Sunday, March 31, 2013

Such News!

Self portrait - Janet Hall

Not everyday news.  Garry and I are incredibly proud of our daughter Janet who is pursuing her dream of becoming an animator.  She has been accepted into the Bachelor of Animation program at Sheridan College.  Janet has popped up a few times in these pages in the five years since I started this blog.  There's Janet and her brother Gavin.  Janet winning a writing award in high school.  Janet and her prom dress.  Janet meeting the Daleks.  I know I bring her up quite often when commenting on blogs if she has a perspective to the subject at hand.  So, for those of you who may have wondered, she does exist.  Click here for an illustration she did for this blog.

Last year Janet took an Art Fundamentals course at Sheridan to test her talent and commitment, and to get that all important post-secondary art credit.  All of her family and friends were certain that she would be able to attain this next goal.  However, the time period between the portfolio submission and the admissions offer will always be known to me as the Pepto Bismol era.

Janet has been surrounded by artistic people.  Her Aunt Paula's sketches have been the pride of the family for years.  Her Aunt Maureen is a former professional photographer who brings that standard to her annual photos from the Toronto International Film Festival which are garnering online fans.  Her Aunt Tracey is an award-nominated photographer who runs Tracey Nolan Studios along with other enterprises.  Tracey also worked in production in animation with the likes of Derek Lamb and Kaj Pindal.  I can boast no such beneficit influence.  However, a close examination of my "parenting plan" reveals a concerted effort and no little expense toward the happy goal of spending as much time as possible just sitting around the house watching cartoons with my kids.  Aha, bragging rights!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Fashion in Film Blogathon: Born to Kill (1947)


Robert Wise's 1947 crime picture Born to Kill is noir right down to its very soul.  Based on James Gunn's novel Deadlier Than the Male, photographed in unflinching starkness by Robert De Grasse with gowns by Edward Stevenson.  Wait.  "Gowns by Edward Stevenson", the guy that made Lucille Ball such a fashion-forward and timelessly snazzy dresser in all of her TV shows?  That guy?  Yes indeed, the Texas born Stevenson had been making Hollywood's leading ladies look their best since the 1920s and helped RKO gain respectability in the looks department.  His one Oscar win was shared with Edith Head for 1960s The Facts of Life starring, you guessed it, Lucille Ball.

Born to Kill is a lurid tale of murder, lust, secrets and twisted loyalties.  As the viewer is taken on the journey of violence and, shall we say poor choices, the viewer is also shown what their closet would look like if they had money or their best friend was Edward Stevenson.  Claire Trevor as Helen Brent is obsessed with murderer Sam Wild played by Lawrence Tierney.  Her other obsession is money.  She doesn't have any of her own, but she's around it and, boy, she dresses it.


 Claire Trevor as Helen Brent

Here's Helen at the courthouse in Reno where she has just divorced some poor schmuck.  He probably didn't have enough money.  He probably was sane.  All is perfection.  Note the hat and gloves, and there's a surprise.



The rivets appear to be part of the suit jacket, but they actually belong to the strap of the bag which blends seamlessly with the ensemble.  Imagine having a purse that you can only wear with one outfit!



Isabel Jewell as Laury Palmer

Laury is a gal who likes a good time and likes men.  Her clothes give no doubt as to her intentions.  Currently she likes a guy named Sam.  Laury likes 'em tough.  It won't last.



Helen meets Sam.  Sam meets Helen.  I guess he was able to see something beyond this chapeau.  The fact that Claire Trevor can actually carry this thing off says a lot about character.  I have one question for ladies of the 1940s - why?



Now, this is quite the fetching travel outfit.  The hat matches the scarf.  The bag is ueber stylish and the fur coat is flung carelessly around the shoulders - looking like it doesn't care.


Audrey Long as Georgia Staples

This is Helen's half sister Georgia.  Georgia is the moneyed one in the family.  She always looks nicely put together and at ease.  She's a good kid.  Helen should look out for her.



Now, that's a hat a gal can be jealous of.  Helen spangles up and sparkles as much as she can edging close to over-the-top, but somehow staying true to her character.



Georgia on her wedding day.  I haven't quite made up my mind about the loops, but she looks demure without being prissy.  She's a lovely bride.  Too bad the bridegroom is a murderer with the hots for her half-sister.


