Out of the Past

February 22, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Jacques Tourneur) (1947) (Script by Daniel Mainwaring (“Geoffrey Homes”) from his 1946 novel Build My Gallows High, with uncredited revisions by Frank Fenton and James M. Cain.) Before we review this complicated, compelling film, first allow us to modestly refer you to our discussion: what is Film Noir? Furthermore, in the spirit of commercial DVDs, can we clear away some preliminaries?  Don’t you hate it when, having purchased a film with your hard-earned, you then have to suffer some minutes of being lectured against pirating and illegal downloads? Or trying to disable the o-so-welcome options of surtitles (in…

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What IS film noir?

January 28, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Black Film: It’s perhaps more of a style than a genre, the descendant of German expressionist films of the 1920s such as Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922) and Pandora’s Box (1929), along with American gangster films of the 1930s , and crime and detective stories (published in France as série noire; then roman noir, and, on film in the 1940s and 1950s, film noir). There are homages or ‘neo-noirs’ (Chinatown, Marlowe (1969), Night Moves (1975)) and parodies (The Long Goodbye (1973), and The Big Sleep – the 1978 version, of which Lauren Bacall, asked if she had seen it, said…

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Black Angel

January 17, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Roy William Neill)(1946) This obscure Universal film noir is rather odd in an intriguing, almost surreal way. A blackmailer, Mavis Marlowe (Constance Dowling), ex-wife of part-time pianist/composer and full-time drunk, Martin Blair (Dan Duryea), turns up strangled in her apartment, one of Blair’s songs reverberating on the record player. Blair was on the spot earlier but the Doorman, under instructions, told him to go jump, whereupon he went on a bender of epic proportions. Meanwhile, Kirk Bennett, a poor sap who’s been having an affair with Mavis, visits, but finds her dead and busily incriminates himself by leaving…

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Sean Connery

November 14, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM |

(25 August 1930 to 31 October 2020) He wasn’t quite what Ian Fleming had in mind, but on the big screen, he was the first and best James Bond: moving like a panther, coiled like a spring, throwing away his throw-away lines with an amused accent that seemed to cross Eton with Edinburgh. The Bond films were a sociological event in the 1960s and 1970s, before they descended to a worn-out party joke of a franchise. Connery starred in Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and…

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Happy Birthday, Burt

November 2, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Burt Lancaster 2 Nov. 1913 “Sweet Smell of Success” (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/sweet-smell-of-success/) “Gunfight at OK Corral (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/ok-corral/) “Elmer Gantry” (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/elmer-gantry/) “The Leopard” (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/?s=The+Leopard) “Atlantic City” (http://www.thevarnishedculture.com/atlantic-city/)

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