Hello, everybody. Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, here today to introduce a new periodic feature of Classicmoviechat.com — our picks of the best titles in various movie genres.
A few words of caution. We certainly don’t consider ourselves critics, and our selections reflect highly personal biases, which we not only admit to but relish. And, unlike the Pope, we do NOT speak Ex-Cathedra.
We’ll cover American westerns, spaghetti westerns, musicals, comedies — you name it. We will pan across all genres and periodically deliver our “best-of” choices. We hope most of our selections will surprise you. We aim to avoid the obvious.
You may not agree with what we write, and that’s why we’d love to hear back from YOU about your favorites in each category. And, exactly why they are your favorites.
We’ll start tomorrow with our choices, kicking off with the first of our film noir “best-ofs.”
Frank is a huge fan of film noir, and has been tracking the genre, which flourished largely in the Forties, for some time. In compiling tomorrow’s blog, he was determined to avoid the obvious choices in favor of worthy noir gems that are much lesser known.
In other words, we concede at the outset that such titles as Out of the Past, Mildred Pierce, The Maltese Falcon (John Huston version), Gilda, Gun Crazy, Laura, The Asphalt Jungle, Force of Evil, Sunset Boulevard, The Big Heat, Double Indemnity and The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers warrant at least a shot atop the “best of” list.
It’s a given that these films are indispensable part of the film noir canon.
And let’s not forget a quartet of Orson Welles movies that are among Frank’s top favorites including Journey Into Fear, the delightful foreign adventure costarring Joseph Cotten and a stylishly cynical Delores Del Rio, launched just after Welles completed The Magnificent Ambersons.
Then, of course, there is The Lady From Shanghai, starring the then estranged Mrs. Welles (Rita Hayworth). And Mr. Arkadin (also known as Confidential Report), which costarred another Mrs. Welles (Paola Mori), to which Frank plans to devote an entire future blog (about the film, that is).
Finally, of course, there is the indispensable Touch of Evil with one of our favorite producer names —Albert Zugsmith — attached and Marlene Dietrich dispensing gritty, pessimistic insights. Welles isn’t immediately identified as a noir director, but these titles show he was much at home in the genre.
Ok, enough of the preliminaries. Tomorrow we’ll get going in earnest. So stay tuned.