Too bad Georgia's Matron of Honour can't get her mind off the bridegroom.  Her bridal like veil silently speaks her intentions as she stands in front of the minister and can't take her eyes off the groom.  Too bad Helen can't see that the rest of the world, including her nice guy fiance Fred Grover played by Philip Terry, aren't as blind and dumb as she thinks they are.


This silky number is what Helen wears around the mansion late at night to make warm milk or her new brother-in-law.


As Helen becomes further embroiled with the unpredictable Sam, her look begins to soften.  She's getting what she wants, but she's losing herself.



Esther Howard as Mrs. Kraft

This is Laury Palmer's friend Mrs. Kraft.  She's on a dangerous quest, but she's dressed for it.  A hat that size just has to come with a handy hat pin.



This robe seems more like something Georgia would wear.  Helen seems to be trying to hang on to some sense of normalcy.


Not a spangle to be seen in Helen's desperate final act to save Sam for herself.



Stripped of the hat and coat, the "Mother Superior" vibe of this dress is cheekily at odds with a woman who realizes she's lost her soul.

Helen may be one messed up, misguided gal but, thanks to Edward Stevenson, she looks good every step of her downward spiral.


I'm thrilled to be participating in Angela of The Hollywood Revue's Fashion in Film Blogathon featuring many eye-opening and fascinating posts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

He should have been bigger: Craig Reynolds


Craig Reynolds
(1907 - 1949)

I couldn't sleep and TCM was showing The Man from Colorado, a fairly interesting psychological western that I remembered as the movie where Glenn Ford killed Edgar Buchanan.  I waited all night for the scene where Glenn Ford killed Edgar Buchanan and it didn't happen.  Perhaps there is no such scene in any of the films they appeared in together.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't an episode of Cade's County.  While I waited for a scene that never came there was a scene with a masked James Millican robbing the crooked mine owner's safe.  As the camera moved around three guards playing cards at a table I recognized Craig Reynold's left eye.  Later I confirmed on the IMDb that Reynolds was indeed uncredited as "Parry" but it wasn't necessary.  I would know Craig Reynold's left eye anywhere.  It was a rather sad sighting.  This may be the fangirl talking, but there were any number of roles in the film that Reynolds could have handled masterfully without breaking a sweat - the Confederate officer, a disgruntled miner, Millican's gang leader or even Ford's psycho colonel.  How had his career come to this state?  Was he a difficult personality?  Did he inadvertently or willfully rile someone in power?  Bad timing?  Bad choices?  The luck of the draw?

Born in Anaheim, Hugh Enfield took his good looks and his acting chops to Hollywood in 1933 and began his career, under his real name, at Universal Studios working in serials such as Phantom of the Air starring Tom Tyler and Gordon of Ghost City starring Buck Jones.  He was billed as Robert Allen in 1933s Perils of Pauline starring Evelyn Knapp and that serial ran on TCM a few months ago.  "Allen" is a charmer as the hero who must be attractive enough for the leading lady, brave enough to save everyone from the baddie and personable enough for us to forgive him for always being one step behind that baddie.


In 1935 Craig Reynolds signed with Warner Brothers Studios and showed his mettle in a variety of roles and pictures.  He was versatile at a lot which had Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson.  He was energetic and tough in a landscape dotted with Cagney and Raft.  He could be dashing and charming where they had Errol Flynn.  In 1936 Reynolds was at home on the range as the villain opposite Dick Foran in Treachery on the Range.  He seemed born to the tuxedo in the Warren William comedy Times Square PlayboyStage Struck in 1936 was a fine showcase for Reynolds as Gilmore Frost, a ham actor with a supposed way with the ladies.  He had the opportunity to display his comedic talents along with his good looks.  You needed one of "those guys" for a mystery?  Check out the Torchy Blane flick Smart Blonde.  My first vivid memory of Craig Reynolds is from 1937s Penrod and Sam, one of the films starring Billy Mauch as Booth Tarkington's young dreamer.  Reynolds plays "Dude" Hanson, a gangster with a mean streak to equal any from that era.  He is riveting.


There is a rasher of Reynolds scheduled in the next few weeks on TCM as they screen the Perry Mason films from the 30s.  Craig plays a variety of suspects, red herrings and victims in The Case of the Lucky Legs starring Warren William, The Case of the Black Cat starring Ricardo Cortez and The Case of the Stuttering Bishop starring Donald Woods (the first, but not the last Canadian to tackle "Perry").  It is obvious that the studio couldn't decide on the best way to present Erle Stanley Gardner's Mason or even who should play him.  Did it not occur to anyone that Craig Reynolds had the spark and talent to play the courtroom orator and the energetic go-getter who would let nothing stand his way to help a client?  


