Noirvember 2021

Tools    





Where the Sidewalk Ends: Preminger uses his Laura cast with Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney in the lead roles. Andrews plays a brutal cop that's had one too many brutality complaints investigating a murder. The way it twists and turns is pure Hecht-ian goodness and results in a fairly unpredictable and gratifying climax. Loved it!



Definitely an interesting genre. I saw Kansas City Confidential, Directed by Phil Karlson a while back. I am gonna gamble on 99 River Street by same director.



I thought the ending to Ace in the Hole felt kinda contrived.
WARNING: spoilers below
I was surprised he didn't seek medical attention from the stab wound since he was bleeding out all day, even as he was having trouble remaining conscious. I get that the Hays Code required for his character to be punished, but couldn't they have come up with something less crazy and implausible? This is a minor issue though.
I felt similarly; I mean, it was a pretty good movie on the whole, but it still stretched belief that
WARNING: spoilers below
Chuck, who was generally a very selfish, self-absorbed character up to that point, just never bothered to stop and get his stabwould treated at any point during the day. It's something that sort of makes sense in theory,
but not much in the moment, and it's still implausible for any random character to just let themselves slowly bleed to death, much less for Chuck specifically.



Black Widow: A cinema scope noir that precedes the film with an explanation of the spider's mating habits, then sidelines stars Gene Tierney and Ginger Rogers in favor of the much too old for this role and lack star charisma to make us forget it, Van Heflin. It’s got a solid narrative but it just feels like the film would’ve been more engaging if it focused on Gene Tierney or Ginger Rogers instead. It would cast doubt on everyone rather than hearing Van Heflin’s righteous indignation for an hour or so.

Good but not great.



Black Widow: A cinema scope noir that precedes the film with an explanation of the spider's mating habits, then sidelines stars Gene Tierney and Ginger Rogers in favor of the much too old for this role and lack star charisma to make us forget it, Van Heflin. It’s got a solid narrative but it just feels like the film would’ve been more engaging if it focused on Gene Tierney or Ginger Rogers instead. It would cast doubt on everyone rather than hearing Van Heflin’s righteous indignation for an hour or so.

Good but not great.
I've been thinking I'll get into the noir spirit and watch one. I've not heard of Black Widow and I'm curious about it so I'm going to try and watch that. But I'm having trouble finding a real good copy of it...can I ask where you watched it at?



I've been thinking I'll get into the noir spirit and watch one. I've not heard of Black Widow and I'm curious about it so I'm going to try and watch that. But I'm having trouble finding a real good copy of it...can I ask where you watched it at?
Criterion Channel. It’s the last entry in their Fox Noir collection.



Criterion Channel. It’s the last entry in their Fox Noir collection.
Ah, thanks. Well one day I might get the Criterion Channel. But I'm still going to watch it and I think I have a half decent copy. Will post back when I do.



Ah, thanks. Well one day I might get the Criterion Channel. But I'm still going to watch it and I think I have a half decent copy. Will post back when I do.
I was reluctant to get CC for whatever reason but once I did, I haven’t looked back. Their curated collections that pop up monthly are excellent and often feature rare titles that I wouldn’t have heard about or been able to see otherwise.



Just managed to fit in another noir this evening. Blue Dahlia (1946).
Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake give Bogie and Bacall a run for their money. Check out its sister film The Glass Key if you get the chance.



A Face in the Crowd: Great way to start off this month! I found this to be an effective critique of two-faced media personalities and how the masses often blindly worship them. This film was relevant when it was released and is still relevant today. Though Lonesome Rhodes may seem friendly while performing in front of his fans, his offscreen treatment of his staff and his present and past relationships say otherwise. I found it interesting how my opinion of him changed so much throughout the film. In the first act, I was laughing at him poking fun at his sponsor and his criticism of various political figures, but as his treatment of Marcia and the rest of his staff members grew worse, I was hoping for him to get his comeuppance. Granted, I did find it weird how Rhodes didn't get into any controversy for marrying someone underage, but aside from that sub-plot, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.



A Face In The Crowd is a masterpiece and one of its defining elements is that it’s only become slightly less prescient because things have gotten so much worse that any “solution” offered in the film seems quaint to downright naive.

Andy Griffith is amazing in it. Not quite my favorite from Kazan but close.



A Face In The Crowd is a masterpiece and one of its defining elements is that it’s only become slightly less prescient because things have gotten so much worse that any “solution” offered in the film seems quaint to downright naive.

Andy Griffith is amazing in it. Not quite my favorite from Kazan but close.
WARNING: spoilers below
Yeah, I found it odd that Rhodes trashing his audience was enough to ruin his entire career. On one hand, a slip up like that would never ruin the career of someone as popular as him if that happened today. On the other hand though, the ending is a depressing reminder that the Rhodes-like personalities we have nowadays are even more beloved and untouchable and, in some cases, will likely always be popular.



The similitudes between Rhodes in Face in the Crowd and a certain political type person is clear to me too. Though when I first watched it I didn't have that comparison in mind and I still loved it.



The similitudes between Rhodes in Face in the Crowd and a certain political type person is clear to me too. Though when I first watched it I didn't have that comparison in mind and I still loved it.
Rhodes is a quintessential political figure. He lurks in the American consciousness and takes on many forms. No matter when you watch it, there’s always a Rhodes on the TV, slinging folksy platitudes to capture the hearts and minds, while caring nothing for them and even less for the truth.

We could watch this in 30 years and he’ll still be relevant because nothing will have fixed the part of society that wants to prop people like him up. He and the film are timeless.



Rhodes is a quintessential political figure. He lurks in the American consciousness and takes on many forms. No matter when you watch it, there’s always a Rhodes on the TV, slinging folksy platitudes to capture the hearts and minds, while caring nothing for them and even less for the truth.

We could watch this in 30 years and he’ll still be relevant because nothing will have fixed the part of society that wants to prop people like him up. He and the film are timeless.
So very true.

I'm off to watch a noir, I hope!



Where do you pick up these pearls of wisdom?
Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake give Bogie and Bacall a run for their money. Check out its sister film The Glass Key if you get the chance.
Yes I have this on DVD. Haven't seen it in a while but remember it being very good.



Black Widow (1954)...Yahoo, my first noir for Noirvember! I enjoyed it too. The funny thing is I'd seen it before and didn't even realize it until the police investigation part. I couldn't remember the ending either, so I still guessed the wrong murderer. BTW I suck at solving movie murder mysteries.

I had fun watching this as I love old movies and like all of the actors in the film. Was that little Peggy Ann Garner from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Jane Eyre...Wow I didn't even recognize her at first AND I did of course know she was in the movie. I'd have to say she gave the most natural performance of the cast...she kinda creeped me out, which was the idea of how her character was wrote.

Ginger Rogers had the plumb role and really got to sink her acting teeth into her juicy character. Gene Tierney is a fav of mine, it's too bad she didn't get more character build up and air time. I like George Raft even though he's not the greatest actor. And I liked Van Heflin though he's played better roles and been in better noirs.

I don't consider this a noir, even though both IMDB and Wiki tag it as such. It felt more like a stageplay of a murder mystery (which I also like). Nunnally Johnson sure filmed it play-like, especially in the final act scene. It was good to watch this again just to see one of the few films that Nunnally Johnson directed he only did eight...his claim to fame is in his wonderful scripts.