Oscar's Greatest Night!
Awards for greatness in memorable performance and teeming talents of screenwriters who got every nuance, scene and words . . . just write.
*AT THE BIJOU* shares
your own printout BALLOT
to enjoy the festivities.
Now Schweetheart, keeping with the success run of
* T H E S H A D O W S O F O U R N O I R *,
we ask for
WHICH OUTSTANDING NOIR FILMS
~ OF ALL TIME ~
DO YOU PUT UP FOR NOMINATION --
To Watch, then watch again?
What's the 'whys' of your wise?
When/how did that film affect you?
and . . .
IF YOU COULD BE
ANY NOIR STAR
WHO ARE YOU?
Share in the comments section please
It shall give us all some damn good films to follow,
plus reveal some reel appeal of You . . .
Our star-studded and star-damed thanks
to the Academy
for best cinematic writing fun
in a WebTowne run
~ back with an amazing cast
and the intrigue of Noir Shows
n e x t w e e k
Be there or be square Bub.
You too, Toots
Definitely have to go with The Maltese Falcon, because ain't nobody like Bogart, and you've gotta love a crime caper. Also pretty deeply in love with anything Hitchcock, especially Rear Window and The Man Who Knew Too Much. Oh, the hours I could spend watching those films just dreaming up what it'd be like to solve those crimes! The women were sexy, the men were classy, and the thrills weren't dependent on the smut and fluff of so many stories today. There was something classically beautiful about that kind of suspense!
If I got to be a noir star, though, I'd have to go with Bette Davis. That dame had a fire in her you just don't see every day, and her performance in "The Letter" just dropped me right to the ground. Spectacular.
Me 'n Jimmy Callaway would put Nightmare Alley on top. I thought Ty Power got to prove he could play more than a pretty face and the part did lift him out of the sleek leading man roles into the serious actor category. Callaway would strongly disagree with me on Power though. Still, I think the flick is an underrated classic.
Me alone, I'd take Sunset Boulevard. I mean it don't get more Noir than when the narrative voice is a dead man, face down in a swimming pool. Both films were superbly directed and acted. You can watch either and never get tired of them. Gotta put up To Have and Have Not just for the "Ya know how to whistle, don'cha?" scene and Walter Brennan's cautions about not stepping on dead bees.
Another great one? White heat Two words: Cody Jarrett. "Made it ma . . ." Best closing scene evah. Also was the first noir or procedural movie that foreshadowed the CSI techniques in use today.
Well, maybe, Public Enemy. Cagney all dead mummy wrapped falling into his Ma's living room.
I'm gonna get heretical here and say, on second look, The Big Sleep wasn't very good. Lost direction in the middle, Bogart going sleazy-crazy one second then back to tight lipping it the next and Bacall all of a sudden busting into song at the party? C'mon, man.
Who would I be? Bogey of course -- only the Charlie Allnut Bogey from The African Queen or the Devils Island escapee of My Three Angels Bogey. Those guys had a hell of a lot more fun than Rick Blaine Bogey ever did. Comme to think of it, whats wrong with Cary Grant in Father Goose for an I'd like ta be that guy. Though the Bogey Bogey got to play real life snuggle bunny with dat long tall Bacall. Didn't he? Yeah. Dat one ain't chopped liver either.
Damn. I knew it would be African Queen for you, Charlie. And the whistle scene . . . and . . . the fact that knowing you pally, movie faves of super caliber could go on long into the shadowy nights. Father Goose was a surprise reach, but yeah . . .
Scoot over Stina Davis -- I want to watch movies with you! You sure know your way around the B&W classics.
I have to admit, Rear Window is a movie I'd watch again, and again, and again. And anything starring Bogart. And any pairing of Bacall and Bogart - doesn't matter what the movie is.
As to who me? Clifton Webb. Gotta go for the double breasted suit. :-}
Now this looks like fun ... OK, three nominations from me: one fairly obvious, and a couple out of left field.
First, "The Petrified Forest". I guess strictly speaking it's "pre-noir", dating from 1936, and in my opinion it's a film that too few folk have ever heard of. Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and a relatively early performance from Humphrey Bogart as the wanted gangster Duke Mantee. It's based on a stage play, and it has all the hallmarks of good theatre — it's claustrophobic, character-driven and hurtles towards an inevitably tragic ending.
