‘I Wake Up Screaming,’ directed by H Bruce Humberstone

Movie, 1941 Stylistic, noir-ish thriller, where there’s a fair amount going on, though not all of it, at times, enough to keep things ticking as consistently as they might. While most of the acting is ok, some of the signalling and use of light and shadow throw overly-dubious hints about who to trust and who not to, while the over-use of dramatic music, particularly Somewhere … Continue reading ‘I Wake Up Screaming,’ directed by H Bruce Humberstone

‘The Glass Key,’ directed by Stuart Heisler

Movie, 1942 A somewhat curious political film noir, in which we start by closely examining and exploring the oafish movements of Paul Madvig and his support of a candidate in a city’s mayoral election, before switching to the sharper, smarter exploits of his assistant, Ed Beaumont. The change in gear is a little unsettling, as is quite a lengthy section involving Beaumont’s incarceration at the … Continue reading ‘The Glass Key,’ directed by Stuart Heisler

“Night Moves”, directed by Arthur Penn

Movie, 1975 A blend looking back and referencing Chandler and Hammett, and placing an everyman character on a hunt for truth and justice spiraling out from a missing daughter case given to him by a fading Hollywood actress. A really great down at heel atmosphere, which seems to grind into rather than comment on and reflect any romantic associations of Marlowe. The styles, excesses and … Continue reading “Night Moves”, directed by Arthur Penn

"The Narrow Margin," directed by Richard Fleischer

Movie, 1952 Thrilled set on a train, as a tough Chicagoan cop escorts a gangster’s widow to stand testimony in Los Angeles. Solid noir with some really pleasing and tricksy visual effects and a hard edge which eschews title music for the grating, alienating noise of trains and machinery. While visually a treat, the characters include a none-too convincing pastiche here and there – a … Continue reading "The Narrow Margin," directed by Richard Fleischer

"Quicksand," directed Irving Pichel

Movie, 1950 Serviceable, worthy film noir, concerning a series of crimes, committed in a chain reaction – an initial minor peccadillo leading into a series of more desperate measures. A semi-cautionary tale with some B-movie pacing which tumbles at a hurried end as if the whole thing had been played as a comedy after all. The femme fatale is pretty lightweight, reflecting an overall lack … Continue reading "Quicksand," directed Irving Pichel