“Film me in the dark, or by candlelight. I look better that way. You can’t see the blood as easily.”–Princess Melita Bonaparte (recently overheard when she was booked for credit card fraud, when attempting to sell off-shore oil drilling rights that weren’t hers to sell).
WHAT MAKES FILM NOIR LOOK GOOD? THE BLOOD? NO, THE LIGHTING THEY USE TO FILM THE BLOOD & THE REACTIONS THEREOF>>>>
2014 FILM NOIR FOUNDATION MONTAGE–“It’s a bitter, little world.”
Film Noir just makes crime look good & it's no wonder John Waters thought it was beautiful–but that's where the comparison ends. With Noir, the crime is real, real people, real crime–no parody intended—only the occasional dry & flippant humour when the crime in question seems about to devour the person(s) in the act of committing it.
No body got crime better than Lizabeth Scott in TOO LATE FOR TEARS. Why, this woman was way ahead of the game, if a husband was an inconvenience, she just bumped him off. O.J. Simpson must have been one of her early fans, only he played it out for real, instead of for reels.
Her ambition was along the lines of Wallis Simpson, only she just looked better, and a trail of dead husbands or boyfriends were collateral damage. What would you do if you were driving down a road, minding your own business, and some doofus dropped a briefcase containing sixty grand in the back seat of your open convertible? You know that isn't much money these days, but it might pay for the car! So, if the dolt would make it worth your while & add few more zeros, wouldn’t that be a sweet joyride?
The action takes off from there & Lizabeth Scott (as Jane Palmer–and that surname is no accident, clever writers them Noir script developers), along with Dan Duryea (Danny Fuller–yes, I read into the fuller, as in 'fill her up")–get on each other's nerves. She gets the upper hand for a while in this bumpy ride, but you know those moral purists have to spoil the fun. They were a jealous lot, could not stand how good Lizabeth Scott looked in those designer (by Adele Palmer) outfits while making bad. She wore those works of art with total authority. Yes, Lizabeth Scott is a class act, a real star. She played her role to perfection.
YOU TUBE: TOO LATE FOR TEARS-LIZABETH SCOTT, DON DE FORTE, DAN DURYEA-1949
The last of the five films screened on Day Two of Noir was THE HITCH-HIKER. Does anyone remember what their mothers texted them about taking candy from strangers or picking up hitch-hikers? This fun ride was well before texting, you smoked real cigarettes, not those horrible electronic ones! You got real cancer, not virtual cancer, and there was no cure, no 12-Step Programme. Back then, it seemed that multi-tasking, before it was ever given that silly name, was a fact of life. You could drive, smoke, and shoot a gun all at the same time. If you grew up watching Perry Mason on television, then you will remember William Talman was that other attorney who gave Perry Mason a run for his money. William Talman played the hitch-hiker, a serial murderer, based upon the real deal–Two fishing buddies pick up the historic psychopathic killer, Billy Cook: a film version of Clyde without Bonnie, directed by Ida Lupino, one of the few women who worked behind the cameras as well as in front of them.
The two buddies out for a nice weekend, got a whole lot more than they bargained for–and William Talman made for an excellent psychotic on the lam. You need an adult beverage before (during) and after this tail of terror. But the unblinking eye sees all, so don’t try to get over on hitch-hiker who has an eye that won’t close. You will be very sorry if your try it!
The Hitch-Hiker can be viewed in its entirety on You Tube, as it is in public domain! Don’t pick this guy up, go home, and watch it on You Tube!
Remember, “It’s a bitter, little world.”