Just like that shiv you never saw coming, it's been a short and sharp fifth week of Noirvember. Only two movies but they feature a couple of cities that just beg to be photographed. For you sightseers, this is how I rate these:
Sister, I’ve Known Some Pretty Hard Cases in My Time; You Make ‘em All Look Like Putty. = ***
You've Probably Had Your Bread Buttered on Both Sides Since the Day You Were Born. = **
I Wouldn't Give You the Skin Off a Grape = *
Get ready for the smell of the city, tourist.
THE HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL - Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, Star Trek: The Motion Picture) directs this San Francisco set yarn about impersonators, paranoia, and stolen hearts. Like all of Wise's works, it's solid but not nearly sordid enough.
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS - Now this is a movie. New York practically jumps off the screen and onto your lap with the energy of a rat hungry for pizza. Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis knock it out of the park, the dialog sings like a sultry chanteuse, and James Wong Howe's cinematography crackles with sleaze. This is a defining movie by any standards, be it as noir, a depiction of New York, or an incisive examination of manhood during the decline of the 50s. If it isn't obvious, this is my pick-of-the-week.
And with that, Noirvember takes the big sleep. See ya next year, chumps.