Laura (1944)

This is my entry for the film noir blogathon– Quiggy Thanks for Hosting!

Film noir is one of my favorite genres of film- for sure in the top 3- and one of my all time favorite films noir, hands down,  is Laura (1944)

Many of you may already know I love Dana Andrews when I confessed my reel infatuation for him as Mark McPherson, but he’s not the only star of this film, as we all know its Laura herself Ms. Gene Tierney!

To me Laura is a unique film noir. It has all of the classic film noir elements, yet it still feels different than say a “textbook” film noir of The Maltese Falcon, or The Big Sleep. 

Laura has a very melodramatic feel to it- but- at the same time its still very tense like the true atmosphere of a noir. Its also very different due to the fact that Laura isn’t really the femme fetale of a ‘dangerous woman ‘- she’s not corrupting nor is she manipulative. She does draw men into her complex web of confusion, and has a very mysterious manner to her- but we never see her put anyone directly in the line of fire. Branching off, I must mention too, that Laura is almost two different types of film, from the beginning to the part of Mark falling asleep under the picture, its a mystery. But from that point on (spoiler: When Laura appears)  its almost as if the film turns into a melodramatic crime drama.

For me personally, part of the allure of Laura is the subtle romance- Dana and Gene have great chemistry- and I totally believe it when Dana Andrews falls for this beautiful, charming, but seemingly dead woman in the picture. However- these two characters barely have much screen time together, (Spoiler: McPherson and Laura only share one kiss) .

EDIT- A lot of you mentioned in the comments how much Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) steals the show and I completely agree. Webb is the one character that pushes all of the action forward and without him, there is no mystique- he’s just as mysterious as Laura herself. Webb as much a star as Andrews and Tierney and I wanted to mention him!

When Laura first came out in 1944, no one really knew what kind of reception it was going to have- and in the trailer, the studio publicized Laura as an extremely aloof woman, whom of which every man wants to know and every woman wants to be. And to this day- the pitch is still accurate, and still very effective.

I first saw Laura during the 2014 Summer of Darkness on TCM- it was featured as a daily dose clip, and it then aired on the channel soon after. Much like the studio pitch to audiences back in the day, I can’t tell you what it is about Laura that made me want to watch it. I just thought- “Oh that looks interesting, I should give it a try.”

So maybe I can’t quite put my finger on it, as the real reason as to why I love Laura so much, but the one thing for sure is that I have a heck of a time trying to figure out why, and every time I see the film, I adore the film even more!

Reel Infatuation Blogathon- Three Sexy Detectives

Reel Infatuation Banner-Jagger

When it was announced there was going to be a blogathon to gush about your on screen crushes, I was super excited- I have absolutely no shortage of them- the only problem was I had a hard time choosing who to write about. So many characters, so many actors who portray them. Initially, I wanted to write about my first on screen crush- (Uncle) Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos) but I really wanted to focus on film crushes. So please note I could have written about lots of screen crushes and this is just a snippit of them.

After a deliberation, I decided to write about my on screen crushes for three very handsome, very sexy detectives! Mr. Nick Charles from The Thin Man films (played by William Powell) Mr. Mark McPherson from Laura (Dana Andrews) and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson from the TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (the amazing and devilishly handsome Mr. Nathan Page).

The first detective I have a crush on is Nick Charles. I first saw The Thin Man in 2014 and instantly fell in love with the film series! Nick Charles is a married and self proclaimed retired detective who loves three things- his dog Asta, martinis, and of course his loving wife, Nora. While Mr. Charles may be married it doesn’t stop me (and I’m sure a bunch of you) from having a crush on him. I mean lets be real- Nick Charles is husband material! He’s funny and has a great sense of humor, is playful with Nora, he’s a dog lover, can hold his alcohol like a gentlemen, has awesome Christmas parties (and dinner parties) AND he can solve murder mysteries– what gal doesn’t love all that! Plus- he’s stylish and suave!  And don’t even mention the way he dances —– SWOON!!!!

                         

Up next- we have Mr. Mark McPherson, played by the super handsome Dana Andrews. (First viewing of Laura during TCM’s Summer of Darkness in 2015) For the record, let it be know that I could write up a whole post about Dana, as that’s how much I adore him. Dana Andrews is the perfect choice to play this character- and I just want to say that his face is perfectly sculpted by God to wear a fedora. Many can pull it off- and many actors from the golden age do- but few can actually *own it* like he does. What I love most about Mark McPherson is his willingness to protect Miss Laura Hunt- even when he thinks shes dead, even when he thinks she might be guilty- he stands by her and does everything in his power to clear her name- devotion at its finest. On the outside its clear Mark is a tough cop but when you look deeper hes really a softie- and isn’t that the best type? Too bad he only has one screen kiss in the film!

