Friday, November 01, 2013

Film Noir of the Week

Most readers know I am a film noir nut. This week's gem is "Between Midnight and Dawn" starring Edmond O'Brien, Gale Storm, and Mark Stevens. Here's a TCM overview of the film. 

Interesting plot as it involves two childhood friends who become policemen and are on patrol together. Both are attracted to Gale Page's character, and their relationship is weaved between chasing a gangster, the court, and the police station. And of course, it isn't long before there's a reference to the electric chair.

This one's from 1950, and the early 50s had some great noirs in it. But as time marched on and color film took over, movies billed as noirs really didn't quite do it, in my humble opinion. The stark black and white photography, often at night and in shadows, really conveyed visually the essence of film noir, which means "dark film." By 1955, it had really begun to wind down.

I wish they'd revive it. Given the level of interest in the genre, you'd think a studio would try it with some very big-name actors. And my hope would be that they'd follow the Production Code in making the film instead of overly sexing it up or peppering the dialogue with F-bombs every scene. One thing that the film noirs of the 40s and 50s accomplished was a clear demonstration that those elements are NOT needed for a good, taut, thrilling, and very engrossing picture.

C'mon, someone. Take the risk.

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