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*** Official "FILM NOIR" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Edwin Pereyra, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Well-Known Member

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    Film Greats: Edgar Ulmer's Detour (1945)
    Made on a shoe string budget and reportedly filmed in six days, Detour tells the story of a New York nightclub pianist Al Roberts (Tom Neal) who hitchhikes to Hollywood to join his girl Sue. But before he could see her, he runs into a series of unlucky situations including a mysterious death, crimes and blackmail.
    The film sports one of the most wicked and vicious femme fatales I have ever seen in a film noir, Vera played with excellence by Ann Savage. Tom Neal, who somewhat resembles a young Marlon Brando, convincingly plays the young man who ends up in the middle of all this mess.
    Detour has been called one of the greatest film noir ever made. It certainly has the elements including the shadowy black and white cinematography, the voice-over narration and the femme fatale. With its good script, this one is definitely worth a look.
    ~Edwin
    Film Greats Series – A continuing quick look at films that in one way or another have been called “great films” by some.
    Debut Feature: Sergei Eisenstein’s http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/Forum9/HTML/007237.html
    [Edited last by Edwin Pereyra on August 07, 2001 at 06:39 PM]
     
  2. Jay E

    Jay E Well-Known Member

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    I hate to see a thread for a great film die without a post.
    This film is the perfect illustration of what a talented filmmaker can do with a very limited budget.I had heard about this film for years and was glad to see that it lived up to my expectations. I think movies like these (B films) give a much more realistic & descriptive view of how life was in the 1930's & 40's, especially the seamier side. A very atmospheric film chock full of impending doom.
     
  3. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Well-Known Member

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    Well, for a while there I thought I was the only one around these parts that have seen this movie. [​IMG] But you are right. The director did accomplished quite a bit for its budget.
    By the way, is it just me or people those days just didn't care about their cars getting wet from a downpour? [​IMG]
    ~Edwin
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  5. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Well-Known Member

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    Crawdaddy, I knew I can always count on you for a good discussion of these classic films. [​IMG]
    ~Edwin
     
  6. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Well-Known Member

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    Detour is my favorite noir film of all time!
    ------------------
    These chicks know how to party! - MoJo JoJo
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  8. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Well-Known Member

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    In the world of classic films, Detour is...well, Detour.
    I happen to love it to death. But you have to admit that it's an acquired taste. I'm not surprised to see it go relatively unrecognized on the HTF.
    ------------------
    http://www.mindspring.com/~atombrain/risenintro.html
    Jan Strnad
    author of Risen and
    "The AtomBrain Guide to Letterboxing"
    [Edited last by Jan Strnad on August 04, 2001 at 11:50 AM]
     
  9. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Well-Known Member

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    Had this one on the 'to watch' pile for awhile, and Edwin's post motivated me to view this film yesterday evening. I'm not sure I'd label it as one of the greatest film noirs ever, although I found it to be very enjoyable. The aptly named Ann Savage was a kick as Vera. Sheesh, I'd hate to tangle with her. [​IMG] Tom Neal was very effective and struck a nice balance between weakness and desperation in his role.
    To the film's credit as a noir it is what I would consider a 'pure' noir in that the film is 100 percent noir in theme, whereas some films have noirish traits but deal with themes that are outside the boundaries of the genre. For me, that is part of the appeal of this film.
    I definitely agree with Jay that the B films from the 30's and 40's are just great. I can never get enough of the crime and noir films from the 30's - 50's.
    Turner Classic Movies and AMC are playing noirs quite a bit these days. Turner has a weekly crime / noir showing on Saturday mornings. Some of the upcoming films being shown ( not just on the Saturday showing, BTW ) include:
    Dark Passage
    The Set-Up
    Scarlet Street
    Kiss of Death
    In a Lonely Place
    99 River Street
    Beware, My Lovely
    Odds Against Tomorrow
    And I plan on watching them all. [​IMG]
    - Walter.
    [Edited last by Walter Kittel on August 05, 2001 at 12:40 AM]
     
  10. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Well-Known Member

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    Well, you guys have my curiosity aroused on some of these.
    I'm still looking for any sort of copy of Mutiny on the Bounty or Yankee Doodle Dandy for rent. [​IMG]
    Next stop is the library. Hope your plan works for me, Edwin. [​IMG]
    Meanwhile, with a very slow DVD buying August, I'm plowing into that unwatched DVD pile. Just knocked out Bus Stop the other night. I had never seen it. Glad I did. I like Itch much more, but BS is a fun film and of course a nice change for Monroe.
    This has nothing to do with Detour other than I just Detoured the thread. [​IMG]
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Speaking of film noirs, on Friday, I watched an early film noir film by the name of "This Gun For Hire" which made Alan Ladd a star as he played the hired killer Raven. I've always loved this film for it introduced me to both Ladd and Veronica Lake which was the first film that paired these two together. Also, the film starred Robert Preston, Laird Cregar, and Marc Lawrence. The film is only 80 minutes long, which is not any different then most film noirs as far as being short and effective films. Raven is a very interesting character. A man who can kill without remorse but who also has a soft spot for cats as well as one's with long blond hair. [​IMG]
    Crawdaddy
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  12. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't sure if I should start a new thread, or continue in this one...
    I had the pleasure of viewing The Set-Up last night, TIVO'd off of AMC. This 1949 film from Robert Wise is one great, gritty B film from the '40s!
    The film tells the story of over the hill boxer 'Stoker' Thompson, superbly played by Robert Ryan, his hopes for one last shot at the big time, and his strained relationship with his devoted, but long-suffering wife Julie, in a nicely modulated performance by Audrey Totter. The other 'star' of this feature is the film's almost palpable atmosphere comprised of the dark streets and alleys, the locker room and the ringside seats populated with a cast of misanthropic characters out of some boxing equivalent of Dante's The Inferno.
    One other thing to note about this film is the fact that it is played out in real time ( as noted by the opening tracking shot past a street clock and a reverse shot past the same clock at the film's finale. ) For this story, this construct was very effective as we knew all we needed to know about these characters due to Wise's fine direction and the self contained nature of the story.
    And while the film might be criticized for its stereotypical treatment of these characters, these stereotypes actually helped to develop the characters in an economical manner that did not detract from the storyline. Personally speaking, I found Ryan's characterization of 'Stoker' Thompson to be much more developed than Gary Cooper's Will Kane in 1952's highly lauded High Noon. ( Or perhaps I'm revealing my own bias for flawed characters. [​IMG] I merely mention this because of the real time nature of both features. )
    The bad news is that this was an RKO release, so Lord knows if and when we'll ever see a home video release. For fans of gritty, noirish cinema this film is well worth your time. Hopefully, AMC will be rebroadcasting this in the future.
    Next up... Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street starring Edward G. Robinson. ( TIVO'd off of ARTS last night )
    And after that... TCM's presentation of Dark Passage starring Humphrey Bogart - Saturday morning - 08/11
    - Walter.
    [Edited last by Walter Kittel on August 07, 2001 at 03:08 PM]
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Walter,
    I've always maintained that "The Set-up" is one of the best boxing films ever made right up there with "Body and Soul" and "Raging Bull". What a great film! I have a feeling you're going to really enjoy both "Scarlet Street" and "Dark Passage". The latter film, reminded me in the way it was shot of "Lady in the Lake" which was another great film noir.
    I'm going to email Edwin and see if it's all right with him to rename this the official film noir thread.
    Crawdaddy
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  14. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Well-Known Member

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    Robert - Well, I guess now is an opportune time to spin Body and Soul and This Gun For Hire as well. I picked both of these titles up on laser some time ago and have been meaning to give them a look. ( Too many films to watch. [​IMG] )
    Back to The Set-Up; one of the other things I really loved about this film was the cast of characters that filled out the supporting roles. The plain or downright unattractive appearances of so many of the actors definitely contributed to the ambiance of the film.
    Mild spoiler, I guess...
    Spoiler:A blind man going to a boxing match where the action was described by his friend struck me as somewhat perverse. I loved it.
    - Walter.
    [Edited last by Walter Kittel on August 07, 2001 at 06:12 PM]
     
  15. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Well-Known Member

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    Walter,
    Great list of soon-to-be-televised films noir you've posted. Most of them are oft-mentioned classics of the genre, but just wait until you see the fairly little-known 99 RIVER STREET (which, happily, doesn't belong to Warner, it's a United Artists flick, so there's some hope...)! An incredible little movie that will knock you out of your socks! I highly recommend that all those reading this thread to check that one out in particular, although every one of the films on Walter's list is a gem and is well worth seeing.
    BEWARE MY LOVELY is an unheralded at-the-mercy-of-a-psycho classic, with Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan. Fits well next to the great Robert Siodmak thriller THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (I believe both films were scripted by Mel Dinelli, if I'm not mistaken, who had a penchant for such tales, another of his was CAUSE FOR ALARM). Bear in mind that, though it sports an RKO logo, the film is actually part of the Artisan/Republic library these days...Republic released it on LD several years ago, so another one out of Warner's clammy clutches.
    ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW is a terrific re-teaming of Robert Ryan and director Robert Wise. Ryan plays a character about as far removed in personality from his portrayal of the boxer in THE SET-UP as you can get. Another United Artists film, so maybe we'll see it on DVD within our lifetime.
     
