SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB: Week 171 - I Walk Alone

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by europe1, Aug 14, 2019 at 9:54 AM.

  1. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    24,206
    Likes Received:
    21,705
    Location:
    West of Finland, East of Norway
    NOTE to NON-MEMBERS: Interested in joining the SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB? Shoot me a PM for more info!

    Here's a quick list of all movies watched by the SMC. Or if you prefer, here's a more detailed examination.

    [​IMG]

    Our Director
    Byron Haskin

    [​IMG]

    After graduation from the University of California at Berkeley, Byron Haskin worked for a time as a newspaper cartoonist. He began his career in the film industry in 1920 as a commercial-industrial movie photographer, and then as a cameraman for Pathe and International Newsreel. Later he became an assistant director at Selznick Pictures. He was a cinematographer during the silent era, worked on special effects and helped to develop the technology that eventually brought sound to the film industry. He began directing in the late 1920s at Warner Brothers and journeyed to England in the early 1930s to make films there. Upon his return he was appointed head of the Warner Brothers Special Effects department. He returned to directing, and was responsible for Walt Disney's first live-action film, Tresure Island (1950). In the mid-'50s Haskin began a rewarding association with producer George Pal, for whom he shot what is probably his best-known film, the science-fiction classic War of the Worlds (1953). Haskin would collaborate with Pal on three other films, The Naked Jungle (1954), Conquest of Space (1955) and Psyko-Killer (1968). Fans will also remember Haskin for the cult-classic Robinson Crusoe On Mars (1964).

    Our Star
    Burt Lancaster!

    [​IMG]


    Film Overview

    Premise: A newly released prisoner is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California.

    Budget:
    $???

    Box Office: $2.1 million.




    Trivia
    (Courtesy of IMDB)

    * The film was based on a play "The Beggars Are Coming to Town" by Theodore Reeves which opened on Broadway on October 27, 1945 starring Paul Kelly and Luther Adler in the Lancaster/Douglas roles as former bootleggers. This was Byron Haskin's first directorial assignment since 1928, having worked as a cameraman in the interim. Haskin felt that the reason none of the cast objected was as newcomers they didn't know enough to object.

    * First of seven films that Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster made together.

    Members: @europe1 @MusterX @Cubo de Sangre @FrontNakedChoke @Tufts @chickenluver @Scott Parker 27 @Yotsuya @jei @LHWBelt @moreorless87 @HARRISON_3 @Bullitt68 @HenryFlower @Zer @Rimbaud82
     
    MusterX, FrontNakedChoke and Zer like this.
  2. MusterX

    MusterX Titanium Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Messages:
    39,932
    Likes Received:
    38,957
    @europe1 I am going to be honest here. I haven't watched this 1947 extravaganza yet but I will...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Scott Parker 27

    Scott Parker 27 Your Mom's Box

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2015
    Messages:
    2,963
    Likes Received:
    3,583
    Location:
    ball sack
    This was kind of an interesting movie from my perspective. I feel like I watched movies in reverse order of my grandparents generation, it's a weird way to put it but bear with me. I watched the movie tough guys with Lancaster and Douglas (can't believe he is still alive) with my grandpa in the late 80s. I was wondering who these old tough guys were, and why they were cast. I watch I walk alone and now I get it. Not much to say about I walk alone, I thought it was okay, lacking some plot points, but was fine. We're Douglas and Lancaster in a series of movies together, or was it just a couple of big hits?

    Bonus points if someone can tell me who the trench coated man with a shotgun in the clip below is without googling it. Think westerns.

     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019 at 2:41 PM
    Zer, europe1 and FrontNakedChoke like this.
  4. europe1

    europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    24,206
    Likes Received:
    21,705
    Location:
    West of Finland, East of Norway
    I basically liked this movie for the themes that Martin Scorcese outlined. You have the streetman clashing with the businessman. Crime is taken out of the alleys and made into a corporation. Burt's heavy-handed, straightforward ways don't work when confronted with Douglas byzantine system. Individualism replaced by institutionalisation, and all that. This was really neatly displayed when Lancaster goes to ransack Kirk's join and it turns out that all of his assets are so immaterial that you can't even loot them in the first place. I guess the message is that Lancaster's sentimental individualism at least offers him an avenue to reform through personal relationships, while Douglas descent into corporatism just makes him all the more inhumane the further down he goes.

    That said, I didn't always like the dramatics. That score especially is just way too overbearing and melodramatic. This needed to be a leaner, meaner, more moody film -- the way the violins just blare ceaselessly whenever something happened really didn't jive with this theme of crooks vs businessmen.

    Kirky Douglas was the nugget of this film. In my mind's eye, I always imagine his smirk as a caricature of itself, much wider and toothy. But he really deploys the smooth criminal well. I love that tiny inflexion change that happens to his voice when Dave confronts him. That last-minute trick he pulls with the "mind If I have a drink?" was a really lame piece of writing.

