Film Noir recomendations

Discussion in 'Classic' started by gusse, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. gusse

    gusse New Member

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    Lately I have been in the mood for some good ol Film Noir and I was thinking that some of you guys might be able to help me find some good movies that I have missed.

    I'm looking for stuff in the same vein as Maltese Falcon, Big Sleep, Sunset Boulevard, Touch Of Evil, Double indemnity, Key Largo and stuff like that. Dramas with that certain "noir-feeling" (like Casablanca for instance) is allso greatly appriciated. I'm mostly interested in movies from the classic noir-era 40's & 50's at the moment.

    I am very tempted to buy movies like In A Lonely Place, Lady From Shanghai, The Harder They Fall, The Third Man, Desperate Hours, Rififi, A Kiss Before Dying - but I wont be able to buy them al at once so I'm wondering which ones to get first. Sugestions? :cool: (I'm pretty sure about The Third MAn already... hoping to get it tomorrow).


    BTW Is there any word about a remastered version of Double Indemnity? The quality of the one curently available seems pretty lackluster...:cry:
     
  2. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

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    I am a huge noir fan and have over 20 film noir DVDs in my collection. Double Indemnity is out of print, but I hope Universal decides to reissue it, lackluster of not.

    My personal favorite film noir is Charles Laughton's Night of the Hunter from 1955. The MGM DVD can be had for under 10 bucks. I'm a big Bogart fan, and In A Lonely Place is a very a-typical Bogart film, but I like it a lot. It is a very dark film, but it is very good, I recommend you seek it out. The Third Man and Lady From Shanghai are two good Orson Welles films (Although Carol Reed directed The Third Man, Welles stars) that are on DVD. If you are a fan of Japanese cinema, Akiria Kurosawa directed High and Low, a noir film available on the Criterion Collection. I've never seen this but i've heard good things. Another terrific noir is Fritz Lang's The Big Heat. It is on DVD from Columbia.

    Don't forget about the B-films either. Kiss Me Deadly, The Hitchhiker, and D.O.A. are all very good. D.O.A. can be found for less than 5 dollars from Alpha Video, and the print is actually very good. Get the Roan Group DVD of The Hitchhiker, the Kino DVD (which is more expensive) and the Alpha DVD (which is 5 dollars) both look horrible. The MGM DVD of Kiss Me Deadly can be found for less than 10 dollars, and was a major influence on Quentin Tarantino. It'd actually where he got the glowing briefcase idea from for Pulp Fiction.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. gusse

    gusse New Member

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    Thanks for the reply! Nice to find another Noir-fan :)

    I already have Night Of The Hunter (beautiful move!). The Big Heat by Fritz Lang sounds realy interesting - I'll look in to that one! Do you think it's Lang's best Nori? How is Scarlet Street?

    D.O.A. and Kiss Me Deadly sounds very tempting also... Can't seem to find the cheap Vista D.O.A DVD you are talking about though - only a Roan and a Image one. Sure that you arent thinking about the Roan one?

    ...Can't seem to find the Roan version of Hitch-hiker, but seemingly Troma (!?) have released it with the same cover as Roan - have they taken over the rights or something? Or is it just an error on www.dv-depot.com? :eek2:

    What do you think about Howard Hawk's To Have And Have Not and Robert Siodmak's The Killers?


    Are there any more Film-Noir fans on the board that would like to help me out as well? :glasses:
     
  4. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    Gusse, Troma bought Roan and now manage both the production and distribution. I would highly recommend D.O.A., The Stranger (Orson Welles)/Cause for Alarm, The Hitchhiker, Borderline, and if you can get it, the out of print The Film Noir of Anthony Mann two disc set which includes T-Men, Raw Deal, and He Walked By Night. I believe all are worthy additions to any noir fans library, and all of them have very workable transfers, if not exceptional. For the most part, they may be a little light in contrast (black & white depths) but the transfers are very clean. I'd also point out Roan has several old Poverty Row horror selections as well, including several titles featuring Bela Lugosi, and the Boris Karloff Mr. Wong set is great schlocky fun.

    As for non-Roan dvds, I would advise...
    M - Fritz Lang, dir., stars Peter Lorre, from Criterion
    Citizen Kane - duh!
    definitely Third Man
    the original Cape Fear

    For some desert noir, try Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I think, with those you've listed, you'd dig it. It's one of my personal favorites.
     
  5. gusse

    gusse New Member

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    Thanks for the quick answer!

    I already have Citizen Kane and the original Cape Fear, and am well on my way on getting the new Eureka version of Fritz Lang's "M" thats supposed to beat Criterion's edition. Im hoping to buy Criterion's Third Man tomorrow.

    Borderline and those Anthony Mann (especialy He Walked By Night) seem very interesting!

    I'm way ahead of you with Treasure of the Sierra Madre - ordered it a few days back, should arrive at my door tomorrow :glasses: It's not exactly Noir, but it's from the right time, rather dark and it's got Bogart so I know what you are aiming at. I have seen it before and loved it - awesome movie!


    Oh man - I'll end up spending a fortune on all these movies! :cry: ...oh well, atleast I'll die doing something i love *famous last words of a DVD addict* :lol:
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2003
  6. mutleyhyde

    mutleyhyde Fuck it.

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    M was an early Criterion, so I wouldn't doubt it could be beat at this point, both in extras and transfer. Still, either way you get it, it's a fine movie. I only mentioned the Criterion because I wasn't aware of another version.

    If you really like Lang, as I do, I'd suggest the silent Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler, from Image. Not quite noir, but it deals with a megalomaniac crime boss, and it does have elements of noir. You might check it out, if you haven't already. If I remember correctly, you like silents?

