Saturday, July 24, 2010

Netflix Noir

With cable/satellite channels increasingly becoming an interchangeable array of pointless reality programming, Netflix is increasingly my refuge when I find sofa time. Wait five minutes, and some films below might become unavailable, but as I write this, Netflix "Watch Instantly" has an array of film noir classics available for streaming.

Laura: One of my favorites, a true mystery with clever plot twists, based on a novel by Vera Caspary. Dana Andrews, who'd later cope with dark runes in the horror classic Night of the Demon, is the detective hero looking into the murder of the title character played by Gene Tierney. An also pre-horror Vincent Price rounds out the cast.

Experiment in Terror: A late-era noir and FBI procedural based on the novel by The Gordons, who also penned That Darn Cat. It's directed by Blake Edwards. Glen Ford is The Gordons' recurring Agent Rip Ripley, out to help bank teller Lee Remick thwart a psycho's push to force her help in embezzlement.

Elevator to the Gallows: French noir from Louis Malle, this is James M. Cain, Jim Thompson-style crime drama with the focus on scheming lovers and the slow unraveling of their perfect murder.

Gilda: Source of the iconic, Rita Hayworth hair-tossing moment, this is grand-style thriller with a young Glen Ford looking like Jake Gyllenhaal. Set in South America the tale revolves around double crosses in a casino and around a tungston mine.

The Dark Corner: Lucy before she was loved is secretary to a wrongly accused private eye. They have to solve a murder together before they can move on with their lives.

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers: Van Heflin's the good guy. Barbara Stanwick's the femme fatale, and Kirk Douglas is a crooked D.A. When Heflin returns to the town, his potential knowledge of a years-old crime stirs trouble and complicates his romance with good-girl-with-a-criminal record Lizabeth Scott.

I Wake Up Screaming: Worthy for the camera work alone, Victor Mature and Betty Grable cope with a tough cop and a bum rap.

For the rental que: Detour, signature noir unfortunately requiring a disk from Netflix though free on archive.org. Directed by The Black Cat's brilliant Edward G. Ulmer on a real shoe string, this stars Tom Neal as a traveller with a sad tale of a dark encounter with misunderstanding and an exploitive blackmailer.

5 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I know what you mean about network TV. I hardly ever find anything of interest except an occassional repeat of something I liked in the past.

Lana Gramlich said...

Even better than Netflix is your local library, where they're likely to have all kinds of stuff absolutely free.

Erik Donald France said...

Right on, man! Elevator to the Gallows is one of my all time faves. Uber stuff. Uber technology. And for movie lovers, it will only get better thanks to "on demand" services.

AvDeeBee said...

I can't see my library carrying anything like this list. There's probably a hundred of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, though.

Kippoe said...

I love the movie Detour own the dvd but i wish they release a better version of the print. I am 100% Netflix other than my 800 + dvd catalog

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