Director Edgar G. Ulmer can do a lot with a little, as films like Detour and Black Cat reveal. Every so often, though, even the most inventive of auteurs can run into trouble. Such is the case with Strange Illusion, a 1945 film noir that struggles under the weight of lukewarm performances, a clumsy script […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Strange Illusion (1945)"
A cliché sandwich served with extra clichés and a dish of cliché on the side for dipping, Steven C. Miller’s Marauders actually has the makeup of a good thriller. This 2016 motion picture isn’t that bad given the territory and the screenplay by Michael Cody and Chris Sivertson doesn’t try to do too much. At […]Read more "Marauders (2016)"
Jean-François Richet directs the terse Mel Gibson vehicle Blood Father with eyes on reclamation and violence as cleansing force. The 2016 movie features a screenplay by Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff and is based on Craig’s novel of the same name. It casts a dry swath through America, painting a picture of contrast and hostility […]Read more "Blood Father (2016)"
When it comes to bleak and beautiful noir, it’s hard to top Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street. This 1945 motion picture is based on Georges de La Fouchardière’s novel La Chienne and features a screenplay by Dudley Nichols. The material is dark and cynical and glorious, with characters traipsing through life in various stages of desperation.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Scarlet Street (1945)"
Josef von Sternberg’s 1927 silent crime movie Underworld isn’t considered a film noir in any traditional sense, but it certainly speaks the language of the genre and serves as an instructive if influential piece of prescient cinema.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Underworld (1927)"
It’s February and everything sucks right now, so it’s time to unwind with February Fisticuffs – a punchy look at some of the best, worst and most average boxing, kung fu and martial arts movies. Isaac Florentine’s Undisputed III: Redemption continues the surprisingly effective series with more blistering, no-nonsense ass-kickery. The 2010 follow-up to Undisputed […]Read more "February Fisticuffs: Undisputed III: Redemption (2010)"
It’s February and everything sucks right now, so it’s time to unwind with February Fisticuffs – a punchy look at some of the best, worst and most average boxing, kung fu and martial arts movies. Isaac Florentine helms Undisputed II: Last Man Standing, a hard-hitting sequel to Walter Hill’s 2002 original. Like its predecessor, this […]Read more "February Fisticuffs: Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006)"
It’s February and everything sucks right now, so it’s time to unwind with February Fisticuffs – a punchy look at some of the best, worst and most average boxing, kung fu and martial arts movies. Walter Hill’s Undisputed is a meat and potatoes action movie and it is structurally straightforward, even if the flashy editing […]Read more "February Fisticuffs: Undisputed (2002)"
Robert Siodmak helms Phantom Lady, a dazzling film noir based on a screenplay by Bernard C. Schoenfeld. This 1944 picture is based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 novel of the same name and is the first movie produced by Hitchcock screenwriter Joan Harrison.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Phantom Lady (1944)"
Jacques Tourneur’s Experiment Perilous may have one of the most magnificent titles of all the films noir. The 1944 picture is based on the 1943 novel of the same name by Margaret Carpenter and features a screenplay by Warren Duff, with Tony Gaudio’s cinematography working its way through the Oscar-nominated interior design.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Experiment Perilous (1944)"
The upheaval of the 1970s is the backdrop for Sidney Lumet’s brilliant Dog Day Afternoon, a 1975 crime drama that is as much about the personal as it is about the political. The picture features a screenplay by Frank Pierson and is based on P.F. Kluge’s 1972 Life magazine article “The Boys in the Bank,” […]Read more "Dog Day Afternoon (1975)"
It’s tempting to consider The Mask of Dimitrios a relative of The Maltese Falcon. Both feature twisty plots full of deception. Both feature the cinematography of Arthur Edeson. And both feature Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, two spectacular character actors who always pair well together.Read more "Film Noir Friday: The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)"
Robert Hamer’s Kind Hearts and Coronets is the sort of dry, dark comedy that isn’t made very much anymore. The 1949 picture stands starkly as a sort of exercise in pursed politeness, where lines are uttered with cold intellectualism and character operate in outlandish but utterly “civilized” ways.Read more "Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)"
A mean and brutal piece of work, Sin City introduces a hermetically sealed universe full of rain and blood. This 2005 film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and is based on the graphic novel of the same name, specifically Miller’s The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard.Read more "Sin City (2005)"
André de Toth directs Dark Waters, a 1944 film noir that traffics in the marshes and endless murk of Louisiana. The picture is based on a Saturday Evening Post serial by Francis and Marian Cockrell and features a screenplay by Marian Cockrell, Joan Harrison and The Suspect scribe Arthur Horman.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Dark Waters (1944)"
Robert Siodmak helms The Suspect, a twisting 1944 film noir with a sincere dose of London fog. This picture features a screenplay by Bertram Millhauser and Arthur T. Horman and is based the novel This Way Out by James Ronald. The great Paul Ivano is the cinematographer.Read more "Film Noir Friday: The Suspect (1944)"
End of a Gun is at least the sixth Steven Seagal movie to see a 2016 release. Like Killing Salazar, it pairs the star with director Keoni Waxman. It also features a screenplay by Waxman and Chuck Hustmyre, with cinematography by Nathan Wilson. At first blush, it appears that all the elements are in place […]Read more "Seagalmania: End of a Gun (2016)"
Stuart Heisler helms 1942’s The Glass Key, which is based on the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name and serves as the second film version of the book after a 1935 Frank Tuttle joint. Heisler’s picture features a screenplay by Jonathan Latimer and carves out a lot of the political subtext, but it still […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: The Glass Key (1942)"
Adam Alleca writes and directs the 2016 film Standoff, a sometimes chatty and sometimes gratifying thriller. There are those who will hold that the movie is smarter-than-thou, with its psychological wrangling. And there are those who will be engrossed by the manly head-to-head. And there are those who will find value in the both elements, […]Read more "Standoff (2016)"
Directed by George Cukor, A Woman’s Face is fundamentally a remake of the 1938 Swedish film of the same name. This 1941 picture features a screenplay by David Ogden Stewart and is based on the play Il Etait Une Fois by Francis de Croisset. It veers between controlled, emotional melodrama and flaring camp and the […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: A Woman’s Face (1941)"