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Noir Films

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feaito

Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » April 5th, 2011, 8:06 am

Thanks Moira, I'll check "Criss Cross" (haven't seen it). "Out of the Past" I've seen it twice already and it's a masterpiece of double crossing...with Jane Greer playing the deadliest of the femme fatales -a true Praying Mantis. Another film to compare with IWA would be "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" (1946) in which Kirk Douglas and Lizabeth Scott are also featured (Was it Douglas' debut??) and co-star with Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin, an engrossing drama produced by Hal B. Wallis.

I'll check next "Dark City" (1950) with Liz Scott and Charlton Heston and "Easy Living" (1949) with Liz Scott, Lucille Ball and Victor Mature.

klondike

Re: Noir Films

Postby klondike » April 5th, 2011, 8:27 am

feaito wrote:Another film to compare with IWA would be "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" (1946) in which Kirk Douglas and Lizabeth Scott are also featured (Was it Douglas' debut??)


According to my research, 'Nando, it was indeed Kirk's first job on the big screen - not too shabby, debuting that far up the marquee, eh?

feaito wrote:I'll check next "Dark City" (1950) with Liz Scott and Charlton Heston and "Easy Living" (1949) with Liz Scott, Lucille Ball and Victor Mature.


And speaking of film debuts, Dark City was Chuck Heston's first cinema paycheck -he was brought west directly from a stage & modeling career in NYC . . DC's a scrappy little wrong-side-o'-tracks noir, that actually commutes from Chicago to LA right in the center of the story, and Liz Scott's character exits the entire plot for the whole middle third of the flick . . saying more would spoil the fun for you, but I will mention that Ms. Scott dodges much of her own typecasting here, for a nice change of pace, and Mike Mazurky's lurking threat is almost proto-Lynchian.

feaito

Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » April 5th, 2011, 8:59 am

Hi Klondike,

Kirk's debut was similar to Olivia De Havilland's (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Lauren Bacall's (To Have and Have Not), all in starring roles...Lucky them!

And you piqued mi interest in Dark City...Lizabeth Scott was always hailed as a second-rate Lauren Bacall-Veronica Lake type, but I think it's unfair to her. She was especially good -IMO- in TSLOMI (a nice character) and "Dead Reckoning" - (playing a double crosser like Jane Greer in "Out of the Past"). Mike Mazurki also appears in "I Walk Alone", playing a thug with a more "human" edge...

I knew Heston was on stage, but I did not know about his "modeling" career....

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knitwit45
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Re: Noir Films

Postby knitwit45 » April 5th, 2011, 3:31 pm

There was quite a clip of Charles Heston in the "Fragments" shown Sunday night. It was Peer Gynt, silent, and boy was he RIPPED! His acting seemed quite natural, lots of reaction shots, don't know much more about it. I missed the intro, just happened to look up as the film started. Does anyone have any other info?

feaito

Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » April 5th, 2011, 4:52 pm

Knitty,

I found this Re. "Peer Gynt" (1941):

This adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's famous play features 16-year-old Charlton Heston in his film debut. It is a silent film, and was part of a Northwestern University project. It was filmed in the Mid West and on the northern shores of Lake Michigan. The story concerns an adventurous world traveler who embarks on a perilous journey, yet remains faithful to his beloved. ~

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Re: Noir Films

Postby knitwit45 » April 5th, 2011, 5:06 pm

I didn't realize it was made in the 40's. Thanks, Nando!!!

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Re: Noir Films

Postby moira finnie » April 6th, 2011, 9:37 am

Peer Gynt (1941) with Charlton Heston, age 18. Made by a fellow Northwestern student, David Bradley. This morning on the Today Show, Debbie Reynolds was on showing the costumes that she is auctioning off. She showed Heston's costume from the Ben-Hur chariot race and described him as "small" but lithe. :
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paghqdhlrXw[/youtube]

I just saw Dark City (1950) on Netflix. Chuck was great--but the real surprise was how good Don DeFore was! Yes. Mr. B. could act, apparently, even though you'd never know from Hazel. I have seen DeFore in other noirs, but this performance was truly excellent, and maybe director William Dieterle helped, huh?
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Re: Noir Films

Postby JackFavell » April 6th, 2011, 11:08 am

Just for clarification, the Charlton Heston clip was in Unseen Cinema.

