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BS: Old black & white film noir favorites

beeliner 05 Sep 11 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Bluesman 04 Sep 11 - 02:24 PM
Don Firth 04 Sep 11 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Bluesman 04 Sep 11 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 04 May 11 - 11:35 AM
Little Hawk 02 May 11 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 02 May 11 - 04:51 AM
MGM·Lion 02 May 11 - 03:48 AM
robomatic 02 May 11 - 01:38 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 01 May 11 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,guest richd- on work computer 01 May 11 - 01:54 PM
Max Johnson 01 May 11 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 01 May 11 - 01:06 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Apr 11 - 11:51 PM
Max Johnson 30 Apr 11 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 30 Apr 11 - 09:18 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Apr 11 - 07:19 AM
GUEST 30 Apr 11 - 06:50 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Apr 11 - 01:44 AM
Neil D 30 Apr 11 - 01:21 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Apr 11 - 01:04 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Apr 11 - 01:02 AM
Little Hawk 30 Apr 11 - 12:12 AM
J-boy 29 Apr 11 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,Skivee, giesting in 29 Apr 11 - 10:21 PM
Don Firth 29 Apr 11 - 08:52 PM
RangerSteve 29 Apr 11 - 08:19 PM
RangerSteve 29 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 29 Apr 11 - 07:42 PM
RoyH (Burl) 29 Apr 11 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 29 Apr 11 - 05:29 PM
Don Firth 29 Apr 11 - 05:07 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Apr 11 - 04:23 AM
Art Thieme 29 Apr 11 - 12:24 AM
Bert 28 Apr 11 - 11:34 PM
robomatic 28 Apr 11 - 11:25 PM
BrooklynJay 28 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM
Little Hawk 28 Apr 11 - 06:56 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 28 Apr 11 - 12:15 AM
Donuel 27 Apr 11 - 06:25 PM
Don Firth 27 Apr 11 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 27 Apr 11 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Eliza 27 Apr 11 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 27 Apr 11 - 05:03 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 26 Apr 11 - 10:29 PM
Bert 26 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 11 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,Eliza 26 Apr 11 - 02:38 PM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 11 - 12:19 AM
Ron Davies 26 Apr 11 - 12:15 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: beeliner
Date: 05 Sep 11 - 10:45 AM

Unless I went right past it, no one has mentioned Robert Aldrich's 1955 "Kiss Me Deadly". If you haven't seen this film, rent it tonight - you will not be disappointed!

A real (reel?) sleeper from England is "The Snorkel". This is such a minor film, obviously intended as the second feature on double bills, that I thought I'd never have the opportunity to see it again, then I found it at my local public library in an anthology of Hammer Studios "B"s. Ninety very entertaining minutes, with a great surprise ending.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Bluesman
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 02:24 PM

Just watched the original Brighton Rock on Film4. It is so much better that the 2011 re make, saying that, the remake was well made, but this classic is so much better in black and white.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 02:19 PM

Dunno if it qualifies as "Noir" or flat-out "Horror."

A couple of veteran actresses letting it all hang out. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962).

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Bluesman
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 12:45 PM

Brighton Rock on film 4 now. This was a classic film noir.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 04 May 11 - 11:35 AM

Lawrence Tierney in Oscar nominated Dillinger. Just over 60minutes running time and a classic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 May 11 - 01:04 PM

"The Big Heat" is on Youtube in 10 parts, so I finally got to see it last night. Excellent movie! It has to be one of the best film noir(s) of all time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 02 May 11 - 04:51 AM

Richard 111....is he noir then? I always think Hamlet's a bit of a selfish shit, and Richard 11, come to that....... Are they all noir?


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 May 11 - 03:48 AM

Good summary, robo; but disagree re White Heat: the Cagney character, the antihero, ends up dead: "Top of the world, Ma!" An antihero rather than a hero is one of the noir indicators, surely? Cf Macbeth, arguably Will's pičce noire?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: robomatic
Date: 02 May 11 - 01:38 AM

Noir is about the atmosphere of the film. The token to me is that it is generally referring to a sort of American film, in contrast to the typical American film which is full of light and laughs and the heroes winning and getting the girls and, in contrast to other cultures, finishing the film alive.
The atmosphere in which the hero may not reach the end (DOA) or may be star crossed by his own actions (Detour) is rather different from a standard Western, Gangster, Fighter, War flick. Using a French term to apply to an American flick is an indicator.
I remember hearing that between the Wars, when Hollywood exported a film to Russia, they used a different final real, in which they killed the hero, this was called 'putting a Russian ending' on the film.
Noir was doing the same thing domestically, putting the whole thing into an atmosphere of dystopia. there are other signifiers, such as the role of women, not necessarily heroines, and cops.

