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*** 2nd Annual HTF Noirvember Movie Challenge*** (1 Viewer)

Robert Crawford

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Bold - Denotes first ever viewing

Rating - Out of a possible 4 View attachment 162862

29) 11/16/2022 Kiss the Blood off My Hands (1948) View attachment 162862 View attachment 162862 1/2

Terrific title for a not-so-terrific film. Burt Lancaster, having physically survived a Nazi prison camp, has serious anger issues. He accidentally kills a London pub owner during a brief brawl, and then hides out in nurse Joan Fontaine's apartment. For various reasons, including loneliness, love blossoms. Enter hood Robert Newton who knows who Lancaster is and what he's done. Perhaps if Lancaster helps steal medical supplies from Fontaine's place of employment Newton will keep his mouth shut. Newton steals the movie as the overly-friendly villain. Fontaine has played this role before in Rebecca and Suspicion but does it well. The stars' fine work keeps one watching but the story could have used some punch.

30) 11/16/2022 Lady in the Lake (1946) View attachment 162862 View attachment 162862 1/2

How's this for a gimmick? Director Robert Montgomery cast himself as Phillip Marlowe and decided to shoot most of the movie from Marlowe's point of view; we occasionally catch glimpses of him in mirrors or when he speaks directly to the camera as the narrator. It makes for an awkward experience, as Marlowe interviews various suspects including Audrey Totter, Leon Ames, Jane Meadows, and Dick Simmons. One is made very conscious of overly-written dialogue scenes when you're forced to watch a performer unnaturally go on and on. The mystery itself involves a missing adulteress whose husband doesn't want her found. She may or may not have killed the titular lady. The mystery is fine and Totter is a treat. But, in addition to the aforementioned missteps, the "talking villain" scene at the end goes on far too long, becoming absurd. And for the life of me, I couldn't help but imagine that if Bugs Bunny every played a straight dramatic role it would be something like Montgomery's part here. I guess Montgomery kind of sounded like the rascally rabbit on this viewing, and without seeing him my mind wandered. Of course it could be because I'm just nuts.
I like "Lady in the Lake" much more than you did as I try to watch it during the Christmas holidays at least once every two years. It's a personal favorite of mine!
 

Michael Elliott

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Stark Fear (1962) ** 1/2

Ellen (Beverly Garland) is in an abusive marriage to Gerald (Skip Homeier) but after he leaves her she finds herself going even more downhill. Soon another man (Kenneth Tobey) wants to be with her but she's still too traumatized to go anywhere.

This is a very strange film that was shot independently in Oklahoma and in fact director Ned Hockman was a professor at the University of Oklahoma. According to Garland, he ended up walking off the picture and it was completed by co-star Homeier. This is a really weird film that manages to work thanks to Garland's performance, although it's strange that she said this was her worst film. Perhaps her worst filming experience but I'm guessing she didn't watch some of her other movies. She does a very good job with the trauma that this woman is facing and she manages to keep you glued to the film.

The direction is horrible throughout and sadly the cinematography isn't much better. These two things really show off how cheap of a production it was. It's really too bad because a budget and a better director could have turned this into something special.

From Something Weird Video's Weird-Noir Collection. I really wouldn't consider it noir but some do and yet others consider it a horror film.
 

Michael Elliott

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I keep meaning to give LADY IN THE LAKE another viewing. I walked into it rather blind and the gimmick just didn't work for me. I didn't like the POV in the MANIAC remake either but I do need to give both a second shot.

THE DEVIL STRIKES AT NIGHT sounds terrific! I'll have to pick it up at the next Kino sale.
 

Robert Crawford

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11-18-22

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48) 11-18-22 "Jigsaw" (1962) (Blu-ray) 4/5 Stars
A woman is murdered in an English coastal town, her body is dismembered in a beach house by her married lover after she tells him of her pregnancy. Her remains are discovered by cops investigating a burglary at the company that rented the house. The investigation is being led by Insp. Fellows/Jack Warner and Sgt. Wilks/Ronald Lewis, who happens to be Fellows nephew. The cops try to reconstruct the dead woman's last hours, hoping to identify her killer. Most of the film is spent running down leads and coming up empty. Therefore, the cops are losing some patience, but they're persistent in their investigation before they finally able to identify the killer. About 10 minutes prior to the film identifying the killer, I came up with the murderer. I enjoyed watching this Brit police procedural for this first time viewing as the 2022 Cohen Media Blu-ray offered a very good video presentation. Unfortunately, there is no bonus material such as an audio commentary. Val Guest directed this movie which was supposedly inspired by some murders that occurred in Brighton, England back in the 1930s. An above average noir!
 

