ONE WAY STREET
Alan's sporadic takes on Film Noir and other aspects of pop culture
John Ford once remarked that the best moments in films are invariably serendipitious. So too are the appearances of film noir festival guests, especially last night at the Egyptian Theatre.
Gloria Pall made a last minute show-up at last night's viewing of The Crimson Kimono as the screening guest between the Sam Fuller double bill. The statuesque Ms. Pall has been around Hollywood since 1951 and was the focal point of the movie; the murdered stripper "Sugar Torch". Gloria proved to be a terrific raconteur, reeling off stories about Sam Fuller (she refused to film the opening sequence with a car nearly running into her; Fuller acquiesced to using a stunt double), charmed Elvis Presley when he was a Southern lad who liked to lick Gloria's fingers (ahem!) and went to lunch with Robert Mitchum after he brandishes a knife towards her (in the fist tattooed "HATE") in The Night of the Hunter. Gloria has self-published 13 books and more information about her at her website.
Speaking about terrific, it was great to see Christa Fuller, Sam's widow, muse and collaborator with her daughter and granddaughter at the screening of Kimono and my favorite Fuller picture, Pickup on South Street (1953). Christa is the co-author of Sam Fuller's prize-winning, A Third Face, My Tale of Writing, Fighting and Filmmaking, one of the best filmmaker memoirs around featuring an intro by Martin Scorcese. As Sam might have said, "it's a great yarn!"