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knitwit45
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Re: Noir Films

Postby knitwit45 » April 6th, 2011, 4:56 pm

I was recording this, had phone calls and chased dogs...and I wasn't really paying attention... :oops: :oops: :oops:

feaito

Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » April 6th, 2011, 8:37 pm

Well guys & gals, I watched "Dark City" (1950) and let me agree with you Klondike in regard with Mike Mazurki's character....a proto-Lynchian psycho. The strongest performances of this film are delivered by Chuck Heston, Don De Fore, Henry "Harry" Morgan, Jack Webb, Ed Begley and Dean Jagger. Lizabeth Scott plays a rather thankless, colorless role (another nightclub singer, but does not look as attractive as in TSLOMI or IWA; didn't like her shorter hair either). Viveca Lindfors is fine, but the film belongs to the male characters. Quite suspenseful Noir and very atmospheric...from the East to the West and to Vegas. Recommended.

feaito

Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » April 10th, 2011, 9:32 pm

Today I watched a film with a pal (he wanted a Noir) so I chose "The Blue Dahlia" (1946) a good Noir starring Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Doris Dowling and Howard Da Silva. It's a very interesting and absorbing film about a Lieutenant who returns home -with two pals- after the War only to find his wife fooling around with other men, especially one notorious owner of a Night Club. Very good performances all around; I was especially taken by Veronica Lake. It has a good script and clever dialogue by Raymond Chandler. Recommended. The final twist of the film was apparently imposed by the US Navy, but for me it worked fine. It keeps you guessing until the very end. Quite reminiscent in a way of "The Big Sleep".

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Re: Noir Films

Postby Fossy » April 13th, 2011, 6:21 pm

I Wake Up Screaming (1941)

Starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis and Laird Cregar.

A surprisingly good whodunit. Carole Landis as an aspiring actress who is found murdered. Main suspect is Victor Mature who is dicovered with the body by Betty Grable, Carole`s sister. Victor is pursued by the evil looking detective Laird Cregar. Eventually the murderer is identified. Laird commits suicide when his reason for the pursuit of Victor is uncovered. A happy ending when victor and Betty are wed.


Laird Cregar was a very versatile actor, appearing initially as a comedian. However his forte seems to be as a sinister character. He wanted desperately to play a romantic role, and to this end he went on a crash diet. His weight dropped from an overweight 300 lbs to 200 lbs. The strain of this was too much for his heart and he died at age 31.

feaito

Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » April 14th, 2011, 8:28 am

Last night I watched the interesting Nunnally Johnson directed drama “Black Widow” (1954).

Van Heflin stars as a Peter Denver, a Broadway producer married to a famed Broadway actress (played by Gene Tierney) and who’s producing a play starring another Broadway star Lottie Marin (Ginger Rogers playing a true bitchy character) who’s married to Brian Mullen (Reginald Gardiner; very good in the role of the “worthless” husband…in fact he’s called by everyone Mr. “Marin”..). The Denvers and the Mullens live in the same building in almost identical apartments and their relationship is a bit “strained” to say the least, especially between Peter & Lottie.

Enter a young and hopeful writer –Nanny Ordway- played by a grown-up Peggy Ann Garner (of “Jane Eyre” (1943) and “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945) fame) who’s very good playing this duplicitous character who turns Denver’s world upside down with her scheming. I won’t give away more about the plot.

The film is a Crime Drama with Noir aspects, but the wonderful color by De Luxe, detracts from a more Noirish “atmosphere”. The film is glossy, beautifully shot in widescreen and the print I saw is full of vibrant colors which do not really suit the storyline. There are some wonderful shots of the city of New York. I think that the film would have been better served if shot in B&W and with a different, more dramatic score. It’s too glossy and good looking IMO.

