Wednesday, August 05, 2009

On The Web: Ed Gorman

Ed says far too many fine things about the Noir City Sentinel. Such as, “I’ve never read a book on noir that was as informative and just as much as downright fun” as the latest issue.

Go read it for yourself. Then kick in a few bucks to the Film Noir Foundation and have the goodness delivered straight to your inbox.

Speaking of noir ...

DVR Alert: Glenn Ford

As part of their Summer Under the Stars festival, Turner Classic Movies is dedicating this Friday, August 7, to the films of Glenn Ford. Gilda understandably gets pride of place, with the original 3:10 to Yuma not far behind. (One of Ford’s best known noirs, The Big Heat, will air on August 13 as part of Gloria Grahame Day.) Among the lesser known Ford films are two that I can heartily recommend.

The first is Framed (1947), airing at 4:45PM EST/1:45PM PST. I saw this one at Noir City. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to enjoy Janis Carter, all legs and cheekbones and wildly darting eyes, in her I’m-gonna-say glory.

The other is 1949’s The Undercover Man (10PM EST/7PM PST). TCM ran this neglected film for the first time last month, and I’m glad they’ve got it on the schedule again already. Expert noir hand Joseph H. Lewis (Gun Crazy, The Big Combo) directs this account of Treasury agents scrambling to take down Al Capone, referred to throughout the film solely as “the Big Fellow.” Featuring a dandy performance by Barry Kelley as a Mob lawyer who’s got almost all the angles figured, a hair-raising foot chase scored to the plaintive cries of a little girl, and a scene with Esther Minciotti as an Italian immigrant whose speech about America, translated by her granddaughter, is guaranteed to put a lump in your throat. Watch it and tell me I’m wrong.