Friday, July 31, 2009

Pout of the Past

In noir, actress Lizabeth Scott
has pouted through many a plot
Seductress and moll
or blonde femme fatale
"The Threat" tied the men in a knot

Born Emma Matzo, studio publicity dubbed Scott "The Threat," attempting to create a persona for her similar to that of Lauren Bacall or Veronica Lake. Scott's smoky sensuality and husky voice lent itself to the film noir genre. Perhaps no other actress has appeared in as many noirs, which include The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Pitfall, Too Late For Tears, Desert Fury, Dark City and Dead Reckoning.

I sent the above limerick to a few friends and asked for feedback. I wanted their opinion on whether Liz Scott pursed her lips or pouted. Here are their replies, made in limerick form. -Surly

When one's lower lip gets pushed out,
one normally calls that a pout
When lips are drawn tight
like they're full of fight
then "pursed" is the term for that mout'

Norm Knott

Why talk about Lizabeth Scott?
Worth mentioning? Nay, not a jot!
Her aping of Bacall
Interests me not at all.
Compare her to Lake? Please do not!

Mike Phillips, aka Goatdog

I could not agree with you more
What Ms. Scott produces ---a snore!
Her bag-laden eyes,
a voice like a guy's...
I'd rather go watch Eric Blore

Norm Knott

I feel that in fairness to Scott
her fans should be given a shot
Her noir work, when cited
a furor ignited
and in her defense I got squat


As a rebuttal on behalf of Ms. Scott, there's adulation aplenty on the Lizabeth Scott Homepage, here

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Oil of His Dreams

Obsessed by her portrait, he stares
He's caught in love's post-mortem snares
Because they've interred her
his love for her's murder
She's only a dream, but who cares?!

Dana Andrews in Otto Preminger's Laura (1944)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Standout of the Past

No beauty in noir would appear
more stunning than that of Jane Greer
She lit the short fuse
of boss Howard Hughes
who almost derailed her career

Jane Greer in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Color Her Crazy

This gal has a thing for her dad
In love, she obsesses a tad
She's likely to slay
what gets in her way
but Gene isn't evil, she's mad

Watch Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven
John M. Stahl, 1945) and you'll find that one of the
greatest noir melodramas is in screaming Technicolor.

Images thanks to Out Of The Past Classic Film Blog
and DVD Beaver, among others

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gravel-to-Gravel Coverage

Released after time served in prison
reformed, Tom has made a decision
He'll alter his luck
by driving a truck
and hope he avoids a collision

Hauling gravel, in tons, he must race
while thug-foreman, named "Red", sets the pace
If Tom runs more loads
than Red, through back-roads,
he'll win a prized cigarette case

Run by crooks, this freight business succeeds
through driving at hazardous speeds
any slower than that,
you're sacked--no time flat...
or fall victim to murderous deeds

Stanley Baker and Patrick McGoohan headline the solid British "trucker noir", HELL DRIVERS (1957), directed by Cy Endfield, who had earlier made the noir classics THE UNDERWORLD STORY(1950) and TRY AND GET ME (1950, a.k.a. THE SOUND OF FURY), and later had great success with Baker in ZULU (1964). HELL DRIVERS also stars Peggy Cummins (GUN CRAZY, CURSE OF THE DEMON), Herbert Lom, and small, early roles for Sean Connery and David McCallum. HELL DRIVERS is just one of the many rediscovered films in the Brit Noir film series.

Rote Couture

With pistols and trench coats and hats
no tough guy would ever wear spats
Try old fashioned dandies
with snifters of brandies
not mugs with a penchant for gats

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bargain Debasement

In Hollywood's B movie heap
the celluloid's stacked wide and steep
On poverty row
low price-tags will show
In noir that means
death on the cheap

Death on the Cheap
by Arthur Lyons is a great
book that reviews the most obscure noir films and
explains the forces at play in Hollywood when they
were being made. Read more about the book here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Follow Triumph

A dummy that's dressed for the kill
the mannequin sits very still
It's taking the place
of man with no face
It's motionless, that is, until...

A nifty noir, Follow Me Quietly (Richard Fleischer, 1949).
Photos courtesy of and arbogastonfilm

Friday, July 24, 2009

Knockdown Set-Up

A fighter has fought his last bout
He's broken and hasn't the clout
He followed his hunches
and didn't pull punches
but fate knocked him down and he's out

Robert Ryan in The Set-Up (Robert Wise, 1947)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Carrying a Torch Singer

Half-croaking, a torch singer croons
While smoking her way through the tunes
As cigarettes dangle
With danger she'll tangle,
Provoking the king of the loons.

Roadhouse (1948, Jean Negulesco) is a gorgeously goofy forties melodrama, shot by the great Joseph LaShelle. With the North woods saloon/bowling alley set, Ida Lupino's half-lit torch singer and Celeste Holm's wisecracking cashier, it's also a barrel of fun. Throw in Richard Widmark's cackling psycho routine and it all boils over the top into a noir climax. Imagesdvdbeaver and eternalsunshine

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gunned Moll

From danger this dame wouldn't shyThe gal liked the wrong kind of guy
Though squealing, she wouldn't
she saw what she shouldn't
So boyfriend hung girl out to dry

Image: Hazel Brooks, 1947

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nancy With the Lying Face

Of stealing, a girl was accused
Her ego, too fragile, was bruised
And so, in a panic
she turned klepto-manic
The Locket, with flashbacks, just oozed

In director
John Brahm's The Locket (1946), Laraine Day plays Nancy, a woman whose troubled past is revealed in a flashback within a flashback within a flashback, a labyrinthine structure well suited to post-war film noir and psychological melodrama. (Click on poster to enlarge)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Park Your Wienermobile, Big Boy?

A car that had boar on the floor
was rammed through a poor garage door
The driver's demeanor
and giant red wiener
implied that they wanted to score

And the Oscar Mayer Goes To...

A parking job none would admire
Perhaps the car blew out a tire

The driver's mistake?
Not hitting the brake
Distraught at the loss of O. Mayer

On the heels of the death of Oscar Mayer the 3rd
comes this tragic Wienermobile accident. AP photo.

Alone Together

I walk all alone, but with her
'cause blonds are the broads I prefer
I'll try and I'll fail
and end up in jail
and all 'cause she wanted a fur

In prison I worked in the gym
I'm out and I'll tear limb from limb
My partner in crime
let me do the time
Now he'll get what's coming to him

Like a bad penny, Noir Week returns to Limerwrecks, and this
time it's a fortnight: a double-dose of danger, dames, and doom.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Hulk, Smashed

Incredibly drunk was Bruce Banner
His breath set off gamma-ray scanner
They treated him mean
which made him turn green

and act in a very rude manner

Watch the amusing Hulk Smashed Youtube video, here

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Face Frontal

Her features were somehow misplaced
And now they all must be replaced
Except for her eyes
which stare in surprise
it seems that this girl was de-faced

Georges Franju's Les Yeux Sans Visage (Eyes Without a Face, 1960)
is one of the creepiest and most haunting horror films ever made.

You're getting sleepy, your eyelids are growing heavy...
we're shutting Eyeball Week at Limerwrecks.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Here's Looking at...Ewwww!

She's got Bette Davis's eyes
You should have seen Bette's surprise
Pried out of their sockets
and hidden in pockets
they're rotting and gathering flies

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Her photos sensationalize
the fashion of sex and demise
Then killer's-eye-views come
with visions so gruesome
it's murder to look through her eyes

Eyes of Laura Mars (Irvin Kershner, 1978)

Faye Dunaway stars as Laura Mars, a glamour photographer
whose controversial work foreshadows a series of real murders.