Friday, November 30, 2018

TCM's Film Noir of the Week for Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at 12 a.m. ET (and Sunday Morning at 10 a.m. ET) is Irving Reis' Crack-Up (1946), with Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Ray Collins and Wallace Ford



By David in TN
Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 11:39:00 P.M. EST

TCM's Film Noir of the Week for Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at 12 a.m. ET (and Sunday Morning at 10 a.m. ET) is Crack-Up (1946). It features Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Ray Collins and Wallace Ford.


Herbert Marshall, left, and Pat O'Brien

Film Noir Guide: “Ex-G.I. O'Brien, who served as an art expert in postwar Germany exposing Nazi forgeries, now conducts art appreciation seminars at a New York museum.


“After he's arrested for breaking into the museum, seemingly while intoxicated, he tells detective Ford that he was aboard a train that was involved in a head-on collision with an oncoming train.


Wallace Ford

“After being dismissed as a kook because there have been no recent train wrecks, O'Brien investigates on his own and discovers that he holds the key to breaking up an art smuggling ring.

Edward Gargan as a cop

“Trevor plays his newspaper reporter girlfriend, Marshall is a mysterious art expert visiting the States from England, and Collins is a physician employed by the museum.


“The convoluted plot is difficult to follow, but O'Brien and Trevor are enjoyable and the photography so wonderfully eerie that you might not notice the holes in the script. Or if you do, you won't care.”


N.S.: We can't wait to hear what Red Eddie Muller will say about Pat O'Brien, surely something along the lines of "rabid red-baiter Pat O'Brien." Pat O'Brien, you see, was a great American patriot, through and through, and Red Eddie simply cannot abide an American patriot. That's why I call him, "Red Eddie."


1 comment:

David In TN said...

On Wednesday, December 5, TCM has a day of Film Noir starting at 6:15 am ET:

A Dangerous Profession (1949)
Follow Me Quietly(1949)
The Tattooed Stranger (1950)
Mystery Street (1950)
Crime Wave (1954)
While the City Sleeps (1956)
Scene of the Crime (1949)
The Naked City (1948)
The Big Combo (1955)

Three are of special interest.

The Tattooed Stranger (1950) at 9 am ET is 64 minutes long with a no-name cast shot on location, one of the first police procedurals, not on TV often. A Jane Doe with a shady background is killed by shotgun in Central Park.

Film Noir Guide: "in addition to some great location shots of Manhattan and the Bronx, this noir is perfect if you like your crime movies seedy, speedy, and short. This top-notch, low budget quickie pulls no punches and the relatively unknown cast does a fine job. It's an entertaining look at New York City police professionals tracking down a killer in a pre-computer, pre-DNA era."

While the City Sleeps (1956) at 1:15 pm ET has a great cast (Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders, Howard Duff, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, John Barrymore Jr., Ida Lupino, James Craig, Sally Forrest. Fritz Lang directed, one of his last films.

Film Noir Guide: "A news conglomerate's managers (Sanders, Mitchell, and Craig) are in a dogfight for a promotion promised by the corporation's arrogant new owner (Price) to the first one who finds the deranged psycho known as the 'Lipstick Killer' (Barrymore)."

"...Director Lang is more interested in the anything-for-a-story ruthlessness of the scheming journalists than in the pathetic serial killer, who, even in his deranged condition, provokes more sympathy (No he doesn't-David In TN) than nay of the newsmen. Luckily the confusing soap opera subplots of this somewhat talky, but interesting, film noir are offset by the veteran cast."

Andrews is a hard-drinking TV commentator and Lupino is a sob sister lady reporter.

The Naked City (1948) at 4:45 pm ET is a famous film, maybe the very first police prodedural. Barry Fitzgeral, Hollywood's other go-to Irishman after Pat O'Brien, plays a veteran NYPD detective investigating the murder of a model who got herself in deep with a burglary gang. Ted de Corsia plays one of his best bad guy parts. Don Taylor is Fitzgerald's inexperienced partner.

Film Noir Guide: "Despite the sometimes tedious narration by producer Mark Hellinger, who utters the film's most famous line ('There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them'), this classic has lost none of its charm and excitement. The film that spawned a successful TV series, The Naked City is a must-see for all noir fans. (Those film historians and reviewers who insist that the exciting climas takes place on the Brooklyn Bridge are referred to the engraved sign that clearly reads 'Williamsburg Bridge.').