Perhaps the best opportunity that came Craig Reynold's way to show he had the goods for the big time was 1937s The Footloose Heiress, one of those improbable yet adorable comedy-romances that purports to show the lives of the rich.  Ann Sheridan is our madcap heiress.  She's about to marry not-good-enough-for-her William Hopper with his slick black hair and moustache.  It would be 20 years before television's Perry Mason would make him a household name.  This may be the fan girl talking again, but 1950s television would have been a good fit for Craig Reynolds.  I can easily see him as a tough police captain or powerful rancher.  At any rate, in The Footloose Heiress Reynolds is a hobo (or is he?) who tames and wins the fiery Miss Sheridan.  His traveling costume of a leather jacket and fedora makes him the prototype of Indiana Jones, but if I may say so, 10 times more appealing.  While Miss Sheridan moved on to more substantial fare such as Angels With Dirty Faces and They Drive by Night, Craig Reynolds continued in the round of sturdy westerns and B mysteries such as Wall Street Cowboy with Roy Rogers and The Mystery of Mr. Wong with Boris Karloff.  Maybe if he'd been at another studio like 20th Century Fox there might have been more opportunity to mix the occasional Class A picture in with the programmers.


1940 brought about a major career change when Craig Reynolds enlisted in the Marine Corps.  During WW2 he serves in Greenland and then in the Pacific.  First Lieutenant Reynolds had a long road of recovery after a leg injury at Guadalcanal.  He wrote an unpublished memoir of his experiences entitled "I Came Back".  Reynolds receives the Purple Heart and two Presidential Citations before his release from the Service in 1944. 

Barbara Pepper
(1915 - 1969)

Craig Reynolds and actress Barbara Pepper married in 1943.  During Barbara's movie career in the 30s and 40s she played the tough babe, the blonde cuties with an edge, in movies such as The Women and They Made Me a Criminal.  The couple had two sons, Dennis born in 1944 and John in 1946.  Film work for Craig was scarce with titles such as Queen of Burlesque starring Evelyn Ankers, Divorce with former Warner's queen Kay Francis and as George Sanders romantic rival in The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.  In October of 1949, at the age of 42, Reynolds' scooter is sideswiped by a motorcyclist and he passes within a week at a Los Angeles hospital.  Depression and alcoholism, and the pressures of single parenthood derailed Barbara's career although her good friend Lucille Ball could always provide work.  Eventually Barbara would gain fame with many of us as Doris Ziffel on Green Acres.  She still had a way with a quip.

Meanwhile, back to The Man from Colorado.  Ray Collins as the outraged mine owner is ranting about not getting the justice he is due.  Minion "Parry" played by Craig Reynolds leans against the wall with his arms folded observing his boss with sardonic admiration, totally in the moment.  He should have been bigger. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

I've Been Liebstered!

Aurora of Once upon a screen... has forwarded the Liebster Award to the little corner of the blogosphere claimed by Caftan Woman.  I am suitably chuffed and hopelessly embarrassed.  The honour includes the answering of questions and the forwarding of the award.  Well, I don't mind so much talking about myself (Ha!), but I'm on the fence about the forwarding.  I rather feel like I do when putting off a phone call because it might not be the right time and you don't want to interrupt someone if they are busy with something else.  Also, there is that feeling of somehow slighting someone unintentionally.  I would like to sincerely thank Aurora for thinking of me, and to direct anyone clicking on this post to check my blog list to the right or click on the CMBA symbol wherein you will find bloggers of taste, intelligence, wit and style whom I liebe unconditionally.

AURORA'S QUESTIONS



1.  Why do you blog?

"It is to preserve a way of life that one knew and loved."

Mr. Fezziwig in the 1951 film of Dicken's A Christmas Carol when he answers Mr. Dorkin's query as to why you build up a business if it isn't for money expresses my feelings about blogging.


2.  What was your “best” filmgoing experience?

One of the best was seeing Sunset Blvd. on the big screen last year with my daughter.  It was her first viewing and she was enthralled.  I couldn't have been more thrilled if I'd been Billy Wilder. 


3.  What classic film would you absolutely love to watch on the big screen and why?

William Wyler's The Big Country is tops on my big screen wish list.  I have seen the movie many times, but I just know that I haven't really seen it until I can enjoy the grandeur and scope of the location combined with Jerome Moross' score in a theatre. 


