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Get your noir thing on

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Jason Williams
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 04:07 am:   

Been kinda on a noir kick lately. Couple nights ago I watched The Big Sleep. Excellent mood and acting, although I thought the plot was a tad convoluted. I keep being surprised at what a tiny guy Bogart was. Howard Hawks doing his usual fine work here.

Tonight was John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle. Outstanding stuff. Sterling Hayden pulls off country boy pretty well, and an all-around good cast, with my personal favorite being the Doctor/Mastermind. John Huston has rarely disappointed me, and I'll continue to track down his movies.

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Nels
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 04:22 am:   

Cool flicks, man. Have you ever seen "Build My Gallows High"? Now that's a movie. And "Night Of The Hunter", which isn't strictly noir but rules.

And I'd just say, with all dues noted, that the thing about noir was that plot -- as in the dictates of the spoon-fed, linear, this happened then this happened and the Good Guy wins at the end -- took a back seat, at least in the novels (I believe it took a while for it to filter through to the movies). It always seemed to me that the best noir, because it was a reaction against the drawing-room prose of say, Agatha Christie and her tight little puzzle-plots, dispensed with such structures (or at least tried to) and replaced them with paranoia, fear, loathing, back-stabbing, mistrust and alcoholism.

Which is why I like them, obviously.
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Jason Williams
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 04:34 am:   

I've not seen either, but I've got Night of the Hunter in the to-be-watched pile, along with Gun Crazy and Touch of Evil (which I've seen, but not in many years).
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 10:10 am:   

I recently bought Edgar G. Ulmer's DETOUR on DVD. It's only about 70 minutes long, but it's a good one!
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 12:59 pm:   

Just for the record, BUILD MY GALLOWS HIGH is known in the US as OUT OF THE PAST. First-rate stuff.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 01:26 pm:   

Has anyone seen the adaptation of Willeford's THE WOMAN CHASER starring Patrick Warburton? I know of only one person who saw it and thought it was great. They were describing the plot of this movie whose title they couldn't remember, and I said, "That sounds exactly like this little Willeford novel I read one time..."
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 01:39 pm:   

Marc --

I also saw it and thought it was great. That Van Gelder guy told me about it. Warburton's fabulous in it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 01:53 pm:   

Wasn't OUT OF THE PAST remade as AGAINST ALL ODDS?
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 02:26 pm:   

And wasn't AGAINST ALL ODDS remade as BENJI!
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 02:32 pm:   

Maybe not, but it did introduce America to Phil Collins' glorious solo career, if I'm not mistaken...:-)
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Jason Williams
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 03:34 pm:   

I'm holding out on Out of the Past. I want to use it as the capper to my noir-a-palooza.
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S. Hamm
Posted on Friday, January 07, 2005 - 06:07 pm:   

OOTP was remade as AGAINST ALL ODDS, but unrecognizably so (kinda like the BIG CLOCK remake, NO WAY OUT, w/K. Costner).

WOMAN CHASER is intermittently amusing, but great? Damn, you guys set a low bar. (Interesting fact about WOMAN CHASER: it went out to theatres -- probably about six theatres -- in black and white, but the print that subsequently turned up on either Sundance or IFC was in color.)

Jason: if you can find them, you should check out a couple of Max Ophuls's genre crossbreeds, CAUGHT and THE RECKLESS MOMENT -- noir women's pictures, and both fascinating.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Saturday, January 08, 2005 - 09:16 am:   

The Max Ophüls CAUGHT is from 1949 and shouldn't be confused with the 1996 Robert Young film of the same name, which is worth seeing too.

I thought THE WOMAN CHASER had a great performance by Warburton and did a great job of capturing the spirit of Willeford's work. I haven't seen many movies in the last few years that I enjoyed as much.
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JT Lindroos
Posted on Saturday, January 08, 2005 - 09:47 am:   

WOMAN CHASER was terrific, but also worth checking out is Fred Ward as Hoke Moseley in MIAMI BLUES and Monte Hellman's COCKFIGHTER -- the latter is not a great film (the book is terrific), but Willeford acts a significant supporting role in it. Curtis Hanson is supposedly adapting Willeford's Hoke books, and Betsy Willeford wrote a script for BURNT ORANGE HERESY recently.

Otherwise, the Warner Film Noir DVD box is a wonderful selection and a great intro to the genre. You could do worse than try the Anthony Mann noirs like T-MEN and RAILROADED, and follow up with CRISS CROSS and Sam Fuller's PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET.
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Brendan
Posted on Saturday, January 08, 2005 - 01:27 pm:   

I just watched Sam Fuller's "The Naked Kiss" night before last - I thought it was awesome - as good as Pickup on South Street and just as weird as Shock Corridor.
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Saturday, January 08, 2005 - 01:53 pm:   

I rented Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black last weekend, and enjoyed it greatly. I'll have to check out The Naked Kiss, Out of the Past, and The Woman Chaser.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, January 08, 2005 - 02:56 pm:   

I gotta say about COCKFIGHTER, that while it's not a great, it is a good film, at least by todays standards, and shows what Warren Oates could do when given screen time. His character in the film has taken a vow not to speak until he wins the cockfighting championship, and Oates manages to convey a full sense of the man without saying a word until the end of the film.
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Jason Williams
Posted on Saturday, January 08, 2005 - 09:59 pm:   

Been trying to track down a copy of Brute Force, but not having a lot of luck so far.
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Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted on Sunday, January 09, 2005 - 01:16 am:   

Watched The Killing on TCM tonight. Early Kubrick, good stuff.
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JT
Posted on Sunday, January 09, 2005 - 09:41 am:   

The nice thing about the COCKFIGHTER DVD is that it comes with a docu on Warren Oates. His work with Hellman was always terrific (TWO-LANE BLACKTOP is a standout performance), and I really like the much maligned BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA too. It's sad and a bit sloppy, but has a beautifully damaged undercurrent to it. They just don't make films like these anymore.
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Brendan
Posted on Sunday, January 09, 2005 - 01:26 pm:   

Jason - Yes, Brute Force is a very good film. Definately worth watching.
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Michael Samerdyke
Posted on Monday, April 18, 2005 - 06:52 am:   

I have always liked the films noir of Robert Siodmak, particularly The Killers (1946) and Criss Cross. They define noir for me.

Brute Force is terrrific. I taped it several years ago, and when I watch it, I watch it straight through, then rewind the last half-hour and watch the ending again.

Movies in which all the characters die are surprisingly entertaining.
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John_thiel
Junior Member
Username: John_thiel

Post Number: 160
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - 07:45 am:   

You guys happy, hanging in the 2005's with some Noir?
I've got biff and zow

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