The Sound Of Fury, aka Try and Get Me

Written by Joe D on February 27th, 2008

I just watched a powerful film noir. Made in 1950 it features some great locations and an outstanding performance by Lloyd Bridges. For my money this is one of his best. He plays an amoral killer named Jerry and he steals the show.

Is This The Same Alley Where The Dude Would Learn To Bowl?

We start out following the story of Howard Tyler( Frank Lovejoy). he’s an out of work regular schmoe whose wife is pregnant and who owes the grocery store and the landlord. He can’t get a job to save his life and when his wife starts bawling he grabs his coat and hits the street. Unfortunately for him he drops in at a local bowling alley for a beer and bumps into Jerry Slocum (LLoyd Bridges). If only he hadn’t gone into that particular bowling alley at theat particular moment. But it’s a Noir Universe our schlubby hero has fallen into and as such, he’s Out Of Luck.

Don’t go in there! Get out while you can!

Howard watches Jerry roll a strike and they start talking, within instants Jerry is ordering Howard around. ” Get My shoes, will ya.” He tantalizes the poor schnook with the offer of a potential job and Howard is hooked like a trout in a lake.

The Reporter and The Incipient Criminal coincidentally rub elbows at the Bowling Alley Of Destiny.

Meanwhile in the very same bowling alley Gil Stanton (Richard Carlson), Ace Reporter for the local paper is kibitzing with the barkeep. His story is told in parallel with Howard’s although you don’t know why until later. So by now Jerry has Howard back at his flat where he proceeds to show off his expensive wardrobe and treat Howard like his personal valet. ” That’s real silk! Feel it. Those cufflinks are platinum, button’em up for me.”

The composition of this Shot says it all!

Jerry plays Howard like a fish and when he tells Howie the job he has in mind for him is driving the getaway car while Jerry sticks up gas stations, Howard gets cold feet. But Jerry gets mad, calls Howard a loser, throws 10 bucks at him and tells him to beat it. It plays out like a seduction and Lloyd is amazingly good at it. His character is so well drawn, so true, it’s a mind blower.

The 1st Stick-Up

The heat builds and Jerry and Howard pull off a kidnapping. This is the big score, they can make some real money now. Unfortunately Jerry smashes the trussed up young rich guy’s head with a rock before the horrified Howard’s eyes.

Murder Most Foul!

The newspaper man writes a sensationalistic piece calling for blood and when the two crooks are caught a lynch mob descends upon the jail and tears it apart.

Sensationalistic Journalism, Go Peddle Your Papers

Just before this happens the reporter has a change of heart, due partly to an emotional visit from Howard’s wife. He tries to change his latest bloodthirsty editorial but the greedy publisher just wants to sell more papers and he’s not about to change his headline!

The Wife’s Best Scene, where she confronts the rabble rousing reporter

This movie is a real indictment of mob violence and the social responsibility of the media.

The Mob Wants Blood!

Jerry in Jail with a Lynch Mob Howling For His Head!

Here’s a switch, The Mob Uses A Fire Hose On The Cops!

Howard is carried like Jesus to Golgotha!

It also hit home for me on a personal note. I had a friend , a very nice guy, he was a musician. Like a lot of musicians he augmented his income by dealing drugs, pot, then blow. He turned a big rock star onto some coke and the guy reciprocated by turning my pal onto some high grade heroin. My buddy got strung out in no time flat. The rock star had to suddenly split and my pal was cut off, no dope. He was cracking up. He told me he drove a getaway car for a stickup guy, a junkie like himself, just to get some money so he could score drugs. Now this was a guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly. He was an artist, peaceful, really a great guy. So when I see Howard roped into crime because of need, I flash on my pal. I could see how it could happen. My buddy’s dead by the way. He straightened up, got sober, got married and then found out he was HIV positive from sharing needles.
Sound Of Fury was directed by Cyril Endfield. He ended his days in England, forced to move there after he was blacklisted in the 50’s for being a Commie. This story was concerned with Society and the different types of people interacting in it, and how they viewed their morality , their responsibility to society, their identity. Cy Endfield later directed the excellent Zulu, the film that launched Michael Caine’s career. And if you think about it, Zulu is about a microcosm of society, a regiment of soldiers, hopelessly outnumbered, that perseveres through working together, a great story for a Socialist to tell.
Also of note, this film was written by Jo Pagano, based on her novel. I’d like to find out more about Ms. Pagano. A woman writing this ultra violent noir in the 50’s? She sounds pretty unique to me.
After writing the above line I captured this frame, it says based on his novel, so I guess Jo Pagano was a man. Although there is some confusion on the IMDB.

