Which is your favorite(1) FILM NOIR and why?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by pig whisperer, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Lots of classic Film Noir being released on DVD these days by Warners, Fox, and others.

    Although the are many different styles in this American genre (some great European noirs, too), some of the main characteristics of Film Noir are: usually B&W, great use of shadows, odd camera angels, lots of night scenes, many times there is a femme fatale, an 'innocent' guy who gets caught up in a situation that only seems to get worse (if these guys were smart there wouldn't be a movie), and, many times, it's a "B" movie.

    One of my favorites is "The Big Sleep" with Humphry Bogart and Lauren Becall, a screen play written with Willian Faulkner, and directed by Howard Hawks. This is Bogey, so it's not really a B-movie. Becall is gorgeous and doesn't look 'dated' like some of the actresses from back then (I think Gene Tierney, in "Laura", was the Angelina Jolie of her day).

    One great thing, among many, is that you are never sure who the killers are (no one knows who killed the chauffeur - not even Faulkner). After watching it a few times it appears that who ever killed someone is usually the next person to be killed. Following that logic, you would think that the Joe Brody character killed the chauffeur, but he said that he didn't do it. In those days films didn't "lie" -whatever was said on the screen was the truth. Hitchcock met with audience disapproval for the 'lie' in "Stage Fright".

    The DVD could be better - there is sometimes fading on the right side of the screen which is noticeable during the night scenes - but I'm still happy to have it.
     
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  2. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    [​IMG]

    Great B-film, creatively directed and acted by Welles. A lurid, tawdry, brilliant spectacle of noir, with Henry Mancini score to match(preference is for the version on LD, not the reconstituted DVD edition).

    :ed:
     
  3. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    Location:
    New England
    "The Third Man" is a great one. Fantastic zither music to boot!
     
  4. Veltri

    Veltri ♪♫♫♪♪♫♫♪

    Location:
    Canada
    That one's terrific. It really makes an argument that Welles was as good an actor as he was a director.

    I loved all the above films and I'll add Hitchcock's 39 Steps. It's brilliant how the movie shifts from classic film noir elements to become a comedy midway through while still retaining the film's plot and viewer interest.
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    Toss a coin between "Double Indemnity" and "Out of the Past". I can't decide. I couldn't in good conscience choose a noir where a guy isn't making bad decisions under the influence of a femme fatale. :)

    Regards,
     
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  6. mcow1

    mcow1 Sommelier Gort

    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Everything above, plus The Killers.
     
  7. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    :laughup:
    I hear 'ya! Movie critic Richard Schikel put "Detour" (a real "B" movie) on his recent best-of list. HERE'S a guy who is a real bone-head. (the character in the movie, not Schikel)

    I should add that the woman in this film is more of a "broad"
     
  8. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Out of the Past.....by far the best.......Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglass.

    Some other great ones:
    Point Blank -Lee Marvin
    The Killers -The one with Lee Marvin (Gotta Love Ronald Reagan in this one as the Villian)
    Kiss Me Deadly
    Night Moves -Gene Hackman
    and of Course, LA Confidental
     
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  9. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    All of the above, and, arguably, The Singing Detective (orig. UK version, not the remake) - it's a sort of culmination of 'em all the way Unforgiven takes in all the conventions of the Western. (Gee, that was pompous! :) )
     
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  10. ZIPGUN99

    ZIPGUN99 Active Member

    Tonight I watched "This Gun For Hire" starring Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd. Never seen it before. Pretty good. Excellent picture, looked great for a '42 film.

    Couple of nights ago, watched "The Street with No Name" Richard Widmark, Lloyd Nolan. Taken from a print, minor sound problems. I guess I've been spoiled by the recent spate of great film noir DVD's, but i wasn't digging this one as much.

    In a way, I think "Detour" might be my favorite, tho. I think I see where it could be turned into a stage play, but I might be nuts.
     
  11. ferric

    ferric Iron Dino In Memoriam

    Location:
    NC
    All great films so far.

    + Murder, My Sweet

    Moose hires Marlowe to search for Velma(cute as lace pants). :D
     
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  12. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Not sure if its Film Noir, but Panic in the Streets was another great Widmark film
     
  13. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Lets start another thread and debate this, because I love the restored cut.
    I think Walter Murich did a masterful job in finding Orson Welles's vision.
    It's the only film I have ever watched frame by frame dvd vs vhs (original cut) and the same time, along with reading the memo.
     
