Author Topic: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011  (Read 17841 times)

edgar00

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2011, 11:15:22 PM »
Alright, alright, I'm a bit late with a list, but here goes. I tried to mix things up with stuff that is readily accessible and other films that are not as famous


The Asphalt Jungle
Gun Crazy
Murder my Sweet
Out of the Past
The Set-Uo

(basically the 5 DVDS in volume 1 of the Warner Bros Film Noire Classic Collection)

And a bit more
Night Moves
The Long Goodbye

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-James Bond: A little. But I won't consider myself to be in trouble until I start weeping blood.

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MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2011, 12:27:48 AM »
Make Haste to Live - When her gangster husband is paroled, a woman fears for herself and her teenage daughter.  Sounds like a good "out of the past" premise, but turns out to be a tepid thriller.  There are brief hints of danger but they fizzle out, with Stephen McNally being a rather non-threatening presence and Dorothy McGuire uneven in her characterization.  One minute she's haunted by nightmares, the next she seems quite comfortable with the situation.  This thing just has no guts to it.  What kind of movie teases the audience with a bottomless pit and then denies them the payoff?  I've heard of Chekhov's Gun, but Chekhov's Hole?  A nice score by Elmer Bernstein is wasted on this humdrum do-nothing picture.  Rating: Poor


Cry Vengeance - What do you do when you get framed for bribery, your face is disfigured and your wife and child are killed?  You seek revenge, even if it takes you to Ketchikan, Alaska.  Mark Stevens (The Dark Corner, The Street With No Name) both stars and makes his directorial debut with a cheapie Big Heat knockoff, but it's a tasty little morsel.  Stevens gives the best performance I've seen from him, cold and intense, and leads a mighty fine cast of B-roster supporting players.  The characters are so engaging that the deaths are tangibly felt by the viewer.  Pretty much everyone in this movie is fun to watch, especially Skip Homeier as the suave, menacing gangster and Joan Vohs as his conflicted moll.  Even the little girl is good.  The film has a terrific rough-and-tumble attitude, with biting dialogue, dark morality, smoky jazz in nightclubs and cheap dives, and lots of fist fights.  There's some good exploration of ethical grey area.  It could use a little more directorial finesse, but for a first effort it's not too bad and sports a couple of well-shot sequences.  Maybe not one of the greats, but it packs a good noir punch.  Rating: Very Good

sdedalus

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2011, 02:22:05 AM »
I'm excited to read all these Out of the Past reviews.

Jared

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2011, 10:34:00 AM »
The File on Thelma Jordon
Watching a lot of film noir teaches one not to put a whole lot of trust in Barbara Stanwyck characters. I had the plot pretty much read from the beginning plus or minus a twist here and there.
Wendell Corey plays the main character, Cleeve Marshall, who falls for Jordon (Stanwyck). As the assisstant district attorney, he is in a position to help her out when she gets into trouble over a murder. This of course, takes a tremendous toll on his marriage and his career.
Overall I enjoyed it, but it starts off a little slow, and there's several Stanwyck noirs Id direct some one to before this one.
3/5

MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2011, 10:52:01 AM »
The File on Thelma Jordon
Overall I enjoyed it, but it starts off a little slow, and there's several Stanwyck noirs Id direct some one to before this one.

Agreed, jrod.  I'd particularly direct them to Double Indemnity, which Thelma Jordon resembles in a number of ways.

Jared

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #45 on: November 03, 2011, 11:14:12 AM »
They are rather alike. The biggest difference in Double Indemnity's favor is the way it is framed by Fred MacMurray's narration, which really sets up a sense of danger right away. Thelma Jordon really takes a little while to get moving along. There's probably exceptions if I thought for a short while, but most of my favorite noirs really thow you right into it.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2011, 01:29:02 PM »
The Big Combo (1955)

For a film that doesnít even reach the 90 minute mark, The Big Combo is a tight, lean noir that masterfully balances the various elements of the film into a concise piece of entertainment. From the fleshed- out characters to the haunting visual set pieces, The Big Combo mixes the best of noir into a fantastic little package.

The skinny is this, Police Lt. Leonard Diamond (Cornel Wilde) is tirelessly pursuing crime boss Mr. Brown (Richard Conte), but when he gets pressure from up top that his operation is taking too long and costing too much, Diamond is forced to accelerate his investigation and begins to squeeze Mr. Brown. But Brown fights back and itís not long before the two are caught up in a series of risky gambles where the stakes are life.

What makes The Big Combo work so well is the way the characters defy easy expectations and categorization. First impressions are rarely lasting ones and as the film progresses, more sides to the characters are revealed. Leonard Diamond isnít simply the saintly boy scout in love with the wrong girl, heís got his own vices and faults that give his character his own distinctive shadow

Likewise, Mr. Brown starts off as a malicious character who doesnít mind getting a little rough, but as the film progresses, he backs off from violence and resorts to other means to achieve his goals. And yet, he eventually must descend down the slippery slope of violence, and itís interesting to watch the gradual decline unfold and how he doesnít always conform the notions of evil that are ascribed to him.

The film crafts some astounding visual shots. Cinematographer John Alton uses lighting and shadows for more than just the atmosphere, but as a way to draw emphasis and obscure information, a way to give the audience just a glimpse, a suggestion of what might be there, or give them a simple visual cue to convey everything they need to know about a moment. His visual economy allows the visuals to be a heavy part of the dramatic effect of a scene.

Beyond the visuals, the film builds a couple of fantastic moments around sound. One moment of anguish is built around the idea of so much sound it threatens to blow your earlobes while the film later crafts a haunting and disorienting moment around a sequence of utter silence.

And while itís easy to get caught in how good the film can be moment to moment and character to character, Phillip Yordanís script elegantly balances all these elements, weaving a tapestry of memorable moments and characters built around an ever developing series of questions, mysteries and suspense pieces.

While it might be hard to argue that any of these elements havenít been done elsewhere, itís the combination that makes it so gripping and memorable.  Itís got enough flavor of just about every bit of noir one could want and it comes together in a tight package. And that alone makes it a must see noir.

1SO

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2011, 02:40:47 PM »
Was hoping to cross my Directors of Shame Marathon with Noir-vember. Looks like I should get to at least...

Richard Quine - Pushover
Carol Reed Ė Odd Man Out
Mark Robson - Edge of Doom
Don Siegel Ė The Lineup
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Jared

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #48 on: November 03, 2011, 03:05:06 PM »
Odd Man Out was a bit boring, I have a copy of Fallen Idol that I haven't gotten around to, but looks better. I only say that so you don't waste your time, others might like it.

Carol Reed is one of my favorite directors and The Third Man might be my favorite movie, but yeah, I didnt like Odd Man Out much either. Fallen Idol is good.

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The Lineup must be made of platinum the price they want for it.

One of my favorite noirs for sure.

MartinTeller

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Re: Noir-vember Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #49 on: November 03, 2011, 03:09:43 PM »
I agree that OMO doesn't live up to its reputation.  I still like it, but it lacks momentum.

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The Lineup must be made of platinum the price they want for it.

One of my favorite noirs for sure.

Likewise.  Eli Wallach!

 

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