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Thread: The Film Noir Thread! Gats, dames, and cheap hooch welcome.

  1. #41
    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    I happened to stumble on an MOD release at Amazon of one of my most wanted noirs - Andre de Toth's PITFALL. It's from Synergy Entertainment and is no doubt a bootleg. I have been dying to see this for ages so I went ahead and ordered it, it's only 10 bucks. I don't expect much in terms of picture quality, hell there's even a customer review there that states it's slightly out-of-focus throughout but I just can't pass up a chance to finally see this. It stars Dick Powell and Lizabeth Scott, along with Raymond Burr and Jane Wyatt. It's supposed to be a quite potent look at the American dream gone sour. Possible poor quality and all I'm pretty excited about this, one of the last major noirs I need to see.

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  2. #42
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    Pretty great cast - let us know what the quality is like once you get a chance to check it out.
    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  3. #43
    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    Will do. Hey, did you ever pick up VCI's release of THE PROWLER? That's the fim PITFALL is sometimes compared to. It's s great looking disc and the film is one of my favorite film noirs. Fantastic Van Heflin performance, ditto for Evelyn Keyes. If you haven't seen it, you really should. The dvd has a good commentary too, from Eddie Muller. If we could just get Losey's M remake on dvd now...

  4. #44
    Didn't love the Prowler. The set up in the first 15 minutes is great and I thought we were heading into one of those great claustrophobic Losey aggresive-talk fests. When it turned out to be a completely different type of film I struggled to stay with it. Felt episodic, as if it was made on the spot; "come on man, what happens next!"

    Did just watch the Stranger again though. Love that one. There were a lot of busy actors back in dem days but Edward G Robinson must have never taken a weekend off. He seems to be in every second film I watch. But he's a welcome prescense and holds his own here with Welles playing a creepy Nazi. It's all a bit niave but well put together and a lot of fun.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Robin Bougie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Monroe View Post
    Will do. Hey, did you ever pick up VCI's release of THE PROWLER? That's the fim PITFALL is sometimes compared to. It's s great looking disc and the film is one of my favorite film noirs. Fantastic Van Heflin performance, ditto for Evelyn Keyes. If you haven't seen it, you really should. The dvd has a good commentary too, from Eddie Muller. If we could just get Losey's M remake on dvd now...
    A good commentary? I'd go so far as to call it THE BEST commentary! I've never seen a guy SO prepared, SO knowledgeable about a movie, and with incredible timing to top it off. He's got everything he wants to say timed out, so that it corresponds with what is happening on screen. Muller's PROWLER commentary should be the model for how it is supposed to be done.

    As I just mentioned on my blog, I just saw 1949's THE WINDOW for the first time, and it's really something special. It predates THE NAKED CITY by a couple months to be the first documentary-style Noir, and it's shot in New York, so you get piles of amazing on-location shooting of the nasty parts of town. Really an exceptional film, and it's out now on the Warner Archives label.

    http://bougieman.livejournal.com/572854.html

  6. #46
    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Bougie View Post
    As I just mentioned on my blog, I just saw 1949's THE WINDOW for the first time, and it's really something special. It predates THE NAKED CITY by a couple months to be the first documentary-style Noir, and it's shot in New York, so you get piles of amazing on-location shooting of the nasty parts of town. Really an exceptional film, and it's out now on the Warner Archives label.

    http://bougieman.livejournal.com/572854.html
    I've never thought of THE WINDOW as a documentary-style noir. It's a terrific movie, right up there with PHANTOM LADY and REAR WINDOW as the best Cornell Woolrich adaptations. It doesn't really have a documentary feel though and is pretty different in execution from THE NAKED CITY imo. It's incredibly tense as it goes along though, you really wonder if Bobby Driscoll (who gives an amazing performance) is going to make it. I always get a creepy feeling when I watch this, knowing that Driscoll would later be found dead of a drug overdose in an abandoned tenement building.

  7. #47

    The Film Noir Thread! Gats, dames, and cheap hooch welcome.

    Speaking of all things noir I just got my copy of PRIVATE HELL 36 today. I'm excited for this one seeing as its an early Don Siegel production and stars TWILIGHT ZONE actors Howard Duff and Ida Lupino. I've always been quite fond of Duff - he had great presence and an unforgettable voice (he achieved fame as the voice of Sam Spade on vintage radio). Hell - he was the lone badass note in KRAMER VS. KRAMER as Dustin Hoffman's lawyer!

    PH 36 looks like good stuff.

