Champion (1949) Noirvember 2015: Episode 28

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Champion (1949) Mark Robson
(1:39)
Amazon streaming

We know from the opening scenes of Champion that we’re getting a frame story. As the film begins, Midge Kelly (Kirk Douglas, above) is already the boxing champion, about to take on another challenger, but we’ll have to wait for that bout while director Mark Robson shows us in flashback how Kelly went from riding the rails and hitchhiking to becoming the champ.

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Fear in the Night (1947) Noirvember 2015: Episode 27

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Fear in the Night (1947) Maxwell Shane
(1:12)
Amazon streaming

A bank teller named Grayson (DeForest Kelley) dreams he’s stabbed a man inside an octagonal room of mirrors, locking the body in a closet. Upon waking, Grayson discovers blood on his shirt cuff, a button, and an oddly-shaped key. When Grayson shares his nightmare with his brother-in-law Cliff (Paul Kelly) – who happens to be a cop – Cliff dismisses the whole thing as a bad dream. But Grayson, fearing he really killed someone, sets off to discover the truth.

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House by the River (1950) Noirvember 2015: Episode 24

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House by the River (1950) Fritz Lang
(1:28)
Amazon streaming

Wealthy novelist Stephen Byrne (Louis Hayward, above right) strangles one of his house servants (Dorothy Patrick, above left) when she begins screaming to ward off Byrne’s amorous advances. Before he can think fast enough, Byrne’s brother John (Lee Bowman, below left) walks in and helps him dispose of the body by dumping it in the river (thus the nifty title). Can the brothers now fool everyone in town before they kill each other?

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The Turning Point (1952) Noirvember 2015: Episode 23

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The Turning Point (1952) William Dieterle
(1:25)
Amazon streaming

New district attorney John Conroy (Edmond O’Brien, above right) is young, eager and determined to wipe out crime, starting with the city’s most powerful syndicate run by Neil Eichelberger (Ed Begley). Conroy even appoints his dad (Tom Tully), a cop, to be part of his task force. But Conroy’s reporter friend Jerry McKibbon (William Holden, above left) discovers that Conroy’s dad has ties to Eichelberger. That could make for an awkward Thanksgiving…

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Moonrise (1948) Noirvember 2015: Episode 18

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Moonrise (1948) Frank Borzage
(1:30)
Amazon streaming

Young Danny Hawkins is constantly tormented by other boys his age, but the reason has nothing to do with anything Danny did. No, it’s because of Danny’s father, who was hanged as a murderer. After an opening which is equal parts surreal and nightmarish, we aren’t sure what to expect next: Salvador Dali, Southern gothic noir, or both.

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He Walked by Night (1948) Noirvember 2015: Episode 1

(I’ve decided to try to post at least a short review of each film noir I watch in Noirvember. Some will be short, some will be longer. Hope you enjoy them!)

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He Walked by Night (1948) Alfred L. Werker and Anthony Mann
(1:19)
Amazon streaming

As David J. Hogan points out in his book Film Noir FAQHe Walked by Night and Jules Dassin’s The Naked City (also 1948) both work as police procedurals, but He Walked by Night contains far more noir elements, thanks in large part to John Alton’s brilliant cinematography of on-location Los Angeles.

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