4.  You’re having a dinner party and your list of guests include five classic film personalities/stars/directors – who’s on your list?

Composer Harry Warren doesn`t mind sitting at the piano after dinner so we can sing along to his Oscar winning and nominated songs such as You`ll Never Know, That`s Amore, I Only Have Eyes for You and We`re in the Money.


Keye Luke will share stories about the Charlie Chan movies.  I love the Charlie Chan movies.


Alice Faye will be there because Harry Warren loved her singing his songs and she seemed like a grand gal.


It would be a thrill to have screenwriter Frances Marion at my table.


It would be a pleasure to have Boris Karloff as a guest.


5.  What is your ideal day off?

A stroll by a lake.  Live music.  Good food.  Lots of laughs.  A favourite movie or two or three.  Like-minded companions.

6. You can have a half-hour conversation with any fictional character. Who do you choose? Why?

I would like to catch up with my childhood companion, Nancy Drew.


7.  Your favorite movie monster is?

The world's most incurable romantic, Imhotep.


8.  If you could choose to live in a house/apartment featured in a film or television show, which would it be?

The Greenwich Village apartment Loretta Young and Brian Aherne move into in 1942s A Night to Remember.  It used to be a speakeasy!


9.  Name one thing you would have on your bucket list.

Travel.  I haven't done enough.


10.  Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie?

I Dream of Jeannie.  Unremitting silliness.  I like that.


11.  Favorite film decade and why?

Probably the 1940s.  The films I return to most often are from that turbulent yet creative period.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Favourite movies: Hand in Hand (1961)



Once upon a time, between 1945 and 1963, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association presented one of their Golden Globe trophies to the "Best Film Promoting International Understanding".  Among the titles accorded this honour are:  The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Hasty Heart, Little Boy Lost, The Diary of Anne Frank, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, To Kill a Mockingbird and Lillies of the Field.  The 1961 award was presented to a gentle gem from Britain, Hand in Hand directed by Philip Leacock (director - The Kidnappers, producer - Gunsmoke).  I don't know why the award was discontinued.  It seems like the sort of category that would appeal to the "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" generation.  Maybe I missed the bit about the world becoming a more tolerant place in the last 50 years.



Philip Needs and Loretta Parry
Mike and Rachel

Loretta Parry and Philip Needs play 7-year-olds Rachel Mathias and Michael O'Malley.  Their introduction is a rocky one, but quickly the two children become inseparable playmates, welcome in each others homes.  It's probably just as well that Mike doesn't overhear his mother's (Kathleen Byron, Black Narcissus) comment that Rachel doesn't seem Jewish or that Rachel doesn't hear her mother opine that in 10 or so years when Rachel is ready for a steady beau that she finds a "nice Jewish boy".

Religion becomes a question at the beginning of the children's relationship when Michael braves the shop of mean old Mr. Pritchard (Finlay Currie, I Know Where I'm Going!) to get the newspaper Rachel was sent out to purchase.

Rachel:  Was that magic you did?
Mike:  What?
Rachel:  Before you went in.
Mike:  Oh, that's the sign of the cross. We're Catholic.
Rachel:  Oh, we're Jewish.
Mike:  We've got a Jewish boy in our class.  He swapped me a water pistol for a space gun.

It is a time some of us may remember when parents would kick kids out of the house in the morning and not expect them back until dark.  Rachel and Mike fix up a work shed on an abandoned estate as their playhouse and all is right with the world until Rachel's father gets a work promotion which entails a move for the family.  The children decide to become blood brothers, as they have seen on television, giving them an unbreakable bond.



Philip Needs, Rachel Parry and Sybil Thorndyke
Mike, Rachel and Lady Caroline

Rachel thinks that the blood brother ceremony is similar to getting married and when people get married they go on a holiday.  They decide to go to London to visit the Queen on the chance she might invite them in for tea.  They don't meet the Queen, but a friendly Peer (Sybil Thorndyke, Stage Fright) who does invite them to tea and to play with her corgies, once assured their parents don't expect the children home until evening.  It is a sunny memory for all, but things are about to get dark.



Peter Pike
Harry 

Mike's pal Harry is fed up with Mike ignoring the boys for Rachel's sake.

