Sunday, September 28, 2008

They Live By Night

Friday, September 26, 2008

Here now is the seventh movie in the set I had purchased.

Notable Talent: The main character is Farley Granger, who I know from Hitchcock's Rope and Strangers on a Train. The director did Rebel Without a Cause, which I've never seen, and In a Lonely Place, which I have seen.

Detective Story: Yet again, nope. It's about a homeless man who finds a strange pair of glasses that allow him to see that aliens have taken over... no, wait, that's not right. This is a young lovers on the lam story, although I guess there are cops on their trail. Sigh.

Twisty Turny Plot: Pretty straightforward. Two lovers on the run, cops are after them, typical complications, yadda yadda. The only thing that I found interesting was that this was based on a book, Thieves Like Us, which was also later made in to a movie by Robert Altman. So it was interesting to compare th two in my head, or at least it would have been if Altman's film was clearer in my head.

Moral Ambiguity: No. This movie labors so hard to make the lead characters seem completely innocent it's silly. Like the audience is a bunch of fucking babies and we can't stand the thought of a movie about criminals, we have been told a tale about the most uncriminal-like criminals in the world.

Sweet-ass Shadowy Black and White Cinematography: I recall some nice night time scenes and whatnot, but nothing special. A lot of it takes place in the countryside, which I don't think is as interesting of an environment as urban cityscapes are in b&w.

Overall Quality: If you can't tell this is the first Noir Month entry that I flat out didn't like. It's just not a good movie. Farley Granger was good in those Hitchcock movies at playing weak willed men dominated by overbearing sociopath's, and here he's just too much of a fancypants sissy boy to ever seem like a criminal. I mean, I know his character is supposed to be all illogically innocent or some shit, but this guy was supposed to has spent time in prison and yet doesn't have a hardened bone in his body. The story meanders it's way through a predictable series of events, and you just don't give a shit about the whiny, bland lead characters. I did like the guy with the fucked up eye though. He was cool.

1) The Set Up
2) Act of Violence
3) Crime Wave
4) Night and the City
5) The Big Steal
6) Illegal
7) Shoot the Piano Player
8) Gun Crazy
9) Mystery Street
10) Decoy
11) They Live By Night

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