Last but by certainly no means least- I’m going to rant about my latest crush (crushing on him since May 2 2015) Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Mr. Nathan Page) the leading man on the TV show Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries (Australian TV show that airs on the ABC in Australia. US viewers- Acorn TV or Netflix). I have a major crush on both the actor and the character but I will try to keep to the character for this post. However, I must write this- Jack’s potrayer Nathan Page is a wonderful actor, gentlemen and human being, and I have a lot of respect for him. He walked away from the professional world of cycling at age 19- one of his main reasons being he wanted to stay away from the drug culture associated with the sport (if he had kept going he wouldn’t have been able to do so)

   

Mr Nathan Page as Jack Robinson

Detective Inspector Jack Robinson is a middle class working man from Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, (Australia) He fought in WWI in France and was a newlywed when he went to war. Jack has an extremely high moral compass and never lets his personal feelings interfere with his work. Joining the police force young he had a head start and trained under his father in law George Sanderson. When Jack returned from war he was of course a changed man and as a result, separated from his wife soon after. He formally divorced Rosie Sanderson in late 1928, after 16 years of marriage (most of them in name only). What I love most about Jack Robinson (besides his looks) is that hes a complex man- someone who you really have to spend time with in order to get to know thoroughly. Hes devoted to his job and even though he feels he failed at his marriage- you would never guess it. He’s also able to suppress any feelings he has for the Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher – a hard thing for any man to do- but he does it perfectly.

With the woman who stole his heart.. Miss Phryne Fisher

In short Jack is a great character to get to know, and even after 34 episodes there’s still so much to learn about him. I speak for every Miss Fisher fan around the world when I say “I love Jack Robinson” and I hope he returns to all of our screens very soon.

And with that everyone, I thank you for reading this sampling of my screen crushes. So many more like Hal Carter (William Holden) in Picnic, or John Robie (Cary Grant) from To Catch a Thief, Killian Jones “Captain Hook” (Colin O’Donoghue) on Once Upon a Time, Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens)  and Tom Branson (Allen Leech) from Downton Abbey–  and don’t even get me started on girl crushes (the character of Miss Fisher herself, Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Lisa Carol Freemont (Grace Kelly) in Rear Window the list goes on- but safe to say these three detectives are pretty high up on the list!

Noirvember 2015 Day 1- Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

Hello felllow classic film/ Noirvember fans! To begin my film blogging, I’ve decided to try and blog about each noir I watch (this one is a brief post, with not much detail!). The first noir for Noirvember 2015 I watched was Where the Sidewalk Ends, (1950) starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews

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                                              (Photo from Wikipedia)

I was really excited to watch this film, as I had previously watched the two actors in Laura (1944). Gene and Dana have such amazing chemistry together (no wonder they made five films together!) and I think they are both very underrated actors from the Golden Era.

In general, Dana Andrews is just so handsome and is one of only a handful of men who can actually rock a fedora and overcoat look! {next to Cary Grant, William Powell, Humphrey Bogart, and Mr Nathan Page of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries}. The lovely Gene Tierney is wonderful in this role- not as mysterious as her most famous character Laura, but in this film I think of her to be a guiding force to Dana’s character- someone who will encourage him to do the right thing. Ms. Tierney also wears some amazing pieces designed by her then husband, Oleg Cassini.

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I personally thought the film to be so good, I ordered it from Amazon the next day!!!

In the film, Mr. Andrews plays a Police Detective, Mark Dixon, but he soon finds himself on the opposite side of the law when he accidentally kills a man, Ken Paine, in self defense. Dixion does get rid of the body, but then fate takes a turn when he is assigned to find Paine’s killer! Not wanting to get caught, he pins the blame on an old enemy (Tommy Scalise), but by doing so, he inadvertently puts the suspicion on cab driver Jiggs Taylor. And things really start to get complicated when Dixon falls for Morgan- Paine’s estranged wife- and Jiggs’ daughter!!!!

Will Dixon confess and come clean? or will he put his position on the line and keep up his story? And what will Morgan ever think if she finds out he put the blame on her father?

Watch and Find out!!!