Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Edward G. Robinson is alive and well at Film Forum

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

From New York City: I took a break from my job-and-apartment hunting yesterday to go and see a couple of movies at the Film Forum's B Noir festival, and was sure glad that I did. Both films starred the legendary stout, bulldog-like actor Edward G. Robinson (Little Ceaser, Double Indemnity). The festival focuses on both underrated, lesser-known noirs and pulpy, dime store crime flicks, most of which aren't available yet on video or DVD. Black Tuesday, the first film of the evening, was one of the latter.

Robinson and Peter Graves (Night of the Hunter) are Vincent "King" Canelli and Peter Manning, a couple of criminals in prison awaitng their deaths in the electric chair. Manning was jailed for stealing $500,000 and is offered a ten-day extention of his sentence if he tells where he hid the money. He doesn't budge, though, because, as Canelli says; "yer gonna burn anyway!"

Secretly, however, Canelli's associates are hatching a plan to break them out just minutes before their execution and use the money Manning stole to get out of the country. Canelli's moll Hatti (Jean Parker) kidnaps the daughter of a prison guard to force him into helping, and a goon disguised as a newspaper reporter attends the execution too to help hold back the guards. After a violent breakout, the motley crew and their assortment of hostages hold up in an abandoned warehouse, biding their time until they can make a break out of the country.

While much of the plot is fairly ludicrous, and none of the supporting actors would ever be confused with Alec Guiness or Laurence Olivier, but the film was massively enjoyable nonetheless, mostly due to the sheer awesomeness of Robinson's performance as Vincent Canelli. Here are a few examples of how great he is:

- As the warden and police officers try to concince Manning to reveal the locaction of the stolen loot, Canelli hurls glee-filled taunts from the cell next to them. Grinning like a Cheshire cat, he says, "Headliner can't open the show, Manning! You gotta have acrobats or somethin' go out first, get 'em warmed up a little before the big climax!"

- While riding in a stolen armored car with the other escapees from the prison, Canelli orders the vehicle to stop and kicks the other prisoners out. When one of them protests, saying, "We ain't got a chance out their, Vince", Canelli removes three bullets from his revolver, hands the gun to him and throws the bullets out onto the ground. Then he says, "There, there's three chances."

- In the warehouse, the captured prison priest tries to talk some sense and morality to Canelli, who ignores him as he fiddles around with the contents of a crate filled with toys. He then winds up a toy tank and runs over a couple of stuffed Disney character dolls, with a gleeful shout of "Lookout, Donald!"

The second film of the evening, The Glass Web, was in contrast a much more polished and sophistiated noir which really should be a lot more well-known than it is. Directed by Jack Arnold (The Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came From Outer Space) It deals with a TV show called "Crime of the Week", which dramatizes homicides and murders on a weekly basis. Robinson is Henry Hayes, the details-obsessed head of research for the show, and John Forsythe (the actor best known as the voice of Charlie on "Charlie's Angels") is Don Newell, the scriptwriter. Kathleen Huges is Paula Reiner, a struggling actress and cold-hearted, manipulative femme fatale who is having an affair with both men to try to try and land a big role and part them from their money.

Paula seems to have Don wrapped around her little finger, especially when she threatens to blackmail him to the tune of $25,000 with a pair of Don's pyjamas with the nametag stitched in. Unfortunatley for her, her impatience with Henry's inability to land her a role winds up to be her undoing, as she flies of the handle and unleashes a string of insults upon him, causing Henry, in his shocked and wounded state, to strangle her to death.

With Paula dead and her blackmail on his conscience, Don is terrifed that he may be the biggest suspect. Matters only complicate more when Henry up and decides to use the Paula Reiner murder as the basis for their final show of the season! It's a paranoid, tense, and grim situation; everything that a great noir should be. Forsythe is terrific as the honest man in over his head, and Robinson, while not as balls-to-the-wall badass as he is in Black Tuesday, is equally great here as narrowly-veiled "true evil" of the story. Interestingly, the film was shot in 3D (Arnold's second film to be shot as such) but due to test audience responses was released in 2D. It's understandable, since most of the movie is fairly stagey and doesn't have what I'd think of as great 3D-worthy visuals, except for one scene where Don wanders down the street, paranoid and oblivious to his surroundings. He is narrowly missed by a pickup truck with ladders on the top, a man with a hose, and rocks falling down a chute, all of which come right toward the camera like they're coming out at you. Incidentally, I found several pictures from The Glass Web on a John Forsythe tribute page, so check them out.

Kudos to Film Forum for picking out these two great films from obscurity and showing them to the the cineastes of New York City. The best thing about seeing these kinds of movies in the theater is the sheer immortality that cinema provides for its great ones. Edward G. Robinson was alive last night. He was a living, breathing human being up there on the screen before us, and he, and others like him will continue to live forever as long as people still watch their films.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A brand is not just a place which you can surely assemble a lot of cheap digital stickers band seattle software allows you
to share your company s values and charm.

