Monday, February 14, 2011

For the Love of Film (Noir) Film Preservation Blogathon

I find film noir is sometimes difficult to define, with a thin line existing between it and a crime drama, detective story, etc. The setting might be the lower depths of a city, or it may center around swank penthouses and high rollers. However, I think the dialogue as much as the location sets the scene and helps define a film as noir. Since this blog primarily centers on actresses, this post will take a look at lines spoken by or about female characters in a number of noir films. The images from the films have been grabbed from the scenes where the lines are delivered.

It should be clear from some of the lines spoken that many of these characters won't be reformed, rehabilitated, or restored. However, the films themselves are another matter, and many fine noir films have not yet been restored to their original pristine condition. This is where the blogathon comes in. We hope the readers of the great posts submitted to this year's event will donate whatever they can to help realize the goal of coming up with the funds to restore the noir classic, The Sound of Fury. The restoration is in part being undertaken by the the Film Noir Foundation, who needs your support. Just click and Donate to be one of the cool kids. To see all the great posts by bloggers participating in this event, go here or here for all the links.

Double click on the images for a larger view. Sorry about the inelegant way the sound clips are presented, but I haven't found a good solution yet for embedding sound clips. Enjoy.

Cry Danger – 1951
"I'm Darlene LaVonne." "I bet you are at that, dear."
Jean Porter and Dick Powell's retort.

Ace In The Hole – 1952

“I don't go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons.”
Jan Sterling (Lorraine Minosa) to Kirk Douglas.

The Big Combo – 1955

“What is there about a hoodlum that appeals to certain women?" "Hoodlums, detectives, a woman doesn't care how he makes his living, only how he makes love." Helene Stanton (Rita), and detective Cornel Wilde. BTW, Great opening music and quite a cast.

The Big Heat – 1953

"Hey, that's a nice perfume." "Something new, it attracts mosquitoes and repels men." "Doesn't work that way with me." "It's not supposed to." Exchange between Gloria Graham (Debby Marsh) and Lee Marvin.

The Big Heat – 1953

“We're sisters under the mink." Gloria to Jeanette Nolan.

Body and Soul – 1947

“Irma, are you decent?” Not particularly-bring him in.” Lilly Palmer (Peg Born), to roommate Virgina Gregg.

Hollow Triumph – 1948

"You're a bitter little lady." "It's a bitter little world." Joan Bennett's (Evelyn Hahn) retort to Paul Henreid.
PS- the Film Noir Foundation offers a T-Shirt with "It's a bitter little world." and the Foundation's logo. No noir fan should be without one.

Clash by Night – 1952

“What do you want Joe, my life's history? Here it is in four words: Big ideas, small results.” Barbara Stanwyck (Mae Doyle) to her brother.

Clash By Night – 1952

"When I want you to kiss me, I'll let you know. By special messenger!" Marilyn Monroe (Peggy) to Keith Andes. Love her tone on "By special messenger."

Crossfire – 1947

“What did your say your name was?” “Ginny – ‘cause I’m from Virginia.” Gloria Graham to To George Cooper.

Gilda – 1946
“If I’d been a ranch, they would have named me the Bar Nothing.” Rita Hayworth (Gilda) to Mark Roberts.

The Narrow Margin – 1952

“You make me sick to my stomach.” “Yeah? Well use your own sink.” Marie Windsor (Mrs. Neil) in retort to Charles McGraw.

I Wake Up Screaming – 1941

“Hotcakes and Coffee.” “Is that all?” “No, but the rest of it isn’t on the menu.” “You couldn’t afford it if it was.” Exchange between Carol Landis (Vickie Lynn) and Allyn Joslyn.

The Killing – 1956

“I know you like a book, you're a no good nosy little tramp. You’d sell out your own mother for a piece of fudge.” Sterling Hayden to Marie Windsor (Sherry Peatty)

Nocturne – 1946
“What's your name?” “Susan Flanders, I work here.” "As what?" "Housemaid."
Myrna Dell (Susan Flanders) and detective Walter Sande.

Pitfall – 1948

"Have you ever noticed if for some reason you want to feel completely out of step with the rest of the world, the only thing to do is sit around a cocktail lounge in the afternoon." Lisabeth Scott (Mona Stevens) to Dick Powell.

Scarlet Street – 1945
"Oh you idiot, how can a man be so dumb." "Kitty." "I've wanted to laugh in your face ever since I first met you. You're old, and ugly, and I'm sick of you -sick, sick, sick." Joan Bennett (Kitty March) and Edward G. Robinson.

They Drive By Night – 1940

"Hey waitress, this steak's tough." "Well, you can't send it back, you bit it." Ann Sheridan (Cassie Hartley) to patron.

The Underworld Story – 1950

"I never asked you for a nickel, baby, did I?" "You wouldn't have gotten it, You were never worth that much." Exchange between Dan Duryea co-worker Frances Chaney (Grace). Note: Frances Chaney was Lon Chaney's first wife and the mother of Lon Chaney Jr.

Don't forget, click and Donate any amount you can afford to help restore our noir heritage.