Showing posts with label 1940's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1940's. Show all posts

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Noir Watch: Nora Prentiss (1947)


watched:  06/15/2019
format:  Noir Alley on TCM
viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

Eddie Muller intro'd this movie by discussing how this film was marketed and considered "a woman's picture", and from what I've gathered about Women's Pictures of the mid-20th Century, I can see why that label got dropped on it.  But had he not mentioned this in the opening, I'd have seen this as soft-boiled noir and maybe mentioned women's films in passing.  Bear in mind, one of my favorite movies if Mildred Pierce, which one can see as equal parts Women's Picture and Film Noir, so that's not taking a particular stance, it just changes the formula a bit.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Noir Watch: Dead Reckoning (1947)


Watched:  06/06/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

I know it seems like I heap praise on every single noir that comes along, but I'm usually trying to find some good in the film or a reason it was included in Eddie Muller's Noir Alley line-up.

Muller himself warned us up front that Dead Reckoning (1947) wasn't going to shake the Earth, and in practice - the movie has a wide variety of components that, if I were to tell you "it stars so-and-so, it has this and that plot element, it has a unique location" you'd be nodding and getting noir-jazzed for the movie.  But, in execution...  the movie just feels like a lesser picture almost immediately, and it just never manages to catch fire.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Noir Watch: Key Largo (1948)


Watched:  05/31/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1940's

The notion of a bunch of folks hanging out in a hotel in the Florida Keys probably doesn't ring very "noir" to folks who start and stop their definition of noir with Jane Greer in large hats, but there's a sub-genre of noir that's "people in remote locations trapped in a building/ held hostage by gangster while some sort of event occurs outside".  In this case, the gangster is Edward G. Robinson and the event is a hurricane.

I recalled loving Key Largo (1948) when I watched it a few years back, and I believe it made top marks in my end of the year Krypto Awards as the movie I most enjoyed watching at home.

Y'all...  this movie held up just fine.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Noir Watch: White Heat (1949)



Watched:  05/22/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM
Viewing:  Second (third?)
Decade:  1940's

Cagney made it big in films of the 1930's with breakout roles like The Public Enemy and Angels with Dirty Faces.  During the war, he had a massive hit with Yankee Doodle Dandy, but by 1949, he was back in tough-guy mode when he was brought on to play Cody Jarrett in White Heat, maybe one of the most famous outlaw films in American cinema.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Noir City Austin - Day 1 - "Trapped" (1949) and "The Turning Point" (1952)




Viewed:  05/17/2019
Format:  Noir City Austin at Alamo Ritz
Viewing:  First for both
Decade:  1940's/ 1950's

Eddie Muller is back in Bat City for Noir City Austin, our annual showing of films I'd never find on my own, and always can't believe the gold Muller is able to surface.   Muller isn't just host of TCM's Noir Alley weekly dose of crime, implied sex and moral gray areas - he's also head of the Film Noir Foundation.  Proceeds from the festival and merch sales go back to the FNF, who, in turn use the money to rescue films from obscurity and eventual loss.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Noir Watch: Nightmare Alley (1947)


Watched:  05/12/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  1940's

I remember reading that film-reviewer Pauline Kael made it a rule to only ever watch a film once - maybe a practicality of her business, maybe a personal quirk (as in all things, it's only mostly true).  I think about this a lot, because - as anyone who has followed the blog or PodCast knows - I find returning to movies fascinating, both to see what my now-brain thinks of a movie versus what I thought of it then, and because of how those differences reflect on your own experience, making films something all the more personal.

I saw Nightmare Alley (1947) about four years ago, and I remembered thinking it was good - but not really clicking to it in particular.  But on this viewing, despite the fact I remembered the film fairly well, it just reached out and hit me over the head.  This is a brilliant, wonderfully crafted movie, tackling deeply sensitive material and plowing right through, and getting away with it like the low-level conman who inserts himself with the right clothes and patter - the movie sure looks like a morality tale and crime movie, while questioning the nature of anyone selling you salvation, spiritual insight or deep insight into your own psyche. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Noir Watch: Border Incident (1949)


Watched:  04/08/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

...so...

We've essentially not only just *not* made any progress on how we deal with our border with our Southern neighbor since the release of this film in 1949, but we're now actively and intentionally worse about how all of this works.

Border Incident (1949) follows law enforcement working together from both the Mexican and American governments, seeking not to punish the braceros crossing illegally so much as to stop the exploitation and criminal behavior of the coyotes, who use the undocumented status of their victims to exploit them for terribly low wages, awful living conditions and potentially violent treatment.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Noir-ish Watch: High Sierra (1941)



Watched:  03/21/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  at least fourth
Decade:  1940's

I've surely written this movie up before, but it's a great heist flick.  Maybe not Ashpalt Jungle good, but one for the pantheon.  And, it was a breakout movie for Bogart, hot on the heels of Petrified Forest.  And, of course, it broke Ida Lupino, which is a boon to us all.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Noir Watch: D.O.A. (1949)


Watched:  03/13/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

You know how sometimes you hear about the premise of a movie and you write the whole thing in your head in about 5 seconds?  I mean, I'm often wrong, and I find that really nice, but other times the movie wraps and you say "that is exactly what I thought it was going to be"  And even that isn't all bad.  But that's more or less why I never bothered seeing this film, and, here we are, and I am reporting out that D.O.A. (1949) was more or less exactly what I expected it was going to be.

