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 …

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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 …

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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).

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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I Want to Live! (1958) – Episode 92

I Want to Live! (1958)

 

Welcome to today’s show, I Want to Live! (1958), 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 iTunesand give me a review.

Today’s movie is I Want to Live! (1958). It is a gritty film noir that focuses almost exclusively on the female part of the story. The main character can be described as a femme fatale as she only brought down herself. This movie is driven by a lively jazz soundtrack. It highlights the differences between sweet jazz and legitimate or swing jazz. The lighting for mood is well done and should be watched carefully. Susan Hayward gives a masterful performance and won a much deserved best actress Oscar.

 Actors

Susan Hayward played the …

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Laura (1944) – Episode 91

Laura (1944)

 

Welcome to today’s show, Laura (1944), my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunesor 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 iTunesand give me a review.

This is a very unusually film that is classified a film noir. The story follows a detective as he falls in love with a murdered woman. Director Otto Preminger added some odd homoerotic tension and many key noir elements are missing.

Let’s jump right in with the actors.

ACTORS

Dana Andrews was cast in the role of Det. Lt. Mark McPherson who falls in love with a dead woman. Andrews was first covered in Episode 4 – In Harm’s Way (1965).

Vincent Price played the role of Shelby Carpenter, a southern huckster that was engaged to …

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Double Indemnity (1944) – Episode 90

Double Indemnity (1944)

Welcome to today’s show, Double Indemnity (1944), 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’s movie is Double Indemnity (1944). This movie is almost always on the list of the top five film noirs of all times. The story is told in a narrative style so you can see how the main character came to be in the circumstance that they are in. The femme fatale for this film is one of the darkest of all. The angles, lighting, and smoking are first-rate. This is the best example of high pants, fast talking 1940-1950s filmmaking

While this is not my favorite film noir, reserving the number one spot for something with Humphrey Bogart …

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Ace in the Hole (1951) – Episode 89

Ace in the Hole (1951)

 

Welcome to today’s show, Ace in the Hole (19510), 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’s movie is a film noir classic Ace in the Hole (1951). It is also known as The Big Carnaval (1951). Kirk Douglas plays a down and out newspaper man willing to do anything to get a big story. There are plenty of other corrupt people and a femme fatale.

Kirk Douglas plays down and out newspaperman Chuck Tatum. Douglas was first covered in Episode 4 – In Harm’s Way (1965).

Ray Teal was cast in the role of crooked Sheriff Gus Kretzer. Teal was covered in Episode 60 …

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Big Jim McLain (1952) – Episode 82

Big Jim McLain (1952)

Welcome to today’s show, Big Jim McLain (1952), 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’s movie is the really, really, really bad Big Jim McLain (1952) featuring John Wayne, Nancy Olson, and James Arness. This movie is supposed to be a film noir and a political thriller. I don’t quite see it. The only thing good about this movie is that it so bad you will get a few chuckles.

It is the first movie in which John Wayne played a modern non-western lawman. He went on in later movies to play a few other modern crime stoppers.

ACTORS

John Wayne played the title role of …

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Sunset Blvd. (1950) – Episode 81

Sunset Blvd. (1950)

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.

Today’s movie is Sunset Blvd. (1950). Sunset Blvd. (1950) is certainly one of the greatest movies in American film history. It is also one of the greatest film noirs of all time. At release, the film was nominated for 11 Oscars and received three. Time magazine stated, “Hollywood at its worst told by Hollywood at its best.” [1] This movie not only had faces, it had dialogue, storytelling, passion, and suspense. Told in noir fashion this film begins at the death of one of the two main characters. As the story is revealed the watcher is able …

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Out of the Past (1947) – Episode 54

Out of the Past (1947)

Out of the Past (1947) is one of the greatest film noir movies of all times. The bad guys fight duels with cigarette smoke while the femme fatale takes killing and manipulating to new heights.

Rough Script – Out of the Past (1947)

Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follows 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.

Today’s film is one of the greatest film noir classics of all times. The movie is Out of the Past (1947). The movie is based on the novel “Build My Gallows High” by Daniel Mainwaring. The film has a super talented cast. In an article titled “200 Cigarette” Roger Ebert state that Out of the Past (1947) was “…the greatest cigarette-smoking movie of all time. The trick, as demonstrated by Jacques Tourneur and his cameraman, Nicholas Musuraca, …

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D.O.A. (1950) – Episode 48

D.O.A. (1950)

D.O.A. (1950) is a classic fast paced film noir with razor sharp dialog. The guys are tough and gals are beautiful. This movie will keep you guessing until the end.

D.O.A. (1950) Rough Script

Welcome to today’s show, my name is John. As always you can subscribe to the show on iTunes or follows 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.

Today’s movie is D.O.A., not doa (1950). You have to put the periods in your search or you’ll get something else. This is a great film noir classic that is told in flashback format. It has lots of tough guys like Edmond O’Brian and Neville Brand.

Edmond O’Brien plays the lead as Frank Bigelow accountant and notary. He was covered in Episode 30 – Birdman of Alcatraz (1962).

Pamela Britton played the role of Pula Gibson. Britton was born into an acting family. While in college Britton …

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