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22. března 2010

Top 10 Joea Macklea

Svou komentovanou noirovou topku nám poslal Joe Mackle, provozovatel stránek Rarephiled a občasný přispěvatel na Film Noir Lists. Překlad, doufám, není třeba: 

Sunset Blvd.
The dark and desperate side of Hollywood told through the story of an aging silent movie actress and a struggling writer. A Billy Wilder masterclass in using a big budget to get the best in direction, story-telling, acting and I would enthasise the remarkable musical score.

Double Indemnity
Billy Wilder again, with a script by Raymond Chandler as tight as his best novel writing. Fred McMurray finds himself in a morality tale as an insurance salesman who finds himself being drawn into a murder/fraud scheme. In a classic scene, he finds himself literally between Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G Robinson, not too late to back out and do the right thing. But, its not really a fair choice, Stanwyck would win every time.

The Web 
Low-budget film from 1947 with a great cast of Edmond O'Brien, Ella Raines, Vincent Price & William Bendix. Well-written with snappy dialogue, the real pleasure in this under-rated, double-crossing, crime caper is that nothing spoils it. The actors, dialogue, storyline and plot changes all work well and make a hugely enjoyable film.

Strangers on a Train
Could have picked any one of 5 of Hitchcock's movies, but for me this is the best. Farley Granger is just superb, as he was in Rope a few years earlier. (might have picked Rope, except its not generally regarding as a Film Noir)

The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett meets John Huston meets Humphrey Bogart. A film that created the Private Eye mold for all subsequent hard-boiled investigators. So far, none have come close.

M (1951 version)
Remake of Fritz Lang's 1931 classic exported to the US. The 1951 version is about half as good as the original. However, anything that is half as good as Lang's M, can't be bad!

Ace in the Hole (the Big Carnival)
The power of the press is a recurring theme in Noir fiction of the 1920s and 30s and Films of the 40s and 50s. Whether its how politicians use and abuse the press for their own gain or the rogue journalist only interested in the truth. No Pockets In A Shroud is the best newspaper novel of this era - Ace In the Hole is the best film. Kirk Douglas is the journalist only interested in what the story can do for him.

The Killers
Many films have tried to use the central theme of The Killers over the years, a violent and hidden past returning with avengeance. None have come close to matching the suspense here with the excellent acting of Burt Lancaster, Edmond O'Brien & Ava Gardner.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Made in 1973, so outside the classic Film Noir period and generally considered to be post-Noir, rather than neo-Noir (a distinction worth making but not getting too hung-up on). Written by George V Higgins in 1970, the book signaled an authentic update in American Crime Fiction. Robert Mitchum gives one of his finest performances as Eddie Coyle, a man deep in the underworld and getting out of his depth.

No Man of Her Own
One of the best examples of an adaptation of Cornell Woolrich's stories (I Married A Dead Man), a prolific short story writer. Also, one of the best examples of a recurring noir theme - a misunderstanding or spur-of-the-moment decision that seems simple, but has far-reaching consequences.

6 komentářů:

  1. Rozhodně zajímavý výběr, který se dost vymezuje oproti našim osobním výběrům. Na The Web a M se taky musím podívat, už mi to tu leží dlouho. Obzvlášť teď jsem na to ještě víc zvědavá..

  2. no ja bych tu svoji topku taky asi podstatne zmenil oproti posledne. :)

  3. jo? a co treba? ja uz jsem tam nedavno nejake zmeny udelala..

  4. To se muze, zrevidovat topku? Tak to ja taky budu muset brzo udelat. Minimalne dve zmeny jsou nevyhnutelne :)

  5. to jsou podvody :o) ja ji asi zmenim az nekdy definitivne, do te doby se do ni radsi nebudu hrabat.