I would say that White Heat, a terrific film, does not qualify as noir. High Sierra also a great film, does not qualify.

I think it can be argued that something like "X-Files" qualifies or at least owes a lot to noir in so far as theme, casting, and music are concerned.

Noir can have humor, but it always has doom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 01 May 11 - 02:11 PM

Go on then, Interest us!


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,guest richd- on work computer
Date: 01 May 11 - 01:54 PM

Why aren't Gangster Films the same as Noirs?
Why aren't Psychokiller films Noirs?
Why aren't films such as 'Heimat' Noirs?
Is 'Night of the Hunter' a noir?
I don't think so. but the reasons why they are not- good (or excellent) films as they are are -is really interesting.
As is the question: what genre is 'The Night of The Hunter'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Max Johnson
Date: 01 May 11 - 01:38 PM

Not bad, Alan. 1984 (I googled it). It was made as a long film, and then edited into episodes to show as a series on German TV. However, and not many people know this, it was first shown in the UK as a movie in London. It was shown over two days, with the first day being (I think) 10 hours, and the second 8 hours. I was offered a free ticket, but politely declined.

I saw it later when it was serialised on TV though, and it was without doubt one of the best things I've ever seen on TV.

Apologies for my loutish behaviour in wandering off-topic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 01 May 11 - 01:06 AM

long time before. heimat was in the 80's sometime. It was three years old when they showed it on the beeb - and we got hooked then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 11:51 PM

Interesting, Max. Was that before or after Schindler's List, 1993, as a matter of interest?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Max Johnson
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 03:54 PM

Edgar Reitz occasionally uses small splashes of red to great effect in the mostly monochrome Part 1 of his epic series 'Heimat'.

Absolutely magnificent but admittedly not Noir by any stretch of the imagination, however someone mentioned about using red in B&W, and I just thought I'd say.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 09:18 AM

Thanks Mike, that was me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 07:19 AM

"Exploitative" in the dramatic FX drawn from its horrible back story. At the end, there they were naked in the shower at Auschwitz: will it be hot water or gas? The shower comes on ~~ water; oh how they laugh together in glee. Oh how happy we are all supposed to feel.

Think of the times it wasn't water...

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 06:50 AM

'a terrible exploitative film I thought that'

I've never been able to watch the film, the details in Keneally's book, I found too harrowing. Why was it exploitative? i saw Fiennes ages ago in Stratford playing in King John - thought he was an astonishing actor - even back then. Still couldn't make myself watch it, not even to see Fiennes in what everyone said was a great role.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 01:44 AM

On Psycho -- comparatively late Hitch, 1960 when he was well into colour; but he deliberately made it in retro-b&w explicitly to underline its 'noir' aspects.

[Spielberg much later [1990s] did same thing re Schindler's List, where the little girl's red coat is the only splash of effective colour thruout. {All in all a terrible exploitative film I thought that, & a grave disappointment; but the point remains}.]

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Neil D
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 01:21 AM

"The Strange Love of Martha Ivers"


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 01:04 AM

... + Psycho, to be sure ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 01:02 AM

Ah, yes, the presence of Greenstreet & Lorre a good indicator indeed, esp when + Bogart ~~

so, The Maltese Falcon & Across The Pacific [which, despite the WWii setting, I guess would still stand up].

And a train of thought brings me thence to Hitchcock & Lifeboat: how about some of his, both later US & earlier GB periods {Rear Window? Blackmail? ...} which would surely fit into the genre?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Apr 11 - 12:12 AM

Another great Robert Mitchum film...

Thunder Road


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: J-boy
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 10:40 PM

Good one Firth! Can't believe it was overlooked. On an only slightly related note Cagney's grandson lives here in Portland, Maine. Yes, James Cagney III. He works in an ultra-cool video store and is a great guy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Skivee, giesting in
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 10:21 PM

That was a typo, but I think I'll keep nit
Sunset Boulevard...with a wonderful soundtrack...Korngold I think.
A Place in the Sun...with a wonderful soundtrack...Korngold I think
Rebecca...with a wonderful soundtrack...Korngold I think


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 08:52 PM

Oh, Wow! Just thought of another one:

White Heat   (1949)

James Cagney plays a psychopathic criminal with a mother complex.

