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I dusted off my copy and viewed "The Wages of Fear" last night. 1953. French with English sub.

Was close to $40 for the Criterion DVD when I bought it some 10 years ago, but worth it IMO.


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Posts: 6946 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This thread is amazing!
I've always been drawn to this style of film albeit in more modern movies such as Bladerunner, Payback, etc. I'll be taking notes and hopefully watch a few of the movies you guys have listed here as your favorites keeping in mind Para's criteria for what true film noir is.
Also, thanks Para for taking the time type up such great explanations and sharing your thoughts on this.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Ryanp225:
This thread is amazing!
I've always been drawn to this style of film albeit in more modern movies such as Bladerunner, Payback, etc. I'll be taking notes and hopefully watch a few of the movies you guys have listed here as your favorites keeping in mind Para's criteria for what true film noir is.
Also, thanks Para for taking the time type up such great explanations and sharing your thoughts on this.


If you have a Video rental store nearby, check out the DVD's for rent titles as mentioned in this thread. Another source is your local Library. Many finds can be found there and loaned out.

Another source is a used video (DVD/VCR) movies outlet.


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Posts: 6946 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm about half way through Sunset Boulevard. Awesome film so far, but I must say, the style and in particular the narration reminds me of the old Twilight Zone TV series. There must be a reason for that, and I've just not made the connection yet, other than they are from the same period of time.


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Para’s thread about Nightmare Alley reminded me that Edgar G. Ulmer’s film noir masterpiece Detour is now available from The Criterion Collection. They have fully restored this great film and it’s my understanding that it will even see a limited run at theaters around the country.
 
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Gotta be 'The Asphalt Jungle' (1950), just a brilliant work. Sterling Hayden was never better (except maybe for 'The Killing'), Sam Jaffe is the film's soul and James Whitmore is just wonderfully pathetic as a loyal, bitter crook you can root for.

Frankly, there's too many to choose from, but every time this one's on, I watch 'til the end.


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Posts: 675 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: June 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Orguss:
Dark City


Just watched it this morning. Hadn't viewed it in over a decade. Still a very strange movie. Smile Jennifer Connelly does a great job. Sutherland and Hurt too.



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Posts: 10287 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's not the Dark City he's referring to. He means this 1950 Charlton Heston film. If he means the 1998 film of the same name, that's not film noir, for a couple of reasons.

The 1950 film is currently not being broadcast by any outlet I know of. Last time I saw Dark City, it was probably 15 years ago on AMC, before they went to a commercial format.


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Key Largo
The Lady from Shanghai
Blue Dahlia
Dark Passage, my personal favorite.



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Posts: 1010 | Location: Arizona | Registered: December 07, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:
That's not the Dark City he's referring to. He means this 1950 Charlton Heston film. If he means the 1998 film of the same name, that's not film noir, for a couple of reasons.

The 1950 film is currently not being broadcast by any outlet I know of. Last time I saw Dark City, it was probably 15 years ago on AMC, before they went to a commercial format.


Ah...oh well. The 1998 film has been described as a neo-noir sci-fi flick so I thought it was the same one Orguss was citing.



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Posts: 10287 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm bumping this thread because sitting in front of me, courtesy my local library, is a DVD of The Third Man.

My interest in this movie was sparked by a trip I just returned from to Vienna, Austria. I lived in Vienna as a child, but never knew the city. So I went back to learn about it.

I learned that the movie is still so highly regarded in Vienna that an entire museum is devoted to it, as is a city park. I find it amazing that seventy years after its production, it is still considered one of the masterpieces of British cinema.

Oddly enough, while it was the most popular box office smash in Britain on its release, the Austrians gave it a cool reception. It has consistently been rated in the top British films.

Never having seen the movie, and having just learned about its high valuation not only as a film noir epic, but as a classic movie in general, I felt I had to see it. I will be watching it either tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks for all the comments on the meaning of film noir.