  8. #48
    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    PRIVATE HELL 36 is indeed a quality noir. I'm looking forward to getting that myself. One of my favorite heavies is in the cast, Steve Cochran. Probably best remembered for WHITE HEAT these days.

  9. #49
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    All released by Warner Archive today...

    BORN TO BE BAD (1950) One of Nicholas Ray’s earliest works is a shockingly stark and unforgiving look at a woman blessed with no restraint whatsoever when it comes to her own ambition. Joan Fontaine plays Christabel Caine, the anti-heroine who has the face of an angel and the heart of a savage. King of Noir Robert Ryan plays the rough-hewn writer who is good enough to share her bed, but not her hand, while Zachary Scott plays the aviator millionaire too much the naïf to escape his fate. Joan Leslie and Mel Ferrer deliver standout performances as the bystanders, one victim, one ambivalent witness, to the wreckage Christabel leaves behind. And now, Born to be Bad is more shocking than ever, thanks to the recently discovered — and never before seen — alternate, extended ending. An ending that transforms the film from biting critique to a dark, sardonic work of joy.

    BONUS FEATURE: Contains alternate ending with never-before-seen footage! Newly Remastered

    A WOMAN’S SECRET (1949) In this other early Nicholas Ray outing, the novice filmsmith teamed with Citizen Kane co-scribe Herman J. Mankiewicz to offer up another rumination of the nature of truth and identity. An early first act shooting sends the film spiraling down into the rabbit hole of memory through multiple flashbacks, but these flashbacks come from different characters. And all are distorted through the prism of personal perspective and desire. Melvyn Douglas plays the quick-witted composer trying to pierce through the murk into the clear sight of truth, while Maureen O’Hara and Gloria Grahame play the former chanteuse and her protégé whose secret lies at the heart of the mystery. J. C. Flippen and Mary Philips add extra spice to the stew thanks to the engaging side story of a police inspector and his meddling spouse. Newly Remastered

    SOUTHSIDE 1-1000 (1950) Prolific writer/producer Boris Ingster directed less than a handful of films, but one of them was the seminal Film Noir picture, Stranger on the Third Floor. The same expressionist nightmare found in Stranger waits at the center of this film too. But to reach that Ingsterian dark heart, we must travel a more circuitous path through some intriguing narrative frames. It begins with an astonishing and apocalyptic prologue that segues into a stark procedural that’s punctuated by moments of brutal violence. We then settle into pure noir, thanks to the sparks set off by Femme Fatale forger Andrea King and Don DeFore as the T-man sent undercover to capture her.

    WALK SOFTLY, STRANGER (1950) The Third Man co-stars Joseph Cotten and Alida Valli are paired in this Dore Schary RKO production, in which a stranger (Cotten) finds himself falling for the life he has made for himself — a life that is a lie. Valli plays the young, crippled beauty whose love compels the stranger to destroy the refuge of fictions he has built around himself and through the town that’s become his haven. Spring Byington is spritely as the matron who helps steer Cotten’s Chris Hale from the course he was on. Newly Remastered

    THE LAS VEGAS STORY (1952) By 1952, Howard Hughes was fully in control of RKO as evinced by his giant screen credit at the start of the picture. The Las Vegas Story is a quintessential Hughes picture — Jane Russell appears in a series of low cut gowns and bathing suits, the stream-lined glory of the city of Las Vegas shines brightly, and climaxes in an aerial stunt sequence that’s still thrilling. The Las Vegas Story’s MacGuffin of a plot involves a missing necklace, an insurance policy, and a murder (of course). But found within that plot is a Vincent Price performance that’s as suave and cynical as George Sanders at his best, a series of steamy flashbacks and staccato exchanges between leads Russell and Mature, and finally, there’s Hoagy Carmichael serving as narrator/chorus, performing three of his songs, “The Monkey Song,” “My Resistance is Low,” and “I Get Along Without You Very Well.” Robert Stevenson directs. Newly Remastered
    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  10. #50
    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    Got PITFALL today, and I also finally got the third set of Columbia noirs. This one was a TCM exclusive for a good while, it's now available from third party sellers at Amazon. I was hoping it would come down some in price but it was still pretty high. I figured I better grab it before it goes oop. Already seen three films on this set - that was another reason I wasn't in a big hurry to get it. THE MOB is an outstanding gangster film, has Broderick Crawford as an undercover cop and Ernest Borgnine as one of the gang. MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS is really good too, was later remade as DEAD OF WINTER. TIGHT SPOT is from Phil Karlson of KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL fame, it's well worth a look but not a favorite of mine. I'm looking forward to seeing THE BURGLAR and DRIVE A CROOKED ROAD for the first time.

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