    Burt Lancaster was basically as he usually was. Kinda formulaic and staccato in his acting yet always so damn likeable for some reason.

    Has Liz Scott always sounded like such a grandma?

    There were also some good Noir-lines in there. "I'm the one whose been to jail yet you're the guy who looks 10 years older!"

    So yeah, pretty good movie!
     
    Zer likes this.
  5. Zer

    Zer Gold Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    22,432
    Likes Received:
    62,537
    I really liked this. tbh I was pretty sure I would as soon as I saw Kirk Douglas was in it. I pretty much love everything I've seen Kirk Douglas do, and I've seen the deleted Paths of Glory scene where he's taking a huge dump. As I mentioned in the voting thread I wasn't too familiar with Burt Lancaster but I'd seen him in Sweet Smell of Success and first impressions were good.

    Starting off with Burt since he's the main man this week - I thought he was awesome. He has a very alpha screen presence, but he uses it so well to catch viewers off guard so his emotional outbursts have more weight. Initially I was impressed with how he could change his demeanor to fit situations - we see multiple sides of him early on - and I expected him and Noll to end up in a spectacular battle of minds, but it doesn't pan out that way at all and he's mostly out of his depth. It reflects well on Burt as an actor but also highlights how inconsistent the writing and character is in this film - saying that, the differences between Noll and Frankie and what they represent becomes a nice plot point it's just a rocky road up to it.

    I loved Burt's physical acting too - the huge scene in Noll's office and how he sells the beating afterwards. Like Kirk, he says so much with his eyes. Great chemistry with everyone. One thing about Burt and Kirk is you know they were probably big ladies men irl and so their romances on screen really sparkle. The actresses dig them (One negative though is underutilized characters like Lex and Skinner - once Noll takes that huge heel turn and you see Lex pop up afterwards it's like oh fuck Noll and Lex are such a delicious combo of evils but it comes to nothing at all which is a huge shame - Frankie and Kay vs Noll and Lex would've been my approach if I was booking this shit. And Frankie vs Skinner would've definitely been on the card too).

    Because he's the leading man and looks very leading man you expect Frankie to be somewhat bulletproof, so it's nice to see him get his ass kicked for most of the movie. It's very endearing, and I think the movie's on that wavelength because it's also funny how he keeps attracting people away from Noll just because they pity him (There were a few funny moments ITT - Burt going on this long spiel about how he was a changed man etc while police sirens are approaching in the background - and the references to previous scenes like how Dave's pen keeps coming up). It becomes a nice underdog story and with that it delivers a happy ending that doesn't really play well in 2019 but was probably the shit in 1947. But there was a lot about the ending that tanked tbh.

    Kirk was awesome as Noll too. I love Kirk to death. Like I mentioned with Burt, Kirk uses his eyes so well and communicates so much outside of dialogue. The one scene near the end where he's walking, expecting a bullet in his back at any moment, he sells it so perfectly and I was never really against Noll at any point in this movie. I love early scenes where he just flat out tells Kay that he's marrying Lex without flinching at all. He has an undeniable charisma and magnetism. The writing on Noll is more stable and the character more consistent. There is dumb behaviour (Didn't buy the shooting in the dark scene at all or his bit pulling the gun on the cops) but it's nothing to do with Kirk.

    I think the ending of the film is a really bad failure and there are a lot of plot contrivances (Like a clearly distressed Noll says he wrote the confession at gunpoint, 100% convinced Burt has a gun, and Burt just says 'ha, I was threatening to kill you, but it just was a pen all along!!' and all the police around them are like 'well, this confession's legit as fuck'. Then Burt says in front of cops that he had a gun but he tossed it back at Noll's place. Guess he's white so they cut him a break on that shit). Both Noll and Frankie come out looking dumb as shit and it's really irritating because there was so much promise in the final showdown and the chemistry between the two is great.

    I've written a ton and I've gotta go out now. I agree with @europe1 about the score - definitely way too much. I love the sets, I loved the supporting characters (It's no bad thing when you have multiple side characters you feel should've gotten bigger roles). Overall a solid movie held back by some shitty writing (That said the writing just fucks up in terms of plot - it's pretty good in terms of dialogue and there were a lot of memorable lines ("You've said your five percent worth now get back to your station" - a lot of lines I don't exactly remember 100% tbf and imdb's quotes section for this is criminal)). For all it's faults, I also appreciate the focus of the movie - there are no distractions away from the main plot (Could also argue it could've used some though) and it doesn't drag things out unnecessarily (It gets a bit convoluted at the end but it powers through it), and so I was engaged 100% of the time and it didn't feel like 2+ hours at all.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.