One Night With You to play at The Lake County Film Festival

Written by Joe D on February 19th, 2008

Lake County Film Festival

Yo, yo Film Forno Fans , my feature directorial debut will screen at the Lake County Film Festival! If you’re in the area, come on down and check it out, a guaranteed good time will be had by all! Click the magic link below for all the info.

P.S. We’re going to SuperDawg!

Sayonara Kon Ichikawa

Written by Joe D on February 18th, 2008

Kon Ichikawa is dead at age 92. He made some great films , The Burmese Harp, Fires on the Plain, Tokyo Olympiad, Odd Obsession. He got interested in filmmaking by watching The Silly Symphonies of Walt Disney. These animated films had a worldwide influence and I’ve heard them mentioned by many filmmakers as being inspirational. Ichikawa’s first feature A Girl At Dojo Temple was made using puppets due to a lack of men during WWII. Sort of like that film about Karen Carpenter a few years ago. Fare Thee Well Ichikawa-San.


Un Posto Ideale per Uccidere- Dirty Pictures, Oasis of Fear

Written by Joe D on February 17th, 2008

I just watched Umberto Lenzi’s Un Posto Ideale Per Uccidere AKA Dirty Pictures or the english title I prefer Oasis Of Fear. This is a great film! The cast is superb, Ray Lovelock, in perhaps his greatest role, Ornella Muti, so young, so beautiful, so innocent and so sexy, Irene Papas, so dark, so severe, so attractive, like a sexy Greek witch.

This movie is a little like Hansel and Gretel with a sexy witch enticing our two innocent children into her gingerbread house, although the house isn’t made of gingerbread, candy canes, gumdrops, spun sugar. It’s made of champagne, caviar, exotic, erotic clothes, cigarettes, psychedelic music, and sex. Our story begins in Denmark where our two hippie love children are on holiday. They see the sights, run around Copenhagen and cavort like extras in a Dava Clark Five movie. But suddenly the Italian genre sensibility kicks in. They go into a Sex Shoppe, buy a ton of porno mags and bring them back to Italy to sell so they can pay for their vacation.
This works out great, they’re rich, they live like hippie Gods in Italy, eating at fancy restaurants, feeding champagne to cats, releasing doves at stuffy establishments, dancing at psychedelic discos, just having fun. There’s a scene that I find fascinating. At one point Ray sells a 45 record of people having sex to a foppish rich guy on a yacht.
vlcsnap-2469968.png Is That Moana Climax and the Heavy Breathers?

I’ve heard of “porno records” but I’ve never seen one. Frank Zappa was once busted for producing a “pornographic recording” and selling it to an undercover cop. Did people actually sit around at a stag party and listen to a record of people having sex? I heard Mickey Cohen bugged Johnny Stompanto’s bedroom and recorded Johnny and Lana Turner going at it.
You wanna go listen to a record?
johnny-stomp.pngJohnny Stomp
20070712044439lana_turner_in_the_postman_always_rings_twice_trailer_2.jpgOooooh Johnny, You Bug Me!
The Mickster made a ton of money selling pressings to Hollywood hipsters to play at Tinseltown shindigs. But back to Oasis of Fear, our two heroic hippies run out of cash and decide to produce their own dirty pictures starring themselves,
they do but they get busted in Pisa trying to sell their wares and are told to leave the country,
vlcsnap-2474541.pngIs that the leaning tower of Pisa or are you just happy to see me?

