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PM, May 1, 1941, p.7

Here’s What Makes a Museum Modern by Henry Simon.”

(“Coffee Concerts” started at 9 PM. Museum admission was $1.50. In May 1941 $1.50 had the same buying power as $27.59 in March 2021; in May 2021, museum admission is $25. The Sophistichords, Herman Chittison, solo, and John Kirby and his Orchestra, from Cafe Society Uptown… One of the songs performed by Herman Chittison at MoMA on April 30, 1941 was The Man I Love. One of the songs performed by John Kirby and his Orchestra was Double Talk.)

Museum of Modern Art to Present Series of Non-Concert Music Including Swing, Folk Songs, Gospel Singers, Spanish Dancers, and Voodoo Drummers… PDF of press release.


The Man I Love, Herman Chittison, 1941 (piano solo).


Double Talk, John Kirby and his Orchestra, 1941.



PM, May 1, 1941, p.7

‘Citizen Kane’ Gets A Running Start
Citizen Kane, the Orson Welles movie which for four months has withstood a nationwide Heartskrieg, opens tonight, 8:30, at the Palace. Its advance business, nourished by the newspaper controversy, is booming…
…”I can always show it,” he said. “I’ll show it in a ballpark with four screens, in auditoriums, at fairs, in circus tents, in necessary…”


Flamingo, Herman Chittison, 1941 (piano solo).


I Should Care, Herman Chittison Trio, 1945.

“Start writing or type / to choose a block”

uncovering_naked_city

Screenshot from https://www.criterionchannel.com/uncovering-the-naked-city

Uncovering THE NAKED CITY

Directed by Bruce Goldstein • 2020 • United States

In this original short documentary and personal essay, Bruce Goldstein, founder of Rialto Pictures and repertory director at New York’s Film Forum, tracks down many of the 100+ New York City locations—from the Bronx to the Lower East Side—used in his friend Jules Dassin’s classic police procedural THE NAKED CITY, while also spotlighting the contributions of producer Mark Hellinger and cinematographer William Daniels. https://www.criterionchannel.com/uncovering-the-naked-city

“Start writing or type / to choose a block”

Always remember:

“Start writing or type / to choose a block”


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(Trailer for “The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot. Similar introduction to “The Naked City.”)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot. Deserted Times Square.)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot. Spoiler alert: portrait photographer helps solve the crime; nice camera in background.)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshot)

Entirely irrelevant to the focus of this blog… but shockingly relevant to real life, New York now…


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshots)

“The Killer That Stalked New York” (1950) maybe it’s not the best movie ever made… But there’s something for everyone: Vaccinations! Press cameras! Hand washing! Cool science photos! And there’s “shot-on-the-spot realism!”


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshots. Even the mayor gets vaccinated.)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshots… 20 seconds forever…)


(“The Killer That Stalked New York” screenshots… Yes! It’s…)


The Killer That Stalked New York

‘Killer That Stalked New York,’ About a Diamond Smuggler, Opens at Palace Theatre

By Bosley Crowther

January 5, 1951

An interesting complicating factor is introduced into a routine hunt for a pretty young diamond smuggler in Columbia’s “The Killer That Stalked New York.” This factor is merely that the lady has smallpox, which she has brought into the country along with the gems, and, without knowing what she has, she is spreading it while remaining a fugitive in New York.The peril, of course, is obvious—as it literally was a few years ago when an actual smallpox carrier brought the dread disease to this city. And it is in a pictorial demonstration of the scope and the health problem of this peril that the one virtue of this picture, now at the Palace, resides.By bringing his cameras to New York and filming realistic hospital scenes, mass vaccinations and local details. Director Earl McEvoy has achieved a respectable simulation of the anxiety of a community when confronted with a possible plague. And he has managed to get some fascination into the desperate devices by which the health authorities, headed by a young physician, attempt to pinpoint the fatal carrier.But, unfortunately, the script of Harry Essex, based on a factual magazine piece, has a bad tendency to ramble and to confuse two separate hunts. And the performances of the principal characters, while adequate, have little punch. Evelyn Keyes, as the fugitive smallpox carrier, manifests great discomfort and distress, but she is no more than a melodramatic cipher in a loosely organized “chase.” William Bishop is blankly youthful as the physician and Charles Korvin is conventional as the lady’s no-good husband who tries to give her the brush. Others are moderately effective in a potentially but not sufficiently intriguing film.


