Noirvember 2017, Episode 21: Two Men in Manhattan (1959)

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Two Men in Manhattan (Deux hommes dans Manhattan) (1959) Jean-Pierre Melville
Kanopy streaming (1:25)

I’m stepping outside my own guidelines for Noirvember today by viewing a film from 1959. The reasons? The film appears on Kanopy, a new streaming service that all Anne Arundel County library patrons can access for free, and it’s a Jean-Pierre Melville film that I hadn’t previously seen.

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Noirvember 2017, Episode 20: Scandal Sheet (1952)

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Scandal Sheet (1952) Phil Karlson
TCM (1:22)

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I believe there’s no such thing as too much Phil Karlson, so I proudly present Scandal Sheet for your Noirvember viewing pleasure. Broderick Crawford (who previously appeared in The Mob) stars as Mark Chapman, a no-nonsense newspaper man who has taken over the slagging New York Express and – much to the chagrin of the paper’s Board of Directors – turned it into a tabloid sensation.

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Noirvember 2017, Episode 19: Dark City (1950)

Dark City (Paramount, 1950)

Dark City (1950) William Dieterle
Olive Films Blu-ray (1:38)

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Danny Haley (Charlton Heston, in his first major screen role) and his hustler buddies (Ed Begley and Jack Webb, with Harry Morgan hanging around) target a man named Winant (Don DeFore) in a poker game. Winant does well during his initial game, then gets into trouble when he returns the next night. Big trouble. Things get so bad that Winant’s brother comes around looking for the the gang of hustlers.

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Noirvember 2017, Episode 18: Tight Spot (1955)

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Tight Spot (1955) Phil Karlson
Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics III DVD (1:37)

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It seems odd that a play which ran for only 21 performances on Broadway would get the green light for a movie starring Ginger Rogers and Edward G. Robinson, but that’s what happened with Tight Spot. Based on the 1953 play Dead Pigeon by Lenard Kantor, Tight Spot is another “protect the witness long enough for her to testify” movie, this time with a female prison inmate and former model Sherry Conley (Ginger Rogers) willing to expose mobster Benjamin Costain (Lorne Greene) in front of a jury.

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Film Noir Releases in December 2017

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Photo: Film Riot

If you’re new to my monthly Film Noir Releases posts, welcome. My goal is to cover all the first-time releases to Blu-ray and DVD, usually passing over reissues unless there’s a good reason to include them. Unless otherwise noted, the following are all North American Region A Blu-ray discs. I often use the terms “film noir” and “neo-noir” rather loosely, so while you may quibble with some of my choices, I hope these are films you’ll at least consider. As always, if you know of any film noir or neo-noir films I’ve left out, please let me know in the comments below. And thanks for reading.

Let’s face it: the pickings are quite slim in December, but after the holidays, who really has any money anyway? Yet December does offer at least one must-own disc and an epic collection for those who have a Region B or region free player. So let’s get started:

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Noirvember 2017, Episode 17: Manhandled (1949)

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Manhandled (1949) Lewis R. Foster
TCM (1:37)

Writer Alton Bennet (Alan Napier) confides to his therapist Dr. Redmond (Harold Vermilyea) that he’s having nightmares of killing his wife Ruth (Irene Harvey), who just happens to own a very impressive collection of jewelry. Sure enough, Mrs. Bennet turns up dead and, of course, Alton is the leading suspect, but Detective Lieutenant Bill Dawson (Art Smith) thinks Alton is innocent.

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Noirvember 2017, Episode 16: The Dark Mirror (1946)

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The Dark Mirror (1946) Robert Siodmak
Olive Blu-ray (1:25)

Watching The Dark Mirror in 1946 was undoubtedly a fascinating experience. First of all you had Olivia de Havilland performing wonderfully as twin sisters, a Nunnally Johnson screenplay, cinematographer Milton R. Krasner, music by Dimitri Tiomkin and, of course, Robert Siodmak directing. Over 70 years later, the film’s impact is far less than it was in 1946, but this has less to do with the people who made the film than our understanding of psychology.

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