Bob’s B-Day.

Mitchum 4

You could light up a dark and shadowy film noir set today with 103 candles for one of noir’s greatest anti-heroes and a Hollywood icon who might be unrivaled for filling out a billowing topcoat or letting those sleepy (or veiled bedroom) eyes peer out from beneath a wide fedora’s brim.

Mitchum 3

Is Robert Mitchum (8.6.1917 – 7.1.1997) my favorite film noir male actor? Yeah, probably. From Mitchum himself: “I kept the same suit for six years and the same dialog. They just changed the title of the picture and the leading lady.”

Maybe so, Mr. Mitchum. But damn, you did it so well.

Mitchum 1

Thou Shalt Not…

Fake Production Code

You’ve seen this photo a million times, I’ll bet. But I, for one, hadn’t seen it credited anywhere before, till it popped into my feed from HistoryCultureEducation at Tumblr. That site says it’s a 1934 staged photo by A.L. ‘Whitey’ Schafer, poking fun at the new Hays Production Code, and shoehorning in as many violations as possible. Accurate or not, it’s still pretty amusing.

Christmas Holiday

Christmas Holiday 2

A bit of a stretch to call it a holiday film, and despite some of the visuals, not what you’d call a film noir. Christmas Holiday(1944) might best be considered a romance-crime melodrama set at Christmas time. Gene Kelly leaves his dancing shoes in the studio locker, while Universal tries to rebrand their young cash-cow song-n-dance star Deanna Durbin as a dramatic actress. Directed by Robert Siodmak, it’s a bit dark, maybe even a little dreary, though not necessarily what you’d call ‘noir’. If you get to watch it, decide for yourself.

Christmas Holiday 3Christmas Holiday 1

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