"Look, Ma! I'm on TOP OF THE WORLD!!"    ka-BOOM!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: RangerSteve
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 08:19 PM

I just remembered another favorite - The Mask of Demetrius - with Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Zachary Scott. Lorre, a mystery writer, becomes fascinated by the story of Demetrius Makopoulos, after DM is found dead. He traces DM's path through Europe, trying to find out more about him, with Sydney Greenstreet along for the ride as a shady character who has reasons of his own to find out more about DM. It's a good mystery, and a lot of fun, too. I'll watch anything with Lorre and Greenstreet in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: RangerSteve
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 08:06 PM

The Coen Brothers made a b&w noir film recently called "The Man Who Wasn't There" with Billy Bob Thornton. It didn't get a wide release, probably because people don't appreciate black and white. It'a about a guy who never gets noticed, so he decides it could be a good thing when it comes to murder. The murder comes early in the film, and the rest of the film shows everything going wrong that could go wrong. It deserves to be seen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 07:42 PM

THE BIG HEAT is a quite good choice, though a bit under-rated methinks.

The relationship between Lee Marvin and Gloria Grahame is really jarring. The wife of the Glenn Ford character was played by Jocelyn Brando, Marlon's sister.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 06:17 PM

Eliza, Little Hawk, Oh Yes, 'Night of the Hunter' - Now that's what I call a film. Totally disturbing, terrifying. Mitchum was brilliant, and so was the direction by Charles Laughton. One of my favourite films of all time. 'Film Noir'? Don't know, don't care.

Don Firth, Oh Yes once again. 'Laura', with Gene Tierney inthe title role. In my opinion she was the most beautiful woman that ever graced the screen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 05:29 PM

Perhaps a bit predictable but Glenn Ford in The Big heat. More Chandleresque than Chandler as i remember. from the Wiliam McGivern book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 05:07 PM

Speaking of Tyrone Power. . . .

Nightmare Alley (1947)

( . . . shudder. . . . )

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 04:23 AM

Bit early for the genre according to some; but anyone remember a fine 1940 Henry Hathaway movie called Johnny Apollo? ~ the eponymous pseudonym chosen by Tyrone Power's character who embarks on a life of crime to raise enough money to appeal his beloved father's unjust embezzlement sentence, only to be disowned as a result by the old man. I can still recall odd details 70+ years on: like his carrying a lighter, gift from his father, inscribed "To my matchless son"; and Dorothy Lamour, unsinging & sarongless, as moll of the head of the gang (Lloyd Nolan) who has lots of milk delivered every day because he likes it as mixer for his Scotch. Great ironies. Great film.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 12:24 AM

Some are a stretch--but these come to mind as being in the same ballpark:

The Dark Corner -1946
Chinatown
The Two Jakes
Mickey One
Treasure of Sierra Madre
Night of the Iguana
Marlowe
Long Voyage Home
To Have and Have Not
Viva Zapata
Dead Man
Portrait of a Lady


L.A, Confidential
Lady From Shanghai


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Bert
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 11:34 PM

...what it is about monochrome which gives a film more power?...

In monochrome, the cinematographer has to pay a lot more attention to the composition of each shot.

In color, they can get away with any old shot that has a splash of color in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: robomatic
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 11:25 PM

Check out the original (or one of the original) American noirs "I wake up screaming" while not a rock 'em sock 'em shoot 'em up, it is well paced and well cast, in particular one of my favorite actors who is not well known, the huge and mellifluous Laird Cregar.

A hard-to-find noir, which I haven't seen all the way through, is "The Trap" or "The Baited Trap" which has Richard Widmark as the GOOD guy, for a change (somewhat corrupted, but not clean through)and Lee J Cobb as the baddie, natch. I just remember one classic line from it and I've been looking for the movie ever since. Lee J Cobb kidnaps this girl, and as she realizes it as the car drives away with them in the back seat, she gets mad at Lee and screams at him: "how much do you want? When will you have enough?" He looks back at her smiles and says: "How Much IS There?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 07:53 PM

Johnny O'Clock (1947) with Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes and Lee J. Cobb. Keyes is a bit over-the-top at times - some of her dialogue must be heard to be (dis)believed - but that only makes it more fun.

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 06:56 PM

This has been a great thread. Thanks for all the contributions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 12:15 AM

The Brits made some outstanding Noirs. Perhaps the most interesting is "No Orchids for Miss Blandish" The surprise is that it was made at all in England, as it is perhaps the most sadistically, most gratuitously violent film up to that time (1948). Knowing that violence is more taboo than sex in BritCinema, it astounding that it was able to be made, let alone released.

*The lead character is the perennial bad guy, American Jack LaRue. In spite of the violence he comes off almost sympathetic. The rest of the cast is British.
*The story takes place in the US; the cars all have left-hand drive, but the interiors are very British looking.
*The bad guys all try to affect an American gangster accent...not very successfully.
*The rich folks, Miss Blandishes family, etc. don't even bother to try for an American accent.

While not well received when released, Blandish has become something of a cult movie. I would like to see the entire film sometime. When it was on awhile back (TCM), I tuned on about 15 minutes in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 06:25 PM

Shangra La


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 04:29 PM

Double Indemnity. 1944.

Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwick, Edward G. Robinson.

