Sunday, January 29, 2012

Noir City Double Feature

Noir City, 01.28.2012 David Ladd and Alan K. Rode in conversation after showing of 1949 version of The Great Gatsby at the Castro Theatre.It was so crowded for the Noir City double feature at the Castro Theatre on Saturday that I ended up sitting in the balcony. I was curious to see the 1949 version of The Great Gatsby, with Alan Ladd in the title role. Alan K. Rode introduced the movie & interviewed David Ladd, Alan Ladd's son, after the screening. Mr. Ladd accurately described the movie as a "simplistic" re-telling of the novel & averred that it wasn't as bad as he remembered. It was a financial failure and never shown on TV or released on DVD. A bright spot is the casting of Shelley Winters as Myrtle, though her character is reduced to a cameo. The audience laughed at the crude process shot showing her being run over. The director's daughter, Nancy Nugent, was present in the audience.

I enjoyed the 2nd feature, Three Strangers, more. John Huston has a script credit. The O'Henry-like plot involves 3 London strangers whose lives intersect during Chinese New Year. Each owns a share of a winning racing ticket, & 2 out of the 3 behave badly. The movie has good performances by Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Peter Lorre, who is cast against type as a loveable, Shakespeare-quoting alcoholic.

§ Noir City

The Great Gatsby
1949, Paramount [Universal], 91 min.

Three Strangers
1946, Warner Bros., 92 min.

Castro Theatre
Saturday, Jan 28

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