Author Topic: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon  (Read 12863 times)

Antares

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2012, 11:20:55 AM »
Since when do brawls, drunken Irishmen and secondary ineptitude constitute "schmaltz"?

When it's done with a slant towards the characters being viewed as being pre-disposed to those activities from a sentimental viewpoint and should be accepted as being such by the viewer.

And I didn't say drunken Irishmen, I said Irishmen prone to drink, there's a difference.

sdedalus

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2012, 11:49:44 AM »
Since when do brawls, drunken Irishmen and secondary ineptitude constitute "schmaltz"?

When it's done with a slant towards the characters being viewed as being pre-disposed to those activities from a sentimental viewpoint and should be accepted as being such by the viewer.

I don't know what that means.
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1SO

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2012, 01:22:19 PM »
I'm already happy that I moved my Marathon back to its home thread. And this is all without Martin commenting on my screenshots.

MartinTeller

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2012, 01:40:48 PM »
"acts like Brad Garrett" means he bugs his eyes out and acts like a frustrated gorilla. It means this...


Which is followed by this...


Who holds their body like that besides Frankenstein? It's such a cartoonish look.

Well, you've isolated one frame that represents maybe 1.5 seconds of body language.  Besides, Burr IS a Frankenstein, he IS a frustrated gorilla.  That scene shows what a monstrous character he is.

Maybe what I'm hearing is that you like your noir more on the realism side?  You don't like the jumped-up language or exaggerated personalities.  You like it gritty and real.  I like that too (Phenix City Story is one of my faves), but I also like it when it gets baroque.

verbALs

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2012, 12:26:50 PM »
I saw The Strange Love of Martha Ivers the other day. Bump it up your running order, it's a good one. Also While The City Sleeps seems to have a bad rap, but if you look at the cast, that might tempt you. The other one I would bump (if your interest is flagging (?)) is Odds Against Tomorrow.
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1SO

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2012, 01:26:42 PM »
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers isn't available by mail for me, so I'll get it from the store. Stanwyck = high in our queue
I added While the City Sleeps to the Marathon.
Odds Against Tomorrow is next up for us. Robert Wise plus it's Martin's #3 Noir.

And very astute of you to notice, after Niagara, Raw Deal and T-Men our interest is flagging. Looked back through some old reviews to find my favorites so far. (The titles kind of run together.)

1. Pushover
2. The Naked City
3. The Crimson Kimono
4. Leave Her to Heaven
5. The Lineup
6. The Narrow Margin
7. Brute Force
8. Act of Violence
9. Dead Reckoning
10. The Big Steal
11. Don't Bother to Knock

If anyone would like to suggest adjustments to the list of titles based on this, please do.

We've already watched 42 out of 69 films. I've been trying to space out the more well known classics for when I need that boost, which is why I still have films like Mildred Pierce, Scarlet Street, Thieves Highway and The Woman in the Window standing by. At this point I've figured that at worst we can watch a bunch during Noir-vember.


1SO

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Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon - Odds Against Tomorrow
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2012, 08:46:15 PM »
Marathon Update

Odds Against Tomorrow
* * * 1/2


Odds Against Tomorrow is great Noir that also provides a few wrinkles to the genre. The fatalism isn't immediate, but something developed over the time spent with the characters. At first you actually expect them to pull off the bank robbery they're planning. Then the cracks start to appear until by the end it's like waiting for an appointment with doom. This is a slow burn, but the last ten minutes wouldn't have worked if the rest of the film hadn't been so deep into the characters. Likability? Unlikability? Such easy labels go out the window. Here's a film where I couldn't decide if I wanted them to succeed or not. I somehow wanted both, and that's good storytelling.

Matched with that is the cinematography. It looks very noir and contrasty, but there's also a lot of gloss to the project. The streets look kind of grey actually. There are a heck of a lot of great shots, especially inside that jazz club, with the stage lights and the office that doubles as a stock room.

A lot of the film rests on the two lead performances. Robert Ryan and Harry Belafonte meet that challenge beautifully. This is kind of expected from Ryan by now who I've never seen give a bad performance. Belafonte has the cool of Sidney Poitier, but there's a darkness to him that Poitier usually doesn't let in. Here it infests the character, even when he's trying to be polite to everyone. (The two characters contrasting entrances to Ed Begley's apartment is just the first of many delights.) Shelly Winters doesn't do anything new, and I don't quite get what Gloria Grahame was doing here. (I usually enjoy anything Grahame does, but this is a non-character and she gives a matching performance.)

Mrs. 1SO
She thought it was slow, but still felt the tension building and thought the climax was very exciting. This was a good next pick because as soon as she saw Robert Ryan she said "Isn't this is the guy who did that boxing film? He only does good movies." She thought the bar scene with the Navy guy was a highlight and liked that Belafonte wasn't just in this because he could sing. He's a solid actor as well.
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verbALs

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2012, 02:11:26 PM »
Great I am glad you liked it so much. The picture of you, me and MT joining hands in agreement of a film gives me a warm glow. Ryan is the master of disaster, a diseased creature. Of course being a heist you have to expect that ending but what an original way for things to disintegrate. SPOILErwhen they turn on each other as hate boils over despite the cops being right there, is awesome.

Speaking of Ryan, it is unusual for him to get a movie to himself, which is why The Set-Up is a little gem.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

MartinTeller

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Re: Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2012, 02:27:58 PM »
Belafonte > Poitier

I need to watch it again (preferably before I rebuild my top 100) but I think my old review says it all.  I like all the commentary (subtle or otherwise) on the atomic age, climaxing in that post-apocalyptic scenery. 

1SO

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Mr. and Mrs. 1SO Noir Marathon - Panic in the Streets
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2012, 02:12:29 PM »
Marathon Update

Panic in the Streets
* * *

After getting off to a fine start with Pickup on South Street, I got turned off by Richard Widmark's ham and cheese turn as a huckster in Night and the City. He's come back onto my good side since then and with Panic in the Streets I'm now excited to see more of his work. It's a nice lead performance, commanding but relaxed. Intense but not hyper. He's matched wonderfully with Paul Douglas (who I don't believe I've ever seen before.) This noir has a great clock, a murder investigation coupled with the threat of a medical epidemic. That makes it twice as exciting, right? Sure feels that way.

Has Elia Kazan done any other noir? He's one of my favorite directors and his style suits the genre, which is rather obvious now that I think of it. Both favor the grit of street locations, moral grey areas and the mixture of exciting action and character drama. The investigation cools its heels considerably. The mystery trail is mostly a combination of dead ends and clues that stretch credibility. I feel the two stories should be on a collision course, but Kazan just bounces from one to the other until the good guys and bad guys collide in an exciting final 15 minutes. The way this started I thought it was going to be a 4-star film, but in the end it falls a bit short of greatness.

Mrs. 1SO
She was mesmerized by Jack Palance, one of the ugliest mugs ever to grace movies but completely in command of his craft. Loved watching him work with Zero Mostel and thought he exudes the same kind of danger Gary Oldman had in The Professional. (He kicks off the finale with an act so cold-blooded and personal, it ups Cagney's grapefruit in the face.) She generally likes Widmark and thought the scenes with his wife were really well done, considering she usually never likes these kind of character breaks. The wife thinks the threat of outbreak wasn't enough of a presence, but that's from having seen Outbreak and Contagion where it's much more of a doomsday scenario.
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