Fox Noir Collection

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Napier
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:48 am
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#176 Post by Napier » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:36 am

dr. calamari wrote:Anybody hear any news regarding if Boomerang is ever going to be released? I read DVD Savant's review and it made me really want to see it...not enough to pay $35.00 or whatever it's going for on eBay
Try $50-90. On Amazon.com. I was lucky enough to find a used copy in my local Coconuts when FYE bought them out. Price paid, $7.00 8-)

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souvenir
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:20 pm

#177 Post by souvenir » Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:21 am

It's funny to read how Preminger conveniently claimed to not remember anything about Daisy Kenyon considering he fought to make it and it's one of his upper tier level of films. Fonda didn't want to make it, Andrews didn't either, yet both are exceptional and perfectly cast. At some point I think you have to just let go of whatever a film's principals express and judge it completely on how it plays.

DVD Times review

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Antares
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:35 pm
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#178 Post by Antares » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:08 am

Fox Noir Box set at Amazon for $134.99 FREE Shipping.
This 17 film collection includes some of the best in film noir from 1944 - 1955, with 12 Oscar nominations between them. These are the films that defined the genre and the style of film-making. Mystery, Suspense, Murder, this collection has it all! Films Included: Call Northside 777, Laura, Panic in the Streets, House of Bamboo, Nightmare Alley, Street with no Name, House on 92nd Street, Somewhere in the Night, Whirlpool, Dark Corner, Kiss of Death, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Fallen Angel, The House on Telegraph Road, No Way Out, I Wake Up Screaming and House of Strangers.
I just picked this up, it's a great way to boost your Noir collection.

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domino harvey
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#179 Post by domino harvey » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:24 am

Yeah I bought it last year. It's not a real boxed set, it's just the first 18 titles in the series minus Boomerang shrink-wrapped and taped together. It was kind of fun to cut through the massive amounts of tape though if memory serves. There were only two out of the 17 I didn't like enough to hold onto (Call Northside 777 and No Way Out), and those found happy homes right here on the board.

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skuhn8
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#180 Post by skuhn8 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:44 am

I have to confess that I'm not a particular fan of No Way Out, but am surprised that anyone who likes noir wouldn't love Call Northside 777. IMO one of the best procedurals I've seen and one of the higher ranking entries in the numbered batch (but then I still think Panic in the Streets is probably the best of the fox noirs, albeit only slightly above Nightmare Alley and then Laura).

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domino harvey
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#181 Post by domino harvey » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:44 pm

I have a pretty high tolerance for procedurals but Call Northside 777 really tested my patience, it's such a strangely catatonic film.

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dr. calamari
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#182 Post by dr. calamari » Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:27 am

domino harvey wrote:I have a pretty high tolerance for procedurals but Call Northside 777 really tested my patience, it's such a strangely catatonic film.
It was like a really long, drawn out episode of Dragnet, without the cutting wit of Jack Webb...probably the dullest of the Fox noirs I've seen, but I haven't seen all of them yet.

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skuhn8
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#183 Post by skuhn8 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:04 am

dr. calamari wrote:
domino harvey wrote:I have a pretty high tolerance for procedurals but Call Northside 777 really tested my patience, it's such a strangely catatonic film.
It was like a really long, drawn out episode of Dragnet, without the cutting wit of Jack Webb...probably the dullest of the Fox noirs I've seen, but I haven't seen all of them yet.
Dullest? I've seen the first 16 in the series and would say that so far Boomerang and perhaps Whirlpool (and I LOVE Gene Tierney)were about the closest to dull. Still good, but just barely.

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domino harvey
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#184 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:09 am

Yeah, Boomerang's a notch above 777, but not by much.
However, Whirlpool is one of my sentimental favorites-- it was the first noir film I ever saw, though I guess by some definitions it wasn't but let's not start that argument!

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david hare
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#185 Post by david hare » Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:02 am

Oh, Whirlpool is nothing if not a Noir! But it s also a Preminger film. And a mise en scene film. I used not to like it, but now like it a lot, in fact I think Preminger's direction of Tierney (always a beautiful but limited actress) is probably one of the most complicated charcterization he's done. Along with Seberg's and Jean Simmons'. Others no doubt will argue, and I will join this argument. Later.

Northside used to bore the pants off me as a - as you say - procedural, but given Skuhn's enthusiasm, I'll look at it again this weekend.

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GringoTex
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#186 Post by GringoTex » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:23 am

domino harvey wrote:I have a pretty high tolerance for procedurals but Call Northside 777 really tested my patience, it's such a strangely catatonic film.
Kiss of Death was the first Hathaway I saw. Eveything else by him was a huge letdown.

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HerrSchreck
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#187 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:18 am

I love Northside 777 now but it took time (Jimmy Stewart quietly nerding his countryboy way thru a Chi gangster noir? Then it clicked.). As well as The House On 92nd Street... The Dark Corner is a wonderful film, though of course embellished w shades of Laura.. I like 14 Hours which is a letdown to some. Peter Ibbetson of course.

But I agree with Gringo that Kiss of Death is probably Hathaway's masterpiece.

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#188 Post by Alphonso » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:36 am

Surprised to see Northside 777 or Whirlpool favored over one of the best in the collection, Where the Sidewalk Ends. The previous two draw a blank even after seeing them less than a year ago. Although at least Whirlpool has some standout performances, the rest of it is thinly veiled silly contrivance.

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HerrSchreck
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#189 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:59 am

I'll take Where The Sidewalk Ends over Whirlpool-- which is more psychological drama with a noir "chaser"-- anyday. I recently watched Whirlpool again last week after struggling through it (really struggling through it, I almost walked away from it but was too comfortably esconced on the couch viz girlfriend) the first time I watched it/bought it.

