1. kilgort

    great post, you are the only one who can describe the soul of noir in couple of lines.

    thanks for Renoir and Duvivier, and special thanks for Kurosawa, would be great to read more about Japanese noir from you.

    and why is Where the Sidewalk Ends overrated? such urban poetry can’t be overrated. the ending sent me shivers down my spine

  2. Wow Tony, this is a fabulous round-up here. There are a few I haven’t seen, but most I have watched at least once, and it’s a distinguished lot. My absolute favorite is the U.K.’s BRIGHTON ROCK, which you go give a highly favorable and enthusiastic appraisal for, (and rightly refer to it as ‘the best British noir’) but both Kurosawa’s DRUNKEN ANGEL and the British THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (which I had the fortune of seeing last year on the big screen at the Film Forum during their Brit Noir Festival) are excellent films too, as is the one by Preminger, and your opening salvo, 99 RIVER STREET.

    If we all were shipwrecked on an island, and these were the only films available to us, I’d consider us a lucky group indeed!

  3. Brett

    Great run-down of many terrific films Tony!

    I just saw 99 RIVER STREET last weekend, and ahhh… that scene where Evelyn Keyes lights up from the end of the killer’s cigarette and then holds his gaze while the smoke wafts sideways, was almost like slow motion!
    Also this flick reignited my man-crush on John Payne (who’s also memorable in THE CROOKED WAY, KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL and LARCENY).
    Apparently you can catch this on HULU if you register first.


    I was lucky to stumble into a special screening of BRIGHTON ROCK last year at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Hermione Baddeley as Ida Arnold added a terrific sort of very British, dark humor that was Hitchcockesque.


    The broken record at the end was heartbreaking and haunting.

    Lastly, THE SOUND OF FURY was a surprising little crime flick that packed a very powerful punch.
    I admit that I had no idea what was coming at the end and by the final 10 minutes was completely on the edge of my seat!
    Like in TRAPPED, Lloyd Bridges plays a pure, post-war sleaze bag.
    I admired the sequence where Frank Lovejoy is watching slick Lloyd just bowling a set in the afternoon and then getting dressed in his hotel room. All the while Lloyd is giving him the impression that he’s got the cash, the women, the clothes and is the coolest and smartest wiseguy around.
    Highly recommended!

  4. Thanks Brett! And for those links.

    Yes,Hermione Baddeley is great in Brighton Rock – her characterisation is so rich and alive!

    Lloyd Bridges has a similarly sinister role in Frank Borzage’s Moonrise (1948).

  5. Maurizio Roca

    Wow I need to see Brighton Rock soon. It sounds like a classic! I agree with you on Where The Sidewalk Ends. Good film that doesn’t quite reach the level of the really great noirs.

  6. Wow, always enjoy reading your reviews and seeing the great stills!

    Drunken Angel is on my list, especially since, although I shouldn’t be surprised, that there is Japanese noir out there.


  7. Thanks Maurizio. Good to know someone agrees on Where The Sidewalk Ends :)

    Thanks Coffee Messiah. Yes there is a lot of 50s and 60s noir from Japan, much of which I haven’t yet seen.

  8. addie

    BRIGHTON ROCK, sounds so wonderful! Boy, did you draw some picture!

    By the by, you were really close about WHERE the SIDEWALK ENDS. You almost had it. lol
    Yes, thank you, it is over rated! Dana, for whom is the word wooden is overly used, IS pretty, freaken, wooden here, but then you blew it.

    As lovely as Gene Gene Tierney is and she really is stunning, there is no, more wooden actor, in the world.
    She has 2 expressions, tops. I’m sorry.

    I want to like Gene Tierney. Tony D’Ambra and if you tell me why she is better than I feel she is, I will probably believe you. hee hee

    addie B)

  9. Hey Addie. Thanks.

    I am biased when it comes to Gene Tierney;) WTSE doesn’t give her that much to do, but she always has a sincerity which is rare enough to value highly. This is what I wrote about her performance in Dassin’s Night in the City: ” Richard Widmark’s performance is frenetic and real, and the soft counterpoint of an achingly elegant turn by Gene Tierney as his girl, transubstantiate Harry’s demise into the stuff of tragedy.” Tierney in Laura has a dark sullen sexuality that is the epitome of noir:


  10. addie

    BTW, now you worried me, I Just ordered THE SLEEPING CITY. No, I always like Richard Conte.
    Actually, in HEAVEN CAN WAIT Tierney seemed more relaxed. it is the tight lipped and squinty eyes, face, that is almost constant, when the movie is a serious one, I find irritating. Now that you mention NIGHT in the CITY, you got me, she was good there. Okay, okay.
    Also in the movie with Van Heflin.
    Maybe it was just with Dana Andrews. lol
    Working with an angry drunk isn’t easy, but it would be nice to think the were friends, since they worked together a lot.

    addie B)

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