PUBLICITY SHOTS 13

 

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Ida Lupino, Jack Palance.THE BIG KNIFE.

 

 

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James Stewart,Janet Leigh.THE NAKED SPUR.

 

 

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Ida Lupino, Dana Andrews,Rhonda Fleming. WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS.

 

 

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Jean Arthur,John Lund, Marlene Dietrich. A FOREIGN AFFAIR

 

 

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Rita Hayworth,Glenn Ford. GILDA.

 

Joel McCrea

Joel McCrea

 

Cary Grant,Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum,Jean Simmons.THE GRASS IS GREENER

Cary Grant,Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum,Jean Simmons.THE GRASS IS GREENER

 

Jeffrey Hunter.THE PROUD ONES.

Jeffrey Hunter.THE PROUD ONES.

 

William Holden,George Raft, ,Humphrey Bogart.

William Holden,George Raft, ,Humphrey Bogart. INVISIBLE STRIPES.

 

Virginia a Mayo,Alan Ladd,Phyllis Thaxter.

Virginia Mayo,Alan Ladd,Phyllis Thaxter.THE IRON MISTRESS.

 

 

I AM INGRID

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Last year I wrote about a new film about Ingrid Bergman, and I am glad to say I have now seen it.

If you  are an INGRID BERGMAN fan, run,skip or jump to the nearest cinema showing the new Swedish documentary ,INGRID BERGMAN, IN HER OWN WORDS. ( Original Swedish title is I AM INGRID)

The two  hour film is also out on DVD.

i saw it in a packed cinema ( well, a 70 seater!)

This is not a career retrospective. There are brief clips from Casablanca, Notorious,Anastasia and a few others, but this is Ingrid’s personal story. It is directed by Stig Bjorkman and has some subtitling but has many interviews in English. Ingrid herself was proficient in at least 4 languages.

Ingrid was the daughter of a photographer, Justus Bergman, who filmed her as a child . To see the footage is amazing. She inherited this love of photography and throughout her life was constantly filming her family and friends. And from an early age, became very comfortable in front of a camera.

She also was a diarist and letter writer, and actress Alicia Vikander reads from them. It becomes clear that Ingrid had to act. Too long in one place , even with her children, was too much for her.

Her four children made it clear there would never be a ‘Mommie Dearest’ but also indicated how many times they didn’t have their mother with them and that it did hurt.

There are also TV interview clips and of course the media coverage of Ingrid leaving her husband and eldest daughter,Pia, in America when she went to Italy to film with Roberto Rossellini .

And then her triumphant return to the U.S. And Cary Grant accepting Ingrid’s Oscar for ANASTASIA.

This enthralling  film is a fascinating insight into this great actress who had lost both her parents by the time she was 13, and whose subsequent choices in life were defined by her need to be acting.

 

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Ingrid’s film test in Hollywood, after she had been given a contract by David O. Selznick.

 

Ingrid Bergman, Photographer Unknown. Courtesy: RialtPictures/Mantaray Film/Wesleyan Cinema Archives

Ingrid Bergman, Photographer Unknown. Courtesy: RialtPictures/Mantaray Film/Wesleyan Cinema Archives

With Roberto and twins Isabella and Ingrid.

 

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Camera in hand.

 

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With Charles Boyer in her Oscar winning GASLIGHT .

EXPERIMENT HITCHCOCK

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To go from the quintessential Hitchcock of  NORTH BY NORTHWEST to the shock/horror of PSYCHO must have been quite a surprise to filmgoers of 1960. The two films couldnt be more different.

The fact is that film fans, with a few exceptions, knew what to expect from an Alfred Hitchcock film – thrills, romance, spies, stunning visuals, witty dialogue and big stars.

 

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Cary Grant,Eva Maire Saint.NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

So you wonder what left field Psycho came from. Murder and madness without the usual light touch. Pure horror.

It is said that Hitchcock was aware of changing audiences. A high proportion were young adults who liked low budget horror films. Also, he had become used to doing a variety of plots on his long running TV series, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. And he was now familiar with TV directors and technicians.

 

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Hitchcock bought the rights to Robert Bloch’s novel, Psycho in 1959 for only $9,000. I guess that doing something completely and totally different appealed to him.

Paramount weren’t interested so Hitch put up the money and got 60% ownership of the film, with Paramount distributing it. He used his TV studio and crew .

I guess the success of North By Northwest allowed him to take a chance and boy, did it pay off. Not many directors would kill off their star (Janet Leigh) a third of the way through the picture – and in such a gruesome manner.

 

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Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau.NORTH BY NORTHWEST

The publicity machine for Psycho got into top gear, with Hitch himself preparing his audiences ( especially his older fans) for the violence and shock levels. And what a piece of genius to stop anyone being admitted for a screening after the film started.

A lot of fans were surprised and disappointed, but the younger fans went back to see it again and again. Word of mouth more than the critics sold it. It became a runaway success.

 

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I’ll be honest and say I saw Psycho once and never wanted to see it again. I could appreciate all of the great director’s skills and still not like it.

Give me North by Northwest every time!

But you have to admire him for taking such a leap of faith and showing that his unique talent could shine in whatever story  he tackled.

TOO MUCH CARY?

Can you get too much CARY GRANT?  If you are a fan, of course not!

This pictorial salute is for Cary fans everywhere!

 

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The young Cary.

 

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He may be in the right uniform but that face isn’t from 1939!

 

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With Katharine Hepburn. .BRINGING  UP BABY

 

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BRINGING  UP BABY

Keep that box away from dogs.

 

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With Katharine Hepburn.BRINGING UP BABY

Now,listen, Susan…..

 

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NOTORIOUS with Ingrid Bergman

 

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NOTORIOUS

 

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NOTORIOUS

 

 

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With Grace Kelly.TO CATCH A THIEF

 

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With Deborah Kerr.AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER

Personally, I prefer it to LOVE AFFAIR!

 

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With Irene Dunne.PENNY SERENADE

With Irene Dunne.PENNY SERENADE

 

PEOPLE WILL TALK

PEOPLE WILL TALK

 

With Ingrid Bergman.INDISCREET

With Ingrid Bergman.INDISCREET

 

That suit! NORTH BY NORTH WEST

That suit! NORTH BY NORTH WEST

 

 

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That tan!

 

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Growing old ever so gracefully.

Comedy, drama, romance. He could do it all to perfection – and sing too!

 

 

 

 

THE ENFORCER 1951

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That’s some line-up for the HUMPHREY BOGART starrer, THE ENFORCER. Trouble is I can’t identify them all, even after checking the cast list on IMDB.

From left to right, ?  John Kellogg, Jack Lambert, Ted de Corsia, Zero Mostel, Michael Tolan, ?

These are some of the gangsters facing district attorney Martin Ferguson (Humphrey Bogart) as he battles to put big time criminal Mendoza (Everett Sloane) away.

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This was a film I didn’t expect much of . That title alone and the accompanying publicity makes you think it’s a retro Bogie gangster movie. A better title would have been “Murder For Hire” because that is what the film is about.

I love watching a film for the first time and finding that it is SO much better than I expected. And that’s what happened with this film.

Everett Sloane ,as Albert Mendoza, has set up a ‘business’  of murder for hire which ,in its simplicity, means that if a person can afford the cost, Mendoza will arrange a killing which will never be traced back to the person hiring Mendoza’ s organisation (think Strangers On A Train).

The film grabs your attention right from the start as  Rico ( Ted de Corsia) is  escorted into the court building at night. He will be a witness the next day against his boss,Mendoza who is in a cell in the same building.

The Rico you see below is not the Rico at the start of the film. He’s terrified that Mendoza will somehow get to him before he testifies.He knows Mendoza can , through his lawyer, still arrange for him to be killed.

In  his fear, he ends  up trying to escape via the fire escape, and falls  to his death.

 

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Without him,  the D.A. Ferguson (Bogart) and  Captain Nelson (Roy Roberts) have no case.  Ferguson tells Nelson they are going to go through all the evidence again if it takes all night ,and there is then an extended flashback explaining how the case against Mendoza started.

 

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Humphrey Bogart, Roy Roberts

Duke Malloy (Michael Tolan) has come  into a police station saying he killed his girlfriend. He starts using terms the police don’t know – the girl was a contract and killing her was a hit.

Like Rico later on, Malloy is all nerves and hangs himself in his cell.

That’s when the D.A. Ferguson gets involved by starting to check Malloy’s associates.

 

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Michael Tolan,Don Beddoe

We then meet Big Babe Lazick ( the wonderful Zero Mostel)  who, after some arm twisting by Ferguson, admits he is part of a group of killers under Rico who gets his instructions on the next contract over the phone.

Babe lead them to the body of Nina Lombardo, Malloy’s girlfriend.

Nina’s roommate,Teresa Davis ( Patricia Joiner) tells them that Nina’s real name was Angela  Vetto and that she had been in hiding because ten years earlier Nina and her father witnessed a murder by Mendoza.

 

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The murder contract room with suitably low key lighting. The men wait for their orders from Rico. When Babe joins them , he learns it is like being an employee – he and his family will be looked after as long as he does what he is told. None of them,except Rico, know who the boss is.

 

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Zero Mostel,Humphrey Bogart

 

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Everett Sloane

Everett Sloane , another great actor,  as the mastermind behind the murder for hire scheme. Even when he is in a cell, his men fear him.

 

Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert

 

Susan Cabot, Patricia Joiner

Susan Cabot, Patricia Joiner

The two girls in the story, but there is an identity twist.

The plot never lets up and there is an exciting ending. The cast is tremendous . Bogart’s character isn’t clearly defined except that he has been working on this case for several years and is desperate to convict Mendoza. We learn nothing of the D.A.’s private life, and unusually, there is no romantic interest for Bogart. But it all works so well.

One great line of dialogue:

Captain Nelson: “How many bodies do you think we’ll find?”

Ferguson:”Any outfit that has got its own undertaker is operating on a pretty big scale.”

 

 

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Humphrey Bogart,Patricia Joiner

 

Apparently Bogart described it as a lousy film. I hope that’s not true. He wouldn’t be the first actor to not realise they are in a good film.

He does such a good job and is surrounded by a great supporting cast, led by Ted de Corsia and Everett Sloane.

The film was an independent  from Harry Warner’s son in law, Milton Sperling. The film is now owned by Republic, a division of Paramount.

 

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Humphrey Bogart

 

Martin Rackin wrote the dramatic script, The director was Bretaigne Windust but when he took ill, Raoul Walsh was called in and Walsh is credited with 5 days of retakes and additional scenes including the finale. I’ve read Walsh directed even more of the film and his style is evident – action, fast pace, gangsters!

A great double bill for me is  The Enforcer and Vice Squad, both police procedurals but with so much more going for them because of the writing and the casts.

 

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Bob Steele

Watch out when this man is after you!  Steele plays one of the hit men Mendoza employs to go after the girl who witnessed Mendoza carrying out a contract.

 

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Adverts like this  – “Bogart  as The Enforcer” suggests   he is the gangster! The title really is misleading.

This post is my entry in The Midnite Drive-In’s THE FILM NOIR  BLOGATHON. Do check out all the great reviews at http://midnitedrive-in.blogspot.co.uk

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WHICH IS IT!

A friend who bought an Italian DVD release of THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY (1945)  found there was a strange affair when he looked at the DVD cover.

The front cover is ok but when you turn to the back , there are two pictures of Farley Granger, one with Jean Hagen, from the 1949 film,SIDE STREET.

And the actual disc also has the picture of Granger and Hagen.

Fortunately, the correct film ( Uncle Harry) was on the disc!

A bad day at the factory?  If there was an Italian release of Side Street by the same company,  I wonder what the cover looks like!

 

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Italian title, “I Have Killed”.

 

 

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On the left, I think it is James Craig with Farley Granger.

 

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THE ADVENTURES OF ALAN LADD

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New to me was finding that ALAN LADD had featured in a series of 9 comics by DC Comics in 1949. It’s not surprising that the publishers licensed rights to use celebrity images.

At the height of his popularity, I’m surprised there were only 9 issues. The first 6 had Alan on the cover but the remaining three didn’t.

Whoever did the comic strips didn’t bother too much making his drawings  look like Alan.

It looks like Alan posed for the cover photos. I don’t recognise them as scenes from his films.

I haven’t seen any of the comics, only the covers. The first issue mentions CHICAGO DEADLINE.

I found some other covers of a Bob Hope comic which apparently ran for years. Other than western star comics, I wonder if any other big star had a comic named after them.

 

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