they hit the road in their old MG and run out of gas out in the country. They spy the beautiful estate of the wicked witch and push their car in hoping to get some gas.
At first Ms. Pappas tries to run them off, but then mysteriously she switches gears and invites them in. She offers them refreshments of all sorts, access to her copious closets of exotic outfits. Ornella dons an Eastern sari, she looks incredible, a vision from the Orient and she dances to a sitar record like a shimmering jewel.
at one point Irene looks at her through a cut crystal goblet and we get a telidoscopic view of Ornella’s bare breasts spinning psychedelically before our eyes.
A bare chested Ray assumes various Yogic poses at the command of Ms. Muti, The Lion, The Cobra, ” We are each other’s total slaves” he says to a bemused Irene.
A heady brew of sexual intrigue is bubbling furiously on the stove when murder and treachery rear their ugly heads. I’m not going to reveal what happens, YOU must seek out this film to find out for yourself. One of the aspects of this film I find so appealing is the summoning up of a bygone time. The 60’s, the Age Of Aquarius, the Innocence of these two young beautiful people perfectly captures that time and let’s us re-expieience it, like a fly in amber or Ruth Gordon’s scent collection in Harold and Maude. There is a dance scene with a rock band playing and our heroes frugging and watusiying their hearts out. It captures the energy of that time perfectly.
You can feel what it was like to be alive then. To feel like the world was yours, sex and music were a magic carpet to fly you around the globe.
This is the birthright of every person, an ideal we’ve lost touch with today. This is one reson why films like this are important. They’re the Dead Sea Scrolls of the hippie era. We can all learn a lot about the Spirit of that Age. This is also a reason why I feel Lenzi is a great filmmaker. His film resonates with truth, true senasations, what a real person would feel, not some corporate crap selected by a demographic computer print out. There’s a dance scene in Mike Hodges’ great Get Carter that rings true with the same soul transporting realism. He also is a great filmmaker and you can tell from details like this. But for me the stars of this film are the stars. Lovelock and Muti are so captivating, so charming, you really care about them. And Irene Pappas is so evil, she’s great! The score is by Bruno Lauzi, a pop star singer. It’s great, melodic, moody, jazzy. Even the pop song that’s used in the film is excellent. It works , it’s got a hook, it grabs you and you dig it. I think the Marc 4 played on this song because the bassline is so ass kickingly funky and hip, it must be the incomparable Maurizio Maiorana.
Looky here I just found the opening credits on YouTube!

R.I.P Barry Morse AKA Lt. Philip Gerard-The Fugitive

Written by Joe D on February 5th, 2008


Barry Morse in Action! Getting Choked in a Dungeon!

Barry Morse the great actor who portrayed the personification of the term “relentless pursuer” is dead. His Lt. Philip Gerard goes down with Captain Bligh as one of the most brutal unbending authority figures of all time. I watched The Fugitive when it first ran on TV. I was a young lad at the time. It was one of the shows that made the transition from B+W to color. So you’d hear William Conrad’s stentorian voice announce “The Fugitive, In Color!” and it would say In Color on the screen as well. I guess just in case you had a B+W TV and were deaf, they wanted to let you know what you were missing. There was such a mania about this show that when the final episode was to be aired, all these rumors swept the country. I remember my neighbors telling me they had a cousin who knew somebody that worked for ABC and they found out what was going to happen. Of course they were wrong. That episode was one of the most watched programs ever broadcast. I still remeber at the end of the final show, Dr. Richard Kimball, now cleared of murder charges. is approached by Lt. Gerard outside the courthouse. He offers his hand to the recently vindicated physician, Dr. Kimball refuses to shake it. David Janssen was like Jesus Christ walking the land spreading wisdom and helping people, all the while pursued by the evil, officious Lt. Gerard. Check out Morse’s resume, he worked on all the early classic dramatic TV shows, Playhouse 90, East Side West Side, Naked City, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits. What a great time to be an actor for Television! Once during the original run of the show, my friend and I threw some snowballs at a passing bus. To our surprise it stopped and a guy got off. He looked just like Lt. Philip Gerard! He started chasing us! We got away finally but we were freaked out! Fare Thee well Barry Morse, your relentless pursuits are over except on reruns and DVD.

Lt. Gerard, Dr. Richard Kimball. The One-Armed Man with an Emmy

Ernie Pyle, The Story Of G.I. Joe

Written by Joe D on February 4th, 2008


A Man Falls Dying Only Once

This is pretty wild. The Army just released this picture of War correspondent Ernie Pyle’s corpse. It was taken minutes after he was shot and killed by a sniper on a Pacific Island in 1945. The Army didn’t relesase the picture until now out of concern for Ernie’s widow. Ernie wrote my favorite WWII movieThe Story Of G.I. Joe, he didn’t live to see it released. I wonder if William Wellman ever saw this picture. It reminds me of a shot of Robert Mitchum at the end of G.I. Joe. The role that would make Mitchum a star. Ernie Pyle, I salute you. You gave a voice to the dog soldiers, the guys slogging through the mud and freezing while being shot at with Howitzers. In the photo it almost looks like you’re sleeping. Rest Easy, you earned it.