WEIRDLAND: "Hollow Triumph" and "Shield for murder" in May

Friday, May 05, 2017

"Hollow Triumph" and "Shield for murder" in May

Pursued by the big-time gambler he robbed, John Muller takes a new identity, with ironic results. By most accounts, the 1948 crime film, Hollow Triumph, based on a novel by Murray Forbes is as Film Noir as they come. A gangster pulling off a final job against a rival is mistaken for his double, a psychologist. Paul Henreid, the late consummate director and actor, headlined and produced the film, playing dual roles while Joan Bennett kept a watchful eye. The endeavor is a class act and the way Monika Henreid sees it, her father’s film would be a highlight in any Film Noir festival. Coincidentally, Hollow Triumph leads off this year’s Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival at 7:30 p.m. May 11, at Camelot Theatres with a restored 35mm print. And Monika Henreid will be in attendance for a post-film Q&A. Others notables include: Black Angel (May 12) — Richard Duryea, former manager for The Beach Boys and whose late father, Dan, starred in the film, will be on hand; Meet Danny Wilson (1951), a pre-From Here to Eternity Frank Sinatra romp with Shelley Winters and Raymond Burr (May 13). Source: www.palspringslife.com

Crime films adopted a more realistic attitude in the 1950s, shifting away from noir romanticism and acknowledging unsavory realities such as police corruption. One of the best 'bad cop' tales is 1954's Shield for Murder, notable for being co-directed by its star, Edmond O'Brien. The overachieving thriller came from a novel by William P. McGivern (The Big Heat, 1953), who also provided the source stories for Rogue Cop (1954) and Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), all of which dealt with crooked lawmen. Detective Nolan (O'Brien) kills a bookie for $25,000 to further his relationship with Patty, the cigarette girl of his dreams (starlet Marla English). Harassed by the mob and a police colleague who he once mentored (John Agar), Nolan commits more cover-up crimes but cannot prevent the truth from coming out. Critics thought the movie effective and saved special praise for actor Emile Meyer as Nolan's captain on the force. The movie made news in Mississippi as well, where the notorious film censor Lloyd T. Binford, called up on tax evasion problems, attempted to deflect the blame to immorality on our screens. He called Shield for Murder 'a burlesque on the City Police Department.' The movie makes a point of having Detective Nolan cornered at the unfinished tract home he hoped to buy for Patty. Nolan's need for consumer success links to later movie cops tempted by dreams of the good life in the suburbs. In Don Siegel's remake of The Killers (1964) Lee Marvin meets his end on a patch of green lawn, and Glenn Ford surrenders to his fate next to a swimming pool he can't afford in the aptly titled The Money Trap (1965). Source: www.tcm.com

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