I think the problem I have with it is that it doesn't know what it is. I have a hard time caring about Tierney's character, and the backstory of her marriage to Conte; we are just slipped into her world in real time just as "the conflict" begins: her shoplifting/intro to Ferrar (great performance). Who is this woman? Why should we care about her? As well, the lines between her and Conte, and the roles each has played in the marriage's meltdown, seem fuzzily and hastily drawn, so that it's tough to know how to feel about her shoplifting.

In reality it's a complex set of issues in her marriage, and there is no real "guilty" party: he's not a bad guy and neither is she a bad wife in typical hollywood terms. Tehy're fragile human beings suffering human problems, and Ferrar steps in to capitalize. I can ex post facto think about this in retrospect and see this. But when watching it for the first time I get the feeling Preminger doesn't know who Tierney is in this movie. Complex psychological issues determining her klepto state are treated peremptorily, we primarily move with her as the films "hero/sympathetic character/victime", then Conte steps in almost as a martyr and becomes the victim. It's all strangely frustrating, and ill defined for me... though some decent suspense during the Noir Chaser at the end viz the murder rescues the earlier ambiguity. And Ferrars oily and strange--almost alien-- presence of course carries this minor Preminger thru. Without that oddly compelling performance by Ferrar this thing might have registered as a total flop for me.

EDIT: corrected 1st sentence from "Boomerang" to "Whirlpool". My mistake.
Last edited by HerrSchreck on Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PillowRock
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#190 Post by PillowRock » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:04 pm

davidhare wrote:Oh, Whirlpool is nothing if not a Noir!
I think what he meant was that there were some movies that he had seen before Whirlpool that may or may not be considered Noir, depending on who you ask.

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domino harvey
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#191 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:56 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:I like 14 Hours which is a letdown to some.
The moment where the two lovers are separated by the halves of the crowd is a scene of pure breathtaking beauty.

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dr. calamari
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#192 Post by dr. calamari » Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:51 am

domino harvey wrote:I have a pretty high tolerance for procedurals but Call Northside 777 really tested my patience, it's such a strangely catatonic film.
Well, I just re-viewed Call Northside 777, and while I didn't find it as unrewarding as I did the first time I watched it, it's still about as eventful as watching a glacier recede. Not that it's a bad film, but compared to some of the others in the series, it just doesn't do anything for me...also, I might point out that I haven't seen all of the Fox Noirs yet, so there may be an even slower moving one than this.

I really like the series, and having these available as well as the Warner box sets has been a real joy to me, as I'd never seen all that much noir (or wasn't aware of it as such) before everything became available on DVD. We really do live in the best of times, at least if you're a classic film buff.

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Donald Trampoline
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#193 Post by Donald Trampoline » Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:07 am

The problem is not that it's a procedural. The problem is it is directed by Henry Hathaway, the most reliably middling director of all time!

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domino harvey
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#194 Post by domino harvey » Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:16 am

Hathaway is the perennial invisible director, which means unlike good directors who can keep turning out silk purses, his sow ears stay sow ears. The film's failure didn't originate from him but it certainly wasn't helped any. He churned out one of the best noirs in the Fox collection (the Dark Corner) and the other three (!) Hathaway titles in the series range from okay to pretty good too. Just not this one.

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domino harvey
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#195 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 11, 2008 2:11 am

domino harvey wrote:I want to thank the DVD Talk for revealing the ending to Black Widow in the first fucking line of their review.
Well at least they only ruined what is by the widest margin imaginable the worst film in the Fox Noir series. The level of inept craftsmanship in this film is shocking, every star sleepwalks through their lines, every cue is fumbled, the camerawork is moronic-- never has a 2.55 frame been so thoroughly wasted. Oh and as for the spoiler-- without it I would have figured it out ten minutes in, this is not a particularly good film even on the level of its mystery. The DVDs sole redeeming feature is the four minute Tierney retrospective, if only to be reminded of much better films.

Ugh, Dangerous Crossing was a step up but still pretty lousy (Call Northside 777 suddenly has achieved upward momentum just by proximity to these two). An extended Twilight Zone episode with embarrassing performances by all the principals, it appears that 90% of the budget went towards the fog machine. Even at 75 minutes this felt twice as long as it needed to be. I was a fool to blind buy these new titles. #-o

Jack Phillips
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#196 Post by Jack Phillips » Mon May 12, 2008 12:55 am

That was my feeling exactly.

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Bete_Noire
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#197 Post by Bete_Noire » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:02 pm

I haven't noticed this mentioned in any reviews, but on my copy of House of Bamboo, the colors become washed out before segueing to the next scene every time. It's a jarring and noticeable effect, and I doubt it's intentional. Did anyone else have this problem? Is it the DVD (which is brand new and mint), or my DVD player?

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domino harvey
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#198 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:10 pm

That happens a lot on various Technicolor transfers, not just that one. I'm sure someone better versed in the phenomenon than me could explain why.

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HerrSchreck
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#199 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:14 pm

Probably the endsof scenes/beginning of reels, which have been exposed to elements, light, etc, as opposed to the rest of the reel which is tucked under the layers of celluloid. Even in old b&w films you'll notice speckling etc go thru the roof.. especially pronounced on silents... snowstorms of this stuff just near reel breaks on some titles.

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david hare
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#200 Post by david hare » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:18 pm

This is called "Popping" and it happens because the negs and prints were both done on Eastman. Only Technicolor IB had a system of running two strips of unexposed film for every optical sequence which were complete from the previous edit to the subseqent edit, thus you got flawless optical dissolves or other effetcs without any generational loss of printing, and identical fine grain structure.

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