Robert Crawford

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11-19-22

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49) 11-19-22 "Town on Trial" (1957) (Blu-ray) 3.5/5 Stars
I'm on a streak now with foreign "noir" movies which continued this morning with this British murder mystery in which two young women are brutally murdered by strangulation in a London suburb. There are plenty of suspects, particularly, with the first victim because she was such a flirt in which many men desired her while the local women hated her for being too popular with the men. Supt. Mike Halloran/John Mills from Scotland Yard heads the investigation in which a bunch of little secrets among the locals threatens to sidetrack his investigation as people remain silent regarding those secrets. I was really liking this movie. However, it got a bit too dramatic for me near the ending of the film involving an attempted suicide attempt on top of a church steeple in which Halloran had to climb up to rescue the murderer. It was just a bit too much for me! Anyway, I did enjoy the little town atmosphere because it resembled a British version of "Peyton Place".:) The film also had a couple of misdirection sequences to keep you guessing as to identifying the murderer. Despite some of my misgivings regarding the melodrama in this movie, I did overall enjoyed the movie quite a bit. The 2018 Indicator Blu-ray displayed a good video presentation with plenty of bonus material so I will be revisiting this Blu-ray again in the future to watch some of those extras.
 

Robert Crawford

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11-19-22

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50) 11-19-22 "Time Without Pity" (1957) (Blu-ray) 4/5 Stars
This Brit anti-capital punishment film was directed by blacklisted American director Joseph Losey in 1957. David Graham/Michael Redgrave has only 24 hours to prove his son's innocence before his execution after being found guilty of killing his girlfriend. Graham had been in a Canadian sanatorium due to his extreme alcoholism. He was only made aware of his estranged son's predicament and released from the sanatorium just two days prior to the execution in England. The film starts off showing the actual murder and who committed it which took place in the home of auto magnet Robert Stanford/Leo McKern and his wife Honor/Ann Todd along with their son Brian/Paul Daneman. Graham's son Alec/Alec McCowen is best friend's with Brian and often stayed at the Stanford home. Further complicating the matters is that Honor is secretly in-love with Alec. Furthermore, Robert Stanford is a vile man who bullies others and has a short temper. This movie is a combination suspenseful thriller with elements of "Lost Weekend" in it because Redgrave can't resist the temptation of alcohol in those 24 hours prior to his son's execution as he navigates what actually happened in the Stanford home with his drinking that delays his inquiries. The 2019 Indicator Blu-ray offers a fine video presentation with bonus material including an audio commentary. This Blu-ray is region-free just like the "Town on Trial" Blu-ray. IMO, this is a good film that I will revisit again in the near future.

Next up is "The Diamond Wizard" (1954) in 3-D 1080p.

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Michael Elliott

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Fallen Angel (1945) ***

Eric (Dana Andrews) is broke and stranded in a small California town where he quickly falls for the beautiful waitress Stella (Linda Darnell) who refuses to marry him without money. Eric decides to try and seduce the town's rich woman (Alice Frye) so that he can take her money and then head off with the one he wants.

This Otto Preminger noir is mostly bashed because it's not as great as LAURA but that's a bit unfair because on its own merits this is a pretty good movie. There's no question that it's the cast that really sticks out here and especially Andrews as the drifter and Charles Bickford as the tough cop trying to break him. The two of them are simply wonderful together and their scenes together are so fun. Darnell's sexuality is certainly on full display and Frye is good too in what would end up being her final starring role. Throw in John Carradine and Percy Kilbride and you've got a perfect cast.

