watching old noir films...

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dstol62
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watching old noir films...

Postby dstol62 » Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:50 pm

Maybe it's the weather, but I have been getting back into old noir films as of late. I recently watched "The Petrified Forest", "Born To Kill", "High Sierra" and "The Naked City". Also "The Conversation", which though too late for that genre, borrows a few elements. Anyone else have a few favorites?

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Postby chumley » Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:09 pm

pick up on south street is a good one. i love richard widmark's shack. and the tie seller/snitch, she's a heart-breaker.

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Postby meowzamusic » Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:24 pm

Check out The Big Heat and Human Desire, both awesome Fritz Lang films and with Glen Ford and Gloria Grahame.

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Postby chumley » Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:53 pm

shoot the piano player is a good one, too, if you don't have any objections to subtitles. it's funnier than noir usually is, but there's a real feeling of nihilism to it.

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Postby Paco » Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:01 pm

I like John Garfield movies--The Postman Rings Twice and Body & Soul are classics.

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Postby Marvell » Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:06 pm

D.O.A. (the original, not the crappy remake)
Touch of Evil
Out of the Past
The Third Man
Night of the Hunter
Shadow of a Doubt (this one's probably not technically noir, but it's one of my favorite of the less-often-seen Hitchcock films)
Fritz Lang's M
The Big Sleep (I'm thinking of the Bogie/Bacall version that Faulkner worked on, but there's an early-70's version that, while inferior in just about every other respect, features a fantastic performance by Puffin' Bob Mitchum which I feel is the definitive screen portrayal of Phillip Marlowe - as much as I like Bogie's version and Elliot Gould's take in The Long Goodbye)
The Grifters was a good stab at a neo-noir, and noir elements were used to notable effect in such disparate films as The Usual Suspects, Blade Runner and Sin City.

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Postby dstol62 » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:15 pm

Marvell wrote:The Grifters was a good stab at a neo-noir, and noir elements were used to notable effect in such disparate films as The Usual Suspects, Blade Runner and Sin City.


I also liked "House Of Games"....

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:46 am

A lot of good ones already mentioned, so I'll build from there ...

If you like John Garfield, check out Force of Evil (one of the films that greatly inspired Scorsese, particularly Raging Bull.)
Glenn Ford fans should definitely check out Gilda and Blake Edwards' pre-descent-into-slapstick Experiment in Terror. And Fritz Lang also delivers the noirish goods in The Blue Gardenia, The Woman In The Window (not to mention in the western Rancho Notorious.)

Although I agree that Night of the Hunter is one of the finest films ever made, I've never really considered it a noir. Robert Mitchum fares much more noirishly in Crossfire (also with Gloria Grahame and Robert Ryan, who deserves mention in such a thread.) He also does fine opposite Robert Preston in the western-noir Blood On The Moon (sorry, I love westerns ...)

Bogart sizzles as "wildcat truck driver" Paul Fabrini in They Drive By Night and gets to have one of the best times he ever had onscreen in the underrated parody-noir Beat The Devil, directed by Maltese Falcon-cohort John Huston and featuring great support by Robert Morley, Peter Lorre, Jennifer Jones and Ivor Barnard as "The Galloping Major." (Also features Bernard Lee in a rare non-James Bond appearance.)

Richard Widmark's debut performance in Kiss of Death (again, avoid the crappy remake) still generates chills, and if you can't get enough Widmark (who can?) you can't go wrong with The Street With No Name, Jules Dassin's Night and the City (remakes bad) or the sadly unsung Elia Kazan thriller Panic in the Streets (although Widmark's a nice-guy health inspector in this one, so don't expect his usual insanity. Zero Mostel, as he's wont to do, steals the show, but leaves plenty of room for Jack Palance to be a total scumbag, as he's wont to do.)


Kubrick's The Killing and John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle both highlight Sterling Hayden's considerable noir chops (but stay the hell away from the wretched Crime of Passion.)
Fans of non-horror Vincent Price should check out The Web and Laura.
Burt Lancaster should have done more noir, considering how good his debut, The Killers, is. I also recommend Criss-Cross.
Orson Welles fans should not overlook the incredible The Lady From Shanghai.

Others:
The Big Clock (Ray Milland and Charles Laughton - later remade as No Way Out with Kevin Costner.)
Dassin's Thieves' Highway featuring a very slimy Lee J. Cobb and the vengeful Richard Conte. Conte also scores BIG as the bad-ass mob boss in The Big Combo, which also features Brian Donlevy and Lee Van Cleef.
And speaking of Van Cleef ... check out Kansas City Confidential with John Payne. That's some nice noiring, boys.
Oh, and somebody has to mention Double Indemnity ...

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Postby minicat » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:10 am

Kiss Me Deadly - Best (and truest to the books) Mike Hammer movie ever.

Phantom Lady - Best Elisha Cook scene ever (as a manic jazz drummer).

His Kind of Woman - Another "sorta" noir, featuring Robert Mitchum, Raymond Burr as the heavy, and another great Vincent Price non-horror performance - as a ham actor.

Has anyone mentioned (or not seen) White Heat?

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Postby DedeTate » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:20 am

I just saw Kiss Me Deadly for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't that wild about it, but I was surpised to see Cloris Leachman(!) and it was cool to see the source material for the glowing suitcase in Pulp Fiction.
Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place is my favorite.

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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:30 am

DedeTate wrote:... it was cool to see the source material for the glowing suitcase in Pulp Fiction.
For the record, Tarantino denies this was the inspiration. Considering he's usually perfectly willing to admit where he swiped his ideas (and dialogue, and character names, and camera angles, and ...) I don't see any reason to doubt him. He has said that he likes that explanation, however, so it's as good as any.

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Postby Ducatista » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:35 am

dstol62 wrote:
Marvell wrote:The Grifters was a good stab at a neo-noir, and noir elements were used to notable effect in such disparate films as The Usual Suspects, Blade Runner and Sin City.

I also liked "House Of Games"....

Let's don't forget Blood Simple.

No mention yet of Key Largo? It's one of my favorites.

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Postby Ducatista » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:36 am

DedeTate wrote:...it was cool to see the source material for the glowing suitcase in Pulp Fiction...

Ha, I always thought he got that from Repo Man.

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Postby mrak » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:43 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
DedeTate wrote:... it was cool to see the source material for the glowing suitcase in Pulp Fiction.
For the record, Tarantino denies this was the inspiration. Considering he's usually perfectly willing to admit where he swiped his ideas (and dialogue, and character names, and camera angles, and ...) I don't see any reason to doubt him. He has said that he likes that explanation, however, so it's as good as any.

He's also expressed regret that he went with the glowing-briefcase gag in the first place.

It certainly has inspired all manner of goofy-ass speculation amongst his fangeeks, my favorite being that the case contains Marcellus' soul, bought back from the devil (hence the lock combination of 666).

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Postby christopher_robin » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:52 am

I think he was going for a sight gag, more than anything: it's Hitchcock's MacGuffin taken to the extreme. You don't even know what's in the suitcase.


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