Audrey Totter’s tough as nails persona radiated through the screen. Starting as a radio actor in Chicago and New York, she became a respected film actor with a searing gaze that was perfect for the film noir popular at the time.
If you haven’t seen a Myrna Loy film, TCM has chosen some great ones to screen on August 2. In addition to The Thin Man, which is canon Loy, make sure you catch Libeled Lady (1936) and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948).
Drawing on the themes of Shakespeare’s MacBeth, Katherine is a fierce woman, tired of living by her husband’s rules and she has no problem committing murder to get what she wants. And, as is the sign of good storytelling, the audience is tempted to cheer for her.
Rather than a “locked room” mystery wherein the victim is found dead in a room where no one could have gotten in or out, Christie traps everyone together on a snowbound train. The victim, the suspