Sunday, August 2, 2015

Edge Of Doom (1950) - Bare Light Bulb Noir

« (SLWB on: February 09, 2012, 07:27:00 PM »)

Director: Mark Robson, Stars: Dana Andrews, Farley Granger, Paul Stewart, Robert Kieth, and Joan Evans. 

"Is that a Tobelerone in your pocket or are you just glad to see me"?
Interesting bit of product placement for Tobelerone I never knew they did that on paperback covers

Can't review this any better than this on IMDb:

One of the bleakest, most pessimistic films of the noir cycle, 26 October 2001

Author: bmacv from Western New York

When Edge of Doom was first released, audiences turned away from it with the coldest of shoulders. It was yanked out of circulation so that a pair of bookends could be shot, in which the story becomes a kind of parable told by a wise old rector (Dana Andrews) to a younger priest undergoing a pastoral crisis. The filmmakers shouldn't have bothered: Edge of Doom remains one of the bleakest, least comforting offerings of the entire noir cycle (no mean feat), and probably the most irreligious movie ever made in America.

When Farley Granger's devout but tubercular mother dies, it precipitates a rampage against everything that makes up the prison of his life: his ugly urban poverty; his penny-pinching employer who offers promises rather than a raise; the Church, which once refused burial to his father, a suicide, and is now refusing his mother the "big" funeral he thinks he owes her; the smarmy, sanctimonious undertaker. Long story short, he ends up murdering a crusty, hell-and-brimstone priest. The police nab him for a robbery he didn't commit but end up with a different murder suspect. But compassionate pastor Dana Andrews (now in flashback) suspects the truth.... There's something almost endearingly Old Left about the savagery of the indictment leveled against society's Big Guns: Church, police and capitalism. The slum where Granger lived with his mother makes Ralph and Alice Kramden's Chauncey Street digs in Brooklyn look cozily inviting (Adele Jergens, as the slatternly wife of a neighbor, observes, "Smart people don't live here"); outside, the nighttown is noir at its most exhilaratingly creepy. It's easy to see why the public, on the cusp of the fabulous fifties, shunned this movie, whose unprettiness is uncompromised. But it's as succinct a summing up of the noir vision as anything in the canon.

I'll add Paul Stewart's "Mr. Craig" is an extremely smarmy petty criminal, imparting words of street smart wisdom to Martin Lynn (Granger).

“Nobody lends you money, a kid like you: driving a truck, delivering flowers, making thirty bucks a week. You’re a bad risk. Money, money! That’s all that counts in this rat race. If you got it they’ll bury you like a queen. If you ain’t they’ll pack her in a box and shove her in a hole in the ground. I feel for you Martin, and for what your mother went through in this world. She oughtta go out in style, like a somebody; the world owes it to her. It’s a rich world, but it hates to give — you gotta take! Somewhere out there someone owes you something. All you gotta do is have the nerve to collect.” 

The visuals are great, especially the set design of the tenement apartment building where the Lynn's live. Nothing spells sleazy quite like dim bare light bulbs hanging from long drop cords, and this film has them is spades. 8/10

Here is a bare light bulb gallery from Edge Of Doom

Nothing spells "down and out quite like a bare light bulb on a drop cord this one is the double socket variation gives you the option of a second bulb or the screw in plug

Martin on the way to his apartment

Various hallway drop cords:

a double...

a triple

another double light off or burnt out with a lead plugged into a radio (Mr. Craig & his wife's apt.)

Kitchen bulb

even some outside ones

another double

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