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Posts: 1999 | Location: Peoples Republic of North Virginia | Registered: December 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by fpuhan:
I'm bumping this thread because sitting in front of me, courtesy my local library, is a DVD of The Third Man.

My interest in this movie was sparked by a trip I just returned from to Vienna, Austria. I lived in Vienna as a child, but never knew the city. So I went back to learn about it.

I learned that the movie is still so highly regarded in Vienna that an entire museum is devoted to it, as is a city park. I find it amazing that seventy years after its production, it is still considered one of the masterpieces of British cinema.

Oddly enough, while it was the most popular box office smash in Britain on its release, the Austrians gave it a cool reception. It has consistently been rated in the top British films.

Never having seen the movie, and having just learned about its high valuation not only as a film noir epic, but as a classic movie in general, I felt I had to see it. I will be watching it either tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks for all the comments on the meaning of film noir.


Two versions of that film. The release for the American audience deleted the "Stripper dance" appearance in the bar.

British version had it along with Carol Reed narration at film beginning.

DVD to find is the making of "The Third Man". Interesting story behind the film's actors, Zitter music and Vienna following WWII.


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Rumble Fish



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How about Odds against Tommorrow?
Laura is playing in the next few days on TCM.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Sigfest:
How about Odds against Tommorrow?
See my comments on the previous page of this thread
quote:
The end marker for film noir is specified as Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow from 1959, or Welles' Touch of Evil from 1958. Looking at Welles film, one can easily see the self-consciousness of the style. Wise's film? Well, look at that opening title sequence. That Saul Bass title sequence belongs to the next decade- the 1960s, and not the 1950s.
Witness the preoccupation of the film with race relations. 1959 was on the cusp of "The New Frontier". Film noir did not disappear, but it either morphed into something else (Odds Against Tomorrow) , or it became self-parody (Touch of Evil).
 
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Love Gene Tierney. Always interesting to see Vincent Price BEFORE all those horror films.


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So, this weekend, TCM's Noir Alley is broadcasting the the 1957 film Sweet Smell of Success, a favorite of mine, and a film which some may wonder why has ended up on a program dedicated to films made in the noir style. Host Eddie Muller tells you why he consider this film to be film noir, and his comments are quite significant in that they tell you something which is not understood by many students of film noir, yet line up perfectly with observations I made about the true essence of the noir style. My comments, quoted below, appear in this thread from 2017.

Here's what Muller says about the heart of noir in his introduction of Sweet Smell of Success:

"Now, some may doubt its credibility as noir. There's no murders, no femme fatal, no blatant or punishable crimes, but if you're hip to a noir ethos- a bleak and jaundiced view of the world and the cruel nature of the people who inhabit it- Sweet Smell of Success is as noir as it gets."

"a bleak and jaundiced view of the world and the cruel nature of the people who inhabit it". That is the essence of film noir. Other than this "unusual and cruel atmosphere" identified by the authors of the seminal book on film noir, and the established time frame of American film noir (1941 to 1959), there is no essential single element of the style.

If you wish to understand the film noir style and the films contained in its canon, you must understand this key point. Without it, you'll wander off in all directions, searching for an understanding which you shall not find, but with it, you'll be "hip to a noir ethos" and you will be light-years ahead of dinner party "experts" on the subject of film noir.

quote:
Pick any element associated with film noir and you can find examples in the canon which lack that particular element. Flashbacks within the film? No. A private detective? No. A Prosecutor/trial scenes/jailhouse scenes? No. The presence of firearms? No.

In some films noir, the setting is not contemporary, as in the case of Blood on the Moon (Hey, look! It's Robert Mitchum again), which is set in the 19th American West. So, this is a film in the Western genre done in the film noir style.

Black & White cinematography? Come on, that's gotta be it. Nope. Leon Shamroy won an Oscar for his gorgeous Technicolor cinematography in the 1945 film noir Leave Her to Heaven.

So, what's the element that's almost always present in film noir?

