that is! I was simply blown away by Jane Crowley as the alcoholic who rats out Wanda to James Stewart. "She shouldna throwed bricks at me." Per imdb, Jane Crowley often worked as an extra in movies. Here she gets a character name, Anna Felczak, and delivers a great, utterly real moment.

Richard Conte as the wrongly convicted prisoner gets one of those supporting roles that probably made the original audience want to see more of him. He is equally good as hero or as villain. There are plenty of good character actors in the film, Lee J. Cobb and John McIntire to name only two, and we got to see the inventor of the lie detector, Leonarde Keeler, playing himself. The location photography and the state-of-the-art gadgets are additional pluses.
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Bronxgirl48
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by Bronxgirl48 »

"Wanda Skutnik" eventually wound up in prison two years later. (CAGED) The great Betty Garde!
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Bronxgirl48
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by Bronxgirl48 »

Was momentarily startled to see E.G. Marshall (his role lasted about 10 seconds tops) as Conte's ex-wife's second husband.

At least he was fully dressed.
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cmovieviewer
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by cmovieviewer »

Bronxgirl48 wrote: June 16th, 2024, 6:18 pm Was momentarily startled to see E.G. Marshall (his role lasted about 10 seconds tops) as Conte's ex-wife's second husband.
It was surprising to see E.G. Marshall in such a minor role. IMDB says this was only his 4th film appearance, with 3 of those (including this one) being uncredited.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0550855/
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Andree
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by Andree »

I hadn't seen 777 in several years. Solid flick with an interesting plot, though
there are occasional longueurs. The whole scene of Conte's lie detector test
went on too long for me. A minor point. And Lee. J. Cobb made it through the
entire film without having a nervous breakdown. Bravo. I think the cops should
keep an eye on E.G. When they find out what the perv is up to they'll drop a
Comstock charge on the little bastardo before he can take his socks off.
Every man has a right to an umbrella.~Dostoyevsky
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jamesjazzguitar
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Re: Noir Alley

Post by jamesjazzguitar »

Hibi wrote: June 10th, 2024, 8:27 am I had to go away for the wknd and had to miss Noir Alley last wknd, but I recorded it. I'll need to catch up on these two! Were they from the same director?
FYI: The Perry Mason, The Case of the Jaded Joker with Frankie Lane and Martha Vickers, where Tragg says daddy-O, is on at 11:00 (PDT), on Justice Cental (and again, later on in the evening).
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