Film noir: your favourites

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I'll keep to a narrow definition and exclude neo-noir, so we're talking mainly Hollywood movies released from 1940-1960.

Kiss Me Deadly is pretty terrific, possibly my favourite. I saw The Postman Always Rings Twice last night - great but not as great as the novel.

What is that Robert Mitchum as an ambulnce man falling for Jean Simmons? That was pretty amazing as well.

Jonathan Z. (Joanthan Z.), Thursday, 8 April 2004 08:44 (eighteen years ago) link

The Killers

Dave B (daveb), Thursday, 8 April 2004 08:54 (eighteen years ago) link

Does "The Big Sleep" count? That's one of my favourite films ever.

Baravelli. (Jake Proudlock), Thursday, 8 April 2004 10:41 (eighteen years ago) link

I watched The Third Man the other day for the first time--thoroughly excellent.

sgs (sgs), Thursday, 8 April 2004 10:54 (eighteen years ago) link

"The Postman Always Rings Twice" is a bit flat. But "Double Indemnity", also based on a Cain novel and with a similar story (wife plots with boyfriend to kill husband and pocket the insurance) is a great noir film, in my opinion.

Raymond Chandler, who scripted it and changed the story a great deal, wrote to Cain that the dialogue in the book wouldn't play onscreen as written, putting his finger, in my opinion, on why "Postman" had been somewhat two-dimensional: the film had been too faithful.

Baravelli. (Jake Proudlock), Thursday, 8 April 2004 11:03 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes I agree with you on Postman the film (I haven't seen Double Indemnity yet but I love the book which as you say is basically another riff on Postman). Also what Postman the film lacked was the novel's flat tone of amorality. You can see why Camus claimed it as an influence for "L'Etranger".

Jonathan Z. (Joanthan Z.), Thursday, 8 April 2004 11:07 (eighteen years ago) link

Did Chandler also add the framing sequence, which is a great device because it allows for lots of lovely Raymond Chandler voiceover?

I was amused to find out that the 1946 Postman was already the third adaptation, one of them being a foundation-stone of Italian Neo-realism.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Thursday, 8 April 2004 11:09 (eighteen years ago) link

Double Indemnity is great! Especially because we get to see Fred MacMurray (aka the dad in whitebread TV show "My Three Sons") as a swift-talking con-man.

sgs (sgs), Thursday, 8 April 2004 11:12 (eighteen years ago) link

"The Big Sleep" is most absolutely classic noir. I like it lots, it was my introduction to Bogart & Bacall.
I remember liking "The Lost Weekend" but haven't seen it for years.
Gloria Grahame is a wonderful actor who was in Noir films, like The Big Heat.

cuspidorian (cuspidorian), Thursday, 8 April 2004 11:32 (eighteen years ago) link

.. and in the unusually poetic In a Lonely Place starring Bogart directed by Nicholas Ray.

Dave Amos, Thursday, 8 April 2004 11:46 (eighteen years ago) link

i love noir, to the point that i'll watch almost anything no matter how z-grade. some favorites: phantom lady, out of the past, the lady from shanghai, the third man, a touch of evil, night of the hunter, i wake up screaming, night and the city, force of evil, pick-up on south street, call northside 777, laura.

lauren (laurenp), Thursday, 8 April 2004 13:50 (eighteen years ago) link

There's a Nicholas Ray festival on in Paris at the moment, In A Lonely Place is on next Tuesday.

Jonathan Z. (Joanthan Z.), Thursday, 8 April 2004 13:56 (eighteen years ago) link


lucas (lucas), Thursday, 8 April 2004 14:01 (eighteen years ago) link

'Especially because we get to see Fred MacMurray (aka the dad in whitebread TV show "My Three Sons") as a swift-talking con-man.'

Fred MacMurray playing SATAN in 'the Apartment' is even weirder.

'Gilda' to thread!

Clubber Langston (Adrian Langston), Thursday, 8 April 2004 14:10 (eighteen years ago) link

Is Touch of Evil considered noir?

oops (Oops), Thursday, 8 April 2004 21:44 (eighteen years ago) link

It's usually considered the last blast of the first wave of noir, I think.

