Film Noir, Part 2

The Big Sleep

1946, directed by Howard Hawks, first film version of a novel written by Raymond Chandler. Starring Humphrey Bogart, as detective Philip Marlowe, and Lauren Bacall. Bogie (Bogart) was in top form shooting out wisecracks and barbs in tommy gun fashion. But Ms. Bacall dodged every bullet, standing toe to toe with Bogie giving him a hand full right back.

The story starts with detective Marlowe meeting a new client at his mansion. During the meeting Philip agrees to act as a go between to resolve some outstanding gambling debts run up by the clients youngest daughter. After the meet, the detective is waylaid by his client's eldest daughter, Mrs. Vivian Rutledge (Lauren Bacall), who informs Marlowe that she thinks her father has an ulterior motive for hiring him.

And were off on a romp of mystery that includes murder, mayhem, pornography, missing people and blackmail. Elisha Cook, Jr, a bit player and character actor, has a cameo in this flick as he will in other Bogart venues. This movie is delightful for the film noir or mystery buff, and has more twists and turns than Lombard street in San Francisco.

The Postman Always Rings Twice

The racy book was published in 1934 written by novelist James M. Cain, adapted to the cinema four times. The vehicle released in 1946 starring John Garfield and Lana Turner is probably the best known.

Garfield, in the role of Frank, is a drifter who wanders through life and ends up at a diner owned by Cora, Lana Turner, and Nick Smith aka "The Greek", played by Cecil Kellaway, a well known character actor of the time.

This ill coupling leads to a dysfunctional union between polar opposites which leads to lust and murder. I prefer this version to the 1981 Nicholson / Lange production, because it leaves something to the imagination. I'm no prude, but I don't need to be bludgeoned over the head with visuals to know that the two main characters were more than just friends.

The Maltese Falcon

Ah the black bird, a Warner Brothers film released in 1941 authored by Dashiell Hammett. Written and directed by John Huston.  In the starring role is Bogie (Humphrey Bogart) as private investigator, Sam Spade and Mary Astor as the femme fatale, whose veins hold ice water.

Sam's partner is killed after meeting with a mysterious client, Ruth Wonderly (Mary Astor), and the heat is on to find the killer. Spade finds out that there were two murders that night, and a mysterious black bird that everyone seems to be excited about locating.

Bodies are dropping all over the place, and now Sam Spade has the infamous bird and everyone's after Sam. Included in this trek are a small group of misfits, lead by Sidney Greenstreet and include, Peter Lorre and Elisha Cook, Jr., the police (because of the trail of bodies) and Ms. Wonderly. Sam is in love with Ruth Wonderly, but she happens to be a pathological liar who loves only herself and the Maltese Falcon.

Another brain teaser and twister, a wonderful film that has been named one of the greatest films of all time, by Roger Edbert and Entertainment Weekly.  With this statement I must concur.

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Comments 5 comments

The Jet profile image

The Jet 5 years ago from The Bay

I love classic noir films. I gotta check these out, thanks!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

A great tribute to some wonderful old films!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great job again Pmccray. I was aquainted these but not some on the other hub. I appreciate the education! Thanks!


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

Nice job was not quite that familar with Flim noir/


changtian profile image

changtian 6 years ago

Thanks Chris, you rock dude !

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