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Friday, March 29, 2019

TCM's Film Noir of the Week Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at Midnight ET (and 10 a.m. ET Sunday Morning) is Anthony Mann’s Border Incident (1949), with Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Charles McGraw and Howard da Silva

By David in TN
Friday, March 29, 2019 at 12:49:00 A.M. EDT

TCM's Film Noir of the Week Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at Midnight ET (and 10 a.m. ET Sunday Morning) is Border Incident (1949). Anthony Mann directs, with Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Charles McGraw and Howard da Silva.

Murphy is an American immigration official and Montalban is a Mexican law enforcement agent who go undercover to break up an illegal alien smuggling ring headed by a crooked farmer (da Silva). McGraw is the main henchman, and gives one of his Bad Guy characterizations.

Film Noir Guide: “This is an extremely violent and fast-paced film noir. The thrilling climax takes place appropriately enough, in the ‘Canyon of Death.’”

I wonder how Eddie Muller will play this one. Last week he praised Robert Montgomery (a leading anti-communist) for breaking up the Chicago mob's attempt to take over Hollywood in the late 30’s when Montgomery headed the Screen Actor’s Guild.

N.S.: Bob Montgomery is one of my favorite Hollywood figures, a hero in war and in peace. He fought the mob almost singlehandedly before The War, was a decorated commander in the U.S. Navy during The War (sacrificing his last four prime years as a movie star), and fought Communists after The War.

Here’s how Red Eddie will do it. He’ll assert that Ricardo Montalban was a “victim” of racism, who otherwise would have become a big star, who should have starred in Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958), instead of Charlton Heston. (Apparently, Welles and his producers sough to make a commercially viable film, rather than make a race-political Statement.) Then he’ll turn to Howard da Silva, who was blacklisted during the 1950s, and whom he’ll hold up as a martyr to McCarthyism.

Howard da Silva was a card-carrying Communist. He and his comrades sought to turn America into a totalitarian dictatorship, steal all of Americans’ assets to divvy up amongst themselves, and murder tens of millions of them. He should have been shot. But that’s what counts as a hero/victim to Eddie Muller, which is why I’ve dubbed him Red Eddie.


1 comment:

David In TN said...

First, In his exit for Border Incident, Eddie Muller implied anti-communists would not like the film because the bad guys (Howard da Silva's character) are "businessmen." Absolute nonsense.

TCM's Film Noir of the Week Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at Midnight ET (and 10 am ET Sunday Morning is Phil Karlson's 99 River Street (1953), with John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter, Frank Faylen, Peggie Castle, Jay Adler, and Jack Lambert.

Film Noir Guide: "Payne is a washed-up heavyweight contender who's forced to drive a cab after being sidelined by an eye injury. He's married to a fickle ex-showgirl (Castle) who, disillusioned with their marriage, constantly berates him about his inability to shower her with luxuries. Payne discovers that she has been cheating on him with a diamond thief and murderer (Dexter) and that they plan to run off to South America. Adler is the pet store owner and diamond fence who refuses to pay Dexter because he brought a dame in on the job. So Dexter kills Castle and plants her body in her husband's cab. Before long the cops are searching for Payne, who's being helped by Keyes, a struggling actress, and Faylen, his dispatcher and former trainer. Lambert play's Adler's vicious henchman. Payne is excellent as the pug who likes using his fists to settle scores, and Castle is perfect as his femme fatale wife. Be prepared for a knock-out climax."

Last week Eddie previewed 99 River street by calling it "Pure Pulp for Noir People." This time he was right. I have the Blu-Ray of 99 River Street with Eddie doing a commentary track. He's very good with straight commentary.