Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Detective/Mysteries - Noir Girl ""

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Underrated Detective/Mysteries - Noir Girl

Casey Koester aka NoirGirl - Connoisseur of Film Noir and 1940s hats. Vintage girl with an paradoxical appreciation for modern technology.

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Tension (1949) - Cyd Charisse in a rare dramatic role as Richard Basehart’s ticket to a happy ending if only he can rid himself of his unfaithful, creepy doll-collecting wife Audrey Totter. I’m always fascinated by the sets in this film. Basehart’s little apartment, the beach house, the drugstore. Something about them always feels so real and authentic.

His Kind of Woman (1951) - An all time favorite for me, even if the storyline is a little bizarre. One of the great pairings of Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell with a huge supporting cast of heavy Noir hitters. If I had the opportunity to teleport myself into a film, I would choose this one. How I would so love to mingle among the kooks at Morro’s Lodge!

The Big Steal (1949) - Take a high speed road trip with Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in Mexico. Good old William Bendix is never far behind and Patric Knowles never too far ahead. Ramon Novarro is a delight as the understanding Inspector.

Mystery Street (1950) - Bit of an oddity, this one. It’s a procedural detective film with an almost irreverent edge. The best aspect is the step by step look at the solving of a murder circa 1950. Especially notable is an in-depth depiction at how a skeleton could be identified by photographs before DNA analysis. Ricardo Montalban interrogating Elsa Lanchester and taking no foolishness from her is my favorite scene.

And last but not least, the Hildegarde Withers mysteries with Edna May Oliver.
Penguin Pool Murders (1932)
Murder on the Blackboard (1932)
Murder on a Honeymoon (1935)

The teaming of Edna May Oliver with James Gleason was a stroke of genius casting no one ever discusses. His tolerance for her annoying, but amazingly helpful meddling and their eventual fondness for each other warms the heart. Murder on a Honeymoon even has a screenplay cowritten by Robert Benchley and the zingers do fly as a result!

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