  14. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    Location:
    New England
    Oh yeah. I forgot about "The Stranger". 1946 with Edward G. Robinson, Orson Welles and Loretta Young. Director Welles originally wanted Agnes Morehead to play the Robinson role of the FBI agent! The first film released after WWII that showed footage of the concentration camps. Maybe I like it because it takes place in Connecticut.
     
  15. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    It was just release as #3 on the "Fox Film Noir" series. I also like Widmard in Sam Fuller's "Pick Up On South Street".
     
  16. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    Lady From Shanghai is a great film, to me Welles' best. The characters are richly drawn, it plays like a great radio mystery more than films. Oh, the music is excellent as well. Everett Sloane outdoes himself as the lawyer. The hall of mirrors shootout is still a sequence of great imagination.
     
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  17. elrod-tom

    elrod-tom New Member

    It's borderline film noir, but has anyone here ever seen "Silent Partner"? It's with Elliot Gould, Christopher Plummer and Julie Christie. Gould is a banker who discovers that he's going to be robbed (by Plummer), and lets him get away with only a small amount of cash...keeps the rest for himself. Plummer finds out, and it's off to the races from there.
     
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  18. pjaizz

    pjaizz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I have to 2nd Out of the Past as the best noir ever! It is amazing without being too over the top.

    Double Indemnity is entertaining,but Fred McMurray says "bebe" a few too many times to be taken seriously. Stanwyck is incredible though!

    The original Cape Fear is so wonderful with Mitchum and Peck, and I have to recognize the creepy Night of the Hunter as well!

    Though it is not pure film noir, Kubrick's film The Killing has elements of the genre and is the best caper film ever!! So pure, so wonderful!

    In terms of contemporary ones, Body Heat reigns supreme! Lawrence Kasdan's first feature is flat out amazing, with William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and Ted Danson. A very special nod to LA Confidential as well...very great film, superb acting, direction and story.

    And then there's Chinatown...wow! Murky, scary...amazing!

    Great thread!
     
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  19. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member

    Location:
    Mee-chigan
    I watched Double Indemnity for about the three dozenth time last night on TCM. That one never, ever gets old for me...the three leads are all superb, the Miklos Rozsa score is haunting, the Chandler dialogue snappier with each viewing.

    For more modern, comically subversive noir, how about John Dahl's The Last Seduction and Red Rock West?
     
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  20. pig whisperer

    pig whisperer CD Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    The only problem I have with "Double Indemnity" is Barbara Standwyck. She hasn't "aged" well. She is supposed to be a gorgeous, seductive, temptress. She just doesn't do anything for me (Cyd Charisse is another matter!). She also played this kind of role in "Ball Of Fire" and "The Lady Eve". Perhaps I saw her in "Roustabout" too many times growing up.
     
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  21. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Location:
    Deep Maryland
    Would the early '80s re-make of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE count? I thought that was very well done -- I was surprised to discover many years later that the screenplay was by David Mamet -- and as the the femme fatale a young Jessica Lange certainly is to kill for!
     
  22. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Ooh, I dunno, Barbara Stanwyck coming down the stairs was a great scene for me in DI! Yow.
     
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  23. Paul C.

    Paul C. Active Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I regard some of Fritz lang's American movies as among the best film noir. "The Big Heat" is hard to go past. Another obscure one that I taped onto VHS years ago and it's still watchable is his "The House by the River" - perhaps not a typical film noir with the gangster elements, but has plenty of murder and mayhem.

    I also like "Mildred Pierce" for it's beautiful black and white, and wonderful use of shadows. Can't forget "The Maltese Falcon" and "Laura" either.
     
  24. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    ...so almost as good as Jules Dassin's "Rififi" from the year before. ;)

    Regards,
     
  25. Phantom409

    Phantom409 New Member

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Not mentioned yet is my favorite noir (or it's a coin toss between it and OUT OF THE PAST) - GUN CRAZY (1949). Great femme fatale performance by Peggy Cummins, and John Dall is very good also. The direction by Joseph H. Lewis is particularly inspired; the movie anticipates the French New Wave, and for that matter, BONNIE AND CLYDE, which shares several key elements. The DVD for GUN CRAZY is excellent, with a fine commentary by Glenn Erickson and a cover featuring the beautiful original theatrical poster.

    OUT OF THE PAST (and most of the other films mentioned on this thread) is great also. It probably has my favorite line in a noir (more for the way Mitchum says it): "Baby, I don't care."
     
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