Author Topic: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017  (Read 1873 times)

Sandy

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2017, 05:10:37 PM »
These are the films I'm planning on this time around:

The Dark Mirror
The Man with the Golden Arm
Suddenly
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2017, 11:25:40 PM »

Blind Alley (1939)

A clever idea for a home invasion movie. A gangster (Chester Morris) holds up in the home of a psychiatrist (Ralph Bellamy) who defeats the criminal with psychoanalysis. Like accidentally breaking into the home of Hannibal Lector it becomes a case where the innocent society people aren't locked up with the criminal but the criminal is trapped with somebody who can get inside his head. The psychology is pedestrian, but Bellamy is perfectly cast as the meek professor who comes to realize he has the upper hand. Morris is a familiar face who I will now remember from this performance. Ann Dvorak (Scarface, G-Men) is also excellent. With a few more familiar faces, the cast easily make up for the silly psychobabble.
RATING: * * * - Okay



The Dark Past (1948)

When I learned this was a remake of Blind Alley, I wanted to watch them close together for comparison, especially with William Holden playing the gangster. Except for an additional opening and closing scene, it's the same script and there are a number of repeated shots, including the dream sequence being shown as a negative image. (The explanation of the dream is a more regular flashback, while Blind Alley staged it as German Expressionism.) Holden is fine, reminding me more of Bogart in High Sierra than Chester Morris, but Lee J. Cobb is all wrong for the psychiatrist. The performance is okay, he just doesn't look the part like Bellamy does. Also, the psychoanalysis seems sillier this time. It worked with the 30s style of acting, but Noir's grit makes it all a bit goofy. In the ongoing argument of what counts as Noir, it's an interesting case to take the exact same script from before the Noir era and call it Noir simply because of the time when it was made.
RATING: * *



Kid Glove Killer (1942)

Directed by Fred Zinnemann before he found his groove and starring Van Heflin before he found his. Heflin's haircut and exaggerated gestures have me thinking they were grooming him to be a new James Cagney. However, the way he treats his assistant (Marsha Hunt) leaves much to be desired. Cagney knew how to walk the line between charming and cad and his women (especially Joan Blondell) could give it right back to him. Poor Hunt is treated like she's less worthy, repeatedly stopping her work to answer the phone or door or light his cigarette. Aside from that dated attitude, the story is a pretty good forensics manhunt. A 1940s episode of CSI. That same year Zinnemann made Eyes in the Night, which is sillier, pulpier and more enjoyable.
RATING: * *


The Man I Love (1947)
* *
My least favorite kind of Noir is melodrama. There are a number of fine examples, like Mildred Pierce and Beyond the Forest, but the lesser ones are like watching soap opera. I love Ida Lupino and it's always nice to see Alan Hale, but this was a snooze.

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2017, 12:08:04 AM »

Johnny Allegro (1949)
"You're in a tight spot now, or didn't you know it?"
"Maybe I'm not very bright."


I think of George Raft as an acquired taste. He's got a great look and voice but there's something phony about him. For a tough guy, he never seems to get dirt under his fingernails. It took me awhile to get into Raft, but I could name a number of good performances now and he's always a treat in films like this. This particular story is slow to get going. Even though the set up has betrayal, deception, blackmail and a murder, it also has a lot of walking and waiting. Finally, it settles into a dangerous undercover assignment, chilled to the proper temperature. There's also a bad guy who prefers the bow and arrow to a gun, just to wrinkle the formula. If I had seen this before I liked George Raft I probably would've rated the film lower, but I can see and appreciate that he's in good form here.
RATING: * * * - Okay



36 Hours (1951)
"She wrote beautifully."
"She did everything beautifully."


Dan Dureya is another Noir must and having watched this, I only have one more Noir with him. He's surprised me a few times with some largely unknown films (Larceny, Do You Know This Voice?), but this one's a bust. Some will say it's good to see him stretch and play and upright, good guy, but stripping him of his weasel qualities makes him kind of boring. However, compared to the rest of the forgettable cast he's a mega-watt superstar. The script takes great pains to set up a complicated "wrong man" plot with a ticking clock, but there's never a feeling he's hunting for the real killer. It's an inevitability that the two will meet up and there's no reason to care why this is all happening anyway.
RATING: * *

Pratters

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2017, 11:59:28 AM »
The Desperate Hours

Three convicts escape from jail and hold a family hostage while they plan to escape. Not every thing turns as plan, of course. The best part of the movie is Humphrey Bogart's acting. He plays Glenn Griffin an aged, fat criminal who is still sharp really well. The subtleties in his movements, face, look and every thing else were enjoyable.

The plot itself is excellent as well. The Glenn's younger brother, Hal Griffin,  seems moralistic. He would have probably chosen a different life had it not been for Glenn's influence. Fredric March played is role of  Daniel C. Hilliard, the patriarch of the family who is held hostage and who shares an enmity with Glenn to a tee. What follows is a battle of wits between these two characters but it is mostly a stale mate as both are too smart to make a move most of the time.

What really hurts the movie is the length. It is close to 2 hours and it does not have as much drama or plot line to hold interest for that long. A smaller movie and it would have been regarded more highly. 3.5/5

1SO

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2017, 10:10:59 PM »
That last thing your wrote is why I haven't returned to the film much. I love to watch and rewatch Bogart, but this film really needs and edit.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2017, 12:56:51 PM »
I don't know how many movies I'll watch this year. I haven't been able to find many, and I would like to prioritise Top 100 rewatches.
Society is dumb. Art is everything. - Junior

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Jared

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2017, 01:41:27 PM »
All Through the Night

Bogart plays a gambler who gets caught up in a murder charge, and while he and his gang try to clear his name they stumble on to the plot of a group of Nazis.

Has all the ingredients to be a pretty great Bogart movie but feels a bit too zany at times without being very funny, which pushes against and waters down the noir and thriller aspects a bit. Bogart is more dapper than usual and is pretty good. Lorre is fun as always but there just isn't enough of him. If you aren't expecting the greatness of Casablanca or the Maltese Falcon I suppose this one is good enough.

Jared

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2017, 02:12:24 PM »
City of Fear

Murder by Contract is probably one of my 5, 10 favorite film noirs, so I'm not sure why I never got around to this one, which again has Irving Lerner directing and Vince Edwards starring. It is good!

Edwards plays Vince Ryker, who not only escapes prison, committing a couple of homicides on the way, but also steals a case of what he believes to be heroin. The man hunt plot is a common enough one in the genre, but this one is quickly escalated by the fact that the "heroin" is actually a deadly chemical, causing horrific sickness in whoever comes in contact with it. Ryker eludes law enforcement while fighting the debilitating effects of the chemical, leaving a trail of sick and dead people behind him for the police to chase.

Short and sweet with a nice and moody lead performance.


pixote

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2017, 02:13:34 PM »
Damn, I already have my Noirvember lineup pretty well set, but I might have to make time for City of Fear.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Sandy

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Re: Noirvember Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2017, 03:53:36 PM »
Suburbicon



All art direction and obvious social commentary. But, it's pretty pure noir, so I'm not sure why there is a high level negativity towards it. This story follows the downfall of a foolish man pretty cleanly, but maybe audiences don't have the patience of the noir of yesteryear.

A well placed lamp here, a perfect late 50's dress there, cars and architecture galore and some solid acting, make this a decent experience and even though noir in general isn't my favorite genre, there is much to appreciate in its psychology and style.
"Inside you there's a strength that lies."