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The Black Pools of Noir in MURDER, MY SWEET 1944

It’s dark. Too dark to see without assistance from a handy flashlight to confirm the time on his watch. Private dick Philip Marlowe is scouting out the meeting place in a densely wooded area, just off the road. He walks cautiously as dense, smoky fog crawls along the ground, in his tipped fedora and buttoned […]

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The Seduction of SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932)

Josef von Sternberg’s SHANGHAI EXPRESS was the top grossing film of 1932 (in US and Canada)- at the apex of the salacious Pre-Code era. With good reason. This exotic film takes us on a journey via rail in Northern China from Peking to Shanghai. There’s a uniquely diverse group of passengers that sometimes clash and […]

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Clara Bow is “IT”(1927)

Elinor Glyn’s novel “It” may be a different story than the film adaption, but the concept of “It” remains the same. What exactly is “It”? To claim it simply meant sex or sex appeal is selling it short. According to Clarence Badger’s/Josef von Sternberg’s IT (1927), “Self-confidence and indifference as to whether you are pleasing […]

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