The more obvious nomination in my trio is Fritz Lang's "The Big Heat" (1953). It has all the elements of classic noir but goes beyond them — it's sometimes shockingly violent and edgy for an American film of that period. The performances are great — Lee Marvin as a frighteningly cruel thug, Glenn Ford as the straight-as-a-die, honourable and tenacious Sergeant Bannion, and Gloria Grahame as Debby, the tragic gangster's moll who's far more central to the plot than appears in early scenes. A classic.
Finally, another one most folk won't have seen — Akira Kurosawa's "Stray Dog" (1949). Set in a post-war Japan and with all the ethnic and cultural references that come attendant with that, it's nevertheless an out-and-out film noir, about an increasingly desperate cop whose gun has been stolen and used to commit a murder. The cop is played by a pre-"Seven Samurai" Toshiro Mifune, with all the intensity of performance you would expect. Setting the film in the middle of a heat wave just adds to the tense, claustrophobic atmosphere. So, get over the fact that it's in a foreign language and that it's over two hours long — this is classic noir regardless, and well worth checking out.
And who would I be? I'd have to stick with Glenn Ford ... specifically Glenn Ford as Bannion in "The Big Heat". Stubborn, driven, and like a dog with a bone when he gets an idea in his head, regardless of how unpopular his actions might make him. Yeah, I can relate to that.
Who I'd be? No contest: Barbara Stanwyck. Classy dame, tough as nails and really really funny, too (The Lady Eve, how grand is that?). And as people have already been naming the classics, I'm going to go with a more modern film but it's been around long enough to show it still stands up: Body Heat. Dead sexy: Katheleen Turner at her steamiest and William Hurt doing his best to get to know every inch of her. Ted Danson, before he became Ted Danson, dancing. Mickey Rourke before he became über-creepy. And a fantastic tale of twists and betrayals.
Jeepers Creepers, youse guys know movies!! I'm way behind on the genre having been watching too many Disney movies; however I'm gonna throw a flick in the ring. The Lady from Shanghai gets my vote. It's got a yacht, Orson Wells, and a who-dun-it twist. It just so happens that the lead, Rita Hayworth, would be my pick for my very own movie stardom days.
Back outta the shadows to name names in my fave flicks of Noirish appeal . . . but man oh man, do YOU GUYS know your real to reels!
Wanted to get dibs on dames ~ I'm a Gemini, so dual desires to appear as the brilliant Ms Bacall and the push the hair out of my eyes glimpse at the world, in a Veronica Lake scene, or two.
Echoing what sweet Sugar warbled down da docks. Steven, your cinematic prowess naturally came with superb descrips to make me wanta check these out. Mr Mackey - yes, the double breasted suit suits you right dapper. Ms Laity, so glad your dancing mind is becoming a regular around here. How deftly you nailed Body Heat characterizations. And Barbara Stanwyck? Ringer! And Sugar takes the yacht. Now doesn't that just sail a good movie into the sunset?
Theeees is getting very eeeenteresting as time goes by, whispered (with a whistle - I know how) this Casablanca fan -- It's the tarmac scene and the witty entendrees - amounts to so much more than a hill of beans at every watching.
For me it is definitely The Maltese Falcon, one of the best black-and-white films I've ever seen. What I particularly like about the film is how starkly real Bogart, Lorie, and Greenstreet interact. The noir master author Dashell Hammett, a former detective who knew firsthand all about crime and the pursuit of criminals, wrote a classic here and Huston followed the book quite precisely in making the film. I love the way Hammett chose character names: Gutman (the fat Greenstreet), Sam Spade, Miss Lovely. The Maltese Falcon has my vote!
Rear Window has always been one of my favourite classic movies, love Grace Kelly, she was gorgeous! My favourite bad boy from back in those days is James Cagney. He was fantastic in Angels With Dirty Faces. So these two would be on my list for oscars.
If I could be any noir star, why I'd choose the lovely Miss Bette Davis of course. "I'd love to kiss you but I just washed my hair."
How about Dead Man Don't Wear Plaid?
It's got everything you want in a noir flick:
Oh yeah, forgot. Cape Fear. Mitchum is, oh, about a bazillion times scarier than DiNero's overblown, clowntown performance in the re-make. When Bob holds that cop underwater and drowns him, the dreamy, satisfied expression on his face will give you nightmares the rest of your life. Then there's sci-fi noir (Not Bladerunner. That's a whole new category of good). Might come up with Rocketship XM -- everybody dies. Or Hawk's, The Thing From Another World. Snappy Forties patter and expressionist angles everywhere. Spellbound, with it's Dali designed sets comes to mind also. And the little known but amazing, Seconds, has got to be in that mix.
No brain strain here. The Maltese Falcon and Rear Window, with Casblance running to catch up. Wave your magical wand and make me Bogie any day, sweetie - 'cept I can't whistle worth a damn.
This is a great idea Kate. While I agree with all the entries, for me A Touch Of Evil stands out for its sheer starkness at the time, and has anyone seen the Coen Brothers The Man Who wasn't There, I highly recommend it?
Saw that some years ago - what a blast!
All the noir, served scrambled, yet it still worked.
Double Indemnity always gets me. So many come to mind. If it were just the opening, I'm taking Sunset Boulevard.
Montgomery Clift - he just feels noir in his core, all vulnerable and screwed up, and so bloody good looking.
And if I were taking on the role of woman, Gloria Grahame in the Big Heat.
Oh the flooding thoughts as you open the gates...
The noir film: The Fallen Sparrow with John Garfield and Maureen O'Hara. Although, a personal favorite is Blue Gardenia in part to hear Nat King Cole sing it in person. And all the others mentioned above by all the other folks whose opinions are wonderful.
Leading noir guy: Bogart. No contest.
Leading noir lady: Barbara Stanwcyk (no matter how you spell her name)
David Bishop, author of the modern noir mystery: Who Murdered Garson Talmadge.
Quinlan: Come on, read my future for me.
Tanya: You haven't got any.
Quinlan: Hmm? What do you mean?
Tanya: Your future's all used up.
There are days I SO wish I wrote subdued zingers like that -- just about any day. Great pick of a flick, Mr G -- and isn't Charleton Heston, of all choices in that one? And while you're here -- I've been workin' up the courage to twist your arm -- Would you spin us a Noir tale as we continue this shadowy showcase? I know the kids and I would be greatly honoured. I do hold you as a master in the field and you can take that to a good GhinWag sir. ~ Kate
Walter Neff: You'll be here too?
Phyllis: I guess so, I usually am.
Walter Neff: Same chair, same perfume, same anklet?
Phyllis: I wonder if I know what you mean.
Walter Neff: I wonder if you wonder.
Floating on those flooding thoughts, myself dear Nige. Oh the cool cross currents.
THE THIRD MAN ... for that music, oh that music -- hated by a thousand men, loved by one woman. Oh those dangerous webs of foreign love affairs and hack writers gone awry.
Also have a soft spot for NOTORIOUS -- could be my heart on the pitter pat when Cary Grant speaks ... anything. And, on the movie star list, golly - who wouldn't deign to be Ingrid Bergman?
I tell ya -- there's no biz, like show biz, like no biz I know. (Everything about it is appealing)
~ Absolutely*Kate SO enjoying fond B&W memories and some great new discoveries you pack of powerful minds are stirring up.
Welcome David -- I confess I had to go seeking the feathers of your FALLEN SPARROW . . . but the whole pack of trips youse guys are sending me to my IMDb golden classic files are such a joy:
John 'Kit' McKittrick: All right. Go on. Let's have it. Can you go through with it? Have you got the guts for it? Or have they knocked it out of you? Have they made you yellow?
Blue Gardenia and Nat? Ooooh, again with the music being part of the entire film experience -- which reminds me ----------
Jeff: Gunnison, how did you ever get to be such a big editor with such a small memory?
*Alakazam* - YOU as Bogie Ms Tiger -- You certainly take your Sisters in Crime fame seriously, right down to being able to rock the role. Real damn glad your voice is jumpin' and jivin' with us all again, T.
The word *riveting* comes to my mind's scream on Cape Fear Mr Hayes.
As for snappy 40's patter, aw shucks, I've got to be such a sucker for those lines I don't watch an old movie without a new legal pad. Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat.
