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Taste of Fear (1961)
Make your friends watch it.
I re-watched this the other night. I love this movie. There is a shock scene that is very effective and then at the end there are three consecutive plot twists that are genuinely surprising. It's a very fun movie from Hammer Studios. A beautiful young woman in a wheelchair returns to her father's estate after studying abroad, but he's not there. Her new step mother keeps giving her the run around as to where he is. The girl falls in love with the chauffeur and they try to figure out if her dad was murdered. Lot's of creepy scenes and good suspense. As an added bonus you have Christopher Lee, who you will see by the end, why he was cast. It is finally on DVD. Before, I had a grainy homemade bootleg from ebay.
The Narrow Margin (1952)
Noir on a train!
I love The Narrow Margin. Everyone in the posts below complain about what isn't plausible, etc., but if you're caught up in the story, and it works for you in the heat of the moment, then just enjoy the escapism of the film. I think the twist ending is brilliant and a nice surprise, especially from a low budget B film that I went into with low expectations. Charles McGraw is a great second sting replacement for a role that seems tailor made for Robert Mitchum. Marie Windsor is also terrific in her role. I have never watched the remake because I've been told that the twist ending has been removed and it's just a straight action film. What's the point? The main appeal of the old film is that you were deceived for hour. Give this old classic a chance. It's noir on a train. Who could resist that?
Fallen Angels: Red Wind (1995)
A disappointing adaptation of Raymond Chandler's Red Wind. The story is a little difficult to follow. It may be the direction or editing, I can't decide which. Danny Glover is cast in Humphrey Bogart's famous Phillip Marlowe role. He does alright, but I don't think a black man is right for the part considering how America's attitude towards African-Americans was back in the 1930's. Every white character would not be so respectful and treat him as an equal, which they do in the script. If the producers wanted Glover, I think they should've updated the time period to the 1990's. If you can ignore the fact that all of the people in this 1930's version of Los Angeles are extremely enlightened, then you may enjoy Danny Glover's turn as Phillip Marlowe. He definitely has the world weary part of the character down pat
David Goodis story drastically altered
I've enjoyed David Goodis novels for years. I recently found out that the hardboiled series, Fallen Angels, adapted his short story, Professional Man, for TV. I tracked it down and found Brendan Fraser was cast as the anti-hero. He's not one of my favorites, but oh well, that's just my personal taste. After viewing the episode I saw that Fraser is not the problem; the story was drastically reworked. The first 10 minutes are filmed exactly as Goodis had written the story, but after that, and I'm sure it was changed for shock value, it becomes apparent that the 1940's story is going to travel a different road. The female characters have been dropped and replaced with gay male characters. Now the story is about a gay hit-man working for a gay mob boss who runs a gay bar. I can't understand why Goodis' story was tampered with, except for the reason that because it aired on Showtime they needed it to be more "adult" than regular network TV. The sad "twist" ending was changed too, and made more sexual. I was very disappointed.
One Shoe Makes It Murder (1982)
A good Mitchum flick!
Another viewer wrote that this was a poor movie.I disagree. I saw this on the late show years ago and then hunted down a rinky-dink video release of it. I have heard viewers comment that Mitchum didn't put much effort into his performance, but I think they're missing the direction he was going in. His character is the biggest burn-out, the biggest failure of a person I have ever seen in a movie.Bob's P.I. character has just plain given up on life and is completely numb. My favorite line in the movie is when Angie Dickenson is throwing herself at him,badgering him,and trying to get some kind of a rise out of him and he says "Lady, I don't FEEL anything". Sure the storyline and mystery element is kind of basic and nothing special, but for me the flick showcases a really interesting character study of the noir anti-hero. Mitchum was fantastic at these kinds of roles.Watch it again.