Author Topic: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017  (Read 1594 times)

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 10:20:57 PM »
Isn't PA also the silver medal for horror? Where is he? If he's not careful, I might just steal his place.

* laughter from the crowd *
I'm sure many know more about horror, and care more about horror, than I do. I just happened to binge on it the last two years. I have not been able to watch many movies at all these past few months, but I'll try to watch some noir for sure.

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2017, 12:19:49 AM »

Passport to Suez (1943)

[Apologies for the poor quality of the screenshot. I rented this on YouTube and they don't allow screengrabs, so I took this with my iPhone. Online images for this film are pretty rare and I really wanted to use this image because I love the hand and gun coming out of the darkness.]

This is the final appearance of Warren William as Michael Lanyard, aka. The Lone Wolf. I've now seen five of the nine films made in 5 years featuring William as the dashing gentleman crime fighter, and I'll happily watch the rest given the chance because I like William and Eric Blore as his assistant Jameson. The series started as murder mysteries and evolved into espionage capers. Short and not very clever, they go down like a TV series. Suez is the English Language debut of director André De Toth, whose Noir credits include Dark Waters, Crimewave and Pitfall. He also made a number of Noir Westerns, like Day of the Outlaw. Of all the Lone Wolf films I've seen this is easily the most stylized and shadowy, which helps because the plot doesn't make a lick of sense.


That's not necessarily a bad thing. The story is like a typical Lone Wolf plot grafted onto a sequel to Casablanca where Ilsa (played by Detour's Ann Savage) is blackmailed to return to Rick's cafe and pose as a double agent. Also Peter Lorre is still alive. There should never be a sequel to Casablanca, but this allows me to imagine what it might be like without anyone actually attempting it. Another plus is Blore, who is given more to do here than usual, even though he is repeatedly knocked out and tied up. "My legs are getting more sleep than I am," he remarks after being unbound in one scene. At one point he finally has to ask, "I really don't know where they get all this rope from. Is there any rationing here?"
Rating: * * ˝

Pratters

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2017, 03:02:36 PM »
The noir selection of Netflix and Prime in India is quite poor. The only one I can see on it which I haven't watched is The Desperate Hours. I will seek some others out and try to do four films this month as this is my favourite genre and I haven't watch that many noir films as I would have liked.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 03:10:26 PM by Pratters »

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2017, 03:55:33 PM »
Seems like we can avoid the whole "how Noir is it?" issue with a system similar to our Shocktober scare meter. This year I'm mostly working off of More Noirs from TSPDT which breaks down into:
Additional Noir not included in 250 Quintessential Noir Films (1940 to 1964)
More American Noir Films and/or Films with Noir Elements from 1940 to 1964   
Non-American Noir Films from 1940-1964   
Noir Precursors (Pre-1940)   
Neo-Noir / Modern Noir (Post-1964)

I wish I had time to go through A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide, which has over 3000 titles. I've only seen a third of that list.

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2017, 09:22:01 PM »

Bodyguard (1948)

I'm starting to grow fond of Lawrence Tierney's Noir work. He's not top tier. For a tough detective who looks like a linebacker there's an occasional goofiness that sometimes slips in. I don't think it's deliberate and maybe he does it to humanize his character but it more speaks of him not taking it seriously. Bodyguard is actually a perfect kick-off for Noirvember. A lightweight, police detective murder/mystery with slightly eccentric characters and a pace that gets it all done in just over an hour. (One of Noir's great strengths is its brevity.) Priscilla Lane (Arsenic and Old Lace, The Roaring Twenties) makes a fun foil.
RATING: * * * - Okay



A Woman's Secret (1949)
"Maybe she did try to kill Susan."
"Could be. Except for one other thing. Couldn't be. Not a chance in the world."


Like Horror and Vincent Price, it isn't Noirvember without Gloria Grahame. This time it's a supporting role with Maureen O'Hara confessing to shooting her, but it's more complicated than that. Also with Melvyn Douglas, who acts like he's in a comedy. (The film is funny, but not nearly as funny as it thinks it is.) This was during Grahame's brief marriage to the film's director, Nicholas Ray, and he films her like a man in love. Lots of long close-ups, careful wardrobe choices and flattering angles. Knockout O'Hara might as well be wearing overalls.
RATING: * * * - Okay

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2017, 12:30:30 AM »

Drive a Crooked Road (1954)

Goddamn, that Mickey Rooney is a good actor. I always under-estimate him, think of him as a ham or an actor who keeps using the same affectations. In a film full of stock characters and situations, Rooney is subtle, solid and soulful. Script is typical pretty poison (Dianne Foster) conning a dupe (Rooney) into committing a crime for her real boyfriend (Kevin McCarthy). Takes its time to get going, too much time, but Rooney keeps it interesting and the final third toughens its leather into a stinging strap of Noir.
RATING: * * * - Okay



Fourteen Hours (1951)

Is this the blueprint for the "guy's gonna jump" cliche? That's the core of this movie, with a ton of familiar (to me) faces. Paul Douglas is an excellent lead. I should seek out more of his work. Then there's Agnes Moorehead, Howard Da Silva, Barbara Bel Geddes, Jeff Corey and Robert Keith. Also with Debra Paget and a brief appearance by Grace Kelly, but they're part of what's wrong with the film, these brief side stories to give some more flavor. It's a technique that works great in The Naked City, but here it's forced in.
RATING: * * * - Okay

MartinTeller

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2017, 10:14:46 AM »
Mickey Rooney is really great in noir.

I don't mind the side stories in 14 Hours. I think the movie would be diminished without them, even though they're utterly unnecessary to the central story.

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2017, 01:24:15 PM »
I don't mind the side stories in 14 Hours. I think the movie would be diminished without them, even though they're utterly unnecessary to the central story.
I know it's not fresh in your mind, but it's interesting that you see this as a plus but don't like how it's handled in The Naked City. I think your problem with the other film is that it's done with narration and here it's small dialogue scenes. (The one here I do like is the cabbies making a bet as to when the guy will jump.) In Naked City, the narration presents a series of tableaus to frame this one police investigation inside the sprawling metropolis, but having the actors actually perform small dramas with dialogue is more artificial to me, a theatrical device instead of atmosphere.

oldkid

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2017, 03:27:38 PM »
I wish I had time to go through A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide, which has over 3000 titles. I've only seen a third of that list.

 :o
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Corndog

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2017, 12:18:38 PM »
Pursued

Ready to be told how wrong I am.
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."