Newsflash!

Yes Virginia, it's done!

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My Michael Curtiz manuscript is at the publisher with the book scheduled for publication in 2017.  “Done” is a relative term as there is still a considerable distance to travel before I am holding a completed book in my hand, but the work itself is completed and it’s a good feeling.  With that, I will be returning to my blog and updating the web site on what is going on with me and the world of classic film.

 

ONE WAY STREET

Alan's sporadic takes on Film Noir and other aspects of pop culture

  Peggy Webber's part in The Wrong Man (1956) was a brief, but important scene as an insurance company clerk who wrongly identifies Henry Fonda as an armed robber. Her erroneous conclusion provided the impetus that propels an innocent Fonda into the bowels of injustice hell. I had to cajole Miss Webber just a bit to join me at the screening on Saturday night, "It's such a small part...", but thankfully she attended and her presence made for a delightful evening. The Wrong Man was an interesting disappointment. Hitchcock's solitary voyage into literal docudrama (he had apparently watched The Bicycle Thief and experienced a spasm of neo-realism with an actual miscarriage of justice story featured in Life Magazine) was simply too sterile to elicit rapt interest. For openers, I simply couldn't buy a 51 year old Hank Fonda as a 38 year old Italian jazz musician thumping a bass fiddle nights...
wrong man
©Alann K. Rode

Posted by on in Authors and Writers
  Effective screenplay writing is a distinctly different skill than the craft required to compose novels and stories. No one understood this better than the late William (Bill) Bowers, who was among the elite screenwriters and script polishers in Hollywood for many years. According to Bill, in a 1980 interview with Jean W. Ross, heralded novelists including F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner, never could write good screenplays on their own because of an inability to, "....to visualize things, to imagine how it was going to play". He added, "They never had to confront that in writing novels." Bowers' work has been on display at the 8th Annual Festival of Film Noir with the epochal Pitfall (1948), last evening with The Mob (1951) and closing the festival next Wednesday with Abandoned (1949). Bill's best work was characterized by witty, biting and often dyspeptic dialogue. His prose proved to be a perfect...
©Alan K. Rode

Posted by on in Actors and Actresses
  One of filmdom's most lovely and gracious stars, Coleen Gray, was on hand at the Egyptian Theatre Wednesday night for a double bill screening of The Killing (1956) and The Sleeping City (1950). Since being featured in Eddie Muller's book, Dark City Dames six years ago as one of the authentic film noir femme fatales, Coleen has jointly appeared with Eddie for Q&A sessions at numerous screenings of her pictures at venues in San Francisco, Palm Springs and here in L.A. I was tickled to death to interview Coleen between the films yesterday evening and become a supporting player in what has become an enduring, dark tradition. The Killing (1956) is my definition of a classic film; I 've seen it at least 15 or 20 times and never tire of it, feeling exhilarated and renewed with each viewing. There is nothing to criticize. The Killing marked Stanley Kubrick’s emergence...
coleen gray
©Alan K. Rode