Archive for April 15th, 2011

Director: Edmund Goulding

Producer: George Jessel

Screenwriter: Jules Furthman

Cinematographer: Lee Garmes

Music: Cyril J. Mockridge

Studio: 20th Century Fox 1947

Main Acting: Tyrone Power and Coleen Gray

To kick off the final ten film noirs of the countdown, here are my top ten reasons (in no particular order) why Nightmare Alley deserves the #10 spot.

10. Back when I discussed the I Walk Alone selection, I made the statement that Mike Mazurki was my favorite peripheral noir character who would resurface throughout the genre. Born in what is now the Ukraine, Mike made a habit of appearing in wonderful little roles throughout the classic era. His filmography boasts such impressive turns as Murder My Sweet, Dark City, The Shanghai Gesture, Night And The City, the above mentioned I Walk Alone, and finally, Nightmare Alley. His role as Bruno the strongman is perhaps his best in noir or at least the equal of his work as Moose Malloy and The Strangler. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(Italy 1959 95m) DVD1

Aka. Estate Violenta

You were born to be kiseed

p  Silvio Clementelli  d  Valerio Zurlini  w  Giorgio Prosperi, Valerio Zurlini, Suso Cecchi d’Amico  ph  Tino Santoni  ed  Mario Serandrei  m  Mario Nascimbene  art  Massimiliano Capriccioli, Dario Cecchi

Eleanora Rossi Drago (Roberta Parmesan), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Carlo Caremoli), Cathio Caro (Gemma), Jacqueline Sassard (Rosanna), Lilla Brignone (Roberta’s mother), Enrico Maria Salerno (Ettore Caremoli), Federica Ranchi (Maddalena), Nadia Gray,

There was a time, not so long ago, when the discovery of a major director previously forgotten was something to rejoice and shout from the rooftops about.  In the 21st century, it’s becoming increasingly commonplace, which leaves one with a mixture of feelings.  Delight, of course, at finding another master, but perplexity and, to a degree, sadness, that it has taken so long to redress the balance.  Think of Vlacil in the Czech Republic, of Barnet and Ozep in Russia, of Shimizu, Yamanaka, Masumura and the criminally neglected Yoshida in Japan, of Autant-Lara in France, of Berlanga in Spain, of Yu and Wancang in China, of Asquith (especially the silents) in the UK.  And then there’s Italy, where the masters can be envisioned round the table – Antonioni, de Sica, Rossellini, Fellini, Visconti, Pasolini, Bertolucci.  Yet, as Richard Harland Smith has suggested, there was always an empty chair at the table.  Other names come to mind – Rosi, Scola, Olmi, Bava, Argento, Germi, Emmer, Lattuada, Alessandrini, Pontecorvo, Blasetti, de Santis, Ferreri, Wertmuller, Zeffirelli, more recently Tornatore or Moretti; all worthy names, but no.  After all, there are only a couple of those who people might scratch their heads and think “who?”  So instead I direct you, if you didn’t already look at the director credit, or aren’t reading this tome through alphabetically and haven’t already been introduced back in the Gs, to Valerio Zurlini. 

            Zurlini made only eight features, the last at 50, and died in 1982 at the age of 56.  I have only seen three of those eight films, but two of them qualify for entry here.  The first of them chronologically, Violent Summer is set in the tumultuous summer of 1943 in the small district of Riccione, near Rimini.  Here, as throughout the Italian peninsula, the Italians, with German help, are making a last stand against the landed Allies in the final days of fascism before the resignation and overthrow of Il Duce.  Throughout this summer, a love affair develops between Roberta and Carlo, she the widow of a naval officer with a small daughter, he a wastrel fascist leader’s son who has stayed out of the war up to now.  (more…)

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