I got Sam Fuller's Pickup on South Street today. Looks noiry.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Thursday, 8 April 2004 21:46 (eighteen years ago) link

I really want to see Double Indemnity, but the R1 DVD is OOP.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Thursday, 8 April 2004 21:46 (eighteen years ago) link

Double Indemnity has one of my favourite lines ever in it. "You bet I'll get out of here, baby - I'll get out of here but quick." I first saw it playing as a movie on a TV in the background during the 2nd Columbo pilot and my jaw dropped. I had to find out what it was from.

jazz odysseus, Thursday, 8 April 2004 21:55 (eighteen years ago) link

How bout The Killing? noir or no?

oops (Oops), Thursday, 8 April 2004 21:59 (eighteen years ago) link

my favorite noirs by your definition are

the big sleep
the third man
strangers on a train

outside of the definition i have to include

le cercle rouge
chinatown (my favorite noir, period.)
the long goodbye

todd swiss (eliti), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:42 (eighteen years ago) link

Weekend at Bernie's.

Lara (Lara), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:46 (eighteen years ago) link

so overrated

oops (Oops), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:47 (eighteen years ago) link

Night of the FUCKING Hunter and The Asphalt FUCKING Jungle.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:48 (eighteen years ago) link

The Killing is pretty noir in my book.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:48 (eighteen years ago) link

Night of the Fucking Hunter is noir?

oops (Oops), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:49 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm gonna have to put my foot down and say no.

oops (Oops), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:50 (eighteen years ago) link

I think of almost all of those great 50's Mitchem movies as noir (Out of the Past, Cape Fear, Thunder Road, etc. . .) but my definition of noir is pretty broad.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:52 (eighteen years ago) link

Also Touch of Evil (and Lady From Shanghai) is totally noir.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 8 April 2004 22:57 (eighteen years ago) link

What about The Maltese Falcon ? Ca' maaaahn!

jazz odysseus, Thursday, 8 April 2004 23:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I love all the San Francisco noir (There was an AWESOME film fest at the Castro last year on local noir: Maltese Falcon, Dark Passage, Lady From Shanghai, Woman On The Run, Sudden Fear, Out Of The Past, Where Danger Lives, Thieves' Highway, Born To Kill, The House On Telegraph Hill, Nora Prentiss, The Woman On Pier 13, Shakedown, The Raging Tide, The Sniper, The Midnight Story, The Lineup and others) but my favorite remains Experiment In Terror, I can't recommend this movie to enough people.

gygax! (gygax!), Thursday, 8 April 2004 23:26 (eighteen years ago) link

was the "maltese falcon" the first noir?

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 8 April 2004 23:36 (eighteen years ago) link

I think "The Thin Man" is considered to be the first noir? Anyway, two of my faves are Detour and Blast Of Silence - totally low budget but utterly amoral and extreme.
The Grifters is one of the best colour noir films, probably the only Jim Thompson adaptation I've seen that really worked.
Night And The City is the only noir film I've seen set in the UK, are there any more?

udu wudu (udu wudu), Thursday, 8 April 2004 23:43 (eighteen years ago) link

After Dark My Sweet would have been great if not for the atrocious presence of Rachel Ward.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 8 April 2004 23:51 (eighteen years ago) link

Night and the City is my favorite these days. I'm obsessed with Richard Widmark.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Thursday, 8 April 2004 23:57 (eighteen years ago) link

He's amazing. I saw the Criterion Pickup on South Street a couple of weeks ago. Great performance (pretty good film.)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 8 April 2004 23:59 (eighteen years ago) link

This thread is well-timed since I'm going to see basically everything remaining at the American Cinematheque's Film Noir Festival that's going on at the Egyptian Theatre.

I especially recommend the Anthony Mann triple-threat of T-Men, Raw Deal, and He Walked By Night

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Friday, 9 April 2004 00:24 (eighteen years ago) link

i thought 'noir' had been discredited as a category

g--ff (gcannon), Friday, 9 April 2004 00:26 (eighteen years ago) link

I've seen Pickup on South Street a few times, a few weeks ago most recently, one of those films who's charms grow on you, and you like it more the more you think about it. I was underwhelmed the first time I saw it, perhaps expecting more intensity after seeing the Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor. The scene where the spy beats the girl is still one of the more brutal things on film...

