Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

New Noir part 2

August 22nd, 2010

The Noir City Festival has ended, but I’m going to keep getting through these movies I’ve been meaning to watch.

On a side note, my short play “Valise” opened last week at the K.I.S.S.fest here in Chicago. I’m including it here because it’s about a bank heist gone wrong (sort of). It runs until the end of the month. For info, you can go here.

Anyway, more movies:

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Tuesday 8-17-10
Rusty Knife (1958)
Directed by Toshio Masuda. Screenplay by Shintaro Ishihara and Toshio Masuda. Starring Yujiro Ishihara, Mie Kitahara and Mari Shiraki.
When a couple of ex-criminals get pulled back into their old life when the police need people to testify against a big-deal gangster secrets from the past, blackmail and revenge all rear their ugly heads. A little slow, but not too bad once it gets going. And there’s a great scene where someone gets poisoned! One of the films in the Criterion Nikkatsu Noir collection.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

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Wednesday 8-18-10
The Chase (1946)
Directed by Arthur Ripley. Screenplay by Philip Yordan from the novel “The Black Path of Fear” by Cornell Woolrich. Starring Robert Cummings, Michele Morgan, Steve Cochran and Peter Lorre.
An ex-GI is hired as a chauffeur by a gangster. The gangster’s wife wants him to help her get away to Havana. Lots of twists and turns and oddities (and one plot device that I hate in movies), but does a good job of trying to capture Woolrich’s sometimes surreal plotlines.
3 out of 5 stars.

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Thursday 8-19-10
Fly-By-Night (1942)
Directed by Robert Siodmak. Screenplay by Jay Dratler, F. Hugh Herbert, Ben Roberts and Sidney Sheldon. Starring Richard Carlson, Nancy Kelly and Miles Mander.
A noir screwball comedy. An innocent bystander gets involved in government secrets, intrigue and murder. It starts with a madman escaping from an asylum and then gets kooky. Very entertaining, but definitely works better as a comedy than as a noir.
Another film at the Noir City Festival, this one introduced by Foster Hirsch. The final one for this summer’s festival (I made it to all 3 of the ones I hadn’t seen).
4 out of 5 stars.

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Friday 8-20-10
The Black Glove (1954)
Directed by Terence Fisher. Screenplay by Ernest Borneman from his novel. Starring Alex Nicol, Eleanor Summerfield and John Salew.
An American trumpet player gets mixed up in the murder of a blonde blues singer. He goes here and there talking to this person and that person in order to find the killer and prove his innocence. Pretty standard, but one of the better Hammer film noirs I’ve seen.
3 out of 5 stars.

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Saturday 8-21-10
The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947)
Directed by Peter Godfrey. Screenplay by Thomas Job from the play by Martin Vale. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Alexis Smith and Nigel Bruce.
More of a woman in peril thriller like “Suspicion” or “Gaslight” than actual noir. Bogart plays a painter who meets his muse, marries her and then, when she stops inspiring him, kills her so he can marry his next muse. Entertaining fare from two of noir’s standard bearers and Dr. Watson.
3 out of 5 stars.

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