Monday, March 27, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Behind Green Lights (1946) at the Noir City Film Festival

Tonight's Noir City Film Festival double bill was a pair of films from 20th Century-Fox: THE DARK CORNER (1946) followed by BEHIND GREEN LIGHTS (1946).

It had been a few years since I last saw THE DARK CORNER, and it's simply a terrific film noir. What a delight to see it on a big screen for the first time, in a gorgeous print! There are so many aspects I enjoy, from Mark Stevens and Lucille Ball in the leads to spotting John Russell as a cop to the great background score, and much more besides. A really delightful experience.

The BEHIND GREEN LIGHTS print was also outstanding. The movie was an oddball 64-minute crime film, reminiscent at times of HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940), with a bunch of shenanigans in the police station press room.

Carole Landis plays Janet Bradley, a politician's daughter who lands in hot water when a man who was blackmailing her turns up dead...right in front of the police station!

Police detective Lt. Sam Carson (William Gargan) holds Janet in a conference room overnight at the police station while he tries to determine whether or not she's a serious suspect. He and Detective Oppenheimer (John Ireland) sift through various possibilities; meanwhile, their own medical examiner (Don Beddoe) is acting very strangely.

This 64-minute film was sort of hit and miss for me. I loved the setting in the wee hours at a police station and I enjoyed some of the cast, but Landis was sadly wasted being stuck behind closed doors for much of the movie, waiting out being cleared.

Some of the more absurd "comic" bits with reporters and a flower saleswoman (Mabel Paige) were tiresome, and the story with the medical examiner was fairly strange as mysteries go.

But then Gargan, Landis, or the young Ireland (recently seen in OPEN SECRET) would come on screen and my interest would perk up again. It was a treat to have John Ireland Jr. in the audience tonight watching with us!

The movie looked great, and all in all, it's a film I mildly enjoyed "hanging out with," but while I have a real love for "B" mysteries, I've seen many which were more interesting.

The supporting cast included Mary Anderson, Richard Crane, Charles Russell, Roy Roberts, Charles Tannen, Stanley Prager, Charles Arnt, J. Farrell MacDonald, Lane Chandler, and Larry J. Blake.

BEHIND GREEN LIGHTS was directed by Otto Brower and filmed in black and white by Joseph MacDonald.

Next up at Noir City: Alan Ladd and Gail Russell in CALCUTTA (1947) paired with Jean Rogers and Richard Travis in BACKLASH (1947).


Blogger Ashley said...

Beyond Green Lights is on Amazon Prime streaming. The Dark Corner was part of the Fox Film Noir DVD series.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for sharing the streaming info, Ashley, I didn't know that! I really enjoyed the Fox DVD and commentary years ago.

Best wishes,

9:41 PM  

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