Monday, February 16, 2009


I'm back from Noir City. Even after two weeks, I'm still a little bleary from seeing 22 films in 10 days. But it was worth it, especially the night I got to surreptitiously sit behind Miss Noir City (at right.) Now that's a cinematic experience that you'll never have in your "home" theater!.

Obviously, I didn't make my goal of blogging (or even reading) every novel. I never even made it to James M. Cain's Love's Lovely Counterfeit (filmed as Scarlet Street) or Samuel Fuller's Dark Page (Scandal Sheet) and didn't get around to re-visiting Budd Schulberg's wonderful The Harder They Fall or Hemingway's "The Killers." I did get about 1/4 of the way through Tiffany Thayer's One Woman (Chicago Deadline) before throwing in the towel. I'd already seen the movie, which was shaping up to be a reasonable adaptation and welcome condensation of the too-long novel.

Now for the rehash:

Wicked as They Come: great flick, decent adaptation of Ballinger's Portrait in Smoke. They ditched the cheap skip tracer (no problem), but inexplicably shifted the action to London for no apparent reason. Arlene Dahl is suitably vicious.

While the City Sleeps: the business end of the novel is handled well, with the contenders reduced to a more manageable trio, and the plot follows the book closely. My only gripe is that the cool Freudian seductive mother and kinky killer son are replaced with a Reader's Digest-style weak mother and JD son. C'mon, it's about handkerchiefs and underwear!

Big Clock: Very nifty flick that does justice to the novel. Of course, the homosexual subplots have been all but erased, but attentive viewers can spot some vestigial mincing. Kudos to scripter John "Cuban Pineapples" Latimer for actually coming up with a more logical end for Janoth!

to be continued....