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*** 1st Annual HTF Noirvember Physical Media Challenge*** (1 Viewer)

dana martin

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Day 17: 17 Noirvember 2021

1637211034201.png


Todays Feature Presentation

19. The Reckless Moment (Powerhouse / Indicator) First Time Viewing


Columbia Pictures Corp.(Release Date: 29 Dec 1949) Director: Max Ophüls, Cinematographer: Burnett Guffey

First of all I want to mirror Robert's comments on this fine film, I know that may seem lazy, but it's clear and concise and to the point. Not a hard Noir, defiantly more so with the melodrama , but for this film it works out so well.

Here are a couple different takeaways that I've come from it though, Her son, David is an annoying kid which probably every parent thinks that way sometimes. And doesn't seem to have too many boundaries that he won’t cross, barge in a closed room.

What I find refreshing in this film is, James Mason's morally ambiguous blackmailer, looking for some form of redemption after meeting a normal family and seeing everything , that she has to go through to try and keep things looking normal.
who actual seems to care, the fact that he tells her that cigarettes are bad for her, and she smokes too much, may have seemed a little out of place in 1949, but it's there.

And Joan Bennett, tackling the mother role perfectly when just a few short years before she was the film fatale. you can see the pain the anguish and everything that she's going through the inner turmoil of trying to hide things and protect her daughter, a great performance.

And what would a noir film be, without at least one cameo from a character actor that's made a staple out of these things, William Schallert shows up as a police detective in a boat investigating the murder, don’t blink or you'll miss him but at least one staple is there.

Highly Recommended.
 
Last edited:

lark144

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mark gross
NUMBER #5

AND HOPE TO DIE (First time viewing)


And Hope to Die.jpg


This one was a surprise. It’s a late film by Rene Clement, based on two short stories by David Goodis, and it has that elusive yet heady quality of Goodis’ crime fiction; of unknown paths converging, of two opposing viewpoints merging, of nature, and how it can be even deadlier than the city, because there’s no place to hide. It has the dread and paranoia of “Nightfall”, though the path it takes is somewhat different. It could have been made in the early 1950’s, in black and white, but this is in color, shot in the countryside near Montreal by a French crew, featuring a number of 70’s icons—Jean-Louis Trintignant and Tisa Farrow—as well as some 50’s ones—Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray, with a style that is sometimes direct and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, and other times elliptical, cutting back to the past of the characters, of fuzzy memories and yearnings. Somehow, this doesn’t put a damper on the suspense but enhances it. The film is brilliantly done. I guess, because it was made in the 1970’s, this is neo-Noir, but there’s nothing neo about it. Tough as nails, brutal as the shape of fate, delicate as a rose opening its petals to the morning light. No tricks, nothing up the sleeve. Every bead of sweat and each drop of blood. This is real.



The French title is “The Path of the Hare as it Crosses the Field”. Ah, those French. So philosophical. This particular hare is played by Trintignant, and the field he crosses is the abandoned landscape of Expo ’67. There, for no clear reason, he’s chased by a band of gypsies who try to kill him, and escapes, only to end up with a gang of criminals, headed by Robert Ryan. They buried the money from a robbery at Expo ’67, and think that Trintignant has it, though he doesn’t. So it’s cat and mouse, except the roles keep changing. In trying to escape, Trintignant, who was handcuffed, strangles one of the gang members, who dies. Tisa Farrow is the sister of the dead man. It appears as if Trintignant and Tisa Farrow are going to become romantically involved, but she keeps a loaded rifle by her side, and she doesn’t yet know that Trintignant killed her brother. And then there’s Robert Ryan. He keeps trying to kill Trintignant, but Trintignant manages to survive each attempt. Slowly, Ryan begins to respect him. They have a caper planned and need someone to replace the dead man. He invites Trintignant to join them. But nothing ever turns out the way it’s planned.



Did I say that every image in this film is beautiful? And that beauty makes what happens in the film all the more shocking. There’s all this nature, trees and greenery and water, liquid light coming down like honey, and it all looks like death. The style of the film is a weird but successful blend of Hitchcock and Antonioni. (Of course, that’s also a perfect description of David Goodis’ crime fiction, filled with ellipses and weird points of view, yet totally compelling.)



Robert Ryan is incredible. He’s so good here, it’s hard to find the right words to describe what he does. He brings so much to this role, all those prior performances—“Crossfire” and “The Set-Up” and “Bad Day at Black Rock” and so much more—and yet everything he does is fresh, spontaneous and original. After watching this film, I’ve decided Robert Ryan is the greatest American actor of his generation next to Brando. He just didn’t get the right roles. But what Ryan does here is like tightrope walking. And without a net. And continually surprising. He keeps revealing new depths, new wrinkles to the character he is playing. And he’s doing it in French. Robert Ryan didn’t speak French. Apparently, he spoke gibberish so his lip movements would match the French words that were in the script. It works perfectly. His interactions with Trintignant are amazing, well worth the price of admission. Watching the two of them together is like watching two chess masters.



The Kino Blu-Ray is perfect, a gorgeous master licensed from Studio Canal. A different kind of Noir, but a trip well worth taking. Visceral, exciting, mysterious, and beautiful. You never know what’s going to happen next.



Rating: 4 out of 5. Highly Recommended.
 

dana martin

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NUMBER #5

AND HOPE TO DIE (First time viewing)


View attachment 119110


This one was a surprise. It’s a late film by Rene Clement, based on two short stories by David Goodis, and it has that elusive yet heady quality of Goodis’ crime fiction; of unknown paths converging, of two opposing viewpoints merging, of nature, and how it can be even deadlier than the city, because there’s no place to hide. It has the dread and paranoia of “Nightfall”, though the path it takes is somewhat different. It could have been made in the early 1950’s, in black and white, but this is in color, shot in the countryside near Montreal by a French crew, featuring a number of 70’s icons—Jean-Louis Trintignant and Tisa Farrow—as well as some 50’s ones—Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray, with a style that is sometimes direct and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, and other times elliptical, cutting back to the past of the characters, of fuzzy memories and yearnings. Somehow, this doesn’t put a damper on the suspense but enhances it. The film is brilliantly done. I guess, because it was made in the 1970’s, this is neo-Noir, but there’s nothing neo about it. Tough as nails, brutal as the shape of fate, delicate as a rose opening its petals to the morning light. No tricks, nothing up the sleeve. Every bead of sweat and each drop of blood. This is real.



The French title is “The Path of the Hare as it Crosses the Field”. Ah, those French. So philosophical. This particular hare is played by Trintignant, and the field he crosses is the abandoned landscape of Expo ’67. There, for no clear reason, he’s chased by a band of gypsies who try to kill him, and escapes, only to end up with a gang of criminals, headed by Robert Ryan. They buried the money from a robbery at Expo ’67, and think that Trintignant has it, though he doesn’t. So it’s cat and mouse, except the roles keep changing. In trying to escape, Trintignant, who was handcuffed, strangles one of the gang members, who dies. Tisa Farrow is the sister of the dead man. It appears as if Trintignant and Tisa Farrow are going to become romantically involved, but she keeps a loaded rifle by her side, and she doesn’t yet know that Trintignant killed her brother. And then there’s Robert Ryan. He keeps trying to kill Trintignant, but Trintignant manages to survive each attempt. Slowly, Ryan begins to respect him. They have a caper planned and need someone to replace the dead man. He invites Trintignant to join them. But nothing ever turns out the way it’s planned.



Did I say that every image in this film is beautiful? And that beauty makes what happens in the film all the more shocking. There’s all this nature, trees and greenery and water, liquid light coming down like honey, and it all looks like death. The style of the film is a weird but successful blend of Hitchcock and Antonioni. (Of course, that’s also a perfect description of David Goodis’ crime fiction, filled with ellipses and weird points of view, yet totally compelling.)



Robert Ryan is incredible. He’s so good here, it’s hard to find the right words to describe what he does. He brings so much to this role, all those prior performances—“Crossfire” and “The Set-Up” and “Bad Day at Black Rock” and so much more—and yet everything he does is fresh, spontaneous and original. After watching this film, I’ve decided Robert Ryan is the greatest American actor of his generation next to Brando. He just didn’t get the right roles. But what Ryan does here is like tightrope walking. And without a net. And continually surprising. He keeps revealing new depths, new wrinkles to the character he is playing. And he’s doing it in French. Robert Ryan didn’t speak French. Apparently, he spoke gibberish so his lip movements would match the French words that were in the script. It works perfectly. His interactions with Trintignant are amazing, well worth the price of admission. Watching the two of them together is like watching two chess masters.



The Kino Blu-Ray is perfect, a gorgeous master licensed from Studio Canal. A different kind of Noir, but a trip well worth taking. Visceral, exciting, mysterious, and beautiful. You never know what’s going to happen next.



Rating: 4 out of 5. Highly Recommended.
Mark,

have you seen Inferno he's great in that.

Like you said, he is may be underrated by some amongst his peers and shouldn't be, but then look at the competition, Cagney, Bogart, Douglass, Lancaster, Ladd, Robinson, MacMurray, Donlevy, Mitchum, Garfield, Conte, I mean that is a really serious batting order, and that isn't even scratching the surface.
 

lark144

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mark gross
Mark,

have you seen Inferno he's great in that.

Like you said, he is may be underrated by some amongst his peers and shouldn't be, but then look at the competition, Cagney, Bogart, Douglass, Lancaster, Ladd, Robinson, MacMurray, Donlevy, Mitchum, Garfield, Conte, I mean that is a really serious batting order, and that isn't even scratching the surface.
Yes, I own the Twilight Time of INFERNO. He's great in that, I watch it on a regular basis, but what he does in AND HOPE TO DIE is simply, for me, extraordinary. It takes him out of the realm of action cinema and onto someplace else, which is why I compare what Ryan does in that film to Brando, who is my favorite actor. What Ryan is doing in AND HOPE TO DIE is on a whole other level. It's pure geste, spontaneous, knife edge, deep stuff, beyond character, though character is there. It's like he's on the inside looking out, or maybe he's in a thousand places at once. Serene, solitary, yet filled with life. It's like dance, it's like Pollock painting on the floor and coming up with shapes that define and also transcend destiny. Like I wrote in the review, I don't have the words to describe what I see him doing in that film. All the actors you reference are great. I always thought Ryan had the potential to be the best in the bunch, but he was always typecast, and though he was always great, it fell into a routine, you knew what to expect, the pentameters were already there, cast in stone. But in this film, he transcends all that. At least for me. He's scary, he's human, he brought me to tears. He's done that before, especially in DAY OF THE OUTLAW, but this is even finer, and like I said, beyond categories. Beyond acting, even. Just breathing in and out. Just being. I mean, I wasn't expecting to write that, but that's what happened. It came to me, the realization, I mean, as I was writing the review. What's different about this performance and this film? Maybe because he was speaking in a foreign language, it freed him up to work with pure gesture. Maybe because he had seen it all, he had nothing left to lose. Anyway, that's how I feel tonight.
 

Robert Crawford

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Mark,

have you seen Inferno he's great in that.

Like you said, he is may be underrated by some amongst his peers and shouldn't be, but then look at the competition, Cagney, Bogart, Douglass, Lancaster, Ladd, Robinson, MacMurray, Donlevy, Mitchum, Garfield, Conte, I mean that is a really serious batting order, and that isn't even scratching the surface.
I think Robert Ryan was very underrated during his acting career. However, I think he's now recognized as one of the best actors from that film era. That's the great thing about home video and even TV showings as these actors might pass along, but their acting performances remains alive to experience and appreciate for generations to come. There is little doubt that Robert Ryan has been elevated as an actor over the last 25 or so years.
 

Richard Gallagher

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I think Robert Ryan was very underrated during his acting career. However, I think he's now recognized as one of the best actors from that film era. That's the great thing about home video and even TV showings as these actors might pass along, but their acting performances remains alive to experience and appreciate for generations to come. There is little doubt that Robert Ryan has been elevated as an actor over the last 25 or so years.

I don't believe that I've ever seen a less than stellar performance by Robert Ryan. He never mailed it in. Some of my favorites are Crossfire, Odds Against Tomorrow, and The Naked Spur. And those are just off the top of my head!
 

Robert Crawford

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A couple of more underrated actors I have upgraded over the years are Robert Taylor and Dana Andrews. Both appeared in several film noirs with Andrews being one of the best noir leading actors. Eddie Muller always talks about Andrews being underrated even today.
 

Robert Crawford

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12th of 20 Noirvember titles:

lf


This weekend's "Noir Alley" movie was "Johnny O'Clock" (1947) starring Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, Lee J. Cobb, Ellen Drew, Thomas Gomez, Nina Foch and in a small part making his film debut Jeff Chandler. This Columbia film noir was filmed in 1946, but wasn't released until 1947. The film is about Johnny O'Clock played by Powell becoming involved in two homicides. O'Clock the junior partner in a gambling establishment in NYC, has a former girlfriend that's now the wife of his senior partner, yet she still pines for O'Clock. After the two homicides, O'Clock gets involved with one of the murder victims sister while the murders are being investigated by Lee J. Cobb. A great cast of actors with some sharp dialogue even if the movie plot leaves a lot to be desire when it comes to making sense. It doesn't matter as I always found this movie very engaging and entertaining. My film grade is 4 out of 5. The TCM video presentation was good. I'm expecting the Blu-ray of this movie later on this week as it's part of this Indicator Blu-ray Boxset:

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Furthermore, one of my all-time favorite film lines is one spoken by Jeff Chandler in this film:

Shots are fired between two men.

One Card Player: "What was that?"

