Drama · Film Noir

John Garfield: Film in a Dangerous Time

We’ve been musing about pathetic fallacy. Now, we don’t want you to miss all the fun, so here’s a quick definition: Pathetic Fallacy attributes human qualities and emotions to inanimate objects of nature. The word “pathetic” … is not used in the derogatory sense of being miserable; rather, here, it stands for “imparting emotions to something else”.… Continue reading John Garfield: Film in a Dangerous Time

Drama · Film Noir

Requiem for Captain Quinlan

Spoiler Alert! Hank Quinlan’s death, at the conclusion of Touch of Evil (1958), is not glamorous. There he is, the celebrated police captain, floating belly up in a pool of wastewater. It’s not the way any of us want to go. If you’ve seen Touch of Evil, you may not have been surprised by this ending. After all, Captain Quinlan… Continue reading Requiem for Captain Quinlan

Film Noir

Ann Sheridan’s Film Noir Marriage

We just discovered a gem of a film with a truly compelling performance by the oft-underrated Ann Sheridan. Woman on the Run (1950) is a low-budget but engrossing tale. It’s also an unconventional film noir. In a typical noir story, a male protagonist is trapped in dangerous circumstances, unable to ask police for help. Adding to his predicament… Continue reading Ann Sheridan’s Film Noir Marriage

Film Noir

The Sam Spade Business Model

Fictional private eye Sam Spade doesn’t believe in sugar coating. In The Maltese Falcon, he tells a client, “We didn’t believe your story. We believed your $200.” This, to us, reveals Spade’s genetic makeup – shrewd, blunt, knows the value of a dollar. He doesn’t care about feelings; he cares about truth. Sam Spade, one of the best-known… Continue reading The Sam Spade Business Model

Film Noir · Thriller

Bruno Anthony’s Reliance on Public Transportation

One of our favourite on-screen performances is Robert Walker‘s turn as the psychopath Bruno Anthony in Alfred Hitchcock‘s Strangers on a Train (1951). Walker is electrifying as the spoiled, too-smart-for-his-own-good Anthony, a man with a slippery, non-stick charisma that easily deflects criticism. Even his rare flashes of anger are charmingly displaced by a mischievous smile and an amusing it’s-not-my-fault demeanour. There… Continue reading Bruno Anthony’s Reliance on Public Transportation

Drama · Film Noir

Ida Lupino’s Murderous Sucker Punch

In 1940, Warner Bros. released They Drive By Night, a commentary on the American trucking industry. It starred George Raft, who was one of the studio’s biggest stars, and a young British actress who would steal the entire film. Her name was Ida Lupino. Lupino plays the perfectly-coiffed but disaffected wife of a trucking company… Continue reading Ida Lupino’s Murderous Sucker Punch

Film Noir · Thriller

Teresa Wright: Film Noir Superhero

Spoiler Alert! In Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, Teresa Wright does something no law enforcement agency is able to do. She handily dispenses with a dangerous villain and makes The World A Safer Place. (Get this: She does so while wearing classic leather pumps and tailored outfits.) Shadow of a Doubt (1943) is Hitchcock’s attempt to scare the pants off… Continue reading Teresa Wright: Film Noir Superhero

Drama · Film Noir

Contrary to Popular Opinion: The Postman Should Cut & Run

We knew this day would come. We knew there would come a day when we would spill our darkest movie secret. It’s this: We think the 1946 holy grail of film noir, the one that’s on everyone’s Top 10 List, is dreadfully overrated. In fact, we can hardly sit through it. The Postman Always Rings Twice, in our opinion,… Continue reading Contrary to Popular Opinion: The Postman Should Cut & Run

Film Noir

The Big Sleep: The Head-Scratching Film Noir

Dear Reader: As part of The Great Movie Debate Blogathon, we are going to argue against The Big Sleep. Yup, you read that right. Against. Now, we realize The Big Sleep is on everyone’s Top 10 List, and we respect that. It’s a legendary film noir with engaging characters, beautifully designed sets (from Carl Jules Weyl)… Continue reading The Big Sleep: The Head-Scratching Film Noir