The Thin Man ~ New Year’s Eve

What better way to end this noirish year than sitting back on New Year’s Eve and enjoying two of our favorite Dashiell Hammett characters Nick and Nora Charles. When ‘The Thin Man’ was made in 1934 Noir films hadn’t yet been labeled. However the James Wong Howe photography, the angles, shadows, lighting set the tone…

Lady on a Train

Nothing says Christmas to me more this year than the Deanna Durbin Christmas Noir movie Lady on a Train, directed in 1945 by French Director Charles David, Durbin’s future husband: December 21, 1950. The original story Lady on a Train was by Leslie Charteris author of ‘The Saint’ series of books. Lady on a Train…

Summer Under the Stars ~ Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum is undeniably the epitome of Film Noir leading man. Never gets ruffled, has a slow easy manner can take a punch as well as give them and can spar witty dialogue with the best of the best femme fatale’s. I’m working my way through fifteen of his noir films and so far RKO’s…

Summer Under the Stars ~ Rex Ingram

As a kid I was deeply moved by Rex Ingram’s sympathetic portrayal of Jim the runaway slave in the 1939 MGM production of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn starring Mickey Rooney. As an adult I was impressed by his portrayal of the unbending father Joe Lucasta in the United Artists 1958 film Anna Lucasta starring…

Summer Under the Stars ~ Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford TCM’s star for the day acted in eleven Noir movies between 1945 and 1956. She received the Best Actress Oscar for her performance as Mildred Pierce in 1945. Joan was nominated for Best Actress in the Film Noir thriller about ‘who was going to kill whom’ Sudden Fear in 1952. However the Oscar…

Summer Under the Stars ~ Teresa Wright

Theresa Wright a five time Film Noir Girl: Shadow of a Doubt ~ 1948 Universal Pursued ~ 1947 Warner Brothers The Capture ~ 1950 RKO The Steel Trap ~ 1952, 20th Century Fox Count the Hours ~ 1953 RKO

Summer Under the Stars-Adolphe Menjou

Sometimes he was the good guy but mostly the bad. I always picture him as playing the dapper ‘snidely whiplash’ parts in movies. Can you imagine in 1947 a 26 year old Deanna Durbin’s surprise when the man who played her father in 1937’s 100 Men and a Girl was now at age 57 going…

Summer Under the Stars – Olivia De Havilland

Ninety-nine year old Olivia De Havilland was also a Film Noir Girl, starring in two famous noir films. The 1946 Dark Mirror a Nunnally Johnson Production, directed by Robert Siodmak (if you had attended the Summer of Darkness Noir Course you would know Robert is a big deal in the Noir world). Vladimir Pozner was…

La Bete Humaine ~The Human Beast

Week One of the Summer of Darkness I twittered the comment that I couldn’t wait to watch this movie because it featured the actor Jean Gabin (loved him in Moontide with Ida Lupino). I was doubly blessed when I found the DVD in the Criterion Collection. I was able to watch the movie plus the…

Robert Siodmak~Master Stylist of Noir

Speaking of Deanna Durbin…although it seems most noir gurus gravitate toward ‘The Killers’ (1946) as an essential Robert Siodmak noir film. I can’t help mentioning Christmas Holiday (1944) Deanna Durbin’s dramatic film debut. Eddie Muller’s article from week two of Summer of Darkness described film director Siodmak’s style in Noir as using ‘Complexly layered flashbacks,…