( I knew you'd be back Celluloid Man -- and betcha dollars to doughnuts, you're just gettin' warmed up. Keep 'em comin' -- I'm replenishing my Movie Watch List off of all you guys. )
Knew you'd generate good yuck-yuck=yucks into the Noir mix, Har -- and as a movie man, you hear the first reel rousing. But how can you go wrong with a Rigby Reardon:
[Reardon has dressed up as a blonde woman and gone to a grocery store to find Neff, who allegedly hunts for blondes there every Thursday]
Rigby Reardon: [voice-over] Neff's favorite hunting ground was Jerry's Market on Melrose. I spotted him right away and sidled down the aisle opposite him. I was wearing a special perfume called Fondle Me. Its aroma drew Neff to me like fat to a mother-in-law. He was a lady's man, all right. He made me feel beautiful, alive. He asked me up to his place, and I didn't play hard to get.
Ahhh, not just pretty sights to see, but Orson writing and directing while starring reflects well into classic movie getaways -- the hall of mirrors, Ms Shoogs.
Been carousing IMDb all afternoon while you fine wits are appetizing my usual movie hungers. Thought your romantic essence would like this tidbit on Rita's appeal, Sugar Mae:
"Welles did not miss a chance throughout the whole film to counterpoint the words and actions with visual detail which enriched the texture and heightened the atmosphere… His camera seemed almost to caress Rita Hayworth as the sun played with her hair and her long limbs while she playfully teased the young seaman into her web."
Just learned yet more on your indomitable style for the keening as well to The Lady Eve, Lady Laity.
Body Heat is definitely a rewatcher:
Ned: Can I buy you a drink?
Matty: I told you. I've got a husband.
Ned: I'll buy him one too.
Matty: He's out of town.
Ned: My favorite kind. We'll drink to him.
Matty: Only comes up on weekends.
Ned: I'm liking him better all the time.
Joe Gillis: You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big.
Norma Desmond: I *am* big. It's the *pictures* that got small.
Jeff: Why would a man leave his apartment three times on a rainy night with a suitcase and come back three times?
Lisa: He likes the way his wife welcomes him home.
Steven, I love to throw out Q's just for the intensity and touched and tipped realms your A's bring in. They're always so thoughtful, even subliminally instructive. You bring depth of field in more than just your superb photography.
Had to go on a fun spree to look some of your left field entries up. Well worth the trip to the stadium. Thanks so much on the energies in this share.
From The Big Heat, I've always liked ~
Mike Lagana: Prisons are bulging with dummies who wonder how they got here.
The Third man will always live for Orson's totally extemp and immortal lines:
"After all, it’s not that awful….
Remember what the fellow said…
…in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed, but they produced Michaelangelo – Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Renaissance…
In Switzerland, they had brotherly love. They had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce?…The cuckoo clock. So long, Holly."
It wouldn't be a rich motherkode of a Noir-share without your perpsicacious input, Godfather Sal. I'd watch The Maltese Falcon with you over and over again.Though I'm a Chandler girl, I've never met a Hammett I didn't take an immediate plain fancy to.
Sam Spade: Ten thousand? We were talking about a lot more money than this.
Kasper Gutman: Yes, sir, we were, but this is genuine coin of the realm. With a dollar of this, you can buy ten dollars of talk.
Classin' up our classy joint even more with your film-fare presence Ms Madeleine. Glad you'll be including AT THE BIJOU as a whistle stop on your new to-be-bestseller Blog Tour de force. Your Bette Davis line is sublime . . . I've been practicing renditions of it.
You got me done a rough and tough memory lane with Angels With Dirty Faces-- that was the tv movie clip Kevin used to scare the pizza guy in Home Alone too, right?
Soapy: Hey! Call a fair game or I'll slap you right in the kisser!
Rocky Sullivan: You'll slap me? You slap me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize.
OK- I understand that Bogie gets the nod as everyone's favorite (and most recognizable actor) but if you're talking serious noir in my world it begins and ends with ROBERT MITCHUM. Seriously one of the first bad-ass noir stars, although Glenn Ford, Richard Widmark, and Peter Lorre deserve some love and recognition as other nominees. And if you want the heirs to Mitchum you have to point at Michael Madsen and Tom Sizemore (forget the substance abuse issues - the man has serious acting chops). RE: films- The Big Heat, Out of The Past, and Strangers On The Third Floor rank right up there....oh yea, and DOUBLE INDEMNITY. And if you're looking at best actresses (or broads in noir-speak), I believe that if Jane Greer, Barbara Stanwyck, and Lana Turner aren't on the nominees list it's incomplete.