Van Heflin is very good as Peter Denver; Gene Tierney has little to do but look beautiful; Reginald Gardiner gives an interesting performance and Ginger Rogers…well I am confused here….she gives a strong performance, but I felt that she was miscast and overplaying sometimes…whereas on others I felt she was giving a superb performance. I’d like to hear what others have to say about this.

Peggy Ann Garner surprised me with her complex portrayal of an apparently confused youth who has everything quite clear, it turns out…her hairstyle isn’y very becoming to her beautiful features and she looks older than her actual age.

George Raft plays a police detective and is also miscast in my opinion. Otto Kruger is very good as Nanny’s uncle, who plays an actor featured in Lottie’s running play. Cathleen Nesbitt plays the Denvers’ maid. Hilda Simms, has a short scene with Van Heflin and gives a super cool performance as a waitress who knows Nanny and “enlightens” Denver about her whereabouts….she was a beautiful black actress, with great experience on stage and thank heavens she’s given a non-stereotypical role; It would been great if she had been featured in more important roles in other films, because she definitely had talent and screen presence. A young Aaron Spelling plays a small role which is pivotal to Peter Denver (Van Heflin).

In all a worthwhile picture.

feaito

Re: Noir Films

Postby feaito » April 25th, 2011, 4:08 pm

Last night I was going to watch "That Lady in Ermine" (1948)...my wife said, let's watch a comedy....but during the first minutes she intenesily disliked Betty Grable's film and found it completely boring :roll: ...so, I'll have to watch Lubitsch's last film another day -alone- ...well it's more Preminger's not Lubitsch....and so I chose rapidly:

Moontide” (1942) which she liked. While watching this good Noirish drama I kept remembering “Out of the Fog” (1941) in which Thomas Mitchell plays the endearing father of Ida Lupino’s character. Here he plays the most despicable character…a complete leech and a menace to Lupino’s happiness.

Jean Gabin is excellent as Bobo, a devil-may-care dock worker who travels with his “leech” friend ( or should I say fiend?) Tiny (Thomas Micthell) who blackmails him due to some events that took place in the past. Ida Lupino plays a suicidal girl whom Gabin saves from drowning and with whom he gest romantically involved. Claude Rains plays a nice character who befriends Gabin and Lupino.

While not a great film, it is a very worthwhile feature directed by Archie Mayo and the print released by Fox is superb.

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Re: Noir Films

Postby ChiO » April 27th, 2011, 10:43 am

Re-visited a couple of favorites recently.

A 35mm print of RAILROADED! (1947) was shown at our neighborhood moviehouse. One could almost smell trigger-happy John Ireland's perfumed bullets. Immediately preceding the string of Anthony Mann-John Alton film noir classics in 1947-49 (T-MEN, HE WALKED BY NIGHT, RAW DEAL, REIGN OF TERROR, BORDER INCIDENT), I sensed that Mann was discovering his signature approach. The scenes of dialogue seemed to be directed off-handedly, but when violence and sadism -- a man in agony -- appeared, the screen crackled. With a screenplay written by John C. Higgins, who wrote all of the Mann-Alton noirs except REIGN OF TERROR, the connection between sex and violence is never far away. One wonders if Hawks told Ireland to fondle his gun in RED RIVER (1948) like he did in RAILROADED! With Hugh Beaumont as the police investigator.

William Conrad's BRAINSTORM (1965) is a gem. A dash of DOUBLE INDEMNITY, a pinch of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, and a handful of SHOCK CORRIDOR, Jeffrey Hunter,a brilliant employee of the cold and calculating Dana Andrews, has an affair with Andrews' wife, Anne Francis. After studying how to be perceived as insane, Hunter publicly murders Andrews and is institutionalized. But his hope of then convincing his psychiatrist, Viveca Lindfors, that he can be released goes seriously awry. Whereas Fuller portrays American society as an insane asylum, Conrad focuses more on the individual's pursuit of the American Dream as a form of insanity. Not to be missed! With Strother Martin as a resident of the institution.
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