I will say though. The one big issue I had with the film is that I actually liked Andrews character a lot more than Frye and this shouldn't have happened. I mean, Andrews is the snake yet I liked him more than the victim in the film.

Cutter's Way (1981) ****

Richard (Jeff Bridges) is a down-on-his-luck loser whose car breaks down in an alley. It just turns out to be the same alley where a man dumps a dead body. Richard is called in for questioning but says he didn't see enough to identify anyone. His drunken and crippled friend Cutter (John Heard) wants to give one more attempt at being a hero by tracking down the killer.

The first hour of this film is simply a "very good" noir as we get the loner Bridges not wanting to get involved in a case he's actually involved in. Then, with about fifty-minutes left, the fun ends and we get hit with some very deep and emotional depression as the three main characters begin to fall apart. The film basically turns into a Vietnam drama and fits right in with the likes of THE DEER HUNTER and COMING HOME. There are some pretty damn brutal scenes and I won't spoil the twists but some are rather devastating. Bridges is terrific as you'd expect but it's Heard who steals the picture as this broken down drunk. I was really amazed at how wonderful he was and how deep and detailed the character was. His was the supporting player yet it was the best role in the film.

The only thing that bothered me is that one major character pretty much disappears from the film without any sort of mention why.
 

Robert Crawford

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11-19-22

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51) 11-19-22 "The Diamond Wizard" (1954) (Blu-ray) 3/5 Stars
I was more impressed by the 3-D presentation than I was the actual movie. I enjoyed the first half of the film, but the last 30 minutes of the film which was more action packed didn't float my boat. It was okay, but the final sequences were mediocre in my opinion. I wanted to like this movie, but after watching some superior Brit and German noirs prior to this movie, I just wasn't as impressed overall with this film. This 1954 movie was filmed in England and directed by its star Dennis O'Keefe. The film's premise includes a millions dollars of stolen US currency from the Treasury. a murdered Treasury agent and a former nuclear scientist that develops a formula for synthetic diamonds which sends Treasury agent O'Keefe to the UK in order to work with Scotland Yard to recover the million dollars and to catch the killer of that Treasury agent. In the meantime, those synthetic diamonds, if flooded into the open market, would have a devastating effect on the British economy so finding that scientist might be connected to that stolen money and missing killer.
 

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Kino Lorber’s Dark Side of Cinema VIII is an odd set with one early noir, one comedic crime caper, and one noirish melodrama.

5
Street of Chance (1942) NEW — Burgess Meredith and Claire Trevor star in this early noir with an amnesiac theme. Meredith gets hit on the head by falling debris. When he comes to, he doesn’t know who he is. Or maybe he knows who he is but it’s not the person whose clothes he’s wearing and things he is carrying. Once you get past the medical improbabilities, it’s an exciting, tightly constructed film with some nice twists along the way. This was my favorite of the three.
:emoji_gun::emoji_gun::emoji_gun::emoji_gun:

6
Enter Arsene Lupin (1944) — I like this comedic crime caper starring Charles Korvin and Ella Raines, but I struggle to find a way to call it a film noir. On the Orient Express, Korvin steals an emerald from Raines but is so taken with her that he finds a way to get it back and follows her to England. While trying to sort out the problems in her life, Korvin is being pursued by a French police detective played with great delight by J. Carrol Naish. It’s a fun film but out of place in a noir collection.
:emoji_gun::emoji_gun::emoji_gun:🔪

7
Temptation (1946) NEW — Merle Oberon plays a woman with a checkered past now married to a wealth archaeologist, George Brent, but involved with a stylish Egyptian, Charles Korvin. It’s a solid story which I thought was undercut by a weak ending. On the other hand, this was my wife’s favorite from the set.
:emoji_gun: :emoji_gun: :emoji_gun: 🔪
 

