Out of the Fog (1941) Anatole Litvak

(Out of the Fog is the fourth in a series of film noir titles I recently purchased from Warner Archive. I previously discussed Riffraff [1947], The Threat [1949], and Southside 1-1000 [1950]).

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Out of the Fog (1941)
Directed by Anatole Litvak
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Screenplay by Robert Macaulay, Robert Rossen, Jerry Walk
Based on the play Gentle People by Irwin Shaw
Cinematography by James Wong Howe
Warner Bros. DVD (1:32)

When I was looking for that all-important fourth film in the recent 4 for $44 sale at the Warner online store, the names Ida Lupino and John Garfield initially pulled me in. (I’d greatly enjoyed them both in The Sea Wolf, a film I’ve already seen twice this year.) Then when I noticed the film also includes two other favorites, Thomas Mitchell and John Qualen, I was sold.

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Noir City 16: Day 1, 1941 – I Wake Up Screaming and Among the Living

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Noir City. You might expect darkened back alleys, shadowy figures moving furtively through rain-soaked city streets, the sounds of taxis blaring, police sirens, maybe even gunfire. Instead, on the mezzanine level of the Castro Theatre, you find well-dressed men and women sipping champagne, drinking highballs, talking about John Garfield, Gloria Grahame, Michael Curtiz, John Alton, Raymond Chandler. You also find another area filled with tables displaying hardboiled fiction, detective stories and neo-noir novels, as well as non-fiction works on everything from San Francisco movie locations to tomes on the history of film noir. Between these two areas stands a short man with a face showing the wear of three lifetimes; a bouncer, if you will, checking to make sure only passport-holders (Noir City’s ticket to all movies and festival events) cross from the book tables to the land of fedoras and padded shoulders. The bouncer must’ve recognized me from years past; he gives me a slight nod and I’m in.

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High Sierra (1941) Raoul Walsh

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High Sierra (1941)
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Produced by Hal B. Wallis and Mark Hellinger
Written by John Huston and W.R. Burnett, based on the Burnett novel
Cinematography by Tony Gaudio
Edited by Jack Killifer
Music by Adolph Deutsch
Warner Bros.
TCM Greatest Classic Gangsters – Humphrey Bogart DVD (1:40)

“You know, Mac, sometimes I feel like I don’t know what it’s all about anymore.”
– Roy Earle

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It may be true that The Petrified Forest (1936) helped launch Humphrey Bogart’s career, but High Sierra (1941) made him a star. Roy Earle is a much more complex character than Duke Mantee and Bogart’s acting chops had developed nicely in the five years between roles. While High Sierra lifted Bogart to the upper tier of leading men, the film also signaled the demise of the gangster picture, a genre that had seemingly endless staying power in the 1930s.

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The Maltese Falcon (1941) 75th Anniversary

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I figure I’ve seen The Maltese Falcon (1941) at least 10 times, but last night was the first time I’d seen it on the big screen (at the Annapolis Harbour 9 as part of TCM’s 75th anniversary of the film, delighted to be joined by my friends Dana, Patrick, and Karen). You’d think the screen size wouldn’t make that much of a difference after having seen the movie so many times, but the revelations were stunning.

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Man Hunt (1941) Fritz Lang

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Man Hunt (1941)
Directed by Fritz Lang
Produced by Kenneth Macgowan, Len Hammond, Darryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay by Dudley Nichols (with help from Lamar Trotti), based on the novel Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
Cinematography by Arthur Miller
Edited by Allen McNeil
Music by Alfred Newman (and David Buttolph)
20th Century Fox DVD
(black-and-white; 1:42)

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You can’t ask for a more intriguing opening. A tall, thin man creeps through a heavily wooded section of the Bavarian Alps, settles himself on the ground, and carefully aims his rifle towards what appears to be a hidden mountain retreat. Several hundred yards away, we (and the man) spot Adolf Hitler in the rifle’s crosshairs. Before the man can pull the trigger with a live round in the chamber, a German soldier on patrol wanders by and changes everything.

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