Sunday, February 4, 2018

Jason goes to Noir City--Day 5

2 more films last Tuesday.

THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946): An Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake classic. Ladd plays Johnny Morrison, a navy man just back from the war with his two best buds, Buzz (William Bendix) and George (Hugh Beaumont.) Johnny surprises his wife Helen (Doris Dowling) who has taken to partying and drinking in his absence. After he throws the guests out, they have a fight. She reveals horrible things, like their son Dickie didn't die from an illness, it was a car accident when she was driving drunk (don't drive drunk, people!) She has also been having an affair with Eddie Harwood (Howard Da Silva,) the owner of a nightclub, The Blue Dahlia. After threatening her, Johnny leaves, and eventually runs into Joyce (Veronica Lake,) a passing motorist who offers him a ride. The next day, Helen is dead. And of course, Johnny is the prime suspect. Fantastic twists, some unbelievable coincidences that aren't really coincidences (like Joyce is actually Eddie Harwood's wife) makes for a wonderfully convoluted whodunit. Lots of fun.

NIGHT EDITOR (1946): Here's what I said about it back when it played at Noir City 2009:
And finally, Night Editor which Eddie Muller introduced as "clunky". That was an extreme understatement. It has a ridiculous framing device, being told late one night in a newspaper office, as the editor tells the inside story of a small old piece of news (it was originally a radio play, and later a TV series, but this was the B-movie in between). This time he tells the story of a cop who's always working the night beat. And by "working", I mean sneaking off with his rich, socialite mistress. One night while making out in a secluded place, they witness a murder. Problem is, he can't come forward without admitting his affair. Trouble's worse when an innocent guy is convicted and sentenced to the chair. But he collects "evidence" to put the wrong guy away. All is going well, until the murderer provides a perfect alibi--the rich mistress who's now dating him. Almost as sleazy as it is clunky. But still, I regret nothing.
Yeah, that sums it up pretty well. Still sleazy, plus an ending that was kind of sweet. Maybe less clunky on multiple viewings. But most importantly, I still regret nothing!

Total Running Time: 164 minutes
My Total Minutes: 467,009

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