And behind the camera: John Huston, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, and Raoul Wwalsh who gets little credit but influenced the entire genre.
Like it or not, that's my opinion and I'm going with it because that's how we see it in my neighborhood.
And another thing....
You want a relatively newer noir film, check out Payback with Mel Gibson (with a cool supporting cast of characters like Coburn, William Devane, and Bill Duke)
Cape fear. Robert Mitchum. Nuff said.
Lots of great films on here so I'm going to nominating five that I don't see on the list yet.
CRISS CROSS. Burt Lancaster caught between a rock and a hard place, in love with Yvonne DeCarlo, who's married to Dan Duryea, and working a armed car heist with Duryea. We all know this one ain't gonna turn out good. Duryea, by the way, I think was an extremely underrated noir actor.
DETOUR. On the cheap but this one is just about as good as anything that has a price tag of $100 million. Tom Neal is sucked right into Ann Savage's scheme and there's only one way out: someone's gonna have to die. Ann Savage is the classic femme fatale. You might not want to say yes to her but you just can't say no.
BLAST OF SILENCE. Allen Baron was ahead of his time with this one. A hitman brought in to eliminate a high society target during Christmas. Whether he gets the job done or not, you know it ain't gonna be as easy as all that. And Frankie Bono (played by Baron himself) has never had an easy life. The fist fight scene at the end of the movie was filmed during Hurricane Donna in 1960.
THE KILLING. Sterling Hayden is the arguably the quintessential noir tough guy. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and adapted for the screen from the novel Clean Break by Lionel White by Kubrick with dialogue written by Jim Thompson. This attempt to shake down a race track goes off with hitches galore. The cast is a who's who of noir: Hayden, Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook Jr., Vince Edwards, Coleen Gray. Word of warning: the "N" word is uttered once in this film but it's said by such a scuzzy character that you'll be pleased when he gets his.
And this last nomination was difficult but I finally decided on Get Carter (the real version, not the lame-ass Sly Stallone version).
Based on the novel by Ted Lewis, this is such a downbeat story from start to finish (oh, there's a slight bit of levity in the middle but not much), it is a perfect definition of what noir should be.
And Michael Caine kicks six different versions of ass as Jack Carter.
Mel did a pretty good job making that a modern noir -- I think though it's a remake of an old Lee Marvin flick, Point Blank. Marvin's a hard act to follow. That said, Payback stands up well.
Gene Tierney... that overbite just melts me! Am I being weird? Lol!
I'd say Barbara Stanwyck, but I really see myself more as Gene Tierney. :)
I don’t even have to think twice about it…
DOUBLE INDEMNITY… does a love story get any more tragic than this? Well, maybe it probably does… but I am still going with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck for my ill-fated lovers – I mean, think about it? They put ol’ Will’s Romeo and Juliet to shame.
For dark, gritty noir with some of the best dialogue I have come across outside of Sunset Boulevard (sorry Billy Wilder… but, Barbara Stanwyck!, Double Indemnity gets my vote… every times!
Phyllis: Mr. Neff, why don't you drop by tomorrow evening about eight-thirty. He'll be in then.
Walter Neff: Who?
Phyllis: My husband. You were anxious to talk to him weren't you?
Walter Neff: Yeah, I was, but I'm sort of getting over the idea, if you know what I mean.
Phyllis: There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff. Forty-five miles an hour.
Walter Neff: How fast was I going, officer?
Phyllis: I'd say around ninety.
Walter Neff: Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.
Phyllis: Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.
Walter Neff: Suppose it doesn't take.
Phyllis: Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.
Walter Neff: Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.
Phyllis: Suppose you try putting it on my husband's shoulder.
Walter Neff: That tears it.
Do I need to say more?), Double Indemnity does it for me. Everything a lover of noir wants AND Barbara Stanwyck, who I am not ashamed to say, I fell in love with from that first scene (whew… getting a little warm thinking about that!)
