Noirvember 2017, Episode 18: Tight Spot (1955)


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


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.

Continue reading

Noirvember 2016, Episode 9: Mr. Arkadin (1955)


Mr. Arkadin (1955) Orson Welles
(1:39 – Corinth edition)
Criterion DVD – library


I’m uncertain whether I can do justice to Mr. Arkadin either as a film or as one of the oddest entries in cinematic history, but here goes. In Naples, an American cigarette smuggler named Guy Van Stratten (Robert Arden, above right) hears the dying words of a man named Bracco, who has just been stabbed. Bracco gives Van Stratten two names, names that will supposedly lead to great riches. One of those names is Gregory Arkadin. After much searching, Van Stratten locates Arkadin (Orson Welles) who informs him that he wants Van Stratten to investigate someone. Who? Gregory Arkadin. It seems Arkadin can’t remember anything before 1927. And we’re off…

Continue reading

Shack Out on 101 (1955) Noirvember 2015: Episode 25


Shack Out on 101 (1955) Edward Dein

I can safely say that Edward Dein’s Shack Out on 101 is the oddest film noir I’ve seen during Noirvember and maybe the oddest I’ve seen period. What else can you say about a movie that features Whit Bissell and Keenan Wynn prancing around a diner in scuba masks and flippers, Lee Marvin as a short order cook named Slob, and Wynn and Marvin having a contest to see who has the best legs.

Continue reading

House of Bamboo (1955) Noirvember 2015: Episode 5


House of Bamboo (1955) Samuel Fuller
Fox Film Noir DVD

House of Bamboo is a rarity of film noir in that it was shot not only in CinemaScope, but also in DeLuxe Color. It’s also set in Tokyo and was supposedly the first American movie shot in Japan after World War II. All this and more makes House of Bamboo an atypical – yet totally satisfying – film noir.

Continue reading

The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) Val Guest


The Quatermass Xperiment [US title: The Creeping Unknown] (1958)
Hammer Film Productions
Directed by Val Guest
Produced by Anthony Hinds and Robert L. Lippert
Written by Richard Landau and Val Guest
Based on the BBC television play by Nigel Kneale
Cinematography by Walter J. Harvey
Makeup by Philip Leakey
Edited by James Needs
Music by James Bernard
Kino Lorber Blu-ray
(black-and-white, 1:22)

Continue reading