Monday, January 31, 2011

SHADOW OF A DOUBT's "Ann Newton"...Today...

Edna and Hitch

While doing research for a blog on Shadow of a Doubt last year I unearthed information about Edna May Wonacott Green who portrayed Ann Newton, the younger sister in the 1943 film. I wrote a letter asking Edna if she'd be interested in being interviewed and a little while later received an email from her saying "yes." We had a lengthy telephone conversation soon after and on Edna's 78th birthday, February 6, 2010, the first part of our interview was posted at The Classic Film & TV Cafe as "Happy Birthday, Edna May." Part 2 posted a few days later (Part 1 link, Part 2 link). The blog also posted later at TCM's Classic Film Union fan site.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Who's Crazy Now?" - Noir City 9, Opening Night

Stranger on the Third Floor

So…I paid my 10 bucks to park in the lot adjacent to Sullivan’s Funeral Home on Market Street in San Francisco and was heading for the Wells Fargo ATM near 16th...I checked my phone and noticed a text message…my friend Dick, who I was to meet for dinner before attending opening night of San Francisco’s 9th annual film noir festival.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Alfred Hitchcock once remarked that, “in the old days villains had moustaches and kicked the dog.”  He resisted such clichés, preferring a different kind of heavy, the sort he called “an ordinary human being with failings.”  The director also said, referring to his own work, “the more successful the villain, the more successful the picture,” and though this was not always the case, it held true for some of his best films.

 Three villains who reflect his preferences and support his contention come quickly to mind:

  • Charles Oakley, the “Merry Widow” killer in Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  • Bruno Antony, the “Criss Cross” strangler of Strangers on a Train (1951)
  • Norman Bates, the identity-challenged slayer in Psycho (1960)
Shadow of a Doubt: Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Focus on Film Noir: Barbara Stanwyck

Three films of legendary star to be screened at Noir City 9

Her childhood has been called Dickensian and the rags-to-riches trajectory of her life could easily have provided material for one of her films…

  • She was the youngest of a hard-drinking Irish American bricklayer’s five children
  • She lost her mother at age three when the woman was pushed, while pregnant, from a streetcar
  • Her father abandoned his children (for the second time) and went to sea
  • She lived in a series of foster homes
  • She began working at age 13

Monday, January 10, 2011

Focus on Film Noir: Warner Home Video's Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 5

Released by Warner Home Video in 2010, Film Noir Classic Collection, Volume 5  is a four-disc showcase of eight double-featured films, a sampling of thrillers ranging from the acclaimed to the all-but-forgotten.

Disc one is a strong pairing of Edward Dmytryk's Cornered (1945) with Anthony Mann's Desperate (1947). Cornered was the second hit teaming of star Dick Powell with director Dmytryk, and it followed their private-eye noir masterpiece, Murder, My Sweet, by a year. In this outing, Powell is a Royal Canadian Air Force vet doggedly tracking his wife's killer across the globe.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

NOIR CITY 9 - Schedule announced for 9th annual San Francisco festival

The ninth annual San Francisco film noir festival, Noir City 9, will run from Friday, January 21, through Sunday, January 30, at the historic Castro Theatre; 24 films noir, both celebrated and obscure, will screen.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Break out the champagne (the '55 Hitchcock)...

Sometime just after Labor Day it began to seem that 2010 suddenly accelerated and was careening headlong toward Halloween…Thanksgiving…Christmas.  Each holiday quickly came and went and, what seems like moments later, 2011 is here.

Happy New Year!

Wishing one and all a wonderful 2011!