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Crawdaddy's "Random Thoughts" about Home Video, Film & TV (4 Viewers)

Robert Crawford

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This weekend's "Noir Alley" movie is "Repeat Performance" (1947). This is the second showing of this fine movie on "Noir Alley". However, I think this is the first showing of the Film Foundation's restoration of the movie which Flicker Alley is releasing onto Blu-ray next month on February 11th. I still can't believe that Joan Leslie was only 21 years old when filming began on this movie. This was Richard Basehart's film debut.



Updated TCM's Noir Alley 2022 schedule:


01-01-22: Repeat Performance
01-08-22: Nightmare Alley
01-15-22: The Mob
01-22-22: Over-Exposed
01-29-22: Quai des Orfèvres
02-05-22: The Turning Point
02-12-22: Side Street
02-19-22: Cast a Dark Shadow
02-26-22: TBA
Evidently, this was the second showing of the restored version because I now remembered seeing those restoration credits during out first showing on Noir Alley back on 12-29-19. Here are our comments about the film.
 

Matt Hough

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Evidently, this was the second showing of the restored version because I now remembered seeing those restoration credits during out first showing on Noir Alley back on 12-29-19. Here are our comments about the film.
Thanks for that link. I still plan a rewatch (maybe tonight), but it’s good to know what I thought a couple of years ago.
 

Robert Crawford

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Thanks to member mskaye posting it in another thread. This 39 minute podcast which is part 1 of two segments featuring George Feltenstein and Alan K. Rode (Film Noir Foundation) talking about Angels with Dirty Faces and other Michael Curtiz films. Again, this is part 1 of two segments. I'll post part 2 shortly.

A really good listen as both George and Alan grew up in NYC Metro area about the same time as I did and they talk about how Channel 5 (WNEW) with Warner titles and Channel 9 (WWOR) with RKO titles influenced them as it did me.


The latest "The Extras" podcast with Tim Millard interviewing George Feltenstein:

 

lark144

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There is little doubt in my mind that "Pursued" (1947) is a western film noir. Anybody disagrees with that opinion?


Honorary? This is where Eddie Muller and I disagree.
I always considered "Pursued" one of the great Noirs, and one of the great films of its decade, as well as one of the great films of its director, Raoul Walsh.
"Pursued" has all the hallmarks of Noir, both in the way it's photographed, and also in its themes. Just because the characters wear spurs and ride horses doesn't change anything.
(I heard a bit of condescension in Mr. Muller's voice when he spoke the word "western" as well as "honorary", but maybe I was mistaken)
Film is film. And Noir is Noir.
Noir can be found anywhere.
Noir is not a genre.
Noir is not a style.
Noir is a state of mind and a way of being.
While Noir is often concerned with crime, that isn't intrinsic to what makes it Noir.
Yes, as Mr. Muller mentioned, it does involve the dark past; that is, being haunted by it, which also shapes the look of the film.
It also involves a tragic sense of life, as if each breath you take may be your last, and when despair is transformed into an awareness of the present moment.
This is also very much a part of Noir, and it's certainly present in "Pursued."
In fact, the first time I'm aware that a French writer used the word "Noir", I believe it was Albert Camus, in reference to an American novel from the 1930's, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", which was a major influence on his novel, "The Stranger".
Neither "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" or "The Stranger" are crime novels, but does that make them "honorary" Noirs?
Literary scholars don't think so.
"Pursued" isn't honorary either.
OK. End of rant.
 

Robert Crawford

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Honorary? This is where Eddie Muller and I disagree.
I always considered "Pursued" one of the great Noirs, and one of the great films of its decade, as well as one of the great films of its director, Raoul Walsh.
"Pursued" has all the hallmarks of Noir, both in the way it's photographed, and also in its themes. Just because the characters wear spurs and ride horses doesn't change anything.
(I heard a bit of condescension in Mr. Muller's voice when he spoke the word "western" as well as "honorary", but maybe I was mistaken)
Film is film. And Noir is Noir.
Noir can be found anywhere.
Noir is not a genre.
Noir is not a style.
Noir is a state of mind and a way of being.
While Noir is often concerned with crime, that isn't intrinsic to what makes it Noir.
Yes, as Mr. Muller mentioned, it does involve the dark past; that is, being haunted by it, which also shapes the look of the film.
It also involves a tragic sense of life, as if each breath you take may be your last, and when despair is transformed into an awareness of the present moment.
This is also very much a part of Noir, and it's certainly present in "Pursued."
In fact, the first time I'm aware that a French writer used the word "Noir", I believe it was Albert Camus, in reference to an American novel from the 1930's, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", which was a major influence on his novel, "The Stranger".
Neither "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" or "The Stranger" are crime novels, but does that make them "honorary" Noirs?
Literary scholars don't think so.
"Pursued" isn't honorary either.
OK. End of rant.
I think you’re reading a little bit too much in a 45 second snippet.
 

