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The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
Sam Jaffe's Character ("Doc") Steals the Movie
This is one of my favorite film noir classic films. I have it racked in Top 100 and Top 25 Film Noir movies of all time. I am writing this review at this time because I recently watched it again (January 23rd). I was prompted to do this because the film was being previewed at 2017 Noir City film festival in San Francisco.
I owe a copy of the film and have watched annually for the last five years. The story was adapted from a novel by W.R. Burnett. The screenplay credits go to John Huston and Ben Maddow. Huston also directed the film. The music was created by Miklos Rozsa while the director of photography was Harold Rosson.
It has an outstanding cast including Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagan, James Whitmore, Barry Kelley and John McIntire.
Supporting cast include: Sam Jaffe, Marc Lawrence, Brad Dexter, Anthony Caruso and Marilyn Monroe.
Sam Jaffe is the brains behind the "heist" concept and sells the plan to Louis Calhern. Jaffe's character is smart, brilliant and controlled. His one flaw(not shared) gets him caught in the end.
Criss Cross (1949)
One of Greatest Endings in Film Noir history
I am writing this review today because it was previewed at the 15th addition of Noir City film festival in San Francisco. It was shown on Friday January 20th, 2017.
I owe a copy and have watched it eight (8) times over the last ten years, most recently today. It is one of my favorite film noir movies because of its director Robert Siodmak and the outstanding primary cast. This includes Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo and Dan Duryea. In my opinion, it is De Carlo's best performance in her career.
The supporting cast includes: Stephen McNally, Percy Helton, Alan Napier, Meg Randall and Richard Long.
When you watch it, look for uncredited performances by Raymond Burr, Tony Curtis, Gene Evans and Diane Stewart.
Kansas City Confidential (1952)
Quinnessential Film Noir heist movie
I decided to review this film noir today because it is opening at the Film Noir festival in San Francisco. I own a copy and usually watch it once a year. I have watched it seven (7) times over the last ten years.
Phil Karlson directs and utilized a variety of actors who are recognizable in the film noir genre. These include: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand, Jack Elam and Lee Van Cleef. The plot gets complicated in Mexico because Foster's daughter (i.e Coleen Grey) falls for the anti-hero Joe Rolfe (John Payne).
The plot is multi-layered and involves all the major actors. Justice prevails after a number of plot twists in a sleepy, isolated resort in Mexico.
The Imitation Game (2014)
Best Picture of the Year
Saw this movie last Saturday (12/27) and really enjoyed it. I really appreciated the cuts between Touring as an adult and a young man in school. Benedict Cumberbatch's performance is certainly Oscar-worthy. Lots of communication with facial gestures and silence. Mark Strong is excellent as the liaison with the other "other service." Very emotionally for me when a young Touring learns that his school chum Christopher is dead. I could not contain my tears of sadness and longing that Alan misses the only love he ever experienced.
Keira Knightly as the "love interest" is also very good. She nailed the values and limitations of the 50s in Britain. Her performance is quite understated.