Films – Noir


Just been to see Prometheus in 3D – my first 3D film. It took a couple of minutes of getting used to the 3D effect, but overall it did add a something to the film that I had previously dismissed as not worth it. I think it will bear watching, especially tracking down all the dialogue David uses – Lawrence of Arabia -I think 2001 A Space Odyssey and others. Why they felt idris Elba’s character (The Captain Janek(sp)) needed to have an American accent seemed a bit odd. Having seen the first four Aliens films, including the Directors cuts, and remembering a few throw away comments Ripley makes in Alien: 3 about the alien moving differently, I can see that the array of versions of the alien creature we see in Prometheus is somewhat explainable. I hope there is a directors cut !

Why films on a wargaming blog ?

Well it’s my blog and I’ll do what I like but more importantly, films can help us create scenarios for our wargames, create characters, and units for our armies.

So here are some of my favourites:

Casablanca

A War Film, a love story, a political propaganda film, and film noir bundled into one. The sharpest dialogue. I like SFX, but SFX are no replacement for a decent plot, and most importantly decent dialogue. The framing of the camera shots is superb, and the acting top notch.

Ugarte: Heh, you know, watching you just now with the Deutsche Bank, one would think you’ve been doing this all your life.
Rick: Oh, what makes you think I haven’t?
Ugarte: Oh, n-n-n-nothing, but when you first came to Casablanca, I thought…
Rick: You thought what?
Ugarte: Hm, what right do I have to think, huh?

And of course the number 1 quote:

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
[aloud]
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

There are a few bloopers, but they detract little from the film.

The Big Sleep

What ?
Who ?
Where ?
Another film noir with Humphrey Bogart (yes I like him as an actor – see the scenes in the book shops and Argentine ceramics).

Allegedly no real ending was shot, several of the murders go unsolved in the film. Again razor sharp dialogue. No need for SFX, no need for gory violence.

Without quoting the entire movie, here’s something that stands out – it isn’t needed to move the plot on, and barely needed to develop the characters. It is however fun, and improves the interaction of the two leads:

Philip Marlowe: I can do what? Where? Oh no, I wouldn’t like that. Neither would my daughter.
[hangs up]
Philip Marlowe: I hope the sergeant never traces that call.

Can you imagine Hollywood letting that through these days ? No !

The Maltese Falcon

And it even has a White Russian General mentioned, General Kamedov ! In Istanbul, where they did go into exile.
The first of the film noir trilogy featuring many of the same actors listed above. Sydney Greenstreet gave his first performance.

Sam Spade: Here.
[hands him Wilmer’s guns]
Sam Spade: You shouldn’t let him go around with these on him, he might get himself hurt.
Kasper Gutman: Well, well, what’s this?
Sam Spade: A crippled newsie took ’em away from him. I made him give ’em back.

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