Film Noir shot in "CinemaScope"

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Leroy Williams, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Leroy Williams

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    There were several film noir's that were shot in CinemaScope. I wish the major studios would release these films. Do you know any that is not listed?


    Hell on Frisco Bay
    I Died a Thousand Times
    Slightly Scarlet
    Party Girl
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Fox has released House of Bamboo which is in CinemaScope. Also, it depends on your definition of film noir. Some will argue that any picture filmed in CinemaScope isn't film noir. While others might have a broader definition of film noir. Anyhow, The Bottom of the Bottle and Black Widow are some other Fox titles you might want to consider or I Die a Thousand Times.




    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    A few others from memory…

    The Tattered Dress
    The Burglar
    Plunder Road
    The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing
    Pete Kelly’s Blues
    The Man Inside


    I can't recall if all of these were "CS" - I'd have to double check...
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I forgot to add Bad Day at Black Rock which is released on dvd. Also, how about Fuller's Forty Guns which is a western with film noir traits. I'm sure others will have some other suggestions such as Seven Thieves or House of Numbers.




    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Herb,
    I'm pretty sure that the bottom three were in CinemaScope.
     
  6. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Herb, The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing could not remotely be considered a film noir. Set in the turn of the century New York, Velvet is the true story of Floradora girl Evelyn Nesbit (Joan Collins) and the scandalous love triangle that came to light when her husband (Farley Granger) shot her lover (Ray Milland) in a very public place. Milos Forman also covered this incident in his Ragtime with Elizabeth McGovern as Evelyn Nesbit whose performance got her an Oscar nomination.
     
  7. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    A KISS BEFORE DYING (1956) is available on dvd; Hubert Cornfield has recorded a commentary for THE THIRD VOICE (Fox, 1960), but it has not been released yet.
     
  8. Leroy Williams

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    I forgot to mention "Pickup Alley" and "Violent Saturday". Please Warner Bros & Fox release these films.
     
  9. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Second Unit

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    PARTY GIRL is available in region 2, or will be any day now.
     
  10. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    A few from across a couple of oceans:

    HELL IS A CITY (1959-British) "HammerScope"
    THE BAD SLEEP WELL (1960-Japanese) "TohoScope"
    HIGH AND LOW (1963-Japanese) "TohoScope"

    Also, though not on DVD yet:

    BLACK WIDOW (1954)
    23 PACES TO BAKER STREET (1956)
    THE RIVER'S EDGE (1957)
    EDGE OF ETERNITY (1959)
     
  11. Leroy Williams

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    I just found out that "Murder Inc." will be released this upcoming May from Fox.
     
  12. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I think one of the main requisites of film noir is Black & White photography. The Width of the screen is not a factor.

    However, this mainly applies to early film noir. Many later movies like "Body Heat" and "Chinatown" are considered modern film noir even though they are in color.
     
  13. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    What about Leave Her to Heaven? [​IMG]
     
  14. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Something I totally disagree with. There are a number of color films widely considered “quintessential” film noir by many noir experts – many of which are mentioned in this thread.

    One could argue that the width of the film (AR) is even more of a determining factor in that, the claustrophobic feel of the film (an essential ingredient of noir) is noticeably absent with films shot in scope. The tightness of the standard shot, seems to add to that sense of confinement. Although I consider many of these films (ones mentioned above) film noir, while watching them, I can’t help but be reminded that I’m watching a film that was produced toward the end of the era.
     
  15. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    I disagree, some early CinemaScope directors chose to use the format because they could create cramped compositions in the wide frame. Nicholas Ray is a good example of this, he often packs the CinemaScope frame to create cluttered compositions that would be impossible to simulate in the academy format. I agree that for some films like Westerns widescreen tended to promote wide establishing shots, but other directors chose to use the format against its width attribute to produce interesting effects that one wouldn't expect. In contemporary Hollywood we have the alternate extreme, widescreen films are full of close-ups, and wide establishing shots are either delayed or omitted.

    Obviously when Film Noir died is open to debate. I often hear people say Touch of Evil (1958) was the last true Film Noir, well if that is so that is a good 5 years into the widescreen era.
     
  16. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Herb, it's not the Victorian setting that precludes it from being noir. The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing is too lush, too romantic. It's essentially a period romance with melodramatic trappings. I'm not one of those who keeps a rigid checklist of what does and does not consist "film noir". I'm fairly open minded and if TGITRVS even had SOME noir qualities like Lang's kitchen sink melodrama Clash By Night, I could buy into it. Still, I'd like to have the film on DVD and if the only way to get it is for Fox to put it out as part of their noir series, go for it!
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    What's your definition of film noir? Where have I heard that question before?[​IMG] I'm just glad we don't have such a debate about a definition with other film genres like westerns, war or melodrama for instance.[​IMG] Well, at least not to the same degree as with film noir.




    Crawdaddy
     
  18. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Simon... no question, Ray is one of my favorites but how can you say Ray is a good example of this? Besides Party Girl, what other noir films did he shoot in scope.....? Noir and scope is what were talking about.
     
  19. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    I wasn't specifically discussing Film Noir, I was just pointing out that there are some film makers who have used widescreen against its natural tendencies. The large frame actually makes certain compositions seem more claustrophobic because you can pack more elements into it. Also, some directors realised that CinemaScope could be used for interesting effects if one used high angles and stacked actors into corners. I think it is wrong to assume that widescreen is all about sprawling vistas, and loose framing.
     
  20. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    True, but on the other hand, I don't think it's something that lends itself to the confined feeling of film noir, either. As I stated above, the acceptance of the a/m titles as noir is fine, but the wider frame is a reminder that we were heading into more modern times (late 50's - even early 60's) - a time when "classic film noir" was coming to an end.
     

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