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Sunday, 23 August 2020


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Are you are getting cabin fever while trying to do the right thing to fight Covid?
Go to Amazon Prime, search film noir and kiss the next week goodbye.
What pure pleasure for anyone who loves black and white photography.
I don't know if it qualifies as noir but Kurosawa's 'High and Low' is on my must-see list. There is a scene in an alley full of drug addicts that is pure genius.

Just on a lark, I entered the title of this movie into the search for my DVR (Spectrum) and it is playing on Monday AM on one of the PBS movie channels in my area, Florida.

If others have that cable provider, it plays on 24 August at 4:30am to 6:00am on WRBW Movies, channel 477. I set my DVR.

Also, this periodically plays on Turner Classic Movies. I do a sweep every Sunday for the upcoming week and record 4 or 5 movies a week. They are all uncut, uninterrupted and at least DVD quality given the ages of some of the movies.

you nailed this one Mr. Mike. A perfect example of how to make an excellent film on a low budget. It is included in the National Film Registry. I have watched it many times and it is one of my favorite black/white flicks. Good idea to look up other excellent films by Edgar Ulmer. Thanks as ever for your keen sense of quality!

Definitely will watch this. Been on the list for a long time. Thanks for pointing to it on Amazon. Contrary to the look of the one sheet, it goes without saying that it's in black & white (but I said it anyway.)

Just watched Detour and enjoyed it very much.
Interesting note, apparently in an attempt to keep screen direction right the film of the first three cars in the hitch hike sequence had to be flipped so they all looked to be right hand drive.
Good call, nice performances and some crisp dialog.
Feel free to 86 this comment if it is a spoiler.

RE: excellent film on a low budget.
One of the interesting practical aspects of film noir a visiting film director mentioned to me in grad school was that directors loved it for the freedom of not always needing sets or props because in any shot it would make sense that there were only shadows in the background. Also, the most dramatic light you could come up with would be read as realistic.

Just watched it. I see why it is included in the canon. I like the genre, but had never heard of the film. The character of Vera was worth it. She is written to be unrelenting. . . in all the ways that matter she's the center of the picture.

Thanks for the treat!


Detour is one of the best poverty-row films! A true landmark in subtle ways. As a film geek nearly all my life, and a collector since 1979, its one of the few film I’ve actually purchased four times on four formats!

I just watched. Will wait for your column next wednesday Mike.

Thanks for the movie recommendation. With its short run time I was able to view it this morning before my wife woke up. I really enjoyed it. The twisted road trip theme, the era, and the technology rift between then and now really captured my imagination. Maybe it helps that I've been working my way through David Campany's excellent book "The Open Road: Photography and the American Road trip". https://www.amazon.com/Open-Road-Photography-American-Roadtrip/dp/1597112402/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=the+open+road+book&qid=1598290393&sprefix=The+open+road&sr=8-3

Another good vintage b&w movie to watch is "Over-Exposed" (1956), which stars a little-known Marilyn Monroe lookalike. It's about a down-and-out nightclub girl who pairs with an aging professional photographer to become an accomplished photog herself. It's notable for being technically accurate in its portrayal of photography.

Although an IMDB critic dings one scene for not showing the photographer changing film holders between shots with his 4x5 press camera, the dialogue clearly says he's using film packs, so he didn't need to change holders. Now that's attention to detail we don't normally see in a Hollywood movie!

Mike, I don’t know where you’re going with this, but the story of how Detour was made and the people who made it is right up there with Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil.
No spoilers from me, but it would make a great movie.

Thanks Mike. Total noir and beautiful black and white. And not a 2- or 3-hour epic, like most films now. I'm looking forward to seeing your take on it.

Mike, something is wrong. The version I just tried to watch on Aug 24 on Amazon Prime was rather poor optical and audio quality. Is this the 4k version?

I took your word for it, and I've ordered it, though it's hard to find here, I had to order it from eBay USA.

Watched it on YouTube.
Some comment mentioned TCM, we had it on cable for years, but not anymore. I enjoyed watching these old movies.

Watched about a year and a half ago, great film!

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