A couple, having an adulterous affair, plot the death to her husband in order to collect his insurance. They discover a double indemnity clause in his life insurance policy, saying it will pay double if he dies in a train accident.

The plot goes very wrong.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 03:46 PM

I love the old Ealing films but they aren't Film Noir. A defining characteristic of Noir is moral ambiguity combined with a characterisically American sensibility - which is why 'Kind Hearts' and 'The Ladykillers' aren't Noir when 'Le Samourai' and 'A Bout De Souffle' are (kind of). Altman's Chandler movie was 'The Long Goodbye', not 'The Big Sleep'. There was a 70s version of 'Sleep' but it was set in England and directed by Michael Winner - though it actually followed the plot of the book more literally than the Howard Hawks version.

Not sure if 'The Third Man' counts either - too English, perhaps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 06:07 AM

I've been trying to decide what it is about monochrome which gives a film more power sometimes, and why a diferent type of film is better in full colour. I agree Little Hawk, that there is less to distract in B&W. Also, it gives the imagination more to work on. I also agree Alan that a baddie with no nuances to his/her character is a bit simplistic, however it does help one to concentrate on the plot and denouement. Once the characters are well-drawn, one can sit back and see what they get up to, no twists or confusingly uncharacteristic actions on their part! I'm also wondering if my age has something to do with it, as all TV programmes and films were only in B&W when I was young, and I was quite profoundly affected by them, being naive and vulnerable perhaps. (For instance, I remember seeing 'The Sea Shall Not Have Them' in the cinema, and 'Quatermass and the Pit' on early TV, both of which affected me very much!) However, The Ten Commandments in full colour was spectacular, mainly because of its scope.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 05:03 AM

I'd say an important element of the noir era is the moral confusion - the films are in black and white, but the issues of good and evil aren't.

Robert Mitchum in the Night of the Hunter is almost too much of a cartoon baddie - there is no ambiguity about him, he is evil personified. moose malloy in the Farewell My Lovely (another pursuer) is quite as brutal, but also strangely pathetic.

Similarly the Chandler detctives seem almost too morally upright for these films. The fact that they are knowing and expect the law and its factors to be corrupt is the only thing that makes them fit into this seedy world.

Bogart seems much more at one with the noir form in In a Lonely place, when his violent outburst at the start of the film is shocking to the audience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 10:29 PM

Noir!? Ya want Noir? Go to http://www.theyshootpictures.com/noir.htm.

Here you will find 250 'quitessential' Noirs, and about 750 films ranked by degree of Noirishness. This list is conservative in that it lists no Western-Noir or SciFi-Noir that I noted in a cursory look at the lists. There are chronological and alphabetical versions of the list, so you can see if your favorite made the cut.

I think I've seen over 80% of the Quintisentials. The only one I really disagree with strongly--probably because I think the film is just plain bad--is Kiss Me Deadly. I cannot find anything, except maybe the cinematography to recommend it.

Have fun!


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Bert
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 09:39 PM

What no "39 Steps"?

I loved "The Lady Killers" as well, and much prefer the Ealing comedies to the Noir genre.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:51 PM

They do seem to have more emotional power, perhaps because there is less to distract the eye from the essential drama...or because the contrasts are so stark. An interesting case of "less is more".


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 02:38 PM

I agree Little Hawk, that Night of the Hunter doesn't fit comfortably into any category. It's a very strange film for its time, simple in its screenplay but complex in its tone and atmosphere. I find it extremely disturbing. And the fact it's in black and white adds to the dreamlike quality, especially the scenes in near-silhouette. I've always felt that B&W films have more power somehow. (For example The Elephant Man and Pasolini's Gospel According to St Matthew. Not films noirs, but very much enhanced by monochrome.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 12:19 AM

"Key Largo" is definitely one of my favourites of flim noir.

As for "Night of the Hunter", I consider it sort of "film noir" in a number of respects...but it stands alone, as it is absolutely unique among movies. As such, it more or less defies specific categorization.


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Subject: RE: BS: Old black & white film noir favorites
From: Ron Davies
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 12:15 AM

I really like "Key Largo".    The tension between the characters is reflected and heightened by the tension waiting for the hurricane.

I've also read that John Huston meant it to be an allegory for the HUAC situation in 1948 when it was made.    The gangsters were "a metaphor for the right-wing forces bent on compelling obedience to the new political orthodoxy.":   Bogart, by Sperber and Lax, p 410. .

Huston also had to be persuaded to make the movie--he came close to resigning since it was based on a 1939 play by Maxwell Anderson, a reactionary who hated FDR--and Huston had had enough of that in Washington already. But Huston had some lines spoken by FDR during WW II inserted into the film.

And of course audiences did not see the HUAC parallel.


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