Archive | May, 2012

John Payne Centennial

28 May

John Payne (1912-1989) would have turned 100 today, May 28, 2012. He began his career in Hollywood as a light leading man and musical star at 20th Century Fox, appearing in Technicolor musicals during the war years with such leading ladies as Alice Faye, Betty Grable, June Haver, Sonja Henie and Carmen Miranda. He could sing and dance and was quite good in those films (as well as the black-and-white ones like TIN PAN ALLEY), but it was after the war, when he’d developed some seasoning, that he began starring in more hard-boiled fare in the western, crime, and adventure genres, with a helping of film noir.

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50th Anniversary of THE INTRUDER

14 May

50 years ago today, Roger Corman’s film, THE INTRUDER, opened in New York City. It was a low-budget black-and-white drama about the topical issue of school integration, which was all over the headlines as southern cities and towns were facing demonstrations on behalf of civil rights and court orders to integrate schools and public facilities. The film follows the activities of Adam Cramer, a charismatic young white man who comes to a southern town that has been issued a court order to integrate its local high school. He ingratiates himself with the local power brokers and gradually reveals his mission: to instigate opposition to integration and get the local people to rally on their own to stop it. It’s never clear who exactly is paying Cramer, but he seems to be working on behalf of some shadowy backers.

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42nd Street and Times Square Theaters: THE GLASS WALL (1953)

5 May

I bought the DVD set, “Bad Girls of Film Noir, Volume 1,” because it contained THE GLASS WALL and I wanted to share screen grabs of some of the movie’s scenes shot on 42nd Street. In watching the film again, I was disappointed at how few shots of the street it contained and had second thoughts about doing an entry on it. But then I looked more closely at some of the other Times Square shots in the film and noticed a couple of things that merited further research. And I then noticed a scene shot inside one of the Deuce’s landmarks. So I chose to go forward. The Times Square scenes were shot in the spring of 1952 and all the film titles on the marquees were released that season.

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