  16. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Well-Known Member

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    Peter - Thanks. I know that you are big fan of the genre, and I've always enjoyed the films that you've recommended before ( such as Cornel Wilde's Beach Red and Anthony Mann's The Tall Target ), so your comments about 99 River Street have me somewhat intrigued.
    I decided to post a list of the titles ( and I threw in a few more titles that I'm planning on viewing, or reacquainting myself with ) including channels and showtimes. Please note that all times are Central Standard Time...
    A&E - Saturday 8/11 - 6:00 A.M. The Desperate Hours ( 1955 )
    TCM - Saturday 8/11 - 9:00 A.M. Dark Passage
    TCM - Monday 8/13 - 3:30 A.M. 99 River Street
    AMC - Tuesday 8/14 - 1:35 A.M. Kiss of Death
    TCM - Tuesday 8/14 - 8:30 A.M. Beware, My Lovely
    TCM - Tuesday 8/14 - 3:00 P.M. Odds Against Tomorrow
    TCM - Wednesday 8/15 - 11:30 A.M. No Questions Asked
    TCM - Thursday 8/16 - 7:00 A.M. Mildred Pierce
    AMC - Friday 8/17 - 7:00 A.M. Leave Her To Heaven
    TCM - Saturday 8/18 - 9:00 A.M. Johnny Eager
    TCM - Saturday 8/25 - 9:00 A.M. Side Street
    TCM - Saturday 8/25 - 5:00 P.M. Out of the Past
    TCM - Sunday 8/26 - 9:15 P.M. In A Lonely Place
    TCM - Tuesday 8/28 - 10:30 P.M. High Sierra
    A few of these titles might be better classified in the
    crime or suspense genre, but I decided to list them anyway.
    - Walter.
     
  17. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Well-Known Member

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    Great flicks, all. I had the pleasure of seeing Night of the Hunter for the first time recently. That is one eerie film. Mitchum could really turn on the menace when he wanted to.
    Todd.
    ------------------
    "He'll flip you, flip you for real."
     
  18. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Well-Known Member

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    Oh, Chil-dren... CHILL-dren...
    Good movie. [​IMG]
    ~Edwin
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  20. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Well-Known Member

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    As a supplement to Walter's list, here are some choice films noir playing this month on Fox Movie Channel and Encore Mystery Channel, for those lucky enough to have access to them. All times Eastern:
    ****Fox Movie Channel (FMC)****
    THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET (1945), directed by Henry Hathaway (KISS OF DEATH, NIAGARA, TRUE GRIT, THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER)
    8/11 12:30 PM
    8/12 2:30 AM
    8/30 12:30 PM
    8/31 2:30 AM
    NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950), directed by Jules Dassin (BRUTE FORCE, THE NAKED CITY, RIFIFI, TOPKAPI)
    8/16 6:00 PM
    8/17 8:00 AM
    8/26 6:00 PM
    8/27 8:00 AM
    HANGOVER SQUARE (1945), directed by John Brahm (THE LODGER ('44), several classic episodes of TWILIGHT ZONE, THE OUTER LIMITS, THRILLER, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, STAR TREK)
    8/21 2:00 PM
    8/22 4:00 AM
    WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950), directed by Otto Preminger (LAURA, ANATOMY OF A MURDER)
    8/26 12:00 PM
    8/27 2:05 AM
    ****Encore Mystery Channel****
    HUMAN DESIRE (1954), directed by Fritz Lang (METROPOLIS, M, THE BIG HEAT, THE BLUE GARDENIA)
    8/11 5:05 AM
    8/20 12:30 PM
    8/20 8:00 PM
    8/24 4:00 AM
    THE CRIMSON KIMONO (1959), directed by Sam Fuller (PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, SHOCK CORRIDOR, THE NAKED KISS, THE BIG RED ONE)
    8/13 8:00 PM
    8/14 5:20 AM
    8/17 4:50 AM
    8/17 2:20 PM
    THE DARK PAST (1948), directed by Rudolph Mate (D.O.A., WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE)
    8/16 8:40 AM
    8/27 12:30 PM
    8/27 8:00 PM
    8/31 5:30 AM
    CRISS CROSS (1949), directed by Robert Siodmak (THE KILLERS, THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE, SON OF DRACULA, THE CRIMSON PIRATE)
    8/22 11:50 AM
    8/23 5:30 AM
    8/26 5:00 PM
    8/27 9:15 AM
    All of these are well worth catching, but if you see nothing else, make a point to watch NIGHT & THE CITY; a quintessential noir classic, and a great film, with one of Richard Widmark's very best performances, as "Harry Fabian", a small-time hustler with delusions of grandeur.
    "I hold here, in the palm of my hand, the means to control wrestling in *ALL* London!" -Harry Fabian, in better times
    -Pete Fitzgerald
     

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