Robert Crawford

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11-20-22

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52) 11-20-22 "The Unfaithful" (1947) (TCM's "Noir Alley") 3/5 Stars
This movie is on TCM's "Noir Alley" this weekend. A kind of a remake of "The Letter" (1940), but with some significant changes. First off, the female lead is not a murderess like she was in the 1940 movie. Neither is she a bad person like Bette Davis's character. She made a mistake by having an affair while her husband was away in WWII. She ended the affair, but the man kept being persistent and finally forced himself into her home in which there was a struggle and she had to kill him in self defense. She compounded her initial mistake by not being truthful to the police, her lawyer and husband about the man she killed . Another classic example of a "noir" character making wrong decisions when they should've made the correct decision by just being truthful. I like this movie, it's not a great film like "The Letter", but it's a decent movie that still hasn't been released on Blu-ray. There is a 2009 WAC DVD release, but the video presentation is mediocre at best. Ann Sheridan plays the lead role with Lew Ayres as her lawyer and Zachary Scott playing against type as the "nice guy" husband. Eve Arden has a significant supporting role as the cousin of the husband. There is a favorite sequence in the movie in which Arden dresses down her cousin Scott pretty good as to what women had to go through during WWII while their men were off fighting the war. I've seen this movie a number of times over the years and my appreciation for it grows each time I watch the movie. Eddie Muller comments about the film were enlightening as so many people involved with this movie died relatively young. The producer, writer, and two of the stars never reached their mid-50's. Only Ayres and Arden lived a relatively long life while the director, Vincent Sherman died just weeks before his 100th birthday.
 

Michael Elliott

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Backlash (1947) ** 1/2

Attorney John Morland (John Eldredge) is found in a crashed car and at first it seems like an accident. Then it turns out that his wife (Jean Rogers) wanted him dead and perhaps she attempted the perfect murder.

This murder/mystery mixed with some noir elements doesn't add anything new to the genres but the cast is good enough to keep you entertained and the story is also good. The way the flashbacks are used to explain what happened was nice and for the most part the film kept me entertained throughout its 66-minute running time. I think most people will see where the plot's going but it was still fun getting there.
 

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Yesterday was one of those rare occasions when we got in two movies.

8
The Unfaithful (1947) NEW — We watched the recent Noir Alley showing. The idea of an updated version of The Letter set in suburbia is a good one, but this film didn’t quite work for me. It drags at times and there are some unnecessary complications. Had those involved not tried so hard to excise Somerset Maugham’s name, it might have been a better film. As it stands, it falls solidly into my “worth seeing once but probably not more” category.
:emoji_gun::emoji_gun::emoji_gun:

9
Phantom Lady(1944) — I really like this Robert Siodmak noir. Alan Curtis gets stood up and ends up taking a stranger with him to a show. When he get home, he discovers that he is the chief suspect in a murder and his alibi has vanished. There’s a strong supporting cast here including Ella Raines, Thomas Gomez, and Franchot Tone.
:emoji_gun::emoji_gun::emoji_gun::emoji_gun:
 

John Stell

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Rating - Out of a possible 4
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31) 11/18/2022 The Scoundrel (1935) 1669040106834.png 1669040106834.png

Noël Coward plays a rotten publisher who treats everyone badly. His latest "victim" is a young female poet with whom the married Coward starts an affair. Then the film takes a bizarre twist in the last 20 minutes or so and leads to a rather shocking ending. This film won an Oscar for its original story by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur (both also directed). Hecht, of course, is one of the most highly respected screenwriters from Hollywood's classic period. Unfortunately, this films suffers from several problems. One is that it feels like a stage play shot in 1930, with little inventiveness behind the camera. Another is that pretty much all the dialogue feels written, not naturally spoken or coming from a character's personality, as in the better noirs. With the exception of Coward, all the other characters come across as reciting lines someone else wrote. Then there's the fact that since everyone is so nasty, it's difficult to form any emotional connection with the film. Even the "good" poet is involved in adultery. And the ending feels totally phony in terms of a character's about-face. Sure, there's wit to be found here and some choice bon mots. But unless you're a super Coward fan, I think most will find this a tedious, insincere morality tale.

32) 11/18/2022 Canon City (1948) 1669040106834.png 1669040106834.png 1669040106834.png

Solid documentary-like account of prison break from Colorado State Penitentiary in 1947. Scott Brady is one of the dozen escapees, although he initially didn't want any part of it, but got dragged into things because he worked in the prison's darkroom, the best place to hide weapons. Some of the cast were not actors but those actually involved in the true-life events. A narrator provides various details. Starts off slow but once the dramatization begins in earnest this baby moves like a bullet. Jeff Corey is very good as the leader of the escape.

