Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No Out About It

Though the plot has to play itself out
The outcome is never in doubt
His movies are certain
Of doom at the curtain
Fritz Lang was a gloomy old kraut.

We hope you've enjoyed our visit to the films of the master of German Expressionism, Fritz Lang. Top: Dana Andrews frames himself for murder in Lang's Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956); Above: Herr director clowns around with a few friends. 
And while we're in a funereal mood, Limerwrecks member Norm Knott (aka Jim Siergey) shares a few thoughts on his own final scene.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trial Scoffer

To prove executions may err
A ruse gets him queued for the chair
But the system he tricked
In a twist has him licked,
And the truth is it's moot why he's there.

Crusading newspaper publisher Sidney Blackmer suggests Dana Andrews frame himself for murder in Fritz Lang's Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956). It was the director's last American film.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Angry Young Man-iac

When eyeing the feminine form
The psycho inside him gets warm
Then in bedroom and bath
Vents his oedipal wrath
All prior to Mama Bate's Norm.

John Barrymore Jr. as the "Lipstick Killer" in While the City Sleeps (Fritz Lang, 1956). With Virginia Mayo.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tabloid Freud

To uncover just why he ignites
Ask mother this mamma's boy writes
The Press stop their presses
When necks he compresses
'Cause in bloodshed the press corps delights.

The media cynically exploits John Barrymore Jr.'s pathetic serial killer in Fritz Lang's While the City Sleeps (1956).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sleeps' Sickness

In lipstick a killer's been scrawling
Through gutters reporters are crawling
His crazed strangulations
Have raised circulations
But which commits sins more appalling?

The cynical media exploits a serial killer in Fritz Lang's While the City Sleeps (1956).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sentenced to Dye-Job

Though the evidence simply was lacking
The deck they'd been busily stacking
When the jury decided
On a verdict one-sided
To the Death House Dick Kimble's sent packing.

William Newell sentences David Janssen to execution by Fugitive Fridays. Image source: Richard Kimble The Fugitive.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rotten-to-the-Press Corps

The newsroom is crawling with snakes
A crew of appalling old rakes
They favor a story
Salacious and gory
And for scoops screw whoever it takes.

Ida Lupino, Dana Andrews, Vincent Price, George Sanders and Thomas Mitchell in Fritz Lang's While the City Sleeps (1956).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Male Pattern Scalding

By scalding hot coffee she's scarred
Her beauty indelibly marred
Poor Gloria Grahame's
A hot-headed da'ame
Lee Marvin's a total b'stard.

David Cairns

The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953). David Cairns spills the beans at Shadowplay.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Little Boy Bluebeard

This couple is growing estranged      
The trouble is Romeo's changed
He builds recreations        
Of killer locations  
Yes, hubby's a yo-yo, deranged.

Newlywed Michael Redgrave creeps out bride Joan Bennett with his Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1947). Sort of a mash-up of Rebecca and the Bluebeard tale, this might be the most visually dense and subtle film from Hollywood's Freudian fling in the 1940s.     I said visually subtle. Image source: As Cool as a Fruitstand.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Room with a Boo

Left alone in his horrible home
Wife Joan would through corridors roam
The most frightening space
In this nightmarish place?
In its owner's unfortunate dome.

Joan Bennett seeks the Secret Beyond the Door ( Fritz Lang, 1947). Image sourceThe Daily Notebook.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Unhinged Beyond the Door

Did he marry his Mrs. for dough?
Since they paired she's suspicious it's so
There's a wing of weird rooms
Where a mystery looms
And she's scared it's a murderer's row.

Joan Bennett and Michael Redgrave share a Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1947). Image sourceThe Daily Notebook. Can't get enough Lang? There's more here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Secret Beyond the Door Prize

Her new husband has something he's hiding
On this subject their marriage is riding
His mansion is roomy
Plus clammy and gloomy
It's a nuthouse in which they're residing.

Joan Bennett and Michael Redgrave share a Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1947). Image sourceThe Daily Notebook.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Teed Off-icer

He's been freed and it's made me upset
Through their deeds he's evaded the net
Like some little lost whelp
Richard Kimble gets help
When these bleeding hearts aid and abet.

Along the way, many strangers helped Richard Kimble remain The Fugitive. In the episode "Nightmare at Northoak", an entire town wants him to escape from the frustrated Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse). To relieve frustration, frequent our feature Fugitive Fridays. Tomorrow:  back into the black pit of Fritz Lang's film noir.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grim Pickens

It's murder to yearn for a chick
And learn she's been turning a trick
But when Christopher's cross
He shows Kitty who's boss,
And perforates her with a pick.

Edward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett meet on Scarlet Street (Fritz Lang, 1945). Image source: Cinema of the World

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Woman Innuendo

He'd stayed on the narrow and straight
Till he strayed on a very hot date
Caught tight, the poor schmuck
In a nightmare was stuck,
Waylaid by a harrowing fate.

Edward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett, The Woman in the Window (Fritz Lang, 1944). 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We've inferred that the streets she's been hittin' 
But this bird is is a curious kitten 
Though she never said "when"
To plenty of men,
Absurdly, she's takin' in knittin'.

Joan Bennett in publicity shots for Man Hunt (Fritz Lang, 1941), playing a wartime London prostitute with a heart of gold. To placate the censors, a sewing machine was placed prominently in her flat, implying she did something else for a living. Titled by David Cairns, who "takes in washing" at Shadowplay. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Intrigue of Their Own

He's stiff upper lip, she's hard-bitten,
But this kitten with Pidgeon is smitten
As Nazis pursue,
This odd couple woo,
Giving Hitler the slip in Great Britain.

Walter Pidgeon and Joan Bennett are chased by Nazi agents through the foggy streets of pre-war London in Man Hunt (Fritz Lang, 1941).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gunning on Empty

He hunts the most dangerous game
With his rifle he takes careful aim
But the gun is unloaded
So the Hun's unexploded
Which is really a terrible shame.

David Cairns

Hitler is a sitting duck for Walter Pidgeon in Man Hunt (1941). Up next in November Noir is a week or two on the Fritz. Fritz Lang, that is. Writer David Cairns shoots his mouth off about Herr Lang on his blog Shadowplay. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thumb Luck

He patiently sticks out his thumb
Cruel fate's left him stricken and numb
Some mysterious force
Sent him veering off course...
Or maybe this victim's just dumb.

Tom Neal stumbles through Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Title by finger man David Cairns.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mental Detective

A headcase with buried aggression,
He's led by his scary obsession                  
But the crazy cop schtick              
Is what's making him sick                 
So he's scheduled a therapy session.

Lt Gerard (Barry Morse) has an unhealthy fixation on The Fugitive. We suggest you see Fugitive Fridays once a week. Title by couch-potato David Cairns.  Image sourceRichard Kimble, the Fugitive.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Somebody Call the Corpse!

Can't go back and there's nowhere ahead
Guess I'm trapped on my own in my head
She was just on the phone
And yet now I'm alone
I would call but the line has gone dead.

Ann Savage and Tom Neal get wired in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945). Image source: Like...Dreamsville. Title phoned in by David Cairns.