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jake_fink
11-14-2007, 09:16 AM
Did anyone else see the four films James Ellroy programmed for his day as guest programmer? They were:

Stakeout on Dope Street (1958)
Murder by Contract (1958)
The Line Up (1958)
Armored Car Robbery (1950)

The first is about a lost stash of Heroin and the boys who find it. It was directed by Irvin Kirshner who directed Empire Strikes Back almost 25 years later. Everything that was mildly interesting about the earlier film - use of real locations, talky, theatrical scenes of two or three characters in a room, one nice shot of a really big fist about to connect with a sweaty little face and a smash cut to a bowling ball coming up the chute - was left out of the later film.

http://kpr.ku.edu/retro/art/gallery/stakeout.jpg

Murder by Contract, Ellroy tried to argue, was about social/class climbers and ambitious yuppies. Maybe.

http://www.cinematical.com/media/2006/06/murderbycontract.jpg

The Line Up was the real stuff. Directed by Don Seigel and featuring Emile Meyer, Eli Wallach (his debut) and Robert Keith (Brian's dad) it had everything a good noir needs, a pshychotic killer, his creepy right hand and their strange relationship, plodding though relentless cops, an organized criminal conspiracy, innocent victims caught up in events beyond their control, an interesting use of real (San Francisco) locations, a climactic car chase, and a Tommy Udo moment. This is a hard one to see as only bootleg dvds exist. Worth it.

http://www.dougmacaulay.com/kingspud/photos/emeyer.jpg

The last film brings Narrow Margin's director and star together. Charles McGraw is after the slimy William Talman (the prosecutor in Perry Mason, but also the hitch-hiker in The Hitch-Hiker) for a robbery during which McGraw's parnter was killed. It's a good film, and, come on... Charles McGraw.

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/5/5c/Armored_Car_Robbery.JPG

Ellroy on the TCM website (http://www.tcm.com/thismonth/article/?cid=183436&mainArticleId=183435)

Sefton
11-14-2007, 10:55 AM
Ellroy picked some great films. I'm glad that I saw "The Line Up". That film ought to be officially released-it's a crime I tell ya! What a fast paced violent and gritty little tale and great to see those familiar-and some not so (long gone Sutro)-San Francisco locations. "What were his last words?" :eusa_clap

Feraud
11-14-2007, 11:12 AM
What a bummer... I only got to see Murder by Contract.

jake_fink
11-14-2007, 12:26 PM
It was interesting, I think, that a writer chose four films that all contained the line (or a slight variation of the line), "I never write things down."

Sefton
11-14-2007, 03:33 PM
It would be great if instead of showing so many Lassie films they would just repeat some of these guest programmer segments. Film noir is just the right kind of thing for those long nights of insomnia...

jake_fink
11-14-2007, 03:55 PM
It would be great if instead of showing so many Lassie films they would just repeat some of these guest programmer segments. Film noir is just the right kind of thing for those long nights of insomnia...


It is often the cause of those long nights of insomnia.

Sefton
11-14-2007, 07:33 PM
It is often the cause of those long nights of insomnia.
ba-dappBOOM! (rim-shot sound-effect):rolleyes:

Nathan Dodge
11-15-2007, 01:50 PM
I've been an ARMORED CAR ROBBERY fan since I first saw it eight years or so ago on TCM. A great little programmer with enough "Los Angeles as it was" scenery for five films! William Talman was great, as was Adele Jergens as the "Berlee-cue" queen. A fantastic film, and I hope it got a few more fans after this latest showing.

Noindex
11-16-2007, 06:49 PM
I recently read James Ellroy's autobiography "My Dark Places"......a very revealing and interesting book. Sometimes maybe a bit too much personal information. But that's how he is...he's never afraid to hold back.

Noindex
11-16-2007, 06:50 PM
correctrion........he's never ONE to hold back.