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April 2014

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Apr. 16th, 2014

This Gun For Hire

dfordoom

Tony Rome (1967)

Tony Rome was the first of two movies starring Frank Sinatra as Miama private eye Tony Rome. (the second being Lady in Cement). It’s a stock-standard PI movie but on the whole it’s well executed and it works.

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Tony Rome2

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Apr. 12th, 2014

This Gun For Hire

dfordoom

Crack-Up (1946)

Crack-Up is a 1946 RKO production that combines the worlds of film noir and fine art, an unusual combination that works surprisingly well.

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Crack-Up1

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Apr. 4th, 2014

This Gun For Hire

dfordoom

I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951)

I Was a Communist for the FBI, made by Warner Brothers in 1951, is one of those movies that tends to be treated rather dismissively because its politics are no longer fashionable. It’s actually a fairly well-made and effective thriller with a definite film noir flavour.

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I Was a Communist for the FBI3

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Mar. 28th, 2014

NxNW

dfordoom

The Verdict (1946)

The Verdict, made by Warner Brothers in 1946, was Don Siegel’s first feature film as director. It was based on Israel Zangwill’s classic 1891 locked-room mystery The Big Bow Mystery. Although some have classified The Verdict as film noir its claims to that status are rather dubious, although it does have some rather dark moments. It’s one of the many memorable movies that Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre made together during the 1940s, and this time they share star billing.

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Verdict3

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Mar. 16th, 2014

This Gun For Hire

dfordoom

Hell’s Half Acre (1954)

Hell’s Half Acre is a 1954 film noir from Republic Pictures, and it’s one of the few examples of film noir in a Hawaiian setting. In fact it’s probably the only film noir set in Hawaii. It’s not a bad little B-movie.

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Hell’s Half Acre2

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Mar. 1st, 2014

This Gun For Hire

dfordoom

Cry Vengeance (1954)

Cry Vengeance is a 1954 Allied Artists crime thriller with more than a hint of film noir. Allied Artists had been Monogram Pictures but with the change of name came a change of approach. They started making what they called B-plus pictures - movies with bigger budgets and higher production values than the usual run of B-pictures, and generally of surprisingly high quality. Cry Vengeance is a good one.

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Cry Vengeance1small

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Feb. 20th, 2014

Gun Crazy pic

dfordoom

Conflict (1945)

Conflict is a somewhat overlooked movie, which is a bit strange given that it’s a 1945 Warner Brothers film noir starring Humphrey Bogart. The reason it’s overlooked may be that this is not Bogart in tough guy mode. Far from it. This is Bogart in loser mode, but he’s not a glamorous loser. More a sad pathetic loser. Which is probably not what most people want from a Bogart movie, which is probably why this movie bombed at the box office in 1945.

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Conflict3

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Feb. 13th, 2014

Jane Greer

dfordoom

Loophole (1954)

When Monogram Pictures rebranded themselves as Allied Artists and starting making slightly up-market B-pictures (which they described as B-plus pictures) they produced some quite decent crime movies, including Loophole in 1954.

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Loophole3

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Feb. 6th, 2014

Gun Crazy pic

dfordoom

Pushover (1954)

Pushover is a rather unfairly neglected 1954 Columbia film noir. Perhaps the poster art and the casting of Fred MacMurray has led some to assume this is going to be merely a Double Indemnity imitation but in fact it’s quite capable of standing on its own merits.

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Pushover1

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Jan. 30th, 2014

Jane Greer

dfordoom

Shack Out on 101 (1955)

Hollywood made its share of odd movies in the 1950s but few are as odd as Allied Artists’ 1955 release Shack Out on 101. Is it a spy thriller? A film noir? Or a jazz and drug-fueled piece of Beat Generation pretentious nonsense? Is it intended as a spoof? I’ve just watched the movie and I can’t answer any of those questions. All I can say is that in its own weird way it’s rather entertaining.

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Shack Out on 101_3

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