33) 11/20/2022 Ride the Pink Horse (1947) 1669040106834.png 1669040106834.png 1669040106834.png 1/2

Former military man Robert Montgomery arrives via a Greyhound bus (not a pink horse) in the town of San Pablo looking for gangster Fred Clark. Clark killed Montgomery's buddy and got away with it. Now Montgomery wants a payoff. Complicating matters is FBI guy Art Smith who's been watching Clark for months and knows who Montgomery is. Wanda Hendrix is a local gal who takes a liking to Montgomery, to his initial annoyance; Thomas Gomez runs the local merry-go-round and befriends Montgomery after a night drinking together. And then there's Andrea King as Clark's gal-pal. Or is she? Engrossing from minute one, this is a spellbindingly told tale by director Montgomery that builds suspense nicely while playing out in utterly believable fashion. The aforementioned supporting cast is terrific. So is Montgomery, who gradually wins audience sympathy even though he starts out as an unpleasant bully. A real gem.
 

Michael Elliott

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The Black Vampire (1953) *** 1/2

A town is being haunted by someone who is abducting children and murdering them. Dancer hall girl Amalia (Olga Zubarry) witnesses the murder but decides not to tell the police so that her name doesn't get in the media. Soon after she finds herself in danger as well as the life of her daughter.

This Argentine film is a remake of Fritz Lang's M and I must admit that I prefer it to the 1951 remake. Director Román Viñoly Barreto creates a terrific atmosphere and the visuals are downright beautiful. The one major change is that the story is told through the eyes of this single mother working a "bad" nightclub in order to provide for her child. This adds an interesting touch to the material and on its own that portion of the story works very well. I also thought the visuals were terrific and the atmosphere is so thick that you really could cut it with a knife. Zubarry is terrific in her role and Nathan Pinzon is also wonderful in the role of the child killer. The ending was also very good with the underground sewer setting being perfect.

It seems host Eddie Muller thinks this is even better or at least on par with the Lang film. I certainly wouldn't go that far but it's great that this film has been restored.
 

Robert Crawford

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The Black Vampire (1953) *** 1/2

A town is being haunted by someone who is abducting children and murdering them. Dancer hall girl Amalia (Olga Zubarry) witnesses the murder but decides not to tell the police so that her name doesn't get in the media. Soon after she finds herself in danger as well as the life of her daughter.

This Argentine film is a remake of Fritz Lang's M and I must admit that I prefer it to the 1951 remake. Director Román Viñoly Barreto creates a terrific atmosphere and the visuals are downright beautiful. The one major change is that the story is told through the eyes of this single mother working a "bad" nightclub in order to provide for her child. This adds an interesting touch to the material and on its own that portion of the story works very well. I also thought the visuals were terrific and the atmosphere is so thick that you really could cut it with a knife. Zubarry is terrific in her role and Nathan Pinzon is also wonderful in the role of the child killer. The ending was also very good with the underground sewer setting being perfect.

It seems host Eddie Muller thinks this is even better or at least on par with the Lang film. I certainly wouldn't go that far but it's great that this film has been restored.
I kind of agree with Eddie!
 

Robert Crawford

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See my summary for film grades with the movies in "Bold" being first time viewings!

11-21-22

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53) 11-21-22 "Escape in the Fog" (1945) (Blu-ray) 2/5 Stars
A "B" movie in every respect except for Nina Foch's performance. Movie takes place during WWII, when a nurse recovering from battle fatigue in the States has dreams of a murder and then meets the victim in real life. Another programmer with Nazi spies, American agents, stolen secrets and murder. Not a good movie! Interesting film concept about the crime that comes true on the Golden State Bridge, but the rest of the story doesn't measure up. The Blu-ray is part of Indicator's "Columbia Noir #1" Boxset.

