Mise-en-scene & Concentrated Exposition in John Huston’s
In This Our Life

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1942’s In This Our Life has become a footnote in John Huston‘s esteemed filmography. Coming after the knock-down drag-out success of his first film, The Maltese Falcon—its powerful, and historically unusual, portrayal of institutional racism is electrifying, but it is this subplot alone that garners any and all critical affection the film receives. This last, as a matter of fact, […]


Spotlight on—Leo Tover

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In my last post for the Film Noir Foundation Blogathon‘s Fundraiser. I wanted to spotlight the excellent cinematography of Leo Tover. He’s somewhat of an underrated Noir veteran, having filmed several minor classics like Dead Reckoning, I Walk Alone, and The Woman on the Beach. Today though, I’m going to look at his work in two […]

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Criss Cross – Robert Siodmak – 1949

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For the Film Noir Foundation Blogathon I decided to repost this earlier article in the hopes of garnering some more donation money for their worthy cause. Please click on the donation link at the bottom and give generously if you liked the article. I was rather nonplussed with Robert Siodmak’s seminal film The Killers. The opening, […]


Nightmare Alley—Edmund Goulding—1947

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Nightmare Alley is an unrelenting Noir. Its surrealistic atmosphere keeps building in the first two acts, and by the last third you’ve entered a dreamscape where sounds, words, and images can’t be trusted. It’s a tender film too. It forces the audience into a troubling sympathy with a genuinely sociopathic character and paints humanity as capable of both tragic […]


Niagara – Henry Hathaway – 1953

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Niagra is a TechniColor Noir that tells the story of two couples who have a chance encounter at a Niagara Falls motel. Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotten are Rose and George Loomis—he, an older neurotic veteran, and she, a young nymphomaniac. Jean Peters and Max Showalter are Polly and Ray Cutler enjoying their second honeymoon. The […]