Category Archives: Film Noir

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1937) by Ernest Hemingway

A tale of smuggling between Cuba and  Florida, this is generally considered one of Hemingway’s lesser works, which may actually explain why it made surprisingly good movie fodder. The hardboiled story of downtrodden boat-owner Harry Morgan was famously filmed with … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Cuba, Ernest Hemingway, Film Noir, Friday's Forgotten Book, Miami, Michael Curtiz | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

The Man in Room 17 (1965-67)

Created by Robin Chapman, this glorious 1960s TV show was big in its day and deserves to be rediscovered. The eponymous room is the secret centre of operations for the Department of Special Research. And the man is Edwin Oldenshaw … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday | 22 Comments

Last Resort

When is a submarine thriller not just a submarine thriller? Well, in this case, when it’s also an allegory of right-wing American imperialism – which is definitely what I liked most about Last Resort. In this short-lived TV show (only 13 … Continue reading

Posted in Noir on Tuesday | 20 Comments

The Marseille Contract (1974)

This unpretentious thriller, running just under 90 minutes and released in the US as The Destructors, was shot on location in France and features Michael Caine as a professional assassin, Anthony Quinn as a US intelligence agent and James Mason … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, France, Noir on Tuesday, Paris, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 Comments

Smile Jenny, You’re Dead (1974)

This is was the second of two feature-length TV Movies that ultimately served to launch the short-lived private eye series Harry O (1974-76) starring David Janssen, which in its first season may have got as good as this genre ever … Continue reading

Posted in California, Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Private Eye | Tagged | 33 Comments

DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1943) by James M. Cain

It is possible that the public conception of Noir owes more to the success of this book than any other. On the face of it, author James M. Cain just rewrote The Postman Always Rings Twice (click here for my review … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Billy Wilder, Film Noir, James M. Cain, Noir on Tuesday, Raymond Chandler, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 35 Comments

MINISTRY OF FEAR (1943) by Graham Greene

A wartime story of espionage and guilt, this was the last and personal favourite of Graham Greene’s self-styled ‘entertainments,’ the term he used to differentiate his thrillers from his more mainstream novels, though several of his books fall into that category … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Espionage, Film Noir, Five Star review, Friday's Forgotten Book, Graham Greene, Spy movies, World War II | Tagged | 45 Comments

PAINKILLER by NJ Fountain

“You wrote my note! My suicide note! You want to kill me!” Although the term ‘gaslighting’ has existed for decades, it is very popular at present to describe stories in which men manipulate the minds of women – and this … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Boileau-Narcejac, England, Film Noir, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, London, Nev Fountain, Patrick Hamilton, Robert Bloch, Ruth Rendell | 42 Comments

Justified (Season 1)

While we now live in the era of binge viewing with ‘box sets’ available from Netflix, Prime etc, I have been watching this show steadily in weekly episodes when I go visit my folks. Its mixture of a modern-day Western … Continue reading

Posted in Elmore Leonard, Film Noir, Kentucky, Noir on Tuesday, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 26 Comments

Johnny Staccato

Today’s post is dedicated to a show that lasted just one season but which deserves to be remembered. Filmed in LA but set in New York, the half-hour adventures of Johnny Staccato (Revue/NBC; US 1959-60) featured great jazz music, some amazing … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, New York, Noir on Tuesday, Private Eye | 48 Comments

No Way Out (1987) is now on Blu-ray!

No Way Out, adapted from Kenneth Fearing’s classic suspense novel, The Big Clock (which I previously reviewed here), is a terrific thriller starring a young Kevin Costner and quirky and beautiful Sean Young as young lovers who get caught in a … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Espionage, Film Noir, Kenneth Fearing, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Washington DC | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

Julieta – film & book review

The great Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar has adapted part of Runaway, the 2004 book by the great Canadian author Alice Munro, as Julieta. The  results are really intriguing, providing a movie experience that is full of mystery and both very faithful … Continue reading

Posted in Canada, Film Noir, Spain, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 22 Comments

The Thrilling Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann

This small detour is dedicated to the great Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975). He is the composer who, when I was a pre-teen, first got me into serious music via the movies, along with the likes of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Dmitri Shostakovich … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 18 Comments

Fear is the Key (1972) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

With news of a possible remake, the time seemed right to take a look at this adaptation of Alistair MacLean’s 1961 novel, my favourite of the slew of films made from his books in the 70s. It stars Barry Newman, … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Silver Vintage Scavenger Hunt, Alistair MacLean, Film Noir, Louisiana, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 34 Comments

