Summary Noir Reviews: Two Colored Red

The Red House (1947)

Mediocre rural gothic melodrama masquerading as noir horror. A deranged man’s terrible secret is hidden in a red house nestled in a dark forest. Edward G. Robinson as the nutter does his best, but the direction by Delmer Daves is uninspired – the pace is meandering and there is never any real tension.

Susan Hayward and Marsha Hunt in Smash-Up (1947) featured in Red Hollywood

Red Hollywood (1996)

Interesting documentary on films made by Hollywood leftists in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, includes rare interviews with scenarists, directors, and producers.  Guys like  Paul JarricoAlfred Lewis Levitt and Abraham Polonsky.  The makers take HUAC at their word and explore many Hollywood movies for ‘subversiveness’  – including a bunch of noirs.  There is a confronting leftist critique of Intruder In the Dust (1949), and the back-story on how the big studios connived to bury the independently produced Salt of the Earth  (1954) – the only American film to tell the striker’s side of an industrial dispute.  There are fascinating clips from movies you will have never heard of and will likely never see. Recommended.


2 thoughts on “Summary Noir Reviews: Two Colored Red”

  1. RED HOLLYWOOD does sound quite interesting for all sorts of reasons, and I’d certainly like to see it. As far as THE RED HOUSE I have to say I am in full agreement with your assessment here, though I’d add that Miklos Rozsa’s beautiful score may well be the film’s most invaluable component, even ahead of Edward G. Robinson’s valiant attempt to subvert what you rightly assert as “mediocre rural gothic melodrama masquerading as noir horror.” There is no question at all that Davies’ direction is listless and the film only catches fire at the end, when it is too late.

    Nice framing here Tony!


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