Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Glass Wall (1953)

(TCM Posted 01 April 2012)

Director: Maxwell Shane writer/director of those unambiguous noirs Fear in the Night (1947) and and its remake Nightmare (1956). It stars: Vittorio Gassman in his first American film, Gloria Grahame, Jerry Paris, Robin Raymond, and Ann Robinson. An off the radar light Noir with a message.


Posted Image

From IMDb: Peter (Gassman), a WW II 'displaced person' about to be deported jumps ship in New York harbor in an effort to find an ex-G.I named Tom (Paris)whom he helped during the war and can prove Peter's right to legal entry in the United States. It is a race against time for if he can't Tom within 24 hours and prove his case, he will be branded a fugitive and will be permanently disqualified for U.S. citizenship. His quest leads him to befriending Maggie (Grahame), a down-on-her-luck factory worker whom he rejuvenates through his good faith; a visit to a jazz club where Paris is auditioning for Shorty Rogers and trombonist Jack Teagarden band playing, and an interlude with a good- hearted burlesque dancer, Tanya Zakoyla (Raymond), takes him to her mother's home for food and rest. The climax comes at dawn in the United Nations building (the "glass wall" of the title) where he goes to plead his case and that of all displaced persons. The film is very dark for probably 4/5ths of its length, until its finale at the UN.

Vittorio Gassman


Posted Image

Gassman and Grahame

Posted Image
Gassman stumbling around Manhattan with a broken rib
Posted Image


Some nice noir lighting of a Burlesque Theater stage door

Posted Image

and location shot on Times Square

Posted Image

Burlesque Dancer Robin Raymond

Posted Image

Jack Teagarden with his slush pump

Posted Image

The acting by Gassman, Grahame, Paris and the rest of the cast is excellent. Some great NYC location shots of Times Square, Mid Town Manhattan and the 3rd Avenue El (though some of them are obvious rear projections), and an entertaining enough story, and Gloria Grahame for once doesn't die in a Noir, lol. My only complaint is its a bit too short a few minutes longer with each vignette would have been nice. 7-8/10

This film is in a DVD set called The Bad Girls of Film Noir Volume 1

No comments:

Post a Comment