Friday, June 26, 2020

TCM’s Film Noir of the Week Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at Midnight ET and 10 a.m. ET is Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai (1948), Starring Welles and Rita Hayworth, with Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders, and Ted de Corsia, Plus Bogie in The Caine Mutiny (1954), at 3:45 p.m. ET Saturday

By David in TN

TCM’s Film Noir of the Week Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at Midnight ET and 10 a.m. ET is Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai (1948). Welles, Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders and Ted de Corsia make up the cast.

This was a vanity project for Welles. His then-wife Rita Hayworth is the title character with her hair bleached blond and a scene in a skimpy swimsuit. Critics at the time disliked The Lady from Shanghai and there was little box office. Naturally, "modern" critics love it.

Film Noir Guide: “Irish sailor Welles hires on as a boatswain aboard a yacht sailing from New York to San Francisco via Acapulco and becomes embroiled in a bogus murder plot involving Hayworth, her crippled husband (Sloane), Sloane's wacko law partner (Anders) and a sleazy private investigator (de Corsia).

“The convoluted plot is painful to follow, but the film is so stylishly done that you might not care. The famous climax in a funhouse full of mirrors is the highlight of this weird movie, which bombed at the box office.

“The breathtaking Hayworth, the real-life Mrs. Welles at the time, does a good job with her part, as does Welles, despite his wearisome brogue, as the hapless Irishman.”

N.S.: Is it possible that the aging Marlon Brando was imitating the hammy Orson Welles?

David in TN: On Saturday afternoon at 3:45 pm ET, TCM shows The Caine Mutiny (1954), with Humphrey Bogart's portrayal of Captain Queeg. I’ve always liked Jose Ferrer’s turn as the defense attorney.

Barney Greenwald. I love Ferrer’s Barney Greenwald, as I love Fred MacMurray’s weaselly novelist-officer, Kiefer, as I love Van Johnson’s Steve Maryk. If not for the On the Waterfront steamroller that year, which got Rod Steiger an undeserved Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, there’s no telling what Caine might have rolled up in nominations.

1 comment:

David In TN said...

TCM's Film Noir of the Week Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at 12:45 am ET and 10 am ET is John Sturges' The Sign of the Ram (1948). Susan Peters plays the main character with Alexander Knox, Phyllis Thaxter, Peggy Ann Garner, Ron Randell, Allene Roberts, Ross Ford, and Diana Douglas.

Film Noir Guide: "A stepmother (Peters) uses her disability to control her family--husband Knox, adult children Roberts and Ford and teenager Garner. Confined to a wheelchair after saving Roberts and Ford from drowning when they were children, Peters tries to destroy Roberts' romantic relationship with her boyfriend (Randell) and Ford's upcoming marriage to his fiancee (Douglas). The neurotic Garner idolizes her stepmother so much that she tries to kill Peters' new secretary (Thaxter), whom she believes has been trying to seduce Knox. The title refers to Peters' astrological birth sign and fits her to a tee--people born under the sign, according to Randell, are endowed with strong will power and obstinacy of purpose and will stop at nothing to accomplish this purpose. The Sign of the Ram is a routine soap opera with good performances by Knox and Peters, who in real life, was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a spinal injury in a hunting mishap in 1944. This was supposed to be her comeback film, but she retired from the screen afterwards and died in 1952 of bronchial pneumonia at the age of 31."

In my opinion Eddie Muller's selections this year have sometimes left something to be desired.