Archive for the ‘The Stranger’ Category

DetourThis week’s installments have been good to me. The first movie I watched was Detour with Tom Neal and Ann Savage, who plays a savage woman. Tom is thumbing a ride from New York to Los Angeles to see his girlfriend. I’m trying to figure out a way to explain the movie but it’s getting convoluted in my mind, so let’s just say there’s Detour2a dead body and an irate woman who manipulates Neal, in the form of Ann Savage. And if this last name doesn’t describe the character to a T, then I don’t know what does.

Neal tells the story in flashbacks while sitting at a bar. The actors, the cinematography, the story, the action, the tension are all good. Neal is convincing as a down on his luck guy on the lam. Savage is fantastic in her role as a jilted, manipulative, screeching albatross around Neal’s neck. If she didn’t win an Academy Award for this performance, then the judges were off their rockers.

TheStrangerWas Detour my favorite? No, but it is sure up there as is The Stranger with Edward G. Robinson, Orson Welles and Loretta Young. Robinson is a Fed tracing Nazis and has been led to the small town of Harper, CT. There is little evidence as to who Franz Kindler really is, but circumstances lead to Welles who’s reestablished himself as a professor and about the marry the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice. There is action, drama, and superb performances. TheStranger2Welles, yet again, never ceases to amaze me with his characters and his directorial achievements. And the more I see Edward G. Robinson, the more I like him. He may not transform himself as does Welles, but he’s just a joy to watch.

No femme fatales in either of these movies, so Rita, Joan, there are no contenders for your title.

And the even better news: I just found out that Robinson, Dan Duryea and Joan Bennett (The Woman in the Window) were in another noir movie together: Scarlet Street. That’s on tomorrow’s agenda, time permitting. Thanks to Dani Noir, I am seeing some great movies.

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