The Prowler (1951) – 135

The Prowler (1951)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Prowler (1951), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is The Prowler (1951). This Film Noir crime drama starred Van Heflin and Evelyn Keyes. The role for Keyes was said to be a divorce present from her ex-husband Director John Huston.[1] This will be a great film to finish our #Noirvember fest with. An uncredited New York Times movie review upon release said the film was “Surreptitious amour, a rich legacy, and a murder have been pyramided into an impressive drama.”[2] iMDB.com rates this movie at 7.3 while Rotten Tomatoes has it at 100%.[3] This movie was directed by Joseph Losey. The screenplay was written by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo and came out under his working…

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The Harder They Fall (1956) – 134

The Harder They Fall (1956)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Harder They Fall (1956), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast formally known as iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is The Harder They Fall (1956). This is a gritty boxing Film-Noir without a serious femme fatale. This movie was Humphrey Bogart last film. Rod Steiger led a vicious crew of gangsters. Real boxers rounded out the crew. Mark Robson directed this tale of corruption and betrayal in the sweet science. We have three veteran actors and several new ones. Actors Returning Humphrey Bogart played a sports writer that had fallen on hard times, Eddie Willis. The great Humphrey Bogart was covered in Episode 25 – Sahara (1943). Jan Sterling played the devoted and sweet wife of Eddie, Beth Willis. Sterling was covered in…

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Fallen Angel (1945) -132

Fallen Angel (1945)

  Welcome to today’s show, Fallen Angel (1945), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. This Film Noir is rated 7.2 by iMDB.com1 and 80 percent by Rotten Tomatoes2. This film was directed by Otto Preminger. I really liked it, as Dana Andrews is great as a tough guy. Linda Darnell is beautiful and elusive. The supporting players, Charles Bickford, John Carradine, Percy Kilbride, Anne Revere, Alice Faye, and to a lesser degree even Bruce Cabot were all great at weaving this whodunit. The critics of the era seemed to be looking for another Laura (1944), but how often can director Otto Preminger or any director pull one of those off. Bosley Crowther, of The New York Times, thought the acting and story was below par.3 Today’s movie is…

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Shield for Murder (1954) – 124

Shield for Murder (1954)

  Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is Shield for Murder (1954) and it is badass. Edmond O’Brien is amazing as a bad guy. Director Howard W. Koch managed a bunch of really tough guys and beautiful dolls in this late Film Noir. I was amazed that movies this good are just floating around out in the inter-webs. I’ll stop gushing. We have quite a few show veterans so I’ll get going with them. Actors Returning As I have already mentioned, the great actor Edmond O’Brien plays Detective Lt. Barney Nolan. O’Brien was first mentioned in Episode 30 – Birdman of Alcatraz (1962). John Agar, a part of the John Wayne group was cast as Detective. Sgt. Mark Brewster. Agar was…

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Crime of Passion (1957) – 123

Crime of Passion (1957)

    Welcome to today’s show, Crime of Passion (1957), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is Crime of Passion (1957). This classic Film Noir was directed by Gerd Oswald. It has an amazing cast featuring Barbara Stanwyck, Raymond Burr, Sterling Hayden, and King Kong’s love interest Fay Wray. Eddie Muller in his intro to this film for Noir City called it a proto-feminist film where boredom drives a housewife to murder. But I think it was more blind ambition. One of my favorite things about this movie is that it is a very different story. The plot is different and takes the viewer down an unexpected path. Okay, let’s jump right into the veteran actors. Actors Returning Barbara Stanwyck played newspaper reporter Kathy Ferguson…

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The Blue Gardenia (1953) – 115

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Blue Gardenia (1953), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is The Blue Gardenia (1953). Eddie Muller of Noir Alley said that viewers are divided into two camps concerning this Fritz Lang directed the film. The first group said it is a hidden masterpiece of his career while the second group thinks it is a throw away done for a paycheck. I am clearly in the second group. I wanted to like this movie very much with stars Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, and Raymond Burr. Not so much. It even had Superman George Reeves as a detective. It should have been great. However, there were truck size holes in the plot and the killer was obvious from the beginning. I…

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The Set-Up (1949) – 113

The Set-Up (1949)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Set-Up (1949), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. So please subscribe when you are finished listening. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Today’s movie is The Set-Up (1949). This film was based on a poem by Joseph Moncure March, about a black boxer with the stuff to be a champ but was never given the chance. A small piece of the poem reads: Mean as a panther, Crafty as a fox, He could hit like a mule, And he knew how to box. A dark-skinned jinx, With eyes like a lynx, A heart like a lion, And a face like the Sphinx. Sounds like it may be the inspiration for “The Warriors Creed” by Dropkick Murphy as well. Robert Ryan played washed up boxer Stoker. Ryan was covered in Episode 51 – Battle of the…

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Great Femme Fatales of Film Noir

Glorida Grahame Femme Fatales

What are Femme Fatales? Femme Fatales are easy to spot in a Film Noir but they are not that easy to define. They are much more complex than an attractive woman that leads men who love them to doom. It is easy to spot their traits like Roger Ebert did in the quote below, but it doesn’t capture it all. Are they woman the rebel against the norms of their era and seek a life free from the chains of traditional marriage or are they simply bad girls. These characters are what makes Film Noir great and they deserve much more credit. I have listed a dozen of the top Femme Fatales roles in the table below. Many more Femme Fatales deserve to be on the list. Roles played by Gloria Grahame, Lizabeth Scott, Marie Windsor, Carolyn Jones, and Anna May Wong deserve mention and will eventually have to expand the list. Femme Fatale Traits – Low necklines, floppy hats, mascara, lipstick, boudoirs, calling the doorman by his first name,…

