Saturday, November 11, 2017

The TCM Film Noir for Sunday, November 12, at 10 a.m. ET is the Classic Thriller, The Window (1949), Starring Tragic Hollywood Child Star, Bobby Driscoll



By David in TN
Friday, November 10, 2017 at 4:17:00 P.M. EST

The TCM Film Noir for Sunday, November 12, at 10 a.m. ET is The Window (1949). This film features Bobby Driscoll as a young boy who likes to tell stories he made up. One night, sleeping outside in the summer heat, he sees an actual murder. When he tries to tell people, they don't believe him.



Arthur Kennedy and Barbara Hale are the boy's parents. Ruth Roman and Paul Stewart are the sinister couple living on the floor above who killed a seaman, whom they were attempting to rob.

The film shows the condition of tenement dwellers among the New York City working class of the time.

Bobby Driscoll was a child actor whose career dried up as he got older, eventually turning to drugs. In 1968, age 31, he was found dead in an abandoned New York City tenement building, similar to the one in this film. He was buried, unidentified, in Potter’s Field.


James Baskett and Bobby Driscoll, in Song of the South (1946), the Oscar-winning picture which, thanks to racist agitation by the NAACP, was pulled by Disney from distribution. The NAACP reportedly currently has no present position on the picture, but terrified Disney is unwilling to change its status without a formal indulgence from the black supremacist organization.

I saw Bobby Driscoll in Song of the South, the Disney musical that has been banned from viewing for decades. I was eight or nine years old. It was scary watching it in the theater when his character was chased down and gored by a bull.

Driscoll in 1961, looking a bit like Montgomery Clift, another ill-fated, Hollywood drug addict.



David In TN said...

Our friend Eddie Muller had a good introduction to The Window. He credited Arthur Kennedy with being one of the best actors of all time ("Always hit the right note.").

Eddie says one of his all time favorite actors is "raspy-voiced Paul Stewart as the menacing Mr. Kellerson, (who) is husband and pimp for the slumming Ruth Roman."

Mrs. Kellerson has lured a sailor back to their apartment. After apparently drugging him, she lifts the money from the sailor's wallet, whereupon he wakes up and the Kellersons kill him and hide the body.

Which Tommy played by Bobby Driscoll sees while sleeping outside their window.

By the way, The Naked City (1948) is on TCM early Tuesday morning at 3 am ET. I set my DVR. The Naked City was not the first movie filmed on location in Manhattan, The Window was in 1947. Although The Window is supposed to be in the Summer, it was filmed in the winter.

Eddie Muller reports RKO boss Howard Hughes hated "kid" movies and only released it in 1949 out of desperation only to have it be a big hit.

The Naked City was the first major film police procedural. The irony is it's supposed to be the "Dark Side," but 1948 Manhattan looks rather civilized compared to a good many cities today.

David In TN said...

The TCM Film Noir for Sunday, November 19, at 10 am ET is Night and the City (1950). Richard Widmark brings his characterization (with the giggle) from Kiss of Death (1947). Gene Tierney, billed as "the most beautiful woman in the history of the movies," co-stars as the Widmark character's night club singer girlfriend. It's another case of the girl can't help being in love with the wrong guy.

Set in London, Widmark plays a hustler involved in, of all things, London's wrestling game. The usual noir themes of betrayal, greed, etc, make up the plot.

David In TN said...

TCM's Film Noir of the Week Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at 12:15 and 10 am ET is The Window (1949). It's another recycled film. previously shown on Noir Alley in November 2017.

Bobby Driscoll played a modern "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." His other "Big" role was Song of the South (1946.) I wrote earlier that I saw it when 8-9 years old. Actually I was just short of seven. I found Song of the South was released late in 1956. I saw it in the spring of 1957.

It was (I believe) a Sunday afternoon. There was a big crowd lined up at the ticket windows. I say "windows" because at the time, blacks had a separate ticket window from whites. There was a huge number of blacks, whole families, there to see it. They sat in the balcony.

The big scene for me was Bobby Driscoll run down and gored by a bull. It gave me nightmares.

Song of the South was released to theaters again in 1972 with no protests. And a couple of times a few years later, on VHS in the 1980s, then banned.

The author Joel Harris was a racial liberal for the time. The story is set after slavery has been abolished. Uncle Remus is a paid worker on the plantation and is free to leave it whenever he wants to. Uncle Remus is also the most sensible adult in the picture.