Neff’s narration is first rate… that and the ‘almost scene-stealing’ Edward G. Robinson make this a true classic!
How did the movie affect me?
Phyllis evokes a loneliness that is palpable and heart-wrenching. That had a profoundly deep effect on me. Some years ago, I went through a period of such utter loneliness, that I was driven to a point of desperation almost as tragic as that which Phyllis went through. I found my savior… Phyllis did not find hers… not in the end.
Blogger is being weird... said my wee words were too big, so I had to put my second choice in another comment....
One word… Hitchcock! For suspense, it doesn’t get any better than Alfred Hitchcock.
James Stewart and Grace Kelly star in one of Hitchcock’s greatest movies… a true masterpiece. Rear Window has a little bit of everything… a first rare suspense story with romantic tension… well thought out subplots… an element of humour… all held together with the psychological overtones Hitchcock brings to his movies.
Hitchcock, as was his style, assumed the audience would pay the close attention necessary to appreciate the layers of subtleties in this movie. He created a world of intrigue in an average neighborhood… a commonplace apartment building with ordinary people. Or, is it?
The main characters are brilliantly drawn… the visual detail in the movie is incredible depth… the minor characters – was Thelma Ritter awesome, or what? – round out this classic.
Rear Window is a must-see for anyone who has a true appreciation for mystery and suspense.
How did this movie affect me?
Rear Window gave me a greater appreciation for the subtleties and nuances of a well-crafted story. Plus... I had watched it - again- just before an incident with one of my friend Jenny's neighbors, which gave me the inspiration for a story I have on the back burner... only several journal pages at this point, but it is on the back burner!
A final note - Richard Crenna / Samantha Eggar and Christopher Reeves / Daryl Hannah starred in remakes of these two classics. What the hell were they thinking? I mean… who in their right minds thought these four could possibly come even remotely close to the acting of Fred MacMurray / Barbara Stanwyck and James Stewart / Grace Kelly? Fred, Barbara, James and Grace all ‘swam in the deep end of the pool’…. Richard, Samantha, Christopher and Daryl never made it out of the ‘kiddie pool’. At least; as far as these two films are concerned.
The Man Who Wasn't There chilled me to the bone! Stark and relentless... oooh, I still get shivers thinking about it!
On the subject of wondering...
Tina, after 'chastising' me in the aftermath of one of my little 'adventures, shall we say?, said "I wonder about you sometimes, Veronica Marie ("Veronica Marie" is used when I have 'stepped over the line'... bad, but not "you can just sleep on the couch for the next week!" bad.
Without batting an eye, I said... "I wonder if you wonder." Walking away, I tossed over my shoulder... "You keep your mouth open like that and something is gonna fly into it."
Yeah... it's never dull around here! Lol!!
The first thing that came to my mind when I learned that the comic book superhero Captain Marvel was based on Fred MacMurray (because he was regarded as the handsomest man in the US in that era) I cracked up. Walter Neff? A superhero? Still makes me smile.
The Third Man. Orson Wells and Joseph Cotton are superb in this Post WWII Allied occupied Vienna classic. Is there any more tense scene in any movie than Orson and Joe at the peak of the giant ferris wheel, to be capped with that immortal live by Harry Lime rationalizing his cynical doings by citing the "Coo Coo Clock." Dark streets, dark chases, dark conversations all clothed in the alluring sound of a Zither--the sound of which becomes a major character of the film. Finally, that powerful closing scene with Joe being spurned by a woman whose life he saved. Ah,the painful irony.
If I could be a noir star, it would be Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, because in the end he does not surrender to the wily ways of the dame.
I wanna be Cora Papadakis as played by Jessica Lange in The Postman Always Rings Twice. Omigawd, is that woman the sexiest thing you've ever seen? And speaking of scene, that one on the bread table in the back kitchen? I need a fire extinguisher just thinking about it.
Jack Nicholson is just as Jack as Jack ever gets and the two of 'em make this new-fashioned noir flick one of my favourites of all time.
Thanks for asking, Mizz Kate. See ya at the movies...
I was trying to remember what I'd watched over the years, yes I know I write noir, but I don't endlessly watch it, still Angels With Dirty Faces came to mind as did the African Queen. I have to mention even though it may not fit in here that the best noir tv series I have ever watched today is Boardwalk Empire; Steve Buscemi performance is just wonderful.