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 9 April 2004 00:43 (eighteen years ago) link

"pepe le moko" (directed by julien dudivier,starring jean gabin,FR 1936)it's one of the greatest noir movie ever ,I suggest you guys to see it soon :) good easter:))

claudja, Friday, 9 April 2004 19:46 (eighteen years ago) link

Fritz Lang's "M" deserves a mention

fcussen (Burger), Friday, 9 April 2004 20:02 (eighteen years ago) link

"Side Street"!!!!! and if it counts as noir "Le Samurai"

metfigga (metfigga), Friday, 9 April 2004 20:41 (eighteen years ago) link

"M" is probably one of my favourite movies - I hadn't thought of it as a noir film. I've only seen the remake of "Night and the City", but really liked that, especially for the dialogue (which'll be totally different from the original) and Alan King. And the senselessness of "Father Time"'s heart attack.

jazz odysseus, Friday, 9 April 2004 20:45 (eighteen years ago) link

American - The Man with the Golden Arm

French - Bob le Flambeur
Band of Outsiders

webcrack (music=crack), Friday, 9 April 2004 20:58 (eighteen years ago) link

The Man with the Golden Arm is great. I love that the main character's name was "Frankie Machine" - i'll say this again - his real name was "Frankie Machine" - and he wanted to change it to "Jack Duvall" for a stage name.

jazz odysseus, Friday, 9 April 2004 21:02 (eighteen years ago) link

I have a think for french noir/gangster films...Touchez Pas au Grisbi, Rififi, Bob Le Flambour, Le Samurai, Le Cercle Rouge...there's a book on french noir I've been meaning to get, any recommendations, much appreciated. I've definately been meaning to check out Pepe le Moko.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 9 April 2004 21:27 (eighteen years ago) link

If 'M' is considered noir, wouldn't it be the earliest?

oops (Oops), Saturday, 10 April 2004 06:34 (eighteen years ago) link

My faves are "Scarlet Street" (Lang); "In a Lonely Place"; and of course "Double Indemnity."

I think the first noir was "Stranger on the Third Floor," 1940, RKO.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Saturday, 10 April 2004 17:59 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Double Indemnity it being re-released on DVD in August. Looks barebones, though, as my price is only $9.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Monday, 10 May 2004 02:37 (eighteen years ago) link

I think the low price is because you only get one indemnity.

jazz odysseus (jazz odysseus), Monday, 10 May 2004 02:44 (eighteen years ago) link

shut your yap, bo' or i squirt lead!

Dave Amos, Monday, 10 May 2004 07:59 (eighteen years ago) link

idk, it starts off great and with shades and surf guitar but the plotting gets dafter and it sortof runs out of interest in itself. distinctive enough to be interesting tho.

plax (ico), Sunday, 8 November 2020 16:07 (one year ago) link

idk who did the costumes for phantom lady but its peculiarly elegant for a '40s noir. was shocked it was '44, Tone's outfits and the black suit with collarless blouse worn by raines are gorgeous and the *tacky* outfit raines wears to woo the drummer is hilarious! the hat!

plax (ico), Sunday, 8 November 2020 16:12 (one year ago) link

watched The Big Heat for the first time the other night, obviously great. First time I've liked Glenn Ford in anything--cruelty suits him more than something like, uh, Gilda (so overrated)

In my house we call Glenn Ford The World's Angriest Man, which is why it's so hilarious that he was cast as Pa Kent in the 1978 Superman. The Glenn Ford of the 1950s would have immediately attempted to murder that alien baby.

Murder by Contract is very good, a real American antecedent to New Wave gangster riffs and Tarantino w/ the surf rock. Austerity everywhere, bland cruelty, nothing to do but die.

Yeah, I like this one a lot, too.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 8 November 2020 16:15 (one year ago) link

Anyone watched The Chase on Criterion? Robert Cummings finds a wallet and ends up working for a thug (a brooding Steve Cochran) and his henchman (Peter Lorre.) Of course there's a dame, and complications ensue. Based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich, who's always good for a far-fetched plot contrivance or three. Fun.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 17 November 2020 22:41 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Somewhere in the Night, currently on Criterion, is worth a watch. Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz, with a cast of mostly B-listers (John Hodiak, Nancy Guild.) Super convoluted plot.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Friday, 26 November 2021 16:09 (eight months ago) link

this was great! thanks. She was only fine, lol they clearly were looking for knockoff bacall but she was so nancy drew. He was weirdly hot though.

plax (ico), Wednesday, 1 December 2021 19:01 (eight months ago) link

lol yeah Nancy Drew otm. So many great bit parts and scenes: Turkish baths! Fortune tellers! Chinese restaurant ("I never eat lunch!) Waterfront gospel mission! Sanitarium! that never coalesce, but ultimately it doesn't matter. I thought it was really fun.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 2 December 2021 16:56 (eight months ago) link

The chinese restaurant was so good! The eating was unusually naturalistic, really felt like they were sitting around having lunch, very unusual. Little touches like that. Mankievic's chatty cosy insider stuff came across more realistic and charming than I often find it and the mystery really keeps you guessing all the way through! I only half guessed the ending.

