It’s moving right along, isn’t it? Savor the noir as long as you can and if you’ve missed any of my previous posts or recaps, please check out the first two weeks here. Now on to the Week 3 recap:
White Heat (1949) Raoul Walsh
Ultimate Gangsters Collection Blu-ray (1:54)
James Cagney stars as Cody Jarrett, psychotic leader of a gang of robbers, but there’s much more to the role and the film. Jarrett is vicious, murdering people without thinking twice, even discarding his own people if they’re injured and unable to help themselves.
Scandal Sheet (1952) Phil Karlson
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.
Dark City (1950) William Dieterle
Olive Films Blu-ray (1:38)
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.
Manhandled (1949) Lewis R. Foster
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.
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.