My homepage: vinyl sticker

6:40 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

prada outlet, christian louboutin uk, tory burch outlet, ugg boots, replica watches, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, longchamp outlet, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, uggs outlet, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses wholesale, kate spade outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, prada handbags, nike free, jordan shoes, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, polo outlet, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, louis vuitton, burberry handbags, uggs on sale, nike outlet, chanel handbags, oakley sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, uggs outlet, tiffany and co, burberry outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online

5:46 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

sac hermes, polo ralph lauren, polo lacoste, kate spade, coach outlet store online, michael kors, nike tn, nike air max uk, sac longchamp pas cher, nike roshe run uk, air max, nike air max uk, hollister uk, michael kors, mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, ray ban pas cher, ralph lauren uk, north face, nike air force, new balance, hogan outlet, vans pas cher, michael kors pas cher, north face uk, replica handbags, ray ban uk, timberland pas cher, michael kors outlet, lululemon canada, longchamp pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, burberry pas cher, nike roshe, coach purses, true religion jeans, true religion outlet, louboutin pas cher, oakley pas cher, coach outlet, nike air max, guess pas cher, nike free uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, true religion outlet, hollister pas cher, true religion outlet, jordan pas cher, nike free run, converse pas cher

5:47 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

oakley, giuseppe zanotti outlet, ralph lauren, valentino shoes, beats by dre, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, new balance shoes, baseball bats, nike roshe run, nike air max, mcm handbags, p90x workout, hermes belt, ferragamo shoes, nike huaraches, asics running shoes, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, iphone cases, iphone 6s cases, vans outlet, herve leger, longchamp uk, timberland boots, nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, iphone 6 cases, chi flat iron, hollister clothing, jimmy choo outlet, celine handbags, hollister, soccer shoes, wedding dresses, lululemon, babyliss, reebok outlet, iphone 6s plus cases, nike trainers uk, iphone 6 plus cases, instyler, ipad cases, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, ghd hair, s6 case, iphone 5s cases, mont blanc pens, louboutin

5:49 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

coach outlet, hollister, moncler, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, ugg pas cher, converse outlet, pandora jewelry, swarovski, canada goose outlet, hollister, moncler outlet, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, wedding dresses, barbour, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, vans, replica watches, pandora jewelry, marc jacobs, canada goose, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, links of london, moncler, moncler uk, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, lancel, karen millen uk, moncler, toms shoes, ugg uk, moncler, gucci, doudoune moncler, converse, canada goose jackets, barbour uk, moncler outlet, pandora uk, supra shoes, ray ban, canada goose uk, canada goose, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose

5:51 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg boots, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, gucci handbags, christian louboutin uk, tiffany jewelry, chanel handbags, louboutin pas cher, air max, nike free run, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet, jordan pas cher, louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, oakley sunglasses, polo outlet, replica watches, nike free, nike roshe, kate spade outlet, nike outlet, tiffany and co, polo ralph lauren outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses wholesale, prada outlet, nike air max, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, michael kors pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, burberry pas cher, christian louboutin outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren

8:44 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

timberland pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike free uk, guess pas cher, michael kors, michael kors outlet, hollister uk, ralph lauren uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, north face uk, coach purses, burberry outlet, converse pas cher, coach outlet, polo lacoste, nike blazer pas cher, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, hollister pas cher, lululemon canada, michael kors, sac hermes, true religion outlet, uggs outlet, nike air force, michael kors outlet online, burberry handbags, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet, nike air max uk, new balance, true religion outlet, mulberry uk, vans pas cher, ray ban uk, ray ban pas cher, nike tn, true religion outlet, kate spade, north face, nike air max, true religion jeans, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, hogan outlet, oakley pas cher, nike air max uk, nike roshe run uk

8:46 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

insanity workout, hollister clothing, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, soccer shoes, iphone 6s cases, ralph lauren, hermes belt, iphone 6 cases, abercrombie and fitch, mont blanc pens, timberland boots, s6 case, mcm handbags, chi flat iron, lululemon, mac cosmetics, giuseppe zanotti outlet, iphone 6s plus cases, ferragamo shoes, herve leger, iphone cases, celine handbags, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, valentino shoes, soccer jerseys, iphone 5s cases, wedding dresses, bottega veneta, nike huaraches, ghd hair, baseball bats, iphone 6 plus cases, north face outlet, p90x workout, instyler, vans outlet, new balance shoes, oakley, ipad cases, nike trainers uk, babyliss, louboutin, beats by dre, reebok outlet, nike roshe run, nike air max, hollister, asics running shoes

8:48 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

lancel, swarovski, hollister, swarovski crystal, moncler uk, juicy couture outlet, montre pas cher, doudoune moncler, links of london, ray ban, ugg uk, moncler, louis vuitton, moncler, hollister, moncler outlet, moncler, barbour uk, louis vuitton, replica watches, nike air max, louis vuitton, toms shoes, barbour, canada goose outlet, converse outlet, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs, louis vuitton, ugg, juicy couture outlet, pandora jewelry, wedding dresses, canada goose, louis vuitton, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, canada goose uk, pandora uk, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose outlet, gucci, moncler outlet, ugg pas cher, converse, thomas sabo, karen millen uk, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose, supra shoes, canada goose jackets, vans

8:50 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home