A fun ride, yes, and... no - I didn't guess every twist and turn (who could?), but "sounds like a dude running around trying to figure stuff out as he tries to beat the clock" - done in one, mi amigos.  What I wasn't anticipating was the weird tone of the film which, alone, kind of makes it worth a peek.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Post-War Watch: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)


Watched:  02/12/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR
Viewing: second
Decade:  1940's


The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) rightfully won accolades and awards upon its release, telling the story of three returning GI's in terms that try not to gloss over the hardships and adjustments those who went to war in WWII must make as they come home and attempt to re-enter civilian life.  Perhaps as much or more importantly, the movie doesn't ignore the adjustments and expectations of those who were safe at home, including arcs for the folks who didn't go, for whom life was not on pause as their loved ones - or even former coworkers - disappeared for a few years. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Noir Watch: The Stranger (1946)


Watched:  02/04/2019
Format:  TCM on DVR (Noir Alley from months ago)
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940's

This is an oddball one to slot in with noir in some ways - but I think it fits.  It's just sort of a weird set-up to have your antagonist of the film a Nazi war criminal.

I really don't want to say too much or give too much away - I really didn't know much going into The Stranger (1946), and if you've not yet seen it - try not to learn too much and go give it a shot.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Noir Watch: Murder, My Sweet (1944)


Watched:  01/25/2018
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  4th
Decade:  1940's

Murder, My Sweet (1944) is a favorite and one of two Dick Powell movies that made me a fan.  Based on the classic detective novel Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (not yet a classic, obvs, at the time), this movie has as many or more twists and turns than The Big Sleep and maybe doesn't have the popping-off-the-screen chemistry of Bogart and Bacall, but Powell feels more like the Philip Marlowe of the books in my book.

Anyway, I promised not to write up every movie this year, and I'm sure I've written this one up before, so aside from adding that Claire Trevor's evening-look with her up-do is something else, I'll just give the movie a solid rec and what I love about Chandler boiled down to work in a movie.  Oh, and Mike Mazurki is pretty great.


Friday, January 18, 2019

Noir Watch: Lured (1947)


Watched:  01/17/2019
Format:  Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1940s

Anything with Lucille Ball pre-I Love Lucy is a weird watch.

I do not know what to do with Sexy Lucy.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Noir Watch: Double Indemnity (1944)



Watched:  01/04/2018
Format:  Noir Alley TCM on DVR
Viewing:  Unknown.  4th?  5th?
Decade:  1940's

Whole books have been written about Double Indemnity (1944), so I'll keep it brief while the more scholarly pursue it's winding journey through the souls of a couple of grifters.  And Eddie Muller's intros and outro's were, as ever, insightful, knowledgeable and refreshing.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Noir Watch: "The Naked City" (1948)


Watched: 12/15/2018
Format: TCM on DVR (from Criterion, natch)
Viewing: first
Decade: 1940's

"There are 8 million stories in the Naked City.  This has been one of them." is probably a line you've heard used somewhere - maybe not from this movie, exactly, but from the television show loosely based on this movie that was a sort of crime-anthology series that started off in the late 1950's, aping the style of police procedural that The Naked City (1948) may not have originated, but it did get down to a T. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Noir Watch: The Big Sleep (1946)


Watched:  12/14/2018
Format:  Big screen at Austin Film Society
Viewing:  unknown.  Fifth?
Decade:  1940's

I'm not actually going to write up this movie.  You should watch it.  And behold Bacall.  I need to re-read the novel.  It's been a long time.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas Watch: "Holiday Inn" (1942)


Watched:  12/07/2018
Format:  streaming on Prime, I think
Viewing:  7th or so
Decade: 1940s

Holiday Inn (1942) is a terrific movie, except for the deeply problematic blackface sequence.

Friday, December 7, 2018

PODCAST: "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) - Episode 2 of Holiday Cinema Series (w/ NathanC and Ryan)


Watched:  12/02/2018
Format:  Horrendous colorized version streaming on Amazon, I believe
Viewing:  Unknown.  Dozens.
Decade:  1940's


NathanC and Ryan take on the big Christmas classic about a guy who meets an angel who deeply improves his Christmas Eve. "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) is an annual favorite, but it's also a movie that gets pretty dang dark. We take a look and ponder why the film has endured.





Music:
Christmas Time is Here - Vince Guaraldi Trio from A Charlie Brown Christmas
Main Title/ Heaven - Dimitri Tiomkin, It's a Wonderful Life OST
It's a Wonderful Life (finale) - Dimitri Tiomkin, It's a Wonderful Life OST
O Tannenbaum - Vince Guaraldi Trio from A Charlie Brown Christmas

Show Notes:

~29:55 articles on gender and libraries (nowhere near complete on the topic)
31:45 Gloria Graham at IMDB


Holiday Cinema Series Playlist