Monday, December 03, 2018

Weather Forecast for Wednesday, December 5: No Sun, All Day; It’s All Noir, in a Film Noir Marathon!



By David in TN
Monday, December 3, 2018 at 4:00:00 P.M. EST


By David in TN
Monday, December 3, 2018 at 4:00:00 P.M. EST


In Follow Me Quietly (1949), William Lundigan and Jeff Corey play detectives pursuing a “faceless,” psychopathic serial killer. Character actor Corey is best known for playing the despicable, self-pitying, white trash killer, Tom Chaney (and an alias), in True Grit (1969). Within the business, however, he was a legendary acting coach and unrepentant Communist.



On Wednesday, December 5, TCM has a day of Film Noir starting at 6:15 a.m. 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 a.m. 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: “[i]n 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 p.m. 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 any 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 p.m. ET is a famous film, maybe the very first police procedural. Barry Fitzgerald, 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.


Don Taylor, left, and Barry Fitzgerald

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 climax takes place on the Brooklyn Bridge are referred to the engraved sign that clearly reads ‘Williamsburg Bridge.’).”


Anonymous said...

"...the sometimes tedious narration..." Actually, I find film guides with their opinionated blather "tedious" and stopped reading them ages ago. As for TCM, wake me when they stop showing the same films over and over... or when they have a Ted De Corsia (Willie Garza!) festival!

David In TN said...

In case you don't know it, HBO, Showtime, and Encore show the same films over and over.

A couple on the list above are rarely shown, even on TCM.

Anonymous said...

"The Tattooed Stranger (1950) at 9 a.m. ET is 64 minutes long with a no-name cast shot on location, one of the first police procedurals, not on TV often. "

In 1950 a tattoo was often seen as the mark of the criminal and someone that had done time in prison.

Today almost all young folks have a tattoo. How times have changed and for the worse.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry "David in Tn"'s nose was put out of joint by my comment; no offense was meant. Certainly the films are worthwhile even if one has seen them before. But I stand by what I said: only the first movie on the list is new to me and not part of TCM's regular rotation, which largely consists of the films owned outright by Turner. What pay sites like HBO et al have to do with this is unclear to me.

David In TN said...

To Anonymous 9:36, everything is "unclear to him."

David In TN said...

TCM's Film Noir of the Week for Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at Midnight ET (and 10 am ET Sunday Morning) is Too Late for Tears (1949), starring Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea, Don Defore, and Arthur Kennedy.

Scott and Kennedy are a married couple who have a bag containing sixty thousand dollars thrown into their open convertible. The money causes marital problems when Scott wants to keep it and Kennedy wants to turn it in to the police.

Scott is a greedy femme fatale who wants to be rich. Duryea is a crooked P.I. in his usual bad-guy role. Defore is a mysterious stranger helping Kennedy's sister (Kristine Miller) who wants to know why her brother suddenly vanished.

Film Noir Guide: "Also known as Killer Bait, this is a fast-moving and enjoyable crime drama.