As for stars, that's so hard, Bogart of course and Cagney
Great turnout ... I must admit I can't stand Bogie...
Picking a Bogie flick would be too interesting so I have to admit, like Kev, Mitchum is a very very close second -- with the films being "OUT OF THE PAST" and "FAREWELL, MY LOVELY" ... Greeeeeeeeeeeeat stuff.
Have to admit, Kate, to not ever having watched many films or telly or much of anything in me life. But 'M' scared me to pieces. Absolutely terrifying. A close second comes SUNSET BOULEVARD - just pure class all the way through. That scene with Gloria Swanson coming down the spiral staircase at the end is simply mesmerising.
As for who I'd like to be - Bogie in The Maltese Falcon. Everything I'm not, which is, I suspect, why he appeals.
Aha. The secret gateway seems to have let me in this time.
Now then, I want to be Richard Burton in "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolfe?" (Not strictly noir, but essentially so because of the subject matter).
Failing that, I want to be Burt Lancaster in "Sorry, Wrong Number". If you don't know either of these films I strongly suggest you track them down. Most recommended.
(I generally write comedy but I always prefer suspense, horror and drama to watch or read. When these ingredients collide the results are greater than their component parts.)
The Big Heat is on right now. Glenn Ford is a homicide detective investigation the apparent suicide of a fellow cop. A very young Lee Marvin is a bad guy. Pretty good.
Bogie was on before in Knock On Any Door, boy from the slums makes good, becomes a big shot atorney and ends up defending another not so lucky kid from the old neighborhood. Not very good but I noticed Bogie without a Fedora looks a bit like Freddy Mercury.
Brought to mind another notion. Can a western be classified as noir? If so then, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance would certainly qualify. Good bad guy, bad bad guy and the hero doesn't really get the girl. She just settles for him. Or, Welcome To Hard Times, maybe. No good guys at all and The Bad Man From Bodie is pure evil distilled.
Late to the party as usual. I enjoyed the comments. This is fun. but honestly a bit too tough for me. "Sunset Blvd.," "Touch of Evil," "The Night of the Hunter," "M," "The Maltese Falcon." Anything Hitchcock. I could go on, but you know them all. I adore Bogart and something about Peter Lorre always gets me as a great weakly villain. Hammett vs. Chandler? Don't make me choose. For a Halloween costume wedding, I shaved my eyebrows off to be Nora Charles from "The Thin Man." I even carried a stuffed terrier, Asta. Yet, I've read everything by Chandler. It's all so good.
Ah, the dream of being a femme fatale. Those gorgeous dames are usually blonde or maybe redhead- Rita Hayworth in "Gilda." If I could flatter myself, I'd choose Ava Gardner as Kitty Collins in "The Killers." Meow. I know this brings up another debate: Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald. I think you know if I must choose, I agree with you on the latter.
Darling Kate, thanks for inviting me once again to The Bijou. The red velvet seats are divine. I checked out the Oscar nominees and realized I've only seen one of the Best Pictures, "Midnight in Paris." I loved it and wanted to travel back in time to be in Gertrude Stein's salon. I won't be watching the ceremony tonight, but maybe revisiting an old noir film. Thank you as always for your inspiration, fun, and popcorn. ;-) ~k
Montgomery Clift, in my opinion, was quite good in I, Confess... but then... this was a Hitchcock vehicle, so how could he not?
I think I, Confess is not only a fine piece of noir, but a great morality play. Mr. Clift is cast quite well in the role of a Catholic priest who refuses to break either the letter or the spirit of the confessional. That is one thing that has always bothered me about modern dramas where the priest seems to be in a great hurry to give the police some hint or another. "Why yes, Mr Smith did come to me for confession... a very troubled soul... no, I am sorry, I can't divulge the details of our conversation."
I mean, what's up with that? You just as well told the police their suspicions are correct! In I, Confess... Father Logan refuses to say anything, not even that 'throw-away' that is used to excess in today's stories - "...the seal of confession prevents me..."! That is truly protecting the sanctity of the confession... both letter and spirit.