Harry:  Mike, we're going to the pictures.  Coming?
Mike:  Shakes head.
Harry:  Always out with that Rachel Mathias, aren't you?  You're sweet on her.
Mike:  No.
Harry:  My dad doesn't like Jews.
Mike:  Why not?
Harry:  You know they killed Christ.
Mike:  She wouldn't.
Harry:  Of course.  They crucified him.
Mike:  The Jews?
Harry:  That's what I said.  Funny you not knowing that.  I suppose it's because you're a Catholic.  My dad doesn't like Catholics either.



Derek Sydney and John Gregson
Rabbi Benjamin and Father Timothy

When Mike confronts Rachel with this terrible truth, she is indignant.  She never murdered anybody.  She never even heard of him.  Mike says they can't be friends any more as it is a sin and God wouldn't like it.  Rachel wonders if their blood brother bond isn't stronger than God.  Mike devises a terrible and frightening test to discover which is stronger.  Mike will go to the synagogue and  Rachel must attend Mass.  If they are not struck dead then they know their bond is stronger than God.  The scenes in the Houses of Worship ache with the fear and confusion of the children.  The unspoken understanding of the rabbi to Michael, and Rachel's eventual calm in the church are quietly emotional scenes.

The children are emboldened by their victory.  They can't imagine they were ever afraid of anything.  They even face the horrible Mr. Pritchard in his store in preparation for their next adventure, sailing to Africa.  The adventure places the children in physical danger and precipitates a crisis of faith for Mike. The crisis is dealt with sincerely and honestly by Mike's parish priest Father Tim (John Gregson, Genevieve).

An award winning film about religious prejudice could be heavy-going stuff, but that is not the case with Hand in Hand.  It is a forthright and genuine look at the world through the minds and hearts of 7-year-old children.  Minds which are a mix of certainty and questions.  I believe many of us will see our younger selves in the performances of Loretta Parry and Philip Needs.  Perhaps, if we are lucky, we will see some of ourselves in the adults who offer kindness and guidance to the youngsters. 






Sunday, March 3, 2013

Caftan Woman's Choice: One for March on TCM



We've all been there. You wake up to a clear blue sky. You hardly have to run the brush through your hair and - voila! - it's perfect. You turn on the radio and they are playing your favourite song. All of the people you live with unexpectedly wake up on the right side of the bed. The folks at Tim Horton's get your order right the first time. Life is like a Silly Symphony. I'm not talking about a scary Silly Symphony like The Goddess of Spring where Persephone is dragged to Hell. No. I'm talking about stuff like Funny Little Bunnies where all is sweetness and light. And you can't take it! "Remarks want you to make them. They got their tongues hanging out waiting to be said."

You need the cure and the only cure is some hang time with your jaded pal Philip Marlowe. You could reach for the bookshelf. You could check out the radio series (1948-1950) produced by Gunsmoke creator Norman Macdonnell and starring the sexy voice of Gerald Mohr. A couple of TV series might be found. Powers Boothe briefly played Philip Marlowe, Private Eye in the 1980s and Philip Carey had a season as Philip Marlowe in 1959. Many interesting actors have played Marlowe on film over the years such as Humphrey Bogart, James Garner, Robert Mitchum, Robert Montgomery, George Montgomery, and Elliot Gould. While each brings something to enjoy or admire to the role, the one I always turn to in times of stress is the screen's first, Dick Powell.

Raymond Chandler's fictional detective made his novel debut in 1939s The Big Sleep. The disenchanted detective who lived by his own code was developed through Chandler's short stories for Black Mask. The second Marlowe novel, 1940s Farewell, My Lovely was first adapted for the movies as 1942s The Falcon Takes Over. Naturally, George Sanders' Gay Falcon steps in for Philip Marlowe, but it's interesting to see him interacting with familiar characters. Ward Bond is Moose Molloy, Terhan Bey is Jules Amthor, Hans Conried is Lindsay Marriot and future Academy Award Winner Anne Revere (National Velvet) is Jessie Florian. We all know that Sanders has a way with a quip, but even in the thick of things his humour is that of the cool, unruffled observer. Our Philip Marlowe uses humour as a weapon of offense and defense.  He's always stepping in messes and it's his way of trying to keep that mess off his shoes.



Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe

After a decade on the screen as boy tenor and comic foil, Dick Powell came into his own as Marlowe in RKO's 1944 film-noir classic Murder, My Sweet based on Farewell, My Lovely directed by Edward Dmytryk. The change in title was due to studio executives thoughts that audiences would see Powell's name and think they were in for a musical. Apparently audiences who read books and who go to movies are two separate entities.