Homicide

The schedule for Noir Alley makes a good example. Take a look at all the films on that list. Of all those films listed, The Set-Up is the only one without a homicide.

If homicide is not a truly essential element of film noir, then what is the one essential element that makes a film, film noir? It's nothing you can latch onto. Hang on to your hat: It's the atmosphere of the film.

Yep

Please, please do not throw things at your screen.

If you'll allow me...

These are two excerpts from the introduction of English translation of the first book on the subject of film noir- Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton 's Panorama du Film Noir Américain published in France in 1953:

empahasis added:

It was during the summer of 1946 that the French public experienced
he revelation of a new kind of American film. In the course of a few weeks,
from mid-July to the end of August, five films followed one another
on the cinema screens of Paris, films which had an unusual and cruel atmosphere
in common, one tinted by a very particular eroticism
: John Huston's The Maltese Falcon,
Otto Preminger's Laura , Edward Dmytryk's Murder, My Sweet, Billy Wilder's
Double Indemnity, and Fritz Lang's The Woman in the Window.

.....

That for years there might have been a noir series within
Hollywood production is seemingly beyond question. It’s an-
other thing to define its essential traits.

We'd be oversimplifying things in calling film noir oneiric,
strange, erotic, ambivalent, and cruel. All these qualities
are present in the series, but sometimes it's the oneiric quality
that predominates — and we get The Shanghai Gesture; sometimes
eroticism — and we get Gilda; sometimes the cruelty of a strange
act. Often a film's noir side has to do with a single character, a
single scene, a single decor. The Set-Up is an excellent documen-
tary on boxing: it becomes film noir in the sequence of the
final showdown, that terrible beating at the end of a blind al-
ley.
The spellbinding sadism of a psychological film like Rope
links It per se to the noir series. On the other hand, The Big
Sleep, This Gun for Hire
, and The Lady in the Lake seem to be
typical thrillers. This problem of definition will be evoked first,
by referring to productions the critics have most often deemed
to be "film noirs."
________________________________

"films which had an unusual and cruel atmosphere in common". A "cruel and unusual atmosphere." That's it. That's what makes film noir, noir.

I know, I know. What are you supposed to do with an idea like that? It sounds like film buffs are just making shit up as they go along. Big Grin

But, it's true. This is why film noir is a style and not a genre. It's all about the attitude of the film. Homicide is almost always there, but it's not an essential element.

The Set-Up "becomes film noir in the sequence of the final showdown, that terrible beating at the end of a blind alley."
 
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We were very blessed to meet Mr. Muller in Sept., got to spend about half an hour with him talking Noir. My wife and I went to his Film Noir Foundation's film festival at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, it was an amazing time. We got to sit in a dark corner and chat with him about the current state of films, whether Blade Runner was a real noir and other bits and pieces. He's a hell of a nice guy, just what you'd hope for.


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Posts: 675 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: June 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just deleted a thread on Sweet Smell of Success in which I wondered if it was Noir.
I can see it as a Noir view of that world.
And Muller manages to get an HUAC reference into his closing remarks on the film.


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Last night I watched The Big Sleep once again; I think I’m beginning to follow the plot Wink. Shugart brought up Elisha Cook Jr. in this tread, I also admire his work (thinking especially of his important role in Shane). I still feel like a sophomore, another year later, in para’s school of Film Noir. I can see that this movie is probably not among the best in Film Noir, but for me, it’s one of the most enjoyable (easiest?) to watch. Perhaps it’s Bogart and Bacall, perhaps it’s the dialogue between B&B, the detective story clever lines...I don’t know, I just like it. Hey, maybe it’s the ‘38 Plymouth business coupe that Bogart drives.

ETA: This Saturday afternoon (Nov. 9), TCM is again showing The Big Sleep. Ironically, in light of my comment about Elisha Cook Jr., Shane immediately follows. Please excuse the short deviation from topic, but Shane remains my favorite Western, and among my favorite movies of any genre. So many reasons.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: TMats,


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