Oscar Noir: Week Six
Monday, June 21, 2010
Liz and I are now experts at parking on the residential streets and getting to the theater early to stand in line. We gabbed for awhile as our neighbors in line griped about the process of having numbers. Once we got inside, Liz found seats for us on the aisle this time, as I requested. She's so nice and accommodating. :) It seems that, with each week, more and more rows of seats are reserved for the special guests. I don't know what that's about, but I hope that they still let the series pass people in as long as they arrive by the designated time. Our line neighbors had told us stories of being told not to save 3 seats, and I heard others complaining because they were asked about saving one seat for a person that had gone to the restroom. One of them called the Academy people "Fascists". It's getting ugly, folks.
Cartoon: "Who Killed Who?" (1943)
The story is of a detective who goes to a house to investigate a murder, and finds out that the house is haunted. By Santa. Oh, and by a whole bunch of different ghosts, too. ;) This is a Tex Avery cartoon, full of all of the old cartoon cliches. But that's probably because all of the cartoons borrow from Tex Avery! Even Bugs Bunny's "What's Up, Doc?" is based on one of the characters in this cartoon: the detective opens a door, and Santa is there, calling him "Doc". Santa's voice was actually Tex Avery himself.
Short: "Adventures of Captain Marvel, Chapter Five: The Scorpion Strikes" (1941)
I hissed at the Scorpion this time. Captain Marvel saves Betty by jumping onto the car as it goes into the street, and taking control over the steering wheel. Billy goes into the meeting with one of the thugs, telling everyone there that the Scorpion is one of them, and they all get shifty-eyed looks on their faces, as if it could be every one of them. The thug is unable to identify the Scorpion by his voice, then is told to lead Billy to a mine, since Captain Marvel will probably show up to save him. The men use the scorpion lenses to melt the cave to the mine, and Captain Marvel is stuck inside. I don't know why he can't just fly above the stream of molten lava approaching him, but we'll see what happens from this cliffhanger.
Feature: "The Killers" (1946) Screenplay by Anthony Veiller and John Huston, based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway. Directed by Robert Siodmak, Music by Miklos Rozsa, and starring Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker and Sam Levene.
- This was a new movie to both of us. Heck, I didn't even know that Lancaster had done a film with Ava Gardner.
- The film was introduced by Billy Ray, one of the writers for "24". When I saw his name in the program, I thought that the name sounded familiar, and not just for the first two names of the country singer. I had also mentioned Jack Bauer in one of my conversations with Liz while we were in line, so the fact that this guy was introducing the film was quite a coincidence.
- The guy playing Hemingway's autobiographical character, Nick Adams, later played Owen Lars, Luke's uncle in "Star Wars".
- One of the killers is played by a very young William Conrad.
- OK, I can see why Burt Lancaster was so popular from this, his film debut, and onward. Not only was he a great actor, but Hubba Hubba! :)
- Ava Gardner, looking gorgeous in every shot, did her own singing, and she has a nice alto voice. Her character's name, Kitty Collins, is just a perfect Noir name to me.
- My favorite line of the movie: "If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's a double-crossing dame."
- I think the killers said "Bright Boy" way too much in that opening scene.
- The shadows in the cinematography are considered to be "Textbook Noir", and I can see why. Great use of lighting.
- Miklos Rosza's daughter spoke to the audience after the film, but Liz and I didn't stay to listen to her. I would have liked to hear her talk about how some of the music in the film would end up as the main theme for "Dragnet", but we were tired.
Although this movie is not one of my favorites in the series, I enjoyed it. I now want to hear other scores by Miklos Rosza, since he had also done "Double Indemnity".
Next week: "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers".