Noirvember 2017, Episode 7: Wicked Woman (1953)


Wicked Woman (1953) Russell Rouse
YouTube (1:27)

If you like your film noir a little on the trashy side, you’re gonna love Wicked Woman. Its low-budget seediness makes itself known in the opening lounge-lizard tune sung by Herb Jeffries, which includes this immortal line:

“You know that what she’s doin’ is sure to cause your ruin…”

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Noirvember 2017: Episode 6: Jeopardy (1953)


Jeopardy (1953) John Sturges
TCM (1:09)

Jeopardy (sometimes known as A Woman in Jeopardy) would probably be a good movie even if Barbara Stanwyck wasn’t the star of the film, but she is, which elevates it immediately to a higher level. The screenplay is by Mel Dinelli (who also wrote Beware, My Lovely, discussed in Episode 3), based on a Maurice Zimm radio play called “A Question of Time.” Stanwyck plays Helen Stilwin, a woman on vacation with her husband Doug (Barry Sullivan) and their young son Bobby (Lee Aaker). Doug drives the family from Baja, California to Mexico, remembering a favorite fishing spot he and his army buddies used to frequent. When the family arrives, the place is rather run-down, particularly a long ramshackle jetty.

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Noirvember 2016, Episode 29: Pickup on South Street (1953)


Pickup on South Street (1953) Samuel Fuller (2x)
Eureka! Masters of Cinema Blu-ray (UK)


It’s just another job for pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark, right)… He spots a woman on a New York City subway train, lifts her wallet, and is on his way. He’s done it a thousand times and hardly has to even think about it. But this time Skip has picked up more than he’s bargained for. The wallet contains microfilm filled with top-secret government information. The woman named Candy (Jean Peters, left) was going to deliver the microfilm to her ex-boyfriend Joey (Richard Kiely). Joey had told Candy that the envelope she was delivering contained stolen business documents. Candy doesn’t know that Joey is really a communist spy and Skip doesn’t know what he’s got. They’re both in a world of trouble.

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The Great Villain Blogathon 2016: Emmett Myers from The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

The Hitch-Hiker (1953) Ida Lupino
Kino Classics Blu-ray (1:11)


This post is part of The Great Villain Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings, Karen of Shadows & Satin, and Kristina of Speakeasy. Thanks to all these ladies for accepting this post!


The term “villain” implies that there must also be present within a story, a hero or heroes. The villain (other synonyms include scoundrel, reprobate, cur, miscreant, rogue, louse, brute, renegade, and significantly in our case – devil) is meant to be someone so diametrically opposite from the hero that he (or she) is immediately recognizable, yet completely foreign to the protagonist. How disconcerting to discover that the villain may, in fact, be someone very much like ourselves. This disturbing realization is part of what lies at the heart of Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker, brought about through its villain Emmett Myers.

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The Big Heat (1953) Fritz Lang


The Big Heat (1953) Fritz Lang (2x)
Twilight Time Blu-ray (1:29)


In the classic film noir era, they just don’t hit much harder and with as much vengeance as Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat. When a fellow police officer commits suicide, Detective Sergeant Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford, above right) smells something rotten. Pretty early in his investigation, Bannion learns that he’s ruffling some feathers in the criminal underworld, particularly those of mob boss Mike Lagana (Alexander Scourby). Soon the dead cop’s wife is silenced, Bannion’s boss tells him to lay off, and Bannion starts getting threatening phone calls. But Bannion’s not the type to give up.

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