And your favourite Hitchcock movies are …

Drum roll please … Having gone through a week of voting for the favourite films directed by Alfred Hitchcock on a decade by decade basis, this was meant to lead to a top 10, though we ended up with a … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, California, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New York, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies, World War II | 51 Comments

Results for the Hitchcock poll

Well, the polls are now closed and the results are in. First things first though – the response to this celebration of the 53 films directed by Alfred Hitchcock was really gratifying, so special thanks to everyone who joined in. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Arizona, Boileau-Narcejac, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New England, New York, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies | 45 Comments

1950s Hitchcock – vote for the best

This was the decade when Hitchcock truly became a superstar – along with a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films he became the host of his own TV shows Alfred Hitchcock Presents (and later, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour), … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, California, Canada, Cornell Woolrich, Edmund Crispin, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, France, London, Los Angeles, New England, New York, Noir, Patricia Highsmith, Ray Milland, San Francisco, Screwball, Spy movies | 65 Comments

Hard Eight (1996) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Paul Thomas Anderson is writer and director with a very distinctive world-view and a well-established preoccupation with exploring the power of the parent-child dynamic in all its forms. Although he first came to prominence with his epic take on the … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Las Vegas, Reno, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 40 Comments

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)

Not many may realise that The Abominable Bride, the marvellous Victorian-era seasonal special of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson, and this entry in the Rathbone and Bruce series share a canonical link as they … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, England, Film Noir, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 30 Comments

In the Valley of Elah (2007)

This was writer-director Paul Haggis’ follow-up to Crash (2004), his Oscar-winning look at the racial and social fault-lines bisecting a large cast of character in modern-day Los Angeles. In the Valley of Elah is also a very topical film, looking at … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, New Mexico, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970)

Dagmar Lassander is a bored housewife who has been relying too much on drink to keep herself together. Her husband knows he has been neglecting her but his business (underwater diving equipment) is at a critical stage. One night she … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Giallo, Hammer Studios, Italy, Jimmy Sangster, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 40 Comments

THE RED SCARF (1958) by Gil Brewer

One of the many Florida-set paperback originals written by Gil Brewer in the 1950s, it has a plot that mostly recycles James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice but also adds some very effective gear changes. Roy Nichols has been … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Florida, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gil Brewer, James M. Cain, Noir | 34 Comments

FIFTY-TWO PICKUP (1974) by Elmore Leonard

This was the novel that put Elmore Leonard on the map as a crime writer – and was filmed twice in very quick succession, which is some kind of compliment! Having appeared as The Ambassador in 1984, it was re-made … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Elmore Leonard, Film Noir, John Frankenheimer, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 38 Comments

Strangler’s Web (1965) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This whodunit was originally marketed as an “Edgar Wallace mystery thriller” but in fact was an original screenplay by Fedora favourite, George Baxt. We begin in ultra traditional fashion with a woman in a nightgown being pursued in a park at night by … Continue reading

Posted in Edgar Wallace, Film Noir, George Baxt, John Llewellyn Moxey, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 Comments

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943)

After the slightly uncertain beginning of Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942), things get a bit more on track with the second of the Universal series of contemporary Sherlock Holmes adventures. Yes, we still have a propaganda story … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, England, Film Noir, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 41 Comments

Into the Night (1985) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This genuinely quirky thriller stars Jeff Goldblum as an insomniac and cuckolded husband who goes on the run with unlikely femme fatale Michelle Pfeiffer. Pratfalls and violent death co-exist in this blackly comic adult Neo Noir that works like a … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Hollywood, John Landis, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 71 Comments

JOYLAND by Stephen King

This review is by way of a small tribute to Glen Orbik, who died on Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was the cover illustrator for many of the books published by Hard Case Crime, including this whodunit … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Ardai, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, Hard Case Crime, Stephen King | 38 Comments

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)

According to the publicity department, in 1942 Universal Pictures closed a $300,000 deal with the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to make a series of Sherlock Holmes second features. The option would last for 7 years and provide access … Continue reading

Posted in Arthur Conan Doyle, England, Film Noir, Sherlock Holmes, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 67 Comments

Double Confession (1950) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

This terrific Film Noir, missing for decades but finally released last year on DVD, co-stars Peter Lorre in his first British film since his Hitchcock thrillers of the 30s. It was directed by the eclectic Ken Annakin, who would make … Continue reading

Posted in Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 46 Comments

SLAYGROUND (1971) by Richard Stark

One of the very last of the original run of novels featuring ultra-hardboiled, single moniker criminal Parker, it begins with a getaway that goes awry. He and his occasional colleague, Grofield, soon part company. To find out what happens to Grofield … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Blackpool, Donald Westlake, Film Noir, New York, Parker, Richard Stark | Tagged | 26 Comments