FrozenGhost
Member
Joined: August 7th, 2007, 2:01 am

January 11th, 2018, 12:07 am #41

On the subject of Sidney Greenstreet-Peter Lorre movies  (without Bogart) THREE STRANGERS belongs on top of the list. There's so much to recommend: an absorbing script by John Huston, the usual Warner Brothers craftsmanship on full display and the lead actors (including Geraldine Fitzgerald) at the absolute peak of their game. I dare say it's probably Lorre's best and most likable performance during his Warners tenure, making a credible if offbeat romantic lead. It's arguably the juciest part Robert Shayne ever had. Even his British accent is highly acceptable. Unfortunately the print Turner usually shows is less than dazzling unless it's been restored lately.
Quote
Like
Share

Dr Kelp
Member
Joined: November 27th, 2016, 2:34 am

January 11th, 2018, 1:19 am #42

MacXoftheMounted wrote:
ewrjk wrote: I'm watching The Verdict now, and I think I can see how some folks might not appreciate Greenstreet in the leading role. He was so heavy that it's hard to believe that he could have been a successful cop, and that he could have moved the way he did in the film.

I really love one of Peter Lorre's lines. He says something like, "Maybe I talk about my paintings too much, but at least it's not politics". Ha ha. (He was talking to two characters on opposite sides of the political spectrum.)

The Verdict. The Spiral Staircase. Green for Danger. Lots of great films released in '46! (I watched Green for Danger earlier tonight. I've seen that one sooo many times....)
I want to watch GREEN FOR DANGER again, but a friend has had my Criterion disc for about a YEAR... it was pretty great, from what I remember.
I've stopped lending discs for that exact reason
Quote
Like
Share

ewrjk
Member
ewrjk
Member
Joined: March 13th, 2017, 4:29 am

January 11th, 2018, 6:56 am #43

I really wanted to like Three Strangers, but it did nothing for me. It wasn't a bad film, but I just couldn't get into it and now I can't even recall what it was about. Not sure why. It sure looks like my type of film....
Quote
Like
Share

telegonus
Member
Joined: July 27th, 2006, 12:07 pm

January 11th, 2018, 8:04 am #44

ewrjk wrote: I'm watching The Verdict now, and I think I can see how some folks might not appreciate Greenstreet in the leading role. He was so heavy that it's hard to believe that he could have been a successful cop, and that he could have moved the way he did in the film.

I really love one of Peter Lorre's lines. He says something like, "Maybe I talk about my paintings too much, but at least it's not politics". Ha ha. (He was talking to two characters on opposite sides of the political spectrum.)

The Verdict. The Spiral Staircase. Green for Danger. Lots of great films released in '46! (I watched Green for Danger earlier tonight. I've seen that one sooo many times....)
Three Strangers doesn't quite grab me but I like it better than The Verdict. 1946 was indeed a great movie year.  After that, though there were still good and great years for movies it's like Hollywood was winding down. The next year was good, too, but 1948, also good, shows a certain uncertainty, a shakiness in the way Hollywood dealt with "problems". Also 1946, from RKO, a good little Pat O'Brien Noir: Crack-Up. It falls short of greatness but there's am uncanny quality to it that keeps me watching; and O'Brien was very good in the lead. The telling of the film's story is better than the story itself is sort of the gist of it. Still, I have fond memories of having caught it as a teenager on the local late late movie.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 11th, 2008, 4:18 pm

January 11th, 2018, 2:56 pm #45

>I really wanted to like Three Strangers, but it did nothing for me. It wasn't a bad film, but I just couldn't get into it

That's how I felt. I plan on watching my disc again soon, because I, too, have little recollection of it.

I'll have to look into Crack-Up. I watched ABANDONED on the weekend with Dennis O'Keefe (a real favourite of mine) and Ray Burr. It was great, especially for a message film.
MacXoftheMounted.....................formerly known as Professor Von X
Quote
Like
Share

telegonus
Member
Joined: July 27th, 2006, 12:07 pm

January 11th, 2018, 8:13 pm #46

Dennis O'Keefe was good, sort of fell off the radar screen as the years went by. He had a sitcom briefly, then just about vanished. O'Keefe had good presence in Noir and comedies, somehow seemed unable to break loose from the pack.
Quote
Like
Share

Camps
Member
Joined: January 28th, 2010, 1:34 am

February 5th, 2018, 12:31 am #47

Popped it in for a rainy day.  Great, undersung and truly influential film.
Quote
Like
Share

Spikopath
Member
Joined: August 28th, 2017, 5:44 pm

July 12th, 2018, 12:27 pm #48

Great to see the love for this, it's a personal favourite.

My review from 2011 >

A Gothic, Noirish, Hitchcockian Masterpiece.