Robert Crawford

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This weekend's "Noir Alley" Movie is "Nightmare Alley" (1947) staring Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray and Helen Walker. For some strange reason this will give me an opportunity to finally watch the 2021 Criterion Blu-ray that I purchase six months ago. I don't know why I was reluctant to watching this excellent movie again as I haven't watched it in 2+ years. I probably would have watched it sooner, if this pandemic didn't take place and I was able to watch the new version in a movie theater.



Updated TCM's Noir Alley 2022 schedule:


01-01-22: Repeat Performance
01-08-22: Nightmare Alley

01-15-22: The Mob
01-22-22: Over-Exposed
01-29-22: Quai des Orfèvres
02-05-22: The Turning Point
02-12-22: Side Street
02-19-22: Cast a Dark Shadow
02-26-22: TBA
 

Matt Hough

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I just watched the Criterion Blu-ray a month or six weeks ago, so no need to watch it on TCM. But I'll record it to listen to Eddie's intro and outro which are sure to be interesting.
 

Robert Crawford

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Has this fine film been released on Blu-ray anywhere? One of my favorite James Mason acting performances. Anyhow, I watched it again on "The Criterion Channel" this morning. One of the best espionage movies ever made with Michael Wilson writing the screenplay based on a real person and events. Filmed on location with Joe Mankiewicz directing.
 

Robin9

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View attachment 124314

Has this fine film been released on Blu-ray anywhere? One of my favorite James Mason acting performances. Anyhow, I watched it again on "The Criterion Channel" this morning. One of the best espionage movies ever made with Michael Wilson writing the screenplay based on a real person and events. Filmed on location with Joe Mankiewicz directing.
I'm unaware of any Blu-ray disc. I love the film and would snap up any high definition release on disc.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yup, another fine Fox film that has never been released on Blu-ray.:( Therefore, I watched it on The Criterion Channel. In some ways, I actually prefer this film version to the remake made years later as a western "Broken Lance". This 1949 film has Susan Hayward going for it.:) A tyrannical father of four sons drives them apart as he favors one son over the other three and basically treats those other three sons like crap. Father gets in legal trouble running his family bank and the favorite son tries to protect him and then ends up in jail himself. Father dies and the favorite son swears blood vengeance against his three brothers. Yes, "House of Strangers" is an appropriate name for this film noir. Robinson, Conte, Haywood and Luther Adler are excellent with Paul Valentine and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. making his film debut as two of the brothers. The cast also includes a young Diana Douglas, Kirk's first wife and mother of Michael. Joe Mankiewicz directed this movie and probably wrote most of the script, though, Philip Jordan has sole screen writing credit. Below are the other two film versions of basically the same storyline. I liked the 1954 film, but prefer the 1949 movie. I've seen the 1961 film version "The Big Show", but it's my least favorite of the three movie versions.

1954 Film Version:

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1961 Film Version:

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Robert Crawford

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I just watched the Criterion Blu-ray a month or six weeks ago, so no need to watch it on TCM. But I'll record it to listen to Eddie's intro and outro which are sure to be interesting.
I thought the Criterion Blu-ray looked great. Eddie's comments were fine, but the 31+ minute interview with Imogen Sara Smith on the Criterion disc was really good. I also enjoyed the 12 minute interview with Coleen Gray. I'd had a crush on her since I first saw "Red River" as a kid. It's funny how she did "Nightmare Alley" and "Kiss of Death" prior to "Red River".

I haven 't seen the 2021 film version yet, but I think I like the casting of the female roles in the 1947 film better. That's not to say the actresses in the 2021 film aren't great actresses, but I just think the casting of Blondell, Gray and Walker nailed it. Blanchett in Walker's role is just too blatant for my taste. Walker was against type except for her role in "Impact". I guess the 2021 film did nail the ending without that "happy" ending that Zanuck insist on having for the 1947 movie. Anyhow, I'll probably buy the 4K digital of the 2021 movie as I don't expect to see it released by Disney on 4K disc.
 

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