The move to the weary Marlowe was touted as quite a stretch for Powell by the publicity makers and the critics alike. However, fans of the Warner musicals and comedies where Powell made his name know that he always had a way with the sardonic attitude, he just needed a more blatant format to showcase that side. The success of Murder, My Sweet led to other well thought of crime titles such as Cry Danger, Cornered, Johnny O'Clock and Pitfall. He never lost his knack for sweetness and flat out comedy either as displayed in You Never Can Tell, Mrs. Mike and Susan Slept Here. I have great admiration for Dick Powell's later work as an influential television producer with his Four Star Productions.



Dick Powell, Mike Mazurki

We meet our hero, bruised and bandaged, under an interrogation lamp spilling all to the cops about his latest case. They want it from the beginning and it begins with Moose Molloy. Big Mike Mazurki is Moose, fresh out of the joint and looking for his gal, Velma. She was "cute as lace pants".  Marlowe heads out with the big lug to a joint that looks like trouble, but that didn't bother him. "Nothing bothered me.  The two twenties felt nice and snug against my appendix." They get nothing but trouble at the bar and split up.



Esther Howard

Marlowe keeps on the job and contacts Jessie Florian, the widow of the bar's former owner. "She was a charming middle-aged lady with a face like a bucket of mud. I gave her a drink. She was a gal who'd take a drink, if she had to knock you down to get the bottle." Caftan Woman fave Esther Howard is a treat as Jesse, such a far cry from the tidy Miz Zeffie of Sullivan's Travels. Jessie Florian's actions let Marlowe know that something is in the wind on this Velma case.

Marlowe's next client is a dandy by the name of Lindsay Marriot played by Douglas Walton. Toronto born Walton gave fine performances in many 1930s and 1940s films including The Lost Patrol and Bride of Frankenstein. It is one of the vagaries of the business that after early success too many of his roles are small or uncredited. It seems Marriot has a friend who has had some jewellery stolen and Marlowe is wanted to assist in buying back the lost bauble. Marlowe doesn't see much in it, but a job is a job. This job is murder.



Dick Powell, Claire Trevor 

Marriot's death brings a lot of things into the open and hides a lot more. Ann Grayle played by Anne Shirley comes into Marlowe's orbit. She's got "a face like a Sunday school picnic", and she's worried. Ann's father played by Miles Mander (The Little Princess) has a high maintenance younger wife and he is a collector of jade, some of which has gone missing.

Mrs. Grayle is played by Claire Trevor (Stagecoach) and she's the real deal when it comes to a femme fatale. The manipulative blonde likes to make things happen, but what is driving her? Is it the mysterious Jules Amthor played by Otto Kruger (High Noon). The cops seem to think so. The only thing we know for certain as Marlowe lays out the tale for us is that our hero is in for a world of hurt.



Dick Powell, Anne Shirley 

Journalist John Paxton adapted The Long Goodbye as one of his first assignments at RKO. Paxton specialized in crime features such as Crossfire, Cornered, Crack-Up, Rope of Sand and the black comedy How to Murder a Rich Uncle. He also adapted Nevile Shute's On the Beach for the big screen and Murder, My Sweet producer Adrian Scott's play The Great Man's Whiskers for television. Paxton and director Dmytryk were both nominated for the Oscar for Crossfire, and collaborated on Cornered and So Well Remembered. Harry Wild was the cinematographer on Murder, My Sweet and also photographed Cornered and Till the End of Time for Dmytryk.

"All film-noir are crime drama, but not all crime drama are film-noir."
- Caftan Woman

Edward Dmytryk told Elwy Yost on TVOntario's Saturday Night at the Movies that most the lighting decisions for the crime dramas he made in the 1940s were due to budget restraints. Was the director being slightly disingenuous? I think that the creative choices behind any style should not be forced. There should be an organic reaction, a kick in the gut that says this is noir. It is like looking at a fashionably dressed person. They should look like they rolled out of bed looking the way they do. You shouldn't be wondering about how long it took them to arrive at the effect.  

So if you find yourself overwhelmed by sunshine and lollipops, TCM has your cure on Monday, March 11 at 11:00 am when they screen Murder, My Sweet. A perfect start to any week.










HOLLYWOOD'S HISPANIC HERITAGE BLOGATHON: Ramon Novarro in The Big Steal (1949)

Hispanic Heritage Month is being celebrated by Aurora at her site Once Upon a Screen with  Hollywood's Hispanic Heritage Blogatho...