US / 18 minutes / bw / Detour Dir & Scr: Elliot Lavine Pr: Elliot Lavine, Fred Klein Cine: Greg Wardell, Deland Nuse Cast: John X. Heart, Alan Dowell, Harry Rosenbluth, Harry Freeman, Sheila Lichirie, Larry Stofer, Lisa Barnett, David A. Radovich, Freddy Klein, Eddie Detour
A somewhat more ambitious movie than the same director’s earlier effort, Blind Alley (1981), being longer and with a more involved plot. However, while it’s shot in a very noirish fashion and has a screenplay that’s primarily voiceover, in a sense it seems to me less close to the heart of noir than its pared-down predecessor, being more of a psychological piece.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t have precursors that are very firmly in the film noir genre, notably Fear in the Night (1947) and Nightmare (1956), both directed by Maxwell Shane and based on the Cornell Woolrich story “And So to Death” (1941, Argosy; vt “Nightmare”), written by Woolrich under his William Irish pseudonym.
John X. Heart as Del
Advertising artist Del Garvin (Heart) is being troubled by a recurring dream:
“Night after night it’s the same dream. What’s it supposed to mean? These hallways, where do they lead? Corridors, spinning and twisting . . .”
Eventually, in the dream, he finds himself in front of the door to Room 11. When the door opens to his knock he stabs Continue reading
US / 59 minutes / bw / Central, Columbia Dir: Leon Barsha Pr: Kenneth J. Bishop Scr: Edgar Edwards Story: “Face Work” (1936 Black Mask; vt “Angel Face”) by Cornell Woolrich Cine: George Meehan Cast: Charles Quigley, Rita Hayworth, Marc Lawrence, George McKay, Doreen MacGregor, Bill Irving, Eddie Laughton, Edgar Edwards, Phyllis Clare, Bob Rideout, Michael Heppell, Noel Cusack, Grant MacDonald, Don Douglas.
Nightclub dancer Jerry Wheeler (Hayworth), billed as Mistress of the Rhumba (which of course Hayworth was!), is told by Mary Allen (MacGregor), fiancée of Jerry’s kid brother Chick (Edwards), that Chick is about to run away with the floozy Ruby Rose (Clare). Jerry goes to Ruby’s apartment and confronts her—unsuccessfully, of course, because Ruby has no heart of gold. It’s in this sequence that some of the movie’s best snappy lines are traded, such as Continue reading
vt Four O’Clock
US / 48 minutes / bw / Revue, Shamley, NBC Dir: Alfred Hitchcock Scr: Francis Cockrell Story: Cornell Woolrich Cine: John L. Russell Cast: Nancy Kelly, E.G. Marshall, Richard Long, Tom Pittman, Dean Stanton (i.e., Harry Dean Stanton).
Watchmaker Paul Steppe (Marshall) believes that his wife Fran (Kelly) has taken a lover, whom she’s entertaining at their home each afternoon while Paul’s working in his shop. Crazed with jealousy, he rigs a huge timebomb in the basement using an alarm clock and homemade explosives, and sets it for four o’clock, when he imagines the two lovers will be entwined. Just as he finishes, he’s assaulted by two young burglars (Pittman, Stanton), who Continue reading