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54) 11-21-22 "The Undercover Man" (1949) (Blu-ray) 3.5/5 Stars
Federal undercover agent faces extreme danger in attempting to obtain evidence against a mob leader. Semi-documentary with some good scenes and suspense. Movie is loosely based on Al Capone and how the Feds got him on tax evasion. In this film, the movie takes place after WWII and they only refer the to the mob leader as "The Big Fellow". After watching this movie today, I now realized how Brian De Palma was inspired for a key sequence in his 1987 movie "The Untouchables". The sequence involves a fixed jury and how the judge exchanged juries with a judge presiding over another case. Barry Kelley was excellent in this movie as the corrupted mob lawyer. I enjoyed this movie and will revisit it again for the bonus material as it's also part of Indicator's "Columbia Noir #1" Boxset.

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55) 11-21-22 "Pickup Alley aka Interpol" (1957) (Blu-ray) 3/5 Stars
Interesting locale shooting as Federal Agent/Victor Mature travels around Europe and NYC to catch a drug smuggler/Trevor Howard, who killed his sister years ago during a drug undercover operation. It was interesting seeing Howard play against type as the "baddie" drug smuggler and killer. Anita Ekberg was nice to look at as a young woman working for Howard that just wants to get out of the business. IMO, the most interesting character in the entire movie is informer Amalio played by Bonar Colleano, who helps Mature's investigation. Movie does have a few effective scenes about drug addiction. This movie was released in Europe as "Interpol" as the police organization is featured a great deal in this movie. A decent movie that should've been better, but it was entertaining despite its shortcomings. The Blu-ray is part of the Kit Parker BD release:
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56) 11-21-22 "The Last Crooked Mile" (1946) (iTunes HD Digital) 2.5/5 Stars
A Republic "B" movie about missing loot from a bank robbery in which the robbers are killed in a car accident shortly after the robbery. Donald Barry plays a private detective trying to recover the stolen loot while dealing with cops, thugs and the former girlfriend of the dead leader of the gang that stolen the money. Nice cast, with some interesting twists in the storyline. However, the basic premise falls apart because there is no way the cops couldn't find the stolen loot in that getaway car. I blindly purchased this HD digital a couple of years ago from iTunes for $4.99.
 

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10
The Killers (1946) — I love the way The Killers takes a spare Hemingway short story and expands it into a complex but economically told film. The use of flashbacks from Burt Lancaster’s perspective alternating with Edmond O’Brien’s investigation moves the story along quickly. The complexities to the story all make sense and never feel gratuitous as is sometimes the case. A fine film and one of my favorite noirs.
:emoji_gun: :emoji_gun: :emoji_gun: :emoji_gun: 🔪
 

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Rating - Out of a possible 4
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34) 11/21/2022 Baby Face Nelson (1957) 1669140925123.png 1669140925123.png 1/2

Shortly after being released from prison, Lester Gillis (Mickey Rooney) is framed for the murder of a union boss by his old gangster pal and is re-arrested. With the help of his wife Sue Nelson (Carolyn Jones), Gillis escapes from custody, slays the thug who framed him, and aligns himself with John Dillinger (Leo Gordon), who nicknames Gillis "Baby Face". Baby Face thus begins a reign of terror that eventually lands him at number one on the FBI's most wanted list.

This low-budget effort directed by the great Don Siegel is not short on action or violence. The great supporting cast includes Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Elisha Cook, Jr., Dabs Greer, John Hoyt, George E. Stone, and Jack Elam. It's entertaining, with Rooney giving it all he's got. The film lacks, however, any true depth to its characters. It would have been nice to get some more background on the key players, especially Baby Face. Granted, this is no doubt a largely fictionalized account of the real Gillis. But by making everything so simplistic with respect to who's good and who's bad, there's no resonance. Good film noirs give their main characters shades of gray versus just black and white. Thus this is little more than a pleasant time killer.
 

Robert Crawford

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Edited with my film thoughts. I have to finish the brief reviews tomorrow as I'm too tired to finish them tonight. Anyhow, see my summary for film grades with the movies in "Bold" being first time viewings! Through November 22nd, I've watched 60 Noirs this month with 55 of them being first time viewings.

