Movie Watching in Quarantine – Scene 3

Here is scene 3 in my list of Movies Watched in Quarantine.

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

dead1

 With the mood, the ambiance, the Miklos Rozsa’s soundtrack, the perfect deadpan voice-over by Steve Martin, we are transported back to 1946 and those dark rain-filled streets of film noir. Well sorta, after all, that is Steve Martin sitting in the detective chair and it is Carl Reiner in the director’s seat. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid is an affectionate, funny, and technically inspired tribute to the murky cinema of gats, dames, and mean darkly lit streets.

 

Murder By Natural Causes

Murder 5

Written by William Levinson and Richard Link (creators of Colombo) the 1979 Made for TV movie is a clever and devious story filled with one twist after another, and when you think you have it figured out, there’s another twist. A must-see for mystery lovers. I originally saw this on CBS back in 1979. In the late 1990s, I found a used VHS copy at Blockbuster Video and held onto it to this day. Unfortunately, it has never been released on DVD. The film stars Katherine Ross, Hal Holbrook, and Barry Boswick.

 

The Narrow Margin

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One of my all-time favorite Film Noir’s. Running a rapid 71 minutes, the film’s pace is as hi-speed as the rails they are riding. We are back in time when most people still traveled by train. It’s a world filled with sleeping berths, club cars, dining cars, porters, and whistles shrieking in the dark of the night. Most of all, the film has the great Charles McGraw, the unofficial king of B film noir. Whether portraying a cop or a criminal, his gravel like voice and square jaw looks have graced many film noirs. McGraw meets his hardcore match in Marie Windsor. Known as the “Queen of the B’s,” for the countless low budget films she made in her career. Windsor’s off-beat beauty graced a wide variety of films most importantly, Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing. Windsor’s 5’9” slinky frame, her coldhearted, seen everything looks make her a perfect femme fatale, and a superb counterpoint to McGraw’s rugged honest cop.

 

Broadway Danny Rose

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Danny Rose (Woody Allen) is a fourth rate theatrical agent whose client list is filled with some of oddest acts in show business: a one-legged dancer, a woman who plays musical glasses, a blind Xylophonist and a stuttering ventriloquist. Danny is a good hearted loser who believes in his client’s worth no matter how bad they are. Allen creates a nostalgic world filled with the lower levels of New York’s show business community that he knew well from his early days as a TV writer and standup comedian. Many of the characters have a colorful Damon Runyon like quality to them. Classic Woody!

 

6 thoughts on “Movie Watching in Quarantine – Scene 3

  1. I love this because I’ve only seen one of the them (Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid)! Thank you for posting this. Sure wish I had a VHS machine for Murder by Natural Causes….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Narrow Margin is brilliant, no doubt. It has to be on of the best shoestring budget films of all time. The pacing, the performances, the photography and the script, all are close to perfect.
    I forgot about Murder by Natural Causes. It was great. They did put out some really stellar TV movies back in the day. This one is right up there with A Murder In Texas, and Strangers; The Story of a Mother and Daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Narrow Margin is one of my favorite B films. As you mention, it’s brilliant! They did make some great TV movies back in the day. Murder in Texas was a good one. I would like to see that one again. I have not seen Strangers. A few other good ones I remember are The Executioner’s Song and Margaret Bourke-White and The Burning Bed (last two with Farrah Fawcett).

      Liked by 1 person

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