Helen Capel was rendered mute in childhood due to a family trauma, now she acts as a companion to the bed ridden Mrs Warren. She's currently fretful because a serial killer is on the loose and he preys on women with afflictions...

Based on Ethel White's novel "Some Must Watch," The Spiral Staircase harks back to the days of the "old dark house" thrillers and encompasses a German expressionist sheen. The setting is an old Gothic mansion in New England at the turn of the century. Directed by Robert Siodmak, not one spooky house thriller genre convention has been neglected here. The tension builds amid creaking doors and gates, whistling winds, flickering candles, blowing curtains and cut-aways to the eyes of the unseen lurking madman waiting to add poor Helen to his roll call of victims. Mirrors, windows and shadows feature prominently as craftsman Siodmak spins his uneasy expressionistic web.

The cast are uniformly strong. Dorothy McGuire gives one of her best and most convincing performances as the under threat Helen. While Ethel Barrymore (nominated for Best Supporting Actress), Elsa Lanchester and George Brent all turn in brilliant performances. But perhaps it's not unfair to say that the real stars here are the technical staff? Siodmak expands his talent and knowing from his work at Universal Pictures (Son Of Dracula/The Suspect), Albert D'Agostino's sets are wondrous period delights and Nicholas Musuraca's deep-focus photography has the ability to make one keep looking over the shoulder to see if something is lurking in the room with us...

There's quite a few changes in this adaptation from the novel, notably the setting was in England and Helen was a cripple and not mute. But few could seriously argue that The Spiral Staircase in silver screen form is anything but a triumphant piece of classic cinema. 10/10

Thanks to those who mention The Unlocked Window, I will have to check that out.
Out you get Hooky, you done your bit.
Quote
Like
Share

ewrjk
Member
ewrjk
Member
Joined: March 13th, 2017, 4:29 am

July 15th, 2018, 7:28 am #49

I can't remember if I mentioned this earlier here, but there is the radio play called The Spiral Staircase, starring the same leading lady. She was mute in the radio play, and this was handled very well by whoever wrote up the radio adaptation.

The Unlocked Window was also written by Ethel Lina White and it's a story that probably should be read first. I'm glad I read the short story first because I think that any big screen adaptation would make the ending too obvious. I did see the 1960s adaptation and liked it.
Quote
Like
Share

Wich2
Member
Joined: September 12th, 2007, 10:09 pm

July 16th, 2018, 1:00 am #50

Ewrk, was it this radio version?

https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/d ... 1949-11-25

This lover of the medium often likes 60 min. adaptions of features; but 30 min. is a lot of compression! It does indeed star McGuire, though.

- Craig
Quote
Like
Share

ewrjk
Member
ewrjk
Member
Joined: March 13th, 2017, 4:29 am

July 21st, 2018, 6:58 am #51

I'll let you know as soon as I hear it again. I seem to recall it being quite short, and it starts out with the main character going into shock when her childhood home burned down. (All this is only referred to in the film.)

I've come across other extremely compressed radio plays, such as:

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

The Best Years of Our Lives

The radio plays are extremely compressed versions of the films.
Quote
Like
Share

will
Member
Joined: November 17th, 2009, 2:23 am

July 21st, 2018, 8:04 am #52

telegonus wrote: Dennis O'Keefe was good, sort of fell off the radar screen as the years went by. He had a sitcom briefly, then just about vanished. O'Keefe had good presence in Noir and comedies, somehow seemed unable to break loose from the pack.
He had a drinking problem. That may have affected his career.
Quote
Like
Share

telegonus
Member
Joined: July 27th, 2006, 12:07 pm

July 21st, 2018, 5:31 pm #53

ewrjk wrote: I really wanted to like Three Strangers, but it did nothing for me. It wasn't a bad film, but I just couldn't get into it and now I can't even recall what it was about. Not sure why. It sure looks like my type of film....
A lottery ticket figures prominently in the narrative.
Quote
Like
Share

telegonus
Member
Joined: July 27th, 2006, 12:07 pm

July 21st, 2018, 5:45 pm #54

will wrote:
telegonus wrote: Dennis O'Keefe was good, sort of fell off the radar screen as the years went by. He had a sitcom briefly, then just about vanished. O'Keefe had good presence in Noir and comedies, somehow seemed unable to break loose from the pack.
He had a drinking problem. That may have affected his career.
I've heard about that about O'Keefe, haven't noticed anything in his performances to suggest that he was "off" in any way, but then some problem drinkers do that really well; and O'Keefe was an actor, after all. One thing I have noticed is how badly he aged after 1948  (a good year for him as a leading man), as his looks faded fast, and within a few years he came to look too old to "carry" a picture. This also happened to Pat O'Brien during the same period, bur he was several years older than O'Keefe, was gaining weight and losing his hair fast.
Quote
Like
Share