Saturday, August 31, 2019

Noirsville Film Noir Short of the Month

CASE 19 
(A Noir Short Film By Kuddi)

Published on Aug 8, 2017
Dir./ Edited/ Shot by Nicolas "Kuddi" Odinuwe.
Case 19 follows Detective John as he hunts down a Murderer

Noirsville More Graphic Images



Thursday, August 29, 2019

Neo Noir Images of the Week

World Theater. NYC

Phoenix, Az.




Ame Jacobsen - Benzitank Moeke

Radio City - Unknown

Christian Coigny

Ditmars Station - Astoria, NY 2019 - Rott

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

21 Days (1940) Early Brit café au lait Noir

Labeled as a British Film Noir. Filmed in 1937.

It's a pretty early entry sort of testing the waters for films to come. I'm attempting to catch up on both British and International Noir.

Directed by Basil Dean ( who built Ealing Studios in 1930) He ran it until 1938.   The screenplay was written by Basil Dean and Graham Greene, and based on John Galsworthy's play The First and the Last. Music was by John Greenwood with Cinematography by Jan Stallich.

The film stars Vivien Leigh, Leslie Banks, Laurence Olivier, Robert Newton, Arthur Young and Francis L. Sullivan.

It's a sort of café au lait noir, it starts off dark. Larry (Olivier) and his gal pal Wanda (Leigh) are head over heels in love with each other. They meet for a date, grab the fixin's for an Italian dinner at a deli. When they reach Wanda's apartment house they see that her light is suspiciously on. When they open her apartment door a man Esme Percy is there. When Larry asks who he is the man replies "Ask my wife."

Nice opening twist.

Vivien Leigh as Wanda

Laurence Olivier as Larry

The husband demands his wife Wanda's money. Larry confront's him. He pulls a knife. They struggle. The man goes down hitting his head on the hearth. He's dead.

Esme Percy
Larry is distraught and goes to visit his brother Kieth who is a judge. Larry tells him the details and Kieth to avoid scandal tells him to get rid of the body.

Leslie Banks as Kieth 

The Fight

The knife

The customary killed by fall on stone hearth....

Larry sneaks him out of the apartment and dumps him in an archway leaning him up against an alcove.

On his way back to Wanda's Larry meets a bum, a former preacher Asher, who "bums" a cigarette from Larry. They chat a few minutes then Larry takes off but Larry accidentally dropped his gloves. The bum notices them eventually and puts them on. The bum also later discovers the body and robs it of its ring and money

Larry and Asher (Arthur Young)
Kieth instructs Larry to get ready to travel without Wanda. Wanda can follow later. Meanwhile the bobbies find the body and pick up the bum and accuse him of murder. The 21 days represents the number of days starting at the killing and including the trial of the bum.

Instead of splitting the country, Larry and Wand decide to stick around to makes sure an innocent man isn't convicted of the crime. Larry will confess if need be, but they feel that it most likely will not happen with the flimsy circumstantial evidence. 3/4 of the film is a light love story with Larry occasionally getting hallucinations of the innocent man.

Larry and Wanda try and make the most of their 21 days together, if that's all they have. They head to Kursaal (an amusement park) at Southend on the Sea, the London sort of the equivalent of New York's Coney Island. Apparently the way to go was by side wheeler steamboat. A sort of "party boat," where drinking was encouraged.

Party Boat

Good Times

Roller Coaster

The shots of fun at the park are juxtaposed with the severity of the trial of where Robert Newton (Kiss the Blood Off My Hands ) tries to defend Asher.




Of course the ex padre is found guilty and sentenced to hang. Larry heads to the police station to confess to the accidental killing. However the bum has a convenient heart attack and dies of natural causes. Wanda hears the news and runs to intercept Larry reaching him after a dramatic chase right at a police station.

<end spoilers>

Vivien Leigh gives us a hint of her Blanche Dubois character to come. She made this film among a few others between Gone With The Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire and just before Waterloo Bridge. Olivier is kind of wiry, quite youthful, and a bit of a ham, compared to what most of us remember of the highlights of his film work in the fifties, sixties, and seventies. It's quite interesting to see the two of them acting as a couple together. Leigh's greatest "Drama" Noir for me is A Streetcar Named Desire. Leslie Banks I was not familiar with, but Francis L. Sullivan I knew from Night and The City.

What's interesting is if this was an American Noir, the MPPC would usually not allow Larry to get away so Scott-free. 6/10

21 Days, aka 21 Days Together is a part of  Great British Movies - Film Noir [DVD] [1940] along with Hunted, Sapphire, So Long At The Fair, and Turn the Key Softly.

PS - You'll need a third party converted region free DVD player to watch these in the U.S.

Great British Movies - Film Noir [DVD] [1940]