Films in 2014: November

For many online film fans, November is deemed Noirvember in celebration of the film noir genre, so this past month I dedicated much of my movie-watching to it. I participated in the celebration with a handful of films the last couple years, but this year I really dove into it, and more on that can be found below the cut.

New-to-Me: 33

Re-Watched: 4

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 1
  • 1930s – 2
  • 1940s – 16
  • 1950s – 5
  • 1960s – 1
  • 1970s – 1
  • 1980s – 4
  • 1990s – 0
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 3

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. One Foot in Heaven (1941)
  2. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
  3. The Narrow Margin (1952)
  4. I Walk Alone (1948)
  5. The Glass Key (1942)
  6. The Set-Up (1949)
  7. Body and Soul (1947)
  8. Johnny Eager (1941)
  9. Body Heat (1981)
  10. Green for Danger (1946)
  11. Odd Man Out (1947)
  12. Detour (1945)
  13. Thieves’ Highway (1949)
  14. The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
  15. Hot Rods to Hell (1967)
  16. The Roaring Twenties (1939)
  17. Humoresque (1946)
  18. The Long Goodbye (1973)
  19. The Sheik (1921)
  20. Fury (1936)
  21. After Hours (1985)
  22. Force of Evil (1948)
  23. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)
  24. Crime Wave (1954)
  25. Possessed (1947)
  26. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)
  27. Big Hero 6 (2014)
  28. Interstellar (2014)
  29. Raw Deal (1948)
  30. Phantom Lady (1944)
  31. D.O.A. (1950)
  32. That’s Dancing! (1985)
  33. Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Monthly Tallies

  • Best Picture Nominees Watched: 1
  • Movies Watched from The Criterion Collection: 3
  • Movies Watched via the Watch TCM app: 7
  • Movies Watched on TCM: 0
  • Movies Watched on Hulu: 1
  • Movies Watched in theaters: 3

Trends and Notes

  • Watched 3 films from the year 1948.
  • Watched 4 films from the year 1947 (one was a re-watch).
  • Watched 3 films starring John Garfield.
  • Watched 3 films from the year 1946 (one was a re-watch).
  • Watched 3 films from the year 1944 (one was a re-watch).
  • Watched 3 new releases in theaters, practically in a row. I saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Big Hero 6 on the same day, then re-watched The Big Sleep, and then saw Interstellar the next day.
  • I really committed to Noirvember this year and watched 28 noir films (including 3 noir favorites: Out of the Past, Laura, and, as mentioned above, The Big Sleep)! Most were from the classic noir period, but I also watched a few neo-noir films.

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Kiss Me Deadly (1955), directed by Robert Aldrich

I kicked off my Noirvember with a real bang, this is not quite like any other noir I’ve seen. The big whatsit gives it a cool sci-fi twist, and it reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And I enjoyed Ralph Meeker as Mike Hammer, though he was pretty ruthless in his methods as a detective.

The Narrow Margin (1952)

The Narrow Margin (1952), directed by Richard Fleischer

Perhaps my favorite noir discovery of the month, this film has a few great twists and turns that really kept me engaged throughout. I especially enjoyed Charles McGraw’s interactions with Marie Windsor and Jacqueline White. And I really loved how the scene pictured above played out, and it’s another reason why I love the film noir genre and it’s cinematography.

The Roaring Twenties (1939)

The Roaring Twenties (1939), directed by Raoul Walsh

The Roaring Twenties is not a straight noir, but it’s got a couple of noir’s greatest actors. James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart are great as always, whether they’re together onscreen or not. Of the whole great cast, the one I was taken with most was Gladys George. She’s very much a supporting player in this film (as well as the other films she acted in), but she really holds her own; I especially enjoyed her scenes with Cagney.

Fury (1936)

Fury (1936), directed by Fritz Lang

This is one of the most aptly named films I’ve seen recently, as I felt almost as furious as Spencer Tracy’s Joe Wilson was during his attempted lynching. Tracy is one of the best actors to grace the screen, so it’s no surprise here that he gives another tremendous performance. This was also Fritz Lang’s first American film, and what a debut it is. It’s a great look at the mob mentality as well as how one person’s anger can grow so much that it practically consumes him.

After Hours (1985)

After Hours (1985), directed by Martin Scorsese

Took a quick break between celebrating the film noir genre and celebrated the great Martin Scorsese’s birthday with this underrated gem. In some ways, it doesn’t feel like a Scorsese film because it’s so unlike his most famous work, and in some ways it reminds me of something I’d see from David Lynch instead. It’s a great dark comedy that can only really be described as kafkaesque with all that happens in the movie.

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Murder, My Sweet (1944), directed by Edward Dmytryk

I ended my film noir run with a good one, and one film that’s been on my watchlist for a long time, so I’m glad it didn’t disappoint. Sometimes I think I prefer Dick Powell as a detective than as a song-and-dance man, but he really excels in the genres that are seemingly on opposite sides of the film spectrum. Anyway, the dialogue here is great, as to be expected from the writings of Raymond Chandler.

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One thought on “Films in 2014: November

  1. Wow Keisha, I don’t know where to begin! I love film noir, and you watched a ton of good ones this month. I was going to ask if you liked The Narrow Margin, but that question was answered moments later with its inclusion in ‘Favorite Discoveries’. But with all those noir movies watched, did you enjoy Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid? One of my favorite comedies, and one I would assume noir fans would love. Crime Wave, Phantom Lady, The Hitch-Hiker, The Set-Up…I think I own every one of those you watched!

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