Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Film Noir

All of the movies listed here came out
before 1950. I'm trying to work my way
through the film noir decade, pretty
much the 1940's.
The heroines were generally babes, or
so naive that they wound up dead
five minutes after the titles appeared.
If a babe was married, it was usually
to some old guy who was bound to get
bumped off. The hero was usually
a Private Eye, or a guy who just got out
of the slammer. Everyone smoked, drank,
doublecrossed, all this while making out.
All the babes had great wardrobes although
they never held a job. All the guys wore suits
with very big shoulders. Oh yes, and they
did it in black and white.

1. THE BIG SLEEP (1946) Bogart and Bacall
(Humphrey and Lauren). Detective Philip
Marlowe, blackmail, murder, mayhem, worth
the effort for Bacall's profile.
2. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) Fred MacMurray,
and femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck plot her
husband's accidental death. Will they get away with
the loot?
3. LAURA (1944) Otto Preminger directed this
enigmatic mystery. A NYC Detective, Dana Andrews,
investigates the murder of Laura, Gene Tierney.
Look for a shocking twist or two. With Clifton Webb
and Vincent Price, getting into trouble.
Welles, directed, wrote and stars with Rita
Hayworth as the babe married to an older guy
who owns this yacht, so...anyway, there's a
famous "sequence of mirrors" at the end of
the film. Incredible.
5. DECEPTION (1946) Bette Davis thinks her lover,
Paul Henreid, was killed in the war. He comes back,
she has to hide her affair with Claude Rains. Drastic
measures ensue. Lots of classical music. Classy.
6. THE BIG STEAL ( 1949) Robert Mitchum
sets out to clear his name for a crime he didn't
commit. Can he do it? Maybe, with the help
of Jane Greer, good hair.
7. KISS OF DEATH (1947) Richard Widmark
and Victor Mature (muscles) as two-bit hoods and stoolies
caught in a heist. Nasty Richard was nominated
for an Oscar, his first role. A real creep.
8. I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941) Victor
Mature (muscles), caught between Carole Landis,
quickly dead, and Betty Grable as the distrustful
sister, might be a hero, then again..
9. THE STRANGER (1946) Orson Welles as a
Nazi fugitive hiding out in a small Connecticut
town. Edward G. Robinson is the detective out
to uncover his identity. Strong photography.
10. THE MALTESE FALCON ( 1941) The noir
classic. Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade. Trio
of criminals, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet,
Peter Lorre, looking for a priceless bird.
Double-crossing at its peak.


Tess Kincaid said...

My faves from this classic list would have to be Laura and The Maltese Falcon.

Lyn said...

Hi Willow-
I have to agree with you..Laura has such a wonderful pace and music..and the Falcon, well..
Double Indemnity is just plain wicked/great!

Jeane Myers said...

this is a stellar list.....

Lyn said...

Hi Jeane-
Thank you..and there's a couple I still could add!

Marty said...

I recently brought home "The Big Sleep" from the library. My seventeen-year-old son now claims it is one of the greatest movies that he has ever seen. Some "classics" are in a category of their own, “Eternals.”

Unknown said...

Hi Lyn,

I've seen most of these, most recently Laura on TV! I love Double Indemnity too. Ms Stanwyck could be nasty!

A Cuban In London said...

Well, both Bacall and Davis gave as good as they got and don't even mention Katherine Hepburn. Noir? That was the first Iron Lady! Way before Maggie even thought of occupying number 10! Many thanks for such a fantastic post.

Greetings from London.

Lyn said...

Hi Marty-
Thank you..so glad to hear that your son enjoyed that old flick..
I thought this list was limited. Now I know better.

Hi Derrick-
Laura, so haunting..and Stanwyck, those glittering eyes, those shiny lips..
but sometimes she was a saint..
Stella Dallas??

Greetings to A Cuban-
Thank you..I couldn't agree with you more..this list is just part of my fandom, and how about the most gorgeous creature ever..Lana Turner in "The Postman Always Rings Twice"?

Unknown said...

My favs are Double Indemnity and The Maltese Falcon. Love them all, but these I watch over and over.

Lyn said...

Hi Gaston..
Thanks..there's something about the composition of the frames..if it was just the "stories" these films wouldn't last..the look is such great design!

Anonymous said...

It's funny how the old films have lasted and remade over and over again. I'm not so sure that the films being made nowadays will have the same impact.

Lyn said...

But the remakes are sort of "why bother"? It's the classic look that's so great..and films nowadays? A few I guess will last, but so much is just weekend box office and then , good-bye!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I haven't seen any of these, but they sound great! I wonder if Maureen and I will be able to get them on our intergalactic viewing box?

Lyn said...

Hi Raph-
I think it's time for you to have an intergalactic special screening..I have a feeling that Maureen will be really taken with the retro fashions!

Roan said...

Deception and The Big Sleep are two of my faves. I like everything Bette Davis, and just can't get enough Phillip Marlow. You sure described the old movies well.

Lyn said...

Hi BJ Roan-
Thank you..Those films had "class", faces..just a look that will last.

Dave King said...

I think I'm with Willow on this one. I had to watch it so often with my son that it has become part of me!

Lyn said...

Hi Dave-
Thank you..I think that's the joy of these films, they are always amazing to look at!

Kat Mortensen said...

I love The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity, Kiss of Death (isn't Widmark evil?) and it's been ages since I've seen "Laura". Some of the others I'll have to check out - never seen The Lady From Shanghai or The Stranger. Would you consider The Third Man a film noir? That's a great one too!
One of my absolute favourites has to be "Night of the Hunter" with Robert Mitchum. Have you seen it?


Lyn said...

Hi Kat-
I have "The Third Man" on another list..spies and thrillers..who'll ever forget when Orson Welles steps out of the shadows? Yes to "Night of the Hunter"!
"Lady..."is so stylized..
And the romantic comedy list..I'm going nuts!!!!


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