Melissa Kaercher

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Episode 8: Brick

BrickWe’ve done a seven episodes exploring original films noir, so it is high time we take a look at a modern film that was influenced by noir. Join us for a viewing of Rian Johnson’s directorial debut, Brick!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we spoil the ending and a lot of the fun bits. The film can currently be found for rental on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Instant, Google Play, and YouTube.

Our next episode will be returning to old school noir with a bit of Alfred Hitchcock: Shadow of a Doubt! Listen for it on September 21st!

Brick (2005)
Brick poster Rating: 7.4/10 (94,659 votes)
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss
Runtime: 110 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Released: 14 Apr 2006
Plot: A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

Episode 7: Key Largo

Key LargoWe’ve gone far too long on this podcast without encountering Humphrey Bogart, so we’re remedying that with an episode about Key Largo!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we spoil the ending. The film can be currently be found for streaming rental on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu. Netflix also has it on DVD if you have their disc delivery service.

Our next episode will be our first foray into modern noir: Brick! Listen for it on September 7th!

Key Largo (1948)
Key Largo poster Rating: 7.9/10 (33,948 votes)
Director: John Huston
Writer: Richard Brooks (screenplay), John Huston (screenplay), Maxwell Anderson (based on the play by)
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore
Runtime: 100 min
Rated: Not Rated
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Released: 31 Jul 1948
Plot: A man visits his war buddy's family hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Episode 6: Mildred Pierce

Mildred PierceWe’re back with more Joan Crawford, because in this episode, we discuss her Oscar-winning performance in Mildred Pierce!

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we spoil the hell out of it. The film can be currently be found for streaming rental on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu, and Netflix has it on DVD if you still have their disc program.

Our next episode will be our first foray into the world of Humphrey Bogart: Key Largo! Look for it on August 21st!

Mildred Pierce (1945)
Mildred Pierce poster Rating: 8.0/10 (20,006 votes)
Director: Michael Curtiz
Writer: Ranald MacDougall (screenplay), James M. Cain (novel)
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden
Runtime: 111 min
Rated: Passed
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance
Released: 20 Oct 1945
Plot: A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Episode 5: Possessed

Possessed

In this episode, we discuss the 1947 Joan Crawford psychodrama, Possessed! (This is in contrast to the 1931 Joan Crawford film named Possessed, which is very different.) The film also features the talents of Raymond Massey and Van Heflin, but really, it’s all Joan Crawford’s show.

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because it’s great and we discuss many details about the plot. The film can be currently be found for rental on Google Play and Vudu, and an inexpensive DVD copy can be found on Amazon.

Our next episode will be another great Joan Crawford noir: Mildred Pierce! Look for it on August 7th!

Possessed (1947)
Possessed poster Rating: 7.2/10 (4,042 votes)
Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Writer: Silvia Richards (screenplay), Ranald MacDougall (screenplay), Rita Weiman (story)
Stars: Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey, Geraldine Brooks
Runtime: 108 min
Rated: Approved
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Released: 26 Jul 1947
Plot: After being found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, a severely catatonic woman tells a doctor the complex story of how she wound up there.

Episode 4: Fallen Angel

Fallen AngelIn this episode, we discuss Otto Preminger’s Fallen Angel! This movie features a number of great actors from the noir era, including Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, Anne Revere, Charles Bickford, and the ever-present John Carradine.

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we get really detailed about the plot. I mean, really detailed. The film can be found on DVD, but if you are thrifty, there is a free streaming version on archive.org. (That archive.org copy isn’t in the greatest condition, so a DVD is preferable if you want to really enjoy Joseph LaShelle’s great cinematography.)

Our next episode will be about the 1947 film that gave Joan Crawford a Oscar nomination: Possessed! Look for it on July 21st!

Fallen Angel (1945)
Fallen Angel poster Rating: 7.2/10 (4,174 votes)
Director: Otto Preminger
Writer: Harry Kleiner (screen play), Marty Holland (novel)
Stars: Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, Charles Bickford
Runtime: 98 min
Rated: Approved
Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance
Released: 20 Mar 1946
Plot: A slick con man arrives in a small town looking to make some money, but soon gets more than he bargained for.

Episode 3: The Postman Always Rings Twice

The Postman Always Rings TwiceIn this episode, we discuss the steamy Postman Always Rings Twice! This is the movie that brought Lana Turner’s legs into Hollywood legend, and if that’s not enough to sell you on this film, I’ll add that it also contains prime Hume Cronyn.

We highly recommend you watch the film before listening to the episode, because we get really detailed about the plot and because you really should experience this great film. It can easily be obtained on DVD, but if you’re the streaming video type, you’ll also find that it’s currently available for rental on iTunes.

Our next episode will be about the 1945 Otto Preminger film, Fallen Angel! Look for it on July 7th.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
The Postman Always Rings Twice poster Rating: 7.5/10 (16,824 votes)
Director: Tay Garnett
Writer: Harry Ruskin (screen play), Niven Busch (screen play), James M. Cain (based on the novel by)
Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn
Runtime: 113 min
Rated: Not Rated
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Released: 14 Oct 1946
Plot: A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband.

Episode 2: Out of the Past

Out of the PastIn this episode, we discuss Jacques Tourneur’s 1947 thriller, Out of the Past. It stars two of the most famous chin dimples of all time: Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum, and they are joined by the fabulous Jane Greer.

We highly recommend you watch the film with us, because it’s great. It can be found on DVD, but if you’re a streaming video person, it can also be found for streaming rental on Vudu and iTunes.

Our next episode will be about the steamy 1946 version of The Postman Always Rings Twice. Look for it on June 21st!

Out of the Past (1947)
Out of the Past poster Rating: 8.0/10 (28,903 votes)
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Writer: Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay), Daniel Mainwaring (novel)
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming
Runtime: 97 min
Rated: Not Rated
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Romance, Thriller
Released: 01 Dec 1947
Plot: A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

A Reel Education: Noir is now on iTunes!

In case you are of the Apple persuasion, you can now listen to our dulcet tones through iTunes. You can also like us on Facebook and tweet at us on Twitter.

And if you can’t wait until our next episode on June 7th, you might enjoy our parent podcasts’ new episode on Orson Welles’ noir-tastic Lady from Shanghai!

Episode 1: Touch of Evil

Touch of EvilWelcome to the inaugural episode of Reel Education: Noir!

Like our parent podcast, A Reel Education, we strive to discuss individual movies in depth, usually with someone who has never seen the film before. But unlike our fellow podcast, we will focus exclusively on films noir. (Really, it’s all just a clever excuse for us to watch a lot of films noir.)

Since A Reel Education has already covered several of the basics like Sunset Boulevard and Double Indemnity, we have begun our dark odyssey with Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil.

If you are unfamiliar with the Reel Education structure, here’s the deal: we will first briefly discuss the film, then stop the podcast and watch it. (At this point, feel free to pause the podcast and watch the film yourself!) Then we return and discuss our reactions and some of the history behind the film.

We hope you enjoy our stroll down the dark alleys of film history! A Reel Education: Noir will post on the 7th and 21st of every month, so we will next see you on June 7th!

Touch of Evil (1958)
Touch of Evil poster Rating: 8.0/10 (92,615 votes)
Director: Orson Welles
Writer: Orson Welles (screenplay), Whit Masterson (based on the novel "Badge Of Evil" by)
Stars: Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles, Joseph Calleia
Runtime: 95 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Released: 01 Feb 1958
Plot: A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Coming Soon to a Podcast Player Near You!

Within a few short weeks, A Reel Education: Noir will be giving you everything you wanted to know about films noir, one movie at a time. But until then… be cool!