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Archive for the ‘Casablanca’ Category

LauraTheMovieI’m going to end my stream of noir movie posts with Laura, the 1944 movie with Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb and an incredibly young Vincent Price before he became the king of horror movies. I think this movie is better than The Maltese Falcon and on a par with Casablanca, so after almost 20 movies watched Laura and Casablanca top my list.

Clifton Webb is outstanding as the snobbish Waldo Lydecker, the radio personality who takes credit for bringing culture into the life of beautiful Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney). Dana Andrews plays the hero but down to earth cop, Mark McPherson, who falls in love with Laura from the portrait hanging over her mantel. And finally the ne’er do well but suave southern gentleman, Shelby Carpenter is perfectly played by Vincent Price.

This movie has just the right amount of action, romance, suspense and regardless of the number of times I’ve watched this movie, I never fail to remain spellbound.

Which brings me to the book, LauraTheBookLaura by Vera Caspary. I forget which book of hers I read first but whichever it was prompted me to read more. I’ve liked all I’ve read so far, not all mysteries. But there was something puzzling in the book to film transition of Laura. As you can see, Waldo Lydecker in the movie is rail thin. However, in the book he is obese–think of Syndey Greenstreet in the Maltese Falcon.  The question is why the change? To accommodate Webb who was substantially better than Greenstreet would have been? Whatever the reason, it continues to puzzle me.

Just to let you know I have both the movie and the book of Laura at home. That’s got to say something, right?

So, thus ends my noir movie rampage. Thank you Nova Ren Suma for writing Dani Noir and thank you Dani for suggesting all of these movies. It has been fun watching.

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MalteseFalconI’m into the classic noir movies now and decided to make it a Humphrey Bogart trifecta (The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and Casablanca), although, where there’s Humphrey, there also seems to be Peter Lorre and Sydney Greetstreet. And while Rita Hayworth and Joan Bennett are front runners in the femme fatale roles, Lauren Becall, Mary Astor and Ingrid Bergman clearly outpace them in the ‘love interest’ category, as well as in sophistication.CasablancaBigSleep

There’s no need to summarize the plots of these three classic movies. I’m not sure I’d call them noir movies either, although they are mentioned in Nova Ren Suma’s book, Dani Noir (remember, that’s what got me started on this whole noir movie kick). They are star studded, action packed, well acted, absorbing movies. The actors are a delight: Sydney Greenstreet, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Lauren Bacall, Mary Astor, Ingrid Bergman. Of the three, Casablanca has to be my favorite, followed by The Maltese Falcon and lastly The Big Sleep. I could, and have, watched the first two multiple times. If I had to choose a femme fatale, it would have to be Ingrid Bergman.

I know I’m rambling here, so I’ll end by saying these three movies define great movies. See them. You’ll never tire of them.

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