These Three: The Noirs I’ve Seen the Most
Now that I’ve reconciled myself to the relationship between my “favorite” movies and the ones that I watch most often, I decided to turn my sights to the film noir features that so frequently find themselves popped into my VCR. Each of these is the kind of movie that I just HAVE to see every time it comes on TV – it’s like an event (“Double INDEMNITY is coming on!!!).
So for today’s post, I’m taking a look at those totally awesome features that I quote lines from in my head, those wicked cool films that make me smile just to think of them, those completely groovy movies whose characters are like old friends – the three films noirs that I watch the most often.
Of course the noir that I’ve seen the most has Joan Crawford in the title role. Who else? And La Joan is THE BOMB in her Oscar-winning performance of a divorced mom whose very existence is fueled by her devotion to her bratty, self-centered daughter. Mildred Pierce also has a perfect supporting cast, great lines, beautiful cinematography, and a score by Max Steiner that just won’t quit.
When it comes to Double Indemnity, there’s no confusion about my definition of “favorite.” It’s my favorite noir. It’s absolutely perfect to me – the tale of a couple that commits murder for love and for money. Barbara Stanwyck is riveting as the conscienceless Phyllis Diectrichson, and she’s ably backed by Fred MacMurray as her partner in crime, and Edward G. Robinson as the insurance claims adjuster whose inner “little man” helps him sniff out BS like a bloodhound.
The Postman Always Rings Twice
I love this movie so much I could marry it. (Or at least sleep with it.) It’s the simple tale of a man and woman who knock off the dame’s husband, but it’s so much more than that. It’s Lana Turner in that almost all-white wardrobe. It’s the palpable passion between Turner and Garfield, so thick you could sop it up with a biscuit. It’s the very title itself – I still remember the thrill I felt when I first understood what it meant. It’s all that.
(Wow – total lightbulb moment – I just realized that the three films noirs that I’ve seen most often are all based on novels by James M. Cain. Crazy! What does it all mean? I DON’T KNOW.)
Anyway, that’s it – the three films noirs that I’ve seen more than any other. They’re awesome. They’re unforgettable. They’re the the tops! And stay tuned (won’t you?) for the next installment!