11-22-22

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57) 11-22-22 "Chicago Syndicate" (1955) (Blu-ray) 3.5/5 Stars
A pretty good documentary style movie about the mob's infiltration of Chicago legitimate businesses. I think the movie is upgraded because of Paul Stewart's performance as the crime syndicate boss. Stewart was one fine actor and playing "baddies" was so easy for him with his face, voice and mannerisms. He's one of my all-time favorite character actors. Anyhow, Dennis O'Keefe plays the accountant the authorities recruit to get evidence on Stewart's illegal activities by going undercover and working in one of Stewart's businesses. Abby Lane has a significant role as Stewart's girlfriend that works at one of his nightclubs as a singer with Xavier Cugat playing the orchestra leader at the same club. The Blu-ray offers a good video presentation with some of the movie filmed on location in Chicago. The Blu-ray is part of Imprints "Columbia Noir #4" Blu-ray set. I liked this movie quite a bit so it's another Blu-ray I will be revisiting again in order to delve into the bonus material including an audio commentary.

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58) 11-22-22 "Mystery in Mexico" (1948) (DVD) 3/5 Stars

This RKO "B" movie was shot on location in Mexico and was directed by the great Robert Wise. Considering the director, it's no surprise this "B" programmer turned out to be a competent and entertaining movie. William Lundigan plays an insurance investigator sent to Mexico to find out what happened to a stolen diamond necklace and another insurance investigator sent down earlier to find it. Jacqueline White plays the missing investigator's sister that Lundigan follows into Mexico in order to get a lead on the missing necklace and investigator. Ricardo Cortez plays the chief "baddie" who operates a nightclub in which White is employed as a singer. I watched this short, but entertaining movie on a 2014 DVD that Warner Archive released.

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59) 11-22-22
"The Clay Pigeon" (1949) (DVD) 3/5 Stars
At first, I picked this 1949 movie to watch because I thought I've never seen it beforehand. However, about 15-20 minutes into the movie, I started to remember that I did watch this movie one time beforehand when it played on TCM's "Noir Alley" back in 2018. I didn't buy the 2015 DVD until August, 2022 so this was my first time watching the DVD. Anyhow, just back from overseas prisoner of war camp, an amnesia victim who wakes up in a veteran hospital and learns that he's accused of being a traitor. This is another obscure RKO thriller with a nicely interwoven mixture of strong noir elements. The movie stars Bill Williams as the wrongly accused victim and his co-star is his real-life wife Barbara Hale, who plays the wife of a fellow POW that Williams allegedly betrayed in that POW camp in which he was killed. Future film director Richard Quine plays another former POW that is part of this mystery as to what really happened in that POW camp. Director Richard Fleischer made several noir films with some of them being great films. Those films included The Narrow Margin, Violent Saturday, Follow Me Quietly, His Kind of Woman, Compulsion and Armored Car Robbery. The screenplay was written by Carl Foreman. With such a director/writer combination, it isn't surprising this "B" RKO movie is quite entertaining even though it's quite easy to figure out the film's villain.

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60) 11-22-22 "Flesh and Fury" (1952) (Blu-ray) 3/5 Stars

After first viewing this movie last night, I thought it was an okay movie in which I initially gave it a film score of 2.5/5. However, after waking up this morning and thinking about it some more, I must admit that I enjoyed the movie quite a bit so I bumped up the film score to 3/5. Mainly due to the acting performances of Tony Curtis and Jan Sterling. Curtis plays a deaf boxer that is helped along in his boxing career by a predatory femme fatale played by Sterling. She pushed him and his boxing manager to new heights and watching her get kind of turned on "sexually" during boxing matches was a treat to see. The more violence, the more turned on she became during those boxing matches. A real gold-digger with a heart of stone. Curtis was good as the deaf boxer, but the term used in this movie "deaf and dumb" really turned me off. It was a term used in movies before this one (Johnny Belinda), but I hate that term. Mona Freeman plays the good rich girl that kind of saves Curtis from the clutches of Sterling's character as he not only achieves his boxing goals, but regains some of his hearing after an operation and has a woman that actually loves him. Curtis finally talks in the movie with about 30-35 minutes left in the film. This Blu-ray is part of Kino's "Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema X" Blu-ray set. Another candidate for visitation due to an audio commentary.
 

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