Another Card Player/Jeff Chandler: "Somebody got a nasty cough" (That line cracks me up every time I hear it)


Robert Rossen made his directing debut with "Johnny O'Clock". Rossen was a great writer and fine director. Unfortunately, he was blacklisted for a number of years and he died much too young at 57 years old. The following are some of his screen credits:


  • Dust Be My Destiny (Writer)
  • The Sea Wolf (Writer)
  • The Roaring Twenties (Writer)
  • They Won't Forget (Writer)
  • Edge of Darkness (Writer)
  • Rhapsody in Blue (Writer)
  • The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (Writer)
  • A Walk in the Sun (Writer)
  • Desert Fury (Writer)
  • Johnny O'Clock (Writer & Director)
  • Body and Soul (Director)
  • All the King's Men (Writer & Director)
  • They Came to Cordura (Writer & Director)
  • Alexander the Great (Writer & Director)
  • The Hustler (Writer & Director)
  • Lillith (Writer & Director)
 

Robert Crawford

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13th of 20 Noirvember Titles:

1637574263078.png


This morning, I was in the mood to watch another "noir" film so I chose "Cover Up" (1949) starring Dennis O'Keefe, William Bendix and Barbara Britton. I haven't watch this film since the Kino Blu-ray came out about six years ago. The film takes place around Christmas time as an Insurance Investigator/O'Keefe arrives in a small town to investigate a recent suicide. After arriving in that small town on a bus with a local young woman/Barbara Britton, O'Keefe runs into obstacles during his investigation such as the missing weapon that was used in this so-called suicide. William Bendix plays the local sheriff that is at times, not very cooperative with O'Keefe's investigation. Also, some of the town's folks seem to be covering up what really happened as the dead man was a pretty awful individual in which he had many enemies. This "B" movie was independently produced in 1948, with United Artists distributing it in 1949. The screen play was co-written by O'Keefe. IMO, the movie is a mediocre at best with a film score of 2.5 out of 5. The video presentation of the Kino Blu-ray is a 3 out of 5 with some contrast issues, particularly during the night sequences. It's not a bad film, but it's not "Johnny O'Clock" as far as being an entertaining and interesting movie. IMO, the best thing about the movie is the housekeeper played by character actress Doro Merande.;)
 

Robert Crawford

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Oh my, I'm in "Noir" heaven!:banana: As an early Christmas gift to myself, I placed an order from Amazon on November 13th, and it arrived this morning. What's surprising is this package came from the UK and left London-Heathrow on November 20th. DHL delivered it a few minutes ago. Yes, a few of these will be watched as part of my "Noirvember" challenge.

61mieEUfAcL._SX342_.jpg


71U4urzk0yL._SX342_.jpg


6167kGXyMVL._SX342_.jpg


71vYphA1r8S._SX342_.jpg
 

Robert Crawford

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14th of 20 Noirvember Titles:


1637619140470.png


Today, I also made time for some Brit "Noir" and sat down and watched for the first time "The Blue Lamp" (1950) starring Jack Warner, Jimmy Hanley, Dirk Bogarde, Robert Flemyng and Bernard Lee. This police procedural was directed by Basil Deardin as it kind of reminded me of "The Naked City" (1948). It's really interesting how Brit law enforcement operates compared to American law enforcement from the same period of time. The use of fire arms is a major difference. The film evolves around two Brit police officers that walk their local beat, one that is retirement age and the other just starting his police career. During the course of their police duties they come across two young criminals that changes their lives forever. Bogarde is outstanding as one of those young criminals that commits an act of violence that jumps start this movie with different London shooting locations.

The 2021 Kino Blu-ray has a lot of bonus material including audio commentaries. I'll watch some of that material during my next viewing. My movie grade is 3.5 out of 5 while my video presentation score is a 4.
 

RobertMG

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14th of 20 Noirvember Titles:


View attachment 119525

Today, I also made time for some Brit "Noir" and sat down and watched for the first time "The Blue Lamp" (1950) starring Jack Warner, Jimmy Hanley, Dirk Bogarde, Robert Flemyng and Bernard Lee. This police procedural was directed by Basil Deardin as it kind of reminded me of "The Naked City" (1948). It's really interesting how Brit law enforcement operates compared to American law enforcement from the same period of time. The use of fire arms is a major difference. The film evolves around two Brit police officers that walk their local beat, one that is retirement age and the other just starting his police career. During the course of their police duties they come across two young criminals that changes their lives forever. Bogarde is outstanding as one of those young criminals that commits an act of violence that jumps start this movie with different London shooting locations.

The 2021 Kino Blu-ray has a lot of bonus material including audio commentaries. I'll watch some of that material during my next viewing. My movie grade is 3.5 out of 5 while my video presentation score is a 4.
Great review! You just sold one copy to me!
 

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