“Mann’s 1950 threesome — The Devil’s Doorway, Winchester ’73, The Furies — was the most auspicious quantum jump by an American director since John Ford’s equivalent Americana triumvirate of 1939 (Stage Coach, Young Mr. Lincoln, Drums Along the Mohawk) lifted him into the major phase of his career. Yet Mann’s achievements seem destined to remain unappreciated and the director himself obscure.”
It’s not ‘rare’ by TCM standards, but its not easily available on DVD, so hey – you should maybe DV-R this if you haven’t already and then keep it[…]
Is Two Seconds (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932) the first American noir? I’ve read some historians who trace American film noir as far back as Josef von Sternberg’s Underworld (1927). But Underworld,[…]
Although most film noirs take place in an urban setting, the “dark city,” Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010) shows how the noir vision can thrive almost anywhere – it is[…]
“[My film] is stylized and theatrical because the story is so telescoped we have a life-and-death outcome played out over 20 actual minutes.”
Or Advanced Guide to Cinematic Survival?
“I don’t need other people. I don’t need help. I can take care of me.”
“His plan mirrors Johnny’s, that is, pieces of the plan are known to one person: Johnny and Stanley; and not until the end do we see most of their pieces come into place.
“Noir films with non-urban settings exploded the idea that escape into a safer or healthier world was possible, showing how temptation and violence can attack anyone, anywhere.”
Note: The humble program note has a long and noble history. Sometimes anonymous, sometimes not, cheered as often as they were reviled, these brief, ephemeral, often illuminating handouts, likely destined for the dustbin the same night they appeared, offer “wisdom in a nutshell,” as one of Ivy Compton-Burnett’s characters aptly put it. This article is the second in Bright Lights’ series of vintage program notes from those heady days of the 1970s when unstoppable auteurists started their own cine clubs and commandeered movie theaters to bring their idea of cine-culture to audiences. Our late friend Roger McNiven continues the series with fascinating write-ups of two more works on the subject of “women larger than life,” in this case Bette Davis in King Vidor’s woefully underrated Beyond the Forest and Barbara Stanwyck in Gerd Oswald’s undeservedly obscure Crime of Passion. This double feature was screened at the legendary Thalia Theatre in New York City on Monday, December 3, 1979. We have added images but not edited the text, deferring to the time and spirit in which it was written.
“It was like going down to thebottom of the world”
“Skip is the only one that enacts incest with one hand and bats away communists like flies from a dung pile with the other.”
A strangely soothing, a sun-drenched proto-neo-noir, NIAGARA is one of my favorite Marilyn Monroe movies, up there with DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK and THE MISFITS in its ability to capture[…]
Mike Hammer deconstructed, or Mike Hammer disrespected? Back in the day — way, way back in the day, when life in America was not a total girlie show — Americans[…]
Commie on a plane – Oliver Blake and Dana Andrews in The Fearmakers Under the credits of Jacques Tourneur’s The Fearmakers (1958) we see a bearded Dana Andrews being tortured[…]
“The black sheep of the family, noir’s tramps are the tin-age antithesis to Chaplin’s golden-age thesis.” In the American cinema of the 1920s through the 1940s, the figure of the[…]