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Film Noir Comedies
Posted: September 16th, 2007, 1:23 pm
Film Noir Comedies
Yes, you read that correctly. Sure, they're categorized as dramas, and they pushed the production code limits when first released, but films such as The Woman in the Window (1944) and White Heat (1949) have always seemed to be darkly humorous in their toying with movie conventions and their observations on human nature, (especially evident in the lead performances of Robinson & Cagney). Do any other noirs strike anyone as strangely amusing?
Posted: September 16th, 2007, 2:00 pm
The laugh meter goes berserk on BORN TO KILL which had to have the entire set in stitches at the time. It's dismal (in a great way) but the extremeties the film doles out are so expertly rendered that they become comic in defense of our own sensibilities. I agree with WOMAN IN THE WINDOW completely, and you can toss in Hitchcock's SHADOW OF A DOUBT and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. Welles' LADY FROM SHANGHAI has moments that are hilarious, intentional and otherwise. SUNSET BOULEVARD and SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS are bitterly funny when not being brutally cruel. Who among us hasn't chuckled madly at the sight of Sterling Hayden staring helplessly out at the runway at the end of Kubrick's THE KILLING? Funny. That which makes us cringe makes us laugh. All at once.
Posted: September 16th, 2007, 2:49 pm
And let's not forget His Kind of Woman. Mitchum, Russell, and Vinny Price as the comic relief.
Quip from Mitchum: "I'm just ironing my money."
(ALSO: See below.)
Posted: September 16th, 2007, 2:58 pm
SS, I've been wondering about that quote. Isn't it Vincent Price that says that to Jane Russell? I watched the movie not too long ago, and kept waiting for the line. I know I'm aging fast here, but I would swear it was Price instead of Mitchum.....
Posted: September 17th, 2007, 6:13 pm
I thought it was Mitchum. I think it came before the "I'm ironing my money"
line. But I could be wrong. It's been about a year since I've seen it.
Posted: September 18th, 2007, 8:16 pm
I've always enjoyed Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry," but I'm not sure if that would qualify as a comedy noir. All those people thinking they are the one's who killed him and hiding and burying and re-burying the poor man's body...funny stuff.
Posted: September 19th, 2007, 6:36 am
I've always enjoyed Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry," but I'm not sure if that would qualify as a comedy noir. All those people thinking they are the one's who killed him and hiding and burying and re-burying the poor man's body...funny stuff.~Traceyk
I'm not sure if purists would qualify The Trouble with Harry
as a noir, but the darkly comic streak seems to run straight through Hitchcock's work, (whether noir or not), as in the aforementioned Shadow of a Doubt
, the rather disturbingly amusing Strangers on a Train
. I enjoy these films for that element as much as the suspense and the flawed human beings who occupy the center stage there. Thanks for bringing that one up, Tracey.
Posted: September 19th, 2007, 6:47 am
I always find The Lady in the Lake quite humorous although I don't think that was the intention. Montgomery's wisecracks and those people staring earnestly right into the camera always make me laugh.