Screen shots from “Thieves’ Highway” (1949).

The movie Jules Dassin (1911–2008) made after “The Naked City” (1948) was “Thieves’ Highway” (1949). There’s no (known) direct connection or involvement by Fellig in this film. Nevertheless… it takes place in California, largely in San Francisco and Oakland, it was filmed largely on location and at night, (it’s perhaps a bit more exciting than “The Naked City”); the depth of the actors goes a long way. (And who doesn’t love apples.) (Richard Conte, an indirect and semi-important player in Weegee’s film-world, will return to our imaginary movie club/imaginary film series in a few more movies.) The WeegeeWeegeeWeegee free moviee club begins with “Thieves’ Highway.”


Screen shot from “Thieves’ Highway” (1949).

Thieves’ Highway” (1949).


Screenshot from “M”, 1951 (approx. 33:44)

“In the remake of the old German Peter Lorre classic, ‘M,’ I played a murder suspect…” Weegee by Weegee, p.101


“M”, 1951 (approx. 34:44-51)

Screenshots from M, Directed by Joseph Losey, 1951 (starting approx. 8:05)

A few of the still images, between the “DON’T”s, are (bizarre and incongruous, staged and spooky) Weegee photos…
(A small mystery, finally, solved.)

“1951. March: A remake of the Fritz Lang film M is released with Weegee in the role of a murder suspect.” “Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles” p. 125

Seven of the greatest seconds in film history!
Seven seconds of seminal cinema!

“Head.”
“Foot.”
“Green.”
“Red.”

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PM, August 16, 1946

CRITICAL and AMUSEMENTS
Ager
Discovery of The Superkiss

PM Reviews
NOTORIOUS, an RKO-Radio picture at the Music Hall, starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, wit Claude Rains, Madame Kon- stantin, Louis Calhern. Story and screenplay by Ben Hecht, produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

That an Alfred Hitchcock picture strangles you with suspense as if it were slowly pulling a cord around your throat, is not news. That the cord Mr. Hitchcock uses in Notorious is silken, might have been anticipated. His devices for audience enthrallment have grown more opulent as they have become less ingenious. They used to be braided together of unexpected and unusual oddments; of late they have been fashioned of one slick, expensive piece.
But that the old master should now crack out with a love scene to make all previous movie love scenes obsolete, is-to drain the word of all its connotations- a sensation.
Heretofore the tender little was of love have not been Mr. Hitchcock’s forte. This was only because, Notorious reveals, he had not put his mind, or his memory, to it.
Inasmuch as life imitates the movies, look now for a change in the techniques of contemporary pass-making. In olden times the degree of heat used to be measured by the number of minutes clocked off during the kiss-direct. So wide-spread was the belief in this myth that the then Hays office felt itself compelled to limit the number of minutes, in order to avert explosions. Believing themselves ham-pered by this Hays office restriction, scientific movie producers then experimented with variations in position and came to the conclusion that the horizontal was the most inflammatory, at least to their box office returns.
But now, as a result of a scene between Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in Notorious, the whole belief in the prolonged, horizontal kiss-direct is shown up as so much naive superstition. Simply bypassing these well-established procedures, Mr. Hitchcock proves that a lot of little kisses, properly placed – on and by the right persons, of course – while they’re talking about something else, dinner, for instance – is the true expression of true love. Even while she stands by him as he telephones, Miss Bergman is unable to cease and desist from brushing Mr. Grant with a thousand hungry little caresses. Since each one is as light and swift as a butterfly, that old Hays office knows what it can do. This is it; this is the way it is; or, as we said earlier, since life imitates the movies, this is the way it’s going to be.
The rest of the picture, tautening its silken cord in skillfull, imperceptibly quickening tempo, has to do with our own FBI out- smarting some first rate, very suave, Nazi rascals in Rio, ring-led by Claude Rains and Mme. Konstantin, who plays his mother. Mr. Grant is one of the FBI agents, Miss Bergman another. Since for a spell it’s necessary for Miss Bergman to be married to Mr. Rains, in order to discover what he’s up to – actually he’s only up to collecting the raw materials for atomic bombs – you can imagine how Mr. Grant suffers. You will have to imagine it. Mr. Grant would be the last to reveal it, if he could.
-CECELIA AGER