This is what makes this movie... Father Logan is played to perfection by Montgomery Clift. Even Anne Baxter's rather weak performance
I'm not sure I buy Mr. Hitchcock's explanation for the lack of success with this movie... that non-Catholics don't know about the confession and would not believe a priest would risk everything to protect the sanctity of the confession. Non-Catholics DO know about the confession and I think that they would believe how a priest would make such a sacrifice. No, this is not why the movie was not more of a success. I think it really came down to the actors -all fine in their own right, do not get me wrong - more than how the audience perceived the story. I, Confess doesn't have those 'biggies' - Grant, Stewart, Kelly, Hopkins, Bankhead, Bergman, Milland, Leigh... the list goes on...
Ahhh... the Femme Fatale... so many... so very many! All those blondes and redheads...
My favorite is Gene Tierney (big surprise there Veronica... crush much?). Her role as Ellen Berent, 'disposing' of anyone who threatened to take the attention or affection of her 'obession' (she didn't really love Richard; she just wanted to possess him) in Leave Her To Heaven really did it for me. I might have come just a bit obsessed after seeing this movie. ;-)
Wish I'd caught this earlier. Quick reply? PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET. I think the essence of the genre is captured in the scene where Moe Williams (Thelma Ritter) says to the man about to kill her: "Look, mister, I'm so tired you'd be doing me a big favor if you'd blow my head off." Camera pans away. The needle on the turntable reaches the end of the song she's been listening to. And kill her, he does...
Have to second TOUCH OF EVIL and DETOUR (put a first-rate smartass in a diner and I'm there).
BAD LIEUTENANT is an outstanding modern example. What an ending.
Tough to pick a favorite star, but if I could piece myself together: Robert Mitchum's swagger, Richard Widmark's sneer, Lauren Bacall's delivery and Ida Lupino's bottomless gaze.
Walter, I agree ten thousand percent with that scene from PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET. Thelma Ritter is one of the great unsung actresses of her time or any other.
AJ, I have to say yes to that notion. Plenty of westerns that could be classified as noir. I toss a lot of Spaghetti Western into that category.
Django, for instance. The protagonist isn't exactly something that you'd want your kid to grow up to be (a murdering thief) but you can't help but cheer for him at the end of the film, as he guns down guys even worse than him and does with two broken hands.
Once Upon A Time In The West. From start to finish, I think that this film is flawlessly noir. The three-on-one at the beginning of the movie, with Charles Bronson walking out of it alive, despite Jack Elam and Woody Strode being two of the three he goes up against. And who doesn't love the reveal that Henry Fonda is a murdering bastard?
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. This one is underrated and so dark that it can't be called anything except for noir. You will never look at Brad Pitt the same way after watching this one. And I mean that in a good way.
Richard WIdmaek, Alan Ladd, and Verionica Lake ... If only they could have all been in the same film together ...
Kirk Douglas in The Big Carnaval is as black as night with it's tale of the man trapped beneath tons of rock and the reporter who made sure he stayed that way to prolong the headlines.
I agree Christopher. That scene was Fonda's favorite. He said on Carson's Tonight Show: "When the camera pulls back to reveal me after shooting that kid, I heard at least three people say aloud, 'Son of a bitch! That's Henry Fonda!'".
The awesomeness of Barbara Stanwyck is what makes one of the more obscure jokes in Airplane work so well.
Kate, late again, Dr. Who said, what kind of a Time Lord are you? Yes I will, give me a few, busy with the release of Mr. Glamour, and thanks for the invite, you need to tell the sommelier at the Slaughterhouse what your favourite Premier Cru is.
And the Lady of Noir nodded at the regal Godwin being, There was a twinkle in her eye. Fortunately, her Professor Love is the ultimate Dr Who fan of all the Americas. She reached into her bag of well nestled gems, plucked and shined the choicest for Sir Richard:
"All of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was.
Where do you want to start?"
Timing is as timing does, author'man admired . . . Our Noir shows roll out once again in the 'morrow, with a posse of shadowy crimewriters to suspend readers far into time itself when gumshoes, gams and guns shoot holes in plots you didn't see coming. Slaughterhouse, you say?
REAR WINDOW is the film I have watched most often Second place would go to LAURA.
Veronica it's a great film. Well said.
Absolutely, Kate. Yes indeed.
nice idea.. thanks for posting.
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