Funny thing about noir. It even works in the daytime. Saturday afternoon’s films were a double-double shot, honoring both the lovely Joan Leslie and Ida Lupino, who in many respects is the first lady of the genre. (Check out that career
.) I’d seen both movies before, but watching them in tandem brought new aspects to light.… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on February 17, 2008 at 6:39pm —
Night one of Noir City was a tribute to a man not credited on either movie on the bill, the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
The Prowler is a film rich with secret history, not only because of Trumbo’s involvement and that of John Huston as a shadow producer, but because it essentially disappeared for decades. Only a single… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on February 17, 2008 at 6:37pm —
Tune in to Turner Classic Movies on Tuesday, November 13, when novelist James Ellroy takes to the air as part of guest programmer month.
His choices include a trio of California-set crime dramas from 1958, all of which are new to me:
Stakeout on Dope Street,… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on November 11, 2007 at 7:21pm —
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was well before my time. I know the series is much-loved among espionage fans, and thought the upcoming DVD release would be a chance to check it out.
As it happens, Tuesday, November 6 is U.N.C.L.E. day on Turner Classic Movies. Eight two-part episodes of the show were… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on November 5, 2007 at 6:58pm —
Turner Classic Movies will be showing
1946's Deadline at Dawn tonight (Tuesday, October 30) at
11:45 PM Eastern. I caught it at Eddie Muller's Noir
City festival earlier this year, and Megan Abbott
wrote an appreciation of it in the Film Noir
Foundation's latest newsletter. Trust me when I say
it's one of the damnedest movies you'll ever see.
Clifford Odets adapting Cornell Woolrich for… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on October 31, 2007 at 9:23am —
Steve Lewis, the man behind the indispensable Mystery*File, posed a question in the comments of my blog yesterday:
(T)he guys over at (hardboiled/noir mailing list) Rara-Avis are always saying… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on September 26, 2007 at 9:26am —
Sometimes corporations know exactly what they’re doing. By the time Giant Video Store Chain finally made it into my yuppie/hipster neighborhood about a decade ago, they had clearly done some demographic analysis. In addition to the standard miles upon miles of new releases, the store also stocked goodies that wouldn’t be in suburban outlets a few miles away. Loads of obscure art films. A healthy selection of martial arts flicks.
And, on a dusty bottom shelf, a single VHS… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on September 11, 2007 at 6:16pm —
On the last night of Noir City, bad girls ruled.
I was wowed by Scarlet Street when I first watched it on a lousy public domain DVD. Seeing a pristine print from the Library of Congress brings the full force of its fatalism to bear. Is there a better ensemble in noir? Edward G. Robinson as the middle-aged man making a final… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on July 13, 2007 at 6:50pm —
Is there magic in the film noir world? Sure. Rigging the lights so shadows fall just so or the camera catches cigarette smoke drifting heavenward like a lost soul takes a special kind of alchemy. Pairing up actors who can convey twisted animal longing in a single glance is no easy trick.
But actual magic? No. There’s no room for illusion on these mean streets. If someone says they’re communing with spirits and you don’t see a bottle of rye whiskey, then you, my friend,… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on July 12, 2007 at 7:03pm —
Three, count ’em, three Mets in the starting line-up, and an inside the park home run from the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki. Do I regret missing the All-Star Game? Nope. Not when there’s noir to be seen. Especially two rare titles that have never appeared on video.
What do they have in common? Screenwriter… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on July 11, 2007 at 6:56pm —
I didn’t do it, y’unnerstand? It was Noir City Day 4! The whole thing’s a set-up!
Phil Karlson is a treasured name among noir aficionados because he made spare, no-nonsense films. He also knew how to get strong performances out of actors like John Payne, a song-and-dance man who might otherwise have been remembered for freezing his charms off with Sonja Henie in Sun Valley Serenade. Karlson was savvy enough to see the caged animal lurking underneath… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on July 10, 2007 at 6:40pm —
Day three’s theme was a cinch to figure out. Black hearts in Technicolor. Throw in Slightly Scarlet and you’d have yourself a party. Just check for your wallet and your kidneys on the way out.
According to the fest’s program notes, 1947’s Desert Fury is a cult classic waiting to happen, ripe with homoerotic… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on July 9, 2007 at 6:17pm —
There are no introductions at weekend Noir City matinees, so it’s up to me to guess the day’s theme. I’m going to say shaky California marriages. Either that or heavies named Smiley.
Pitfall was the movie I was most looking forward to in the festival’s line-up, because it’s based on a novel by… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on July 8, 2007 at 6:11pm —
Eddie Muller kicked off the Northwest debut of his Noir City film festival with an observation. He’d stopped in for a drink at a nearby watering hole and noted:
A. One (1) sexy bartender
B. One (1) gorgeous woman drinking alone
C. Two (2) guys in jeans and tennis shoes deep in conversation about computer peripherals.
Seattle, he decided, needs some film noir.
Rosemarie and I did our bit.… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on July 7, 2007 at 6:28pm —
Wonder if I could buy tickets for this now?
Mann, DiCaprio team for noir drama
"Michael Mann has delivered to studio execs what he hopes will be his
next directing effort, a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio.
by John Logan, the project is an untitled noir drama that takes place
on the old MGM lot in the 1930s.… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on May 3, 2007 at 10:38am —
Cross-posted from my website.
Barreling toward a deadline means no new blog fodder for the weekend. Instead, here’s a heads up about an old favorite.
The best crime drama of 2006, not to mention one of the finest films of the year, comes to DVD on Tuesday. I speak of Argentina’s El Aura, or in English, The Aura. (Pretty good, huh?… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on April 9, 2007 at 1:01pm —
At my website, I've posted a detailed review of Fox's 2-disc The Michael Shayne Collection, Volume 1. Four private eye films from the early 1940s, with Lloyd Nolan offering a sharp, surprisingly contemporary take on the gumshoe - and before Humphrey Bogart ever donned a fedora. (Metaphorically, I mean. Men always wore hats in those… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on March 26, 2007 at 12:20pm —
Turner Classic Movies has scheduled a rare TV showing of 1963's Johnny Cool, based on a GM novel by John McPartland. Produced by Peter Lawford and starring auxiliary Rat Packer Henry Silva as well as Elizabeth ("Bewitched") Montgomery and Sammy Davis Junior, the film airs next Tuesday, March 27, at 6PM EST/3PM PST. My DVR is already set.
At the Mystery*File blog… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on March 24, 2007 at 4:51am —
Over at the Mystery*File blog, Steve Lewis takes my thought on the Michael Shayne films and runs with it. So it’s decided. I will travel back in time to cast Ken Tobey as Brett Halliday’s private eye in a series of movies. And do some other stuff.
By now you’ve probably heard about the… Continue
Added by Vince Keenan on March 19, 2007 at 10:31am —
I won't cross-post all the nonsense from my blog. Just the stuff that might be of interest, like the following.
In Seattle’s alt newspaper The Stranger, Paul Collins remembers Leo Child, “the worst pulp novelist ever,” on the tenth anniversary of his death. Child went from ghostwriting Hollywood bios to churning out titles for Holloway House.
Added by Vince Keenan on March 19, 2007 at 10:31am —