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Free Film Noir ebook

The Film Noir Premier ebook

Film Noir is the most American of all visual art forms. This style of movie making became popular in the 1940s and 1950s during and following World War II. The mood of the country was more pessimistic and the films reflected this. No longer did the good guy ride off into the sunset. He was just as likely to be struck down by a beautiful Femme Fatale. Now you can get my updated Free Film Noir ebook.   I have combined all of my film noir reviews into a single ebook for ease of reading. You can download a copy of the Free Film Noir ebook by clicking on the link below and entering your email. I will not spam you and I am not selling anything. You will get notices about the Classic Movie Reviews with Snarky podcast.   The Film Noir Premier ebook [kudanileads_on_click_intent optin_id=optin_4]Get the updated Film Noir ebook free [/kudanileads_on_click_intent]   After you get your Free Film Noir ebook check out these noir blogs! Femme Fatales Forty…

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Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) – 103

Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

  Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review. This is a very sad, sort of buddy movie. The guys never had a chance. Today’s movie is Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962). This movie tells the story of a boxer, his trainer, and his manager. The boxer is the primary character. Actor Anthony Quinn shot this film during a two-month break in the filming of Lawrence of Arabia (1962). This story and the screenplay were written by Rod Serling 1924–1975. Serling was best known for “The Twilight Zone” 1959 – 1964 and his horror television show, “Night Gallery” 1970 – 1973 and. He was also involved in the writing of…

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The Maltese Falcon (1941) – Episode 100

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Maltese Falcon (1941), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follow the links to social media in the podcast show notes. You can also go to snarkymoviereviews.com to read notes, bios, and other random movie thoughts. Remember this show is completely free and independent. All I ask is that you jump over to iTunes and give me a review. Today is a major milestone, 100 Episodes. I want to thank you for all the support that you have given me as I have endeavored to produce this podcast. So, as I did for Episode 25, I will go with a Humphrey Bogart film. Today’s movie is a film noir classic The Maltese Falcon (1941) which I will go out on a limb and say this is maybe the best film ever made. Humphrey Bogart played the main character Detective Samuel Spade The great Humphrey Bogart was covered in Episode 25 – Sahara (1943). Ward Bond played…

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The Big Heat (1953) – Episode 99

The Big Heat (1953)

  Welcome to today’s show, The Big Heat (1953) is a classic film noir directed by Fritz Lang and starring Glenn Ford as a good cop and Gloria Grahame as a b-girl. Actors Glenn Ford plays the lead role of honest Det. Sgt. Dave Bannion. Ford was first covered in Episode 35 – Blackboard Jungle (1955) The lovely Gloria Grahame played Debby Marsh. Grahame was talked about in Episode 53 – It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) Jocelyn Brando played the role of Katie Bannion. This older sister of Marlon Brandon was born in 1919. Jocelyn grew up in Illinois and was plagued by her two alcoholic parents. She started working in theater in Omaha and debuted on Broadway at the age of 22. Her first film role was in the China Adventure (1953). Her best-known film role is The Big Heat (1953). Jocelyn worked with her famous brother in The Ugly American (1963) and The Chase (1966). Jocelyn was more successful on television. Her last film role was Mommie Dearest (1981).…

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Forty Essential Film Noir Classics

Double Indemnity - Forty Essential Film Noir Classics

I have trouble stopping at 40 on this Forty Essential Film Noir Classics. I will continue to update the list as more movies are added. I wanted to add a definition for Film noir, so I went to the great movie critic Roger Ebert.  I have shortened his definitions but included the link below so you can read the complete original. 1. A French term meaning “black film,” or film of the night. 2. Doesn’t mislead you into thinking there will be a happy ending. 3. Locations that reek of the night, of shadows, of alleys, of the back doors of fancy places. 4. Cigarettes. Everybody in film noir is always smoking. The best smoking movie of all time is Out of the Past, in which Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas smoke furiously at each other. 5. Women who would just as soon kill you as love you, and vice versa. This is priceless JEC. 6. For women: low necklines, floppy hats, mascara, lipstick, boudoirs, calling the doorman by his…

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Brute Force (1947) – Episode 93

Brute Force (1947)

  Today’s movie is the film noir Brute Force (1947). It tells the tale of a group of prisoners that tell their story using a pin-up picture in their cell. It is noted that the inspiration and violence in this movie is in direct response to the Battle of Alcatraz, May 2-4, 1946[1]. At the federal prisoner in San Francisco Bay, the prisoner fought until their deaths even though their situation was hopeless. Ironically, Burt Lancaster, playing the role of Robert Stroud in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), helped to end the Alcatraz escape attempt. Of course, this part of the movie is not based on historical fact. The movie is social commentary on the rise of fascism and Nazism. The pin-up picture of the woman used in the film is said to be a composite of actresses Yvonne De Carlo, Ann Blyth, and Ella Raines, by painter John Decker[2]. I don’t see it. Actors This prison movie had a rather large cast included 10 actors that we have covered previously. So…

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