Friday, March 2, 2018

Noirsville - I Want To live (1958) The Visual Noir Imprint

Barbara Graham (June 26, 1923 – June 3, 1955) was a California criminal convicted of murder. She was executed in the gas chamber on the same day as two of her convicted accomplices, Jack Santo and Emmett Perkins, all of whom were involved in the robbery and murder of an elderly widow. Sensationally nicknamed "Bloody Babs" by the press, Graham was the third woman in California to be executed by gas.

The story of Graham's life was sympathetically dramatized in the 1958 film I Want to Live!, in which she was portrayed by Susan Hayward, who by the way, won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Graham. 

The film also belongs to a small sub genre of Film Noirs that could be termed the Bio Noirs. It also fits into those late 1950s early 1960s  Noirs that I like to tag the "Beat Noir"s and "Tailfin Noirs." 

The film was Directed by Robert Wise (Born to Kill (1947), The Set-Up (1949), Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) and the cinematographer was Lionel Lindon (The Blue Dahlia (1946), Alias Nick Beal (1949), and Quicksand (1950). 

Judge it's noir-ish-ness for yourself from the opening sequence screencaps.

Notice the whole Jazz Club sequence is shot with Dutch Angles

Jazz Club

Jazz Musicians 





Smokin' reefers!

Taking a hit

A Hooker and her John

The Fuzz

Dive Hotel

Sleasy dive hotel room


A man in her bed, scandalous!

Susan Hayward as prostitute Graham

They're in there officer

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