Randomly I ended up watching Desert Fury last night without realising that my new dreamboat John Hodiak was also in it. So brilliant, maybe a perfect cast. Really bananas gay (not-very-)subtexts all over the place. Absolutely hands down Edith heads masterpiece as well. I was hypnotised by lizabeth scott's outfits. The only other technicolor noir I know is leave her to heaven. what else is there?

plax (ico), Thursday, 2 December 2021 19:04 (eight months ago) link

I've watched the two color "noir" films currently on Criterion, "Niagara" (which I had somehow only ever seen the first 30 minutes of before) and "Black Widow." Both are good. I'm sure others will come to mind. Thx for the Desert Fury tip.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 2 December 2021 19:38 (eight months ago) link

I really like "Niagara" for various reasons.

Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 2 December 2021 19:42 (eight months ago) link

Oh i love niagara, but only watched it recently and didn't think of it! Black widow I haven't seen though...

plax (ico), Thursday, 2 December 2021 19:53 (eight months ago) link

I once saw niagara presented by laura mulvey and jacqueline rose

plax (ico), Thursday, 2 December 2021 19:54 (eight months ago) link


Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 2 December 2021 19:57 (eight months ago) link

I guess one obvious thing to like about it is Monroe not doing comedy. Not because her comedy is bad but...

Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 2 December 2021 19:58 (eight months ago) link

There's also Slightly Scarlet - based on a James M Cain novel, colour cinematography by John Alton:

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 2 December 2021 19:59 (eight months ago) link

Starring or co-starring the late Arlene Dahl! It's good!

Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:02 (eight months ago) link

House of Bamboo doesn't use Technicolor™ but it's a good one.

adam t. (abanana), Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:11 (eight months ago) link

So no Natalie Kalmus needed on that set then.

Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:14 (eight months ago) link

Can’t read all this now but seems like some interesting details:'s_color_chart,_1932

Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:20 (eight months ago) link

"Black Widow" used to show on TMC a lot, it's kind of trashy but worth a watch. The trailer basically gives away all the plot points.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:30 (eight months ago) link

lol black widow has such a weird cast, would watch literally anything with gene tierney tho!

plax (ico), Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:52 (eight months ago) link

I didn't know about natalie kalmus -- very interesting!

adam t. (abanana), Friday, 3 December 2021 03:59 (eight months ago) link

going to give gun crazy a go tonight wish me luck

plax (ico), Sunday, 5 December 2021 21:07 (eight months ago) link

Good luck!

Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 5 December 2021 21:09 (eight months ago) link

i've been watching the fox noir on criterion channel. Hangover Square, Somewhere in the Night, The Sound of Fury (a.k.a. Try and Get Me) were all very good movies. It's a shame that old movies with big stars still get most of the attention while there are so many worthy movies without the big names.

adam t. (abanana), Monday, 6 December 2021 00:24 (eight months ago) link

Had totally forgotten about this thread, which is still a great resource---totally agree w Michael Atkinson way upthread, about expecting to see "new" noirs, from 194x etc., "in my dotage"; in fact it's happening now.
Also agree with myself way upthread, about what Act of Violence explained:
Shit you can't take back, no matter how much you pay, which is my definition of film noir, or at least the part that lures me the most--along w continued proximity of mental-emotional collapse. This includes movies about obsession w revenge---total focus, the purpose-driven life---driving over a cliff, or pert near. This last could be the spacey momentum of Point Blank(Richard Stark/Donald Westlake has commented that his character doesn't really know what he wants, past a vanishing point of so-far-so-good/bad)(in that sense, he is Parker before Parker, re the series of crime novels: in there,P Parker doesn't give a shit about anything but the next heist---not what the money can buy, not nothin' but the plan and the payoff and a little chaos along the way, apparently, cos he must know by now it will always happen.
The purpose-driven life driving over a cliff is more Get Carter, which is somewhat like The Sopranos before The Sopranos, in terms of colorful scary humor and scariness, also women in the midst of all this macho bullshit as a given.
Also in No Country For Old Men, when the young widow asks him why, after all the shit he's gotten back and done, he's going to kill her. "I promised your husband I would, " he admits sadly. Also the sense toward the end that if/when there are only stray parts left of him lately, they will keep clattering along like cans tied to the back of an old car with a tail sign that reads, "Just Married."
(After a month of Lou Reed talk on ILM, Bogie's suffering committed asshole in In A Lonely Place seems more like Morb's take than ever.)

