Noirvember 2019 Wrap-Up
I've had a great time reading on blogs and social media how everyone has spent their Noirvembers. As I indicated in late October, I knew my own Noirvember was going to be quite limited, but I did have a few highlights I wanted to share with you.
A large portion of my time this month was spent in watching and researching the three films in my Noirvember Film Noir festival at the Severna Park Library. I discussed each of these movies on the blog:
Double Indemnity (1944)
The Killers (1946)
Out of the Past (1947)
I also read two noir-stained novels. Miami Blues (1984), by the great Charles Willeford, is the first book in the Hoke Moseley series. Moseley is a police detective investigating the unlikely murder of a Hare Krishna in wild and wacky Miami.
The Puppet Show (2018) by British writer M.W. Craven begins a new series with a London detective named Washington Poe. If that name isn't enough to get your attention, just read the first chapter or two. The Puppet Show is more police procedural than noir, but there's plenty of darkness here.
On the non-fiction side, Barry Gifford's Out of the Past: Adventures in Film Noir (2000) is a fun romp through several noir classics (and a few perhaps questionable choices). Some of Gifford's entries as synopses, some hilarious commentaries on the films, and some of them are simply out there.
I also watched most of the TV series Johnny Staccato (1959-1960), featuring John Cassavetes as a New York jazz pianist/private detective. The entire series ran for only 27 episodes, and while all of them are good, many of them are outstanding. Guest stars include Charles McGraw, Elisha Cook Jr., Elizabeth Montgomery, Gena Rowlands, Dean Stockwell, Cloris Leachman, Paul Stewart, Martin Landau, and many more. The 3-DVD set is available from Shout Factory. You should put it on your Christmas list now.
If you do nothing else, at least listen to the soundtrack album, which is available on Spotify and probably lots of other places, too.
Although it certainly wasn't 30 films in 30 days, here's everything noir (or noir-stained) that I watched this month (first-time watches marked with +):
The Window (1949)
+El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
Crime Wave (1953)
The Big Heat (1953)
Split Second (1953)
Double Indemnity (1944) twice
+I, Mobster (1959)
The Killers (1946) twice
+The Criminal (1946)
The House on 92nd Street (1945)
Out of the Past (1947) twice
+Wide Boy (1952)
+King Creole (1958)
+The Sellout (1952)
+The Whistler (1944)
+The Mark of the Whistler (1944)
+Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
+No abras nunca esa puerta (Don't Ever Open That Door, 1952)
+Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)
Most of Johnny Staccato (1959-1960)
That's going to do it for my Noirvember 2019 wrap-up. Hopefully you'll find something here to watch and read, but don't feel like you have to wait until next Noirvember. Next year, maybe I'll do 30 in 30... Stay tuned.