Killer Ladies

From an article in The Oregian by MacrMohan on The Northwest Film Center’s series “Killer Ladies: Film Noir” in April:

“The femme fatale is an indispensable staple of noir, and three of the most memorable are served up this weekend. Perhaps least known is Angel Face, Otto Preminger’s 1953 thriller starring Robert Mitchum at his sleepiest. He’s a working-class ambulance driver who becomes ensnared by the beautiful, wealthy and (it almost goes without saying) deadly Diane Tremayne (Jean Simmons). Diane, in addition to boasting a fantastic noir name, is a paragon of obsessive love, and the movie has one of the all-time great final scenes (just watch Mitchum’s face as they pull out of the driveway). It’s hard to say which is the bigger cult classic, Joseph H Lewis’ 1950 Gun Crazy or Robert Aldrich’s 1955 Kiss Me Deadly, but a chance to see both on the big screen and decide for yourself shouldn’t be passed up. The former is a tale of doomed love between a mild-mannered firearm aficionado and the carnival sharpshooter who shares his fascination. The latter is often dubbed the last classic film noir, a burst of feverish atomic- age madness and sadism that could only come from the mind of Mickey Spillane. Both are full of the dark, quasi-intentional subtext that make the best noir films so arresting even today.”

1angelface2.jpg gunc.jpg Kiss Me Deadly

Act of Violence (1948) DVD Review

Act of Violence (1948)

Act of Violence

The New York Times Review 6 May 2007 by Charles Taylor:

“This trim, tense, little-known 1948 noir, one of 10 included in the Warner Brothers set ”Film Noir, Volume 4,” is an anomaly among the more prestigious pictures directed by Fred Zinnemann (whose best and best known include ”From Here to Eternity” and ”The Nun’s Story”). In the wordless sequences when the lead, Van Heflin (right, with Mary Astor), wanders deserted Los Angeles alleys and back streets, the shadows and seemingly abandoned buildings hovering over him (the movie was shot by Robert Surtees), ”Act of Violence” becomes a distillation of noir itself.

Even if Mr. Heflin were the last man on earth, he’d still be pursued by his own guilt. This fine, underrated actor plays a family man, successful building contractor and decorated war pilot who spent a year in a German prison camp. His life, the picture of middle-class success, begins to crumble when a tall, limping stranger (the great Robert Ryan, evoking terror and pity in the way only he could) shows up in his small California town. The man was Mr. Heflin’s closest Army buddy, and the possessor of the secret that gives the lie to his model-citizen persona.

Mr. Zinnemann’s precise, pointed direction suggests that postwar boosterism was the mask for the unspeakable things the war had taught veterans about themselves, about humanity. Hiding behind drawn curtains in his darkened suburban home, Mr. Heflin is a man who, at least in his head, has traded one prison camp for another. (Warner Brothers, July 31, US$59.92; also available on a double-feature disc with ”Mystery Street,” July 31, US$20.97) “

Film Noir Links

Articles and Essays on Film Noir

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Essays In Film Noir

Film Noir

Film Noir – Films

Film Noir Collection – MovieMail UK

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Images – Ten Shades of Noir

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Martin’s Film Noir Page

Modern Time Images – Film Noir

Noir and Noir Again

NOIR CITY – Film Noir Festival presented by the Film Noir Foundation

Out of the Past Investigating Film Noir

Style Innovations in Film Noir

Top 25 Films Noir’s Guide to Film Noir Entertainment & Culture

Wikipedia List of Films Noir

Film Noir Scripts on the Web

Film Noir Scripts:

Casablanca (1942)

Citizen Kane (1940)

Notorious (1946)

To Have and Have Not (1944)

Double Indemnity (Undated Draft) by James M. Cain,Billy Wilder,Raymond Chandler

Strangers on a Train (1950-10 Draft) by Raymond Chandler,Czenzi Ormonde

Sunset Boulevard (1949-50 Draft) by Charles Brackett,Billy Wilder,D.M. Harshman Jr.

Sweet Smell of Success (Undated Draft) Written by Ernest Lehman,Clifford Odets

The Big Sleep by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, Jules Furthman (from the novel by Raymond Chandler)1944 draft script in pdf format

Call Northside 777 (part 1) Call Northside 777 (part 2) by Jay DratlerSeptember 13, 1947 revised final shooting draft script in pdf format

Double Indemnity by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler undated, unspecified draft script in text format

Killer’s Kiss by Stanley Kubrick and Howard Sackler partial script in html format

The Lost Weekend by Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder undated, unspecified draft script in text

The Maltese Falcon by John Huston (from the novel by Dashiell Hammett)1941 final remake script in pdf format

Naked City by Albert Maltz and Malvin Wald (story by Malvin Wald)1948 shooting draft script in text format

The Night of the Hunter by James Agee, David Grubb & Charles Laughtonundated, unspecified draft script in text format

Playback by Raymond ChandlerMarch 24, 1949 final draft unproduced script in html format

The Third Man by Graham Green, Alexander Korda & Orson Wellesundated, unspecified draft script in html format

The Best Film Noir Trailers on DVD (2000 120mins)

The Best Of Film Noir DVD

From All Movie Guide:

“The films about the tough guys and the femme fatales. Films like The Maltese Falcon. Kiss Me Deadly, Double Indemnity, This Gun for Hire, Mildred Pierce, DOA, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Bad and the Beautiful, Detour, Touch of Evil, Out ot the Past, including the original coming attraction trailers for Rear Window, Notoruius, and Vertigo. Stars such as Robert Mitchum, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bsrbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, John Garfield, Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Lee Marving, Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Ingrid Bergman, Fred MacMurray, Alan Ladd, Jane Greer, Ralph Meeker, and Cloris Leachmand.”

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