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PM, August 25, 1946

CRITICAL and AMUSEMENTS
Ager
“Bogart, Bacall, Babes and Bums

The Big Sleep yearns to be the most shocking picture that ever was. To that end, it sells shock for its own sake-realizing that any good reason for its trafficking would necessarily weaken the blows.
Realizing, too, that because they’ve become so familiar, murder, crimes, beatings-up alone have lost much of their jolt-value-The Big Sleep decides that its chief assaults shall be made with the still shining bludgeons of personal corruption, fetidness, decay.
But it is so intensely proud of its new weapon, there is so much determination in its batterings, it is so dedicated to thoroughness in its laying bare of evil-that a terrible thing, the very last thing it wanted to have happen to it, happens to it.
The deep sincerity of its striving for vice arouses affection. It’s so very serious about purveying depravity that its seriousness becomes endearing. It becomes kind of touching, kind of sweet.

Men Are Killers

It becomes winning. It evokes the fond indulgence that a blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked, good little boy meets when earnestly relating the very naughtiest day-dream the dear little fellow is able to think up.
All the men in the The Big Sleep are murderers, naturally; all the women, babes. Except perhaps for the showgirls in a Metro musical. There has never been assembled for one movie a greater and more delightfully varied number of female knock-outs. But whereas Metro showgirls at least look content, every woman in The Big Sleep is feverishly hungry for love. Though they appear ripe, inwardly they are starved, and so desperate for assuagement that though every one of them would prefer Humphrey Bogart, they settle instantly for anybody.
Quickest settler of them all is Martha Vickers, who looks like somebody’s kid sister budding into beauty, and who acts at least like Lauren Bacall’s kid sister, who, indeed, she plays.

Female Technique

She too looks up at a man with her hair impairing the vision of one eye. She too talks cryptic, in a cigaret voice. Her legs too are long; her technique, aggression.
But when denied her opium and her men, Miss Vickers pouts; whereas Miss Bacall, denied her bottle and her man, smoulders. The distinction is slight – having to do with the virtue of the singular “man” versus the plural “men” – but sufficient to make Miss Bacall the heroine, a legal movie conviction required to be pinned on some lady in a picture so that the audience can feel reassured that God’s in His heaven: all’s right with the world.
The love song of heroine Bacall and hero Bogart is wailed on a police siren, the counterpoint to a phantasmagoria of violence, mist, and confusion; a great many uglinesses happening fast. But how or why one ugliness succeeds the last is not easy to determine, inasmuch as producer-director Howard Hawks is so entranced with making each ugliness an individual gem of its kind that their relationship to each other has been neglected.
But these individual gems are recommended as samples of the skill of cinema craftsmen when engaged in cutting and polishing rhinestones to simulate diamonds, instead of just cutting and polishing diamonds. They are marvelous fakes. If there were such people and things as The Big Sleep has made up, they would certainly jerk that way.

-Cecelia Ager

PM Reviews

THE BIG SLEEP, a Warner Brother picture at the Strand. starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall with Martha Vickers, Charles Waldron, John Ridgely, Elisha Cook Jr. Sonia Darrin, Pat Clark, Dorothy Malone, Regis Toomey; screenplay by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett and Jules Furthman from the story by Raymond Chandler; produced and directed by Howard Hawks.

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PM, August 18, 1946

“THE BIG SLEEP, Humphrey Bogart’s and Lauren Bacall’s latest movie sets a new high in decadence and violence: The picture contains at least seven murders, one by cyanide poisoning, one by drowning and the rest by shooting. Characters include a private detective, who was kicked off the police force for insubordination; two ex-rum runners; a dealer in pornographic books and pictures; a chauffeur who once fought in the Irish Republican Army; a homosexual murderer; a big-time gambler; three blackmailers; a girl, who was the mistress of three murdered men; the operator of a stolen car racket; the faithful wife of a gangster; a girl who sucks her thumb and giggles when she sees a murder; an old, dying man who says of his daughters: “Vivian is spoiled and exacting… Carmen is a child who likes to pull wings off flies… I presume they both had and still have all the usual vices.”