    EDIT; I thought I was on the right track with Treasure. ;) I just hiked the Superstition Mountains in Arizona last week, and it made me think about Bogie and the movie. :D
     
  7. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

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    Indeed, The Big Heat is Lang's best noir, imo. Well worth the price. Lee Marvin steals the show! I've never seen Sacarlet Street, but the Alpha DVD is decent and it features Eddie G. Robinson in a hero role, which is interesting. Another good Lang noir film is The Woman in the Window, which is interesting. All of the nazi conspiracy/noir's that Lang made are decent, but not worth the purchase, especially considering how much the Kino DVDs cost.

    Troma bought out Roan so yes, it is technically a "troma" DVD. Go to www.oldies.com to find the Alpha DVDs of Scarlet Street and D.O.A. They also have Detour, but I haven't seen that.

    I own Sidomak's The Killers on Criterion DVD, but haven't gotten to it yet. To Have and Have Not is not a noir film, it is similar to Casablanca but the chemistry between Bogie and Bacall is the highlight of the film, and you could see the real-life romance btween the two develop before your eyes. I can't end the post however without giving a nod to my favorite Bogart film, and my second favorite film of all-time, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which Warner has graciously released an amazing 2-disc SE of. It's not a noir film, but a great classic film nonetheless. EDIT: I just read the above, and realized you did infact order 'Treasure'.

    If you have any other questions, lemme know.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2003
  8. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

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    AVOID Criterion's DVD of M. The A/V is much better on the 2-disc R2 release from Eureka Video, available on www.xploited-cinema.com

    It also has an ample amount of extras. Better than Criterion's DVD in every way.
     
  9. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    The Third Man is absolutely brilliant!
     
  10. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    Many of the films discussed above are not 'film noir'?! Anyway, a great forgotten 'film noir,' is Jacques Tourneur's "Out of the Past" (1947) with Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas. While it is yet to be released on dvd, it is finally starting to be recognized as one of the best examples of 'film noir' in the 40s. Scorsese put me on to this one. Let's hope for a dvd release soon. Great film!!
     
  11. hell ya!

    hell ya! ~Go ahead, make my day~

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    I just watched The Desperate Hours last night and i thought it was great. Very glad i picked up the disc. Bogart was fantastic as usual.
     
  12. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

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    Yep, The Desperate Hours is a tightly woven thriller, although I wouldn't particularly specify it as film-noir. The Desperate Hours is an underrated film from William Wyler (Director of Ben Hur) which is very suspensful, kept me on the edge of my seat.
     
  13. gusse

    gusse New Member

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    Got The Third Man today, and I should be getting A Kiss Before Dying and In A Lonely Place tomorrow (aswell ass "M", Deadringers: Criterion and The Hustler).
     
  14. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    Oh, The Third Man is fantastic. Plus the quirky musical score plays against the tension which adds almost a surreal pitch to the atmosphere, which is quirky to begin with. Just a well crafted work.
     
  15. dvdasia62

    dvdasia62 Guest

    One word: RIFIFI
     
  16. gorelover

    gorelover Guest

    One additional word: THE MALTESE FALCON

    Definately my favorite Bogey flick.

    -gl
     
  17. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    "Night of the Hunter" is, in my opinion, one of the great films in the history of US cinema. It has been slotted into the 'film noir' category - for good reasons - but it is a film that stands in a class of its own. Its sheer brazen originality makes it a one of a kind film. By mixing genres and inventing new ones along the way it never ceases to astound. There's nothing like it out there.

    Fritz Lang's "The Big Heat" (1953) and Welles' "Touch of Evil" (1958) are among the best examples of 'film noir' in the 50s. The 'film noir' period tends to begin during WWII and end in the late fifties - "Touch of Evil" is considered the swan song of the 'film noir' genre. While the defintion of the 'film noir' genre is open to interpretation, not to mention the fact that there are many important precursors in the 30s, it is not just a shooting style, as many people often tend to describe it. 'Film noir' is also related to post-war pessimism and the increasing homogenization of US culture in the late-40s and 50s, which will give way to the terrifying witch-hunts of the McCarthy era. The cynicism of 'film noir' comes out in part from this context in the US of the times, especially among immigrants (many from Germany) who fled an oppressive regime in the 30s and found themselves, as artists, experiencing similar repressive measures, yet veiled in a cold war rhetoric, in the US after the war.

    I've never seen "The Killers" (1946), which is also considered a high point in 'film noir.' Is the Criterion transfer any good? I really want to get it. "The Killers" was made by a German Jewish filmmaker, Robert Siodmak, who also fled Germany in the 1930s (brother to Curt, who wrote two of the greatest horror films of the 40s: "Wolf Man" and "I Walked").
     
  18. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

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    The print for the Criterion DVD of The Killers is excellent, and it also comes with a wealth of extras, the TV remake of The Killers from 1964, I believe, and a short film. Sidomak also directed The Spiral Staircase, another film noir which Anchor Bay put on DVD (Which is now OOP, I have a DVD-R of it though) and Universal's Son of Dracula with Lon Chaney Jr.
     
  19. marioscido

    marioscido New Member

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    I think I read somewhere that the short film on "The Killers" Criterion disc is a student film by Andrey Tarkovsky. Is this right? If yes, I am getting it for sure. I love everything Tarkovsky has done and would love to see his early homage to 'film noir.'
     
  20. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

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    Indeed, Tarkovsky did direct it, and I believe it runs 16 minutes, if my memory serves me correctly. The 1964 version isn't very good, but features a good performance from Lee Marvin, although his performance in The Killers doesn't come close to equaling his brilliant sadistic performance in The Big Heat!

    "I bet you're a big Lee Marvin fan aren't ya. Yeah me too. I love that guy. My heart's beatin' so fast I'm about to have a heart attack." - Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs.

    Mario, we have very similar taste in film noir! :)
     

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