Tag Archives: Film noir

Film Noir Blogathon round-up

A few weeks ago we asked film bloggers around the globe to consider participating in our Film Noir Blogathon, an excuse to discuss the genre just as we re-release 1946’s Gilda to selected UK cinemas.

We had a great response on Twitter to the idea, with dozens of tweets about our followers’ favourite film noirs, and we even listed another five must-see noirs that should be watched by anyone with an interest in the murkier side of old Hollywood.

We’ve had some fantastic posts written as part of the Blogathon and expect more as the day and weekend goes on – feel free to let us know in the comments below if we missed anyone out.

Here are the first few to come our way:

Let us know if we’ve missed yours, we’ll add to the list above as and when they come in.

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Five must-see film noirs

With 1946’s Gilda about to be re-released in selected UK cinemas this week, we decided to pick five more film noirs from the Park Circus catalogue which we think all film fans should search out on the big screen.

1. The Big Heat (1953)

Gilda’s Glenn Ford returns to the genre once more as cop Dave Bannion in director Fritz Lang’s 1953 classic, The Big Heat. Bannion is a lone crusader against corruption in the police force, an unusual set-up for film noir films. With a dash of murder and a whole lot of revenge, as the trailer screams, this is “a film of tremendous excitement!”

2. The Killing (1956)

Director Stanley Kubrick’s second film noir, The Killing stars Sterling Hayden as Johnny Clay, a criminal planning a racetrack heist which doesn’t quite go to plan. Although not a success upon its original release, The Killing has gone on to become a firm favourite with film fans thanks to its unusual directorial style: Quentin Tarantino is thought to be a fan of Kubrick’s non-linear storytelling.

3. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

Something of a passion project for star Harry Belafonte, who commissioned the script and produced it, Odds Against Tomorrow is the first film noir with a black lead. Belafonte is Johnny Ingram, a nightclub entertainer embroiled in a bank robbery by Robert Ryan and Ed Begley. Today the film is both an important historical document of an America about to change thanks to the civil rights movement and a taut crime drama in its own right.

4. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Released a year after Gilda, The Lady from Shanghai sees a very different Rita Hayworth in the role of Elsa Bannister: with her hair shorn and dyed blonde, Hayworth is more sex symbol than sultry femme fatale. Orson Welles stars in and directs this twisted tale of deceit and murder, a film which currently runs at 87 minutes but which, in its original form, ran to 155 minutes.

5. The Long Goodbye (1973)

Robert Altman’s take on the Raymond Chandler’s 1954 novel, The Long Goodbye, saw Philip Marlowe, played by Elliott Gould, brought bang up-to-date for 1970s audiences: Altman even dubbed him Rip Van Marlowe, as if the character had fallen asleep for a couple of decades before waking up in 1973. Though more neo noir than traditional film noir, this is a memorable take on the private eye genre and a satire on the changes in society that have occurred between the 50s and 70s.

To find out if any of the above films are screening at a cinema near you, visit www.backincinemas.com.

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Film Noir Blogathon

Gilda's Rita Hayworth

Gilda's Rita Hayworth

Here at Park Circus we’re gearing up for the return to cinema screens of Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth in 1946’s Gilda, the classic film noir which defined the latter’s career and, for many, the genre.

Charles Vidor’s film sees Ford cast as Johnny Farrell, a down-at-heel gambler rescued by Ballin Mundson (George Macready) and invited into his world of high society and low lives. When Mundson’s new wife, Gilda (Hayworth) arrives on the scene and a love triangle created, sexual jealousy and confused loyalties driving the plot towards its conclusion.

To mark the digitally restored re-release of Gilda, we’re hosting Film Noir Blogathon, a chance for bloggers around the world to write about any aspect of the genre. Whether it’s the sultry femmes fatales, the mysteries lurking in the shadows or the murky morals of their protagonists, the best noir’s are worth discussing again and again, and we’d like to read your thoughts on your favourites.

You might want to focus on Gilda, one the many film noirs in the Park Circus catalogue or any other film which comes under the banner, however loosely. Then just paste the image below into your blog post and link back to this page on or before 22 July 2011. We’ll create a new post and link back to all the articles.

Updated 22 July 2011: We’ve now published the new post rounding up all Film Noir Blogathon entries.

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