Hat, Cigarette, Pistol: 5 Classic Noir For The Evening

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Hat, Cigarette, Pistol: 5 Classic Noir For The Evening
Hat, Cigarette, Pistol: 5 Classic Noir For The Evening

Video: Hat, Cigarette, Pistol: 5 Classic Noir For The Evening

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Text: Vasily Milovidov

ON THE WEEKEND EVENING, WHEN THERE ARE NO FORCES ALREADY, The most difficult thing to decide are two key things: what to cook and what to see. In order not to rush about for a long time, sorting through the lists of the best by genre, author or year, we have compiled a recipe for the perfect vacation for you. Here are five movies to spend your precious evening on.

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Laura

Laura, 1944

Theatrical and well-groomed side of noir. In New York, successful advertiser and socialite Laura (Gene Tierney) is shot in the face with a shotgun. The case is entrusted to Detective McPherson (Dan Andrews), who, during the investigation, manages to fall in love with the deceased. She, of course, turns out to be alive. As in "Deep Sleep" the local plot can hardly be called logical and harmonious, the supporting characters are more interesting than the main characters and stuff like that, but this makes the picture outstanding.

The film is based on a book by Vera Caspari, with references to Agatha Christie, which makes it stand out among the classic film noirs about cynical detectives scurrying around the city floor. Laura is a glossy movie about high society and bohemian, based on the story of a successful woman. However, there is no need to rush to praise the film for its progressiveness - instead of the standard for the genre of misogyny, here you can see quite distinct homophobia.

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Deep sleep

The Big Sleep, 1946

Golden noir classics, great cinema. As a primary source - the novel by the great Raymond Chandler about the cynical detective Philip Marlowe, Howard Hawks in the director's chair, the hottest couple in Hollywood at the time, Bogart and Bacall, starring William Faulkner, another great writer, as one of the screenwriters. Despite all this, the film is primarily known for its absolutely disregarding attitude to the plot.

Marlowe takes on another case (the elderly general asks to deal with the debts of his unlucky youngest daughter), but then the devil knows what happens. This is partly due to the studio's demand to add more romance between Bogart and Bacall, which is why the authors threw out about twenty minutes of important conversations for the plot. With the original source, however, not everything is simple either: when the writers Faulkner and Brackett decided to ask Chandler how one of the characters died, he replied that he forgot to write it.

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In a secluded place

In a Lonely Place, 1950

If you hadn’t come out "In a secluded place" during the golden period of noir, the prefix "neo" would have looked extremely appropriate on it - it was removed too far from the rules of the genre. In addition, Nicholas Ray is responsible for directing - one of the authors who paved the way for New Hollywood. Humphrey Bogart plays Dix, an alcoholic screenwriter with a bad temper and in a creative crisis, who agrees to an unpleasant part-time job - an adaptation of a bad bestseller, which he does not want to read at all. By chance, he meets a cloakroom attendant, a fan of the novel, and takes her to his home for a consultation. The next day, she is found dead, and Dix turns out to be the prime suspect.

Suddenly, his neighbor Laurel provides the hero with an alibi, and a passionate and sincere romance is struck between them. Soon, however, she begins to doubt more and more of Dix's innocence. The detective line is, however, not so important here. In fact, “In a secluded place” is an adult melodrama about two people beaten by life and a sad statement on the topic of male aggression. The original book dealt with the guilt of the protagonist more unambiguously, but the half-measure chosen by the film for some reason seems even more pessimistic.

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Kiss me to death

Kiss Me Deadly, 1955

A screen adaptation of one of Mickey Spillane's many books about private detective Mike Hammer. At the beginning of the film, he picks up a fugitive from a madhouse in a coat on a naked body on the night highway and quickly becomes involved in a muddy story about the search for a mysterious suitcase, don't get it.The book Hummer, in his human qualities, was the most repulsive of the classic detectives - a blunt and hot-tempered bumpkin, an outright misogynist.

If the screen smoothed out a couple of sharp corners of his character, then not much - it seems that spending time in the company of hostile villains would be more pleasant. Director Robert Aldrich filmed this not-so-thinly veiled statement about Cold War paranoia without any attempt to hide the cynical tabloidness of the original source behind Hollywood gloss and charm the viewer. There are no goodies, the end of the world takes place in the finale.

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The seal of evil

Touch of Evil, 1958

At the end of the 50s, Orson Welles decided to once again regain the affection of Hollywood and, as a screenwriter, director and actor, took up a free adaptation of the book by Whit Masterson. As a result, the release was a complete failure (the film was re-edited, partially re-shot and tried to hide from the public), but, contrary to popular belief, it is "The Seal of Evil" that is perhaps the director's best film. In a Mexican town on the border with the United States, a car flies into the air, and an overly honest agent of the local drug control (Charlton Heston) takes charge of this case.

Soon, however, he realizes that the main evil here is the lame and flabby police captain (Orson Welles). The film begins with one of the most famous long shots in film history and keeps the visual bar all the way. Playing the main villain, Wells, in a Mikhalkov style, brazenly pulls the blanket over himself. There are several versions of the film, you need to watch the latest one - it was rebuilt according to the director's notes.

Photos: 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures, United Artists, Universal Studios

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