Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

More New Noir

September 30th, 2009

I have a lot of movies piled up on both the DVR and my “To Be Watched” Shelves and a lot of those (12 so far) are film noirs that I’ve never seen.  I had such a great time in August at the Noir City Film Festival, that I’ve decided to have my own “New Noir” fest.

Here’s the rundown (again, I’m not a scholar or reviewer, I’m just giving a few impressions.  All of these summaries are bare boned by even bare boned standards and don’t do justice to the films.  If you want more info, check IMDb):

Tuesday 9-29-9

I started this film festival with a non-film event, I went to a book signing by the Demon-Dog of American Crime Fiction: James Ellroy.

The author of great, complex novels like American Tabloid and L. A. Confidential (in 1997, of course, a terrific film was made from this unfilmable book), he was signing his new book Blood’s A Rover.

He came off as a raging, psychotic (though incredibly entertaining) asshole while speaking, but was quite polite when one-on-one.  To give you an idea of his personality, here’s a quote from an interview in the New York Times Magazine from 2006: “I am a master of fiction. I am also the greatest crime novelist who ever lived. I am to the crime novel in specific what Tolstoy is to the Russian novel and what Beethoven is to music.”  I get the impression that he puts a lot of work into being “James Ellroy.”

Then I got home and watched the first film in my series:

The Get-Away (1941)
Directed by Edward Buzzell.  Screenplay by Wells Root & W. R. Burnett.   Starring Robert Sterling and Donna Reed.
A federal agent goes undercover with gangsters.   Shoot-outs, prison breaks and a bunch of other stuff that’s been done better.  I would’ve enjoyed it more if it didn’t have a lame, corny ending.
2 out of 5 stars.

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