The film was brought to my attention by a fellow aficionado or should we say "aficionoirdo," who gave me the heads up on this title on the recently demised IMDb message boards .
A Gun, a Car, a Blonde has slipped under the "Noirdar," while quite a few really questionable titles apparently make the grade. One has to wonder if some inclusions are something like Noir-ola (promoters trying to cash in on the Noir bandwagon) reminiscent of the equivalent payola record business scandal.
The film is sort of a tongue-in-cheek riff on The Singing Detective (1986), Hammett (1982), also possibly Slaughterhouse Five (1972), and an homage to Classic Film Noir like The Woman in the Window (1944), and a few others, with a pinch of TV's The Twilight Zone thrown in for good measure.
Directed, produced and written by Stefani Ames (along with Tom Epperson The Gift (2000), One False Move (1992). The cinematography was by Carlos Gaviria and the excellent melodious jazz score was by Harry Manfredini and Frank Palmieri.
The film stars Jim Metzler (River's Edge (1986), Delusion (1991), L.A. Confidential (1997)) as Richard Spragins / Rick Stone, Victor Love as Bobby / The Black Chinaman, Kay Lenz (Breezy (1973)) as Peep / Madge, Norma Maldonado (Breaking Bad TV Series (2008–2013)) as Adele / Bunny, John Ritter (Sling Blade (1996)) as Duncan / The Bartender, Andrea Thompson (NYPD Blue TV Series (1993–2005)) as The Blonde / "Angel Puss" Jade Norfleet, Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade (1996), U Turn (1997), A Simple Plan (1998)) as two bit greaseball Syd / Detective Charles "Monk" Moler, Paul Parducci as Bear / "Pickle Puss" Petrovich, Time Winters as Ed / Catalina Eddie, Paula Marshall as Deborah / Girl In Photograph, and Vann Johnson as The Singer.
|Richard and Peep (Lenz)|
|Adel, Richard, and Bobby (Love)|
Duncan: You remember what Milton said?
Richard: Milton who?
Duncan: Milton Berle, Milton who.... John Milton, "the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven."
|Film Noir 24/7|
|I'm a detective named Rick Stone|
|Rick Stone (Metzler)|
The next day on his terrace Richard peeps on a beautiful blonde in a bikini sunbathing on her back porch. She is a new neighbor and Richard is transfixed while watching her apply lotion. This mysterious blonde neighbor in one reality becomes Mrs. Jade Norfleet in the other.
|The Blonde (Thompson)|
|Mrs. Jade Norfleet (Thompson)|
"She must have really done a number on you."
|Richard waking up a whole man again|
|"I dreamt that I was very, very sick and couldn't walk anymore."|
Rick Stone:You're driving a '59 Cadillac, driving, driving, driving down a sunny rotten street in the City Of Angles...
Jade Norfleet (speaking to Detective Monk Moler and Rick Stone): How do you two know each other?
Rick Stone: Well one day I lifted up a rock and Monk's looking up at me blinking in the sun.
After making love to Jade out in her backyard.
Rick Stone: It's a funny thing about me, I get really starved after a roll in the hay.
Jade Norfleet: And that's what it was to you, a roll in the hay?
Rick Stone: Nah you're right, it was grass.
Richard's desperate escape from reality is into his personal reflection of a reflection, the Hollywood Noir world depicted through the 40s, 50s and early 60s, re invigorates him. He gets the courage to take care of business.
It's interesting to watch as his everyday interactions with employee's, friends, neighbors, and family are all entwined, reshuffled, and finally Twilight Zoning their way to Noirsville.
|I like to drink, smoke, but I can't dance the hoochie coo.|
|Bobby's love for Chinese Food transforms him into The Black Chinaman|
|Jade Norfleet in her Garden Of Eden|
|Monk (Thornton) and Pickle Puss (Parducci)|
|Jade's seduction of Stone a come on as Eve in the garden|
|The Black Chinaman (Love)|
|Duncan (Ritter) as the bartender|
|Monk (Thornton) and Madge (Lenz)|
|The Singer (Vann Johnson)|
|Peep and Syd|
|California coast from Inceville|
A Gun, a Car, a Blonde is a film for Noiristas. The screencaps are from the Echo Bridge
DVD June 22, 1999 release. Note, I played this both in widescreen and in 4:3, IMDb has no correct listing, the widescreen makes everyone look, well, too wide, so I used 4:3 and proportionally everyone looks as they should. This DVD can be had for pennies plus the cost of shipping from Amazon. Entertaining 7/10