dow, Monday, 6 December 2021 04:33 (eight months ago) link

Sorry for typos in there---in terms of noir in the first great decade or so:
Think it was Last (x) Movies where I had a good conversation about Nightmare Alley, but might be too spoiler-y for some---but from the same thread (didn't know about this one, it's great):

Act of Violence---1948, dir. Fred Zinneman, starring Robert Ryan, Van Heflin, Janet Leigh, Phyllis Thaxter, and Mary Astor ( In her autobiography, A Life on Film, Astor recalled filming her scenes for Act of Violence while simultaneously shooting Little Women: "For two weeks or so I was with the Zinneman company playing a sleazy, aging whore, with Van Heflin and Robert Ryan. It was such a contrast that it was stimulating - and reviving....---thanks TCM!). Shit you can't take back, no matter how much you pay, in a star-spangled suburban way or otherwise---crisis of the intractable, locked gears, film fucking noir. (I got a bit tired of the earnest running around that Leigh, Astor, and Thaxter have to do, but the guys do it too, in a grimmer way, all in the maze.)

― dow, Thursday, July 6, 2017 5:11 PM
Also liked the three versions of Postman I've seen, was disappointed by Double Indemnity, despite being a Stanwyck stan.

― dow, Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Oh yeah, and
Clash By Night seems spiritually noir, kind of a sun-and-moonlight, healthy sea air Nightmare Alley: Stanwyck finally comes back because she has nowhere else to go, and when Ryan sees her again, neither does he, not that he was all healthy before. Her husband is delusional, Uncle Billy is silly with demented malice, on a spree.

― dow, Thursday, August 3, 2017

dow, Monday, 6 December 2021 04:40 (eight months ago) link

Working my way through those Indicator boxes the main revelation has been Richard Quine - his noirs are really twisted and sexual, you can see how he'd be attracted to comedy as a genre but make no mistake they're bleak as fuck. Drive A Crooked Road features a great perf from Mickey Rooney (!) as a sexually repressed car mechanic taken as a patsy by femme fatale Dianne Foster and her homoerotically charged muscle beach boyfriend; Pushover combines Double Indemnity (Fred MacMurray seduced into wrongdoings) with Rear Window (he's a cop on a stakeout voyeuristic not just towards his target but also her neighbours). Don't wanna oversell its feminism but the first 20 minutes or so especially are pretty hardcore in showing male manipulativeness and the film also does some interesting stuff with the femme fatale archetype. Also very in line with Elmore Leonard's summation of the essential message of noir: you're fucked.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 6 December 2021 09:27 (eight months ago) link

drive a crooked road was also co written w blake edwards

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Monday, 6 December 2021 14:38 (eight months ago) link

gun crazy is wild, i'm a little unaware of its rep, but the cinematography is crazy and it has such strong new-wave features bits of it are so strongly godard/altman. I've never heard of it as a cahiers classic but it felt like a real rosetta stone, particularly the shots filmed from over the leads shoulders driving to the stick-ups, improvising dialogue. really like nothing i've seen in an american film from that period. having a great time itt lately. in a real noir mood.

plax (ico), Monday, 6 December 2021 19:39 (eight months ago) link

Same here. I don't have time at the moment to list/discuss, but I've just seen a bunch.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Monday, 6 December 2021 20:04 (eight months ago) link

I don't think there's much in it that feels similar to Gun Crazy's vibe, but I highly encourage you to delve further into the works of Joseph H. Lewis if you haven't - for some reason these days he's often used as a punching bag for ppl wishing to minimize the auteur theory, but dude had a crazy sense of visuals and made a buncha great films. Especially recommend The Big Combo (one of the most stylized noirs I've ever seen, great world weary monologues, Lee van Cleef!), My Name Is Julia Ross (b movie entry into Hollywood's post-Rebecca gothic cycle, tense as fuck, kind've a subversion of the genre as the protagonist refuses to be gaslit) and Terror In A Texas Town (western, Sterling Hayden with a preposterous Swedish accent and a hook weapon).

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 10:57 (eight months ago) link

Hangover Square has been rising in my estimation since I watched it on Criterion Channel. Has an opening that matches the best of Sam Fuller. Also made Stephen Sondheim's list of 40 favorite movies that's been going around a little, along with some other noirs.

Chris L, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 12:21 (eight months ago) link

Classics I had somehow never seen previously:

Out of the Past

In a Lonely Place

Other new watches:

The Big Steal (Really didn't care for this one much; too much screwball comedy.)

Where Danger Lives (LOVED this. My kind of noir, a descent from passion into madness. "If you take her, it's a long road. There's no turning back.")


Nightmare Alley

His Kind of Woman (Saw this many years ago and I could remember nothing of the plot or who was in it. I could really only recall the amazing set design of Morro Lodge. I like this one, although Vincent Price turns the third act way too comedic.)

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 14:38 (eight months ago) link

In a Lonely Place is such a monster.

Milm & Foovies (Eric H.), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 14:42 (eight months ago) link

gloria graham is so good in in a lonely place that nobody ever talks about how good she is in a woman's secret

plax (ico), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 18:18 (eight months ago) link

Bande a Parte (1964) one of my fave Godards, and despite the why-not dance sequence, which fits tonally, it's mostly "Hey, Asshole" and plot twists in the back and sideways.

dow, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 18:27 (eight months ago) link

I don't think there's much in it that feels similar to Gun Crazy's vibe, but I highly encourage you to delve further into the works of Joseph H. Lewis if you haven't
― Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 10:57 (eight hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

I think the only other one by him I've seen is the big combo actually based on this thread. I have not come across these movies in most lists/overviews. Honestly those two are kindof how Fuller has been described to me but I found them both more convincing than anything by fuller.

plax (ico), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 19:14 (eight months ago) link

House of Bamboo doesn't use Technicolor™ but it's a good one.

Didn't want to let this one pass without emphasizing that it's very, very good - one of my faves of Fuller.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 14 December 2021 23:49 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, House of Bamboo is great. Some amazing footage of Tokyo and Yokohama in it.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 15 December 2021 00:30 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, you can tell Fuller had the intelligence to actually look around himself and explore Japanese culture.

The yakuza jazz dance party is awesome.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 15 December 2021 10:24 (eight months ago) link

Watched Black Widow, which was enjoyable enough, but as with so many of the mid-range noirs, it has a good first half but only a so-so second half. The resolving of a mystery is never as good as the mystery itself, I guess.

Zelda Zonk, Sunday, 26 December 2021 11:35 (seven months ago) link

"Try and Get Me" (aka "The Sound of Fury") mentioned above is an odd little film; not exactly noir, more crime melodrama with some preachy social-justice angles in the third act. Lloyd Bridges is insanely over-the-top as the bad guy. It drove me crazy trying to place where I had just seen the star, Frank Lovejoy, who plays a great everyman in over his head; he also played Brub in "In A Quiet Place" the same year. Currently on Criterion, but not part of the Fox Noir package.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Monday, 27 December 2021 17:53 (seven months ago) link

I should add I liked it a lot, much of it is resonating with me the day after viewing. And if the central message of noir is, as noted above "you're fucked," then this movie is definitely noir.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Monday, 27 December 2021 22:25 (seven months ago) link

a good first half but only a so-so second half.

yup, great starts are comparatively easy but wholly satisfying endings are very hard

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Monday, 27 December 2021 22:41 (seven months ago) link

six months pass...

I watched Desert Fury last night, part of this month's Criterion Technicolor noir series. I'm not sure what makes this a noir at all, it seemed to me much more a sub-Douglas Sirk overwrought melodrama. It's plenty weird though, and interesting for sure.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 5 July 2022 16:08 (one month ago) link

I'm no film noir maven, but I'll toss in another vote for Pickup on South Street. Widmark is damn near perfect in his role.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 5 July 2022 17:01 (one month ago) link

I am a huge fan of Ross MacDonald's Lew Archer books, but have never seen the two that were adapted into movies (Harper and The Drowning Pool).

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 5 July 2022 17:08 (one month ago) link

If 'M' is considered noir, wouldn't it be the earliest?

― oops (Oops), Saturday, April 10, 2004 2:34 AM (eighteen years ago) bookmarkflaglink

People don't talk about proto-noir as much as I'd like. (Mind you, by "proto-noir" I mean certain deservedly obscure silent and pre-code films.) German expressionism, along with American crime/gangster films and French poetic realism, contributed to what people generally recognize as film noir.

If anyone here hasn't seen M (Lang, 1931), do so ASAP. Other proto-noir recommendations available on request.

Infanta Terrible (, Tuesday, 5 July 2022 19:09 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

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