Archive for February 22nd, 2011

Director: Elia Kazan

Producer: Sol C. Siegel

Screenwriter: Richard Murphy and Daniel Fuchs

Cinematographer: Joseph MacDonald

Music: Alfred Newman

Studio: 20th Century Fox 1950

Main Acting: Richard Widmark and Jack Palance

There are three main reasons Panic In The Streets is an interesting film noir to me. Number one: it was directed by Elia Kazan, who was still in the early stages of his illustrious career. Never again would the director dip a toe into the world of noir except to vaguely reference some of that same visual style for his snitching-is-cool movie, On The Waterfront. Number two: it was almost exclusively shot on location in New Orleans and included a cast filled mainly with locals (and non-actors at that). Number three (and my favorite reason): Richard Widmark is given the sympathetic role of Clinton Reed, a loving family man and U.S. government employee for the Public Health Service, who is out to stop the spread of the positively medieval bubonic plague from afflicting Louisiana and beyond. Gone is Widmark’s usual assortment of flawed—and sometimes evil—characterizations asked of him throughout his years in Hollywood. Reed is a role that shows a different side of the vast majority of Widmark’s noir work. He doesn’t just portray a caring man, but one looking to save society from a catastrophic illness that is threatening the greater good. (more…)

Read Full Post »


by Allan Fish

(France 1951 94m) DVD2 (France only, no Eng subs)

Aka. The Red Inn

A body in the snowman

d  Claude Autant-Lara  w  Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost  ph  André Bac  ed  Madeliene Gug  m  René Cloerec  art  Max Douy

Fernandel (The Monk), Françoise Rosay (Marie Martin), Julien Carette (Mons.Martin), Marie-Claire Olivia (Mathilde), Didier d’Yd (Jeannou), Jean-Roger Caussimon (Dauvin), Nane Germon (Elisa), André Cheff (The Dandy), Jacques Choron (Rodolphe), Luc Germain (Fetiche), Yves Montand (narrator),

Director Claude Autant-Lara has long been regarded as the sort of figure who represents what is bad in French cinema; literary worthiness.  He’s generally seen as a more literate director than he is a visual craftsman, and for sure he made various rather dull films based on novels and historical figures that are best forgotten.  He did, however, make two supreme farces either side of 1950; the first, Occupe Toi d’Amélie needs no introduction (it was one of Leslie Halliwell’s favourite films, rating it the supreme farce of the cinema).  The other, selected here, is also barely seen in this country – not on TV in over fifteen years and never on DVD or video in the UK or US.  L’Auberge Rouge is very much the dark side to Occupe’s light, a pitch black comedy farce of the type which the French do so well.  The theatrical origins were inescapable, yet Autant-Lara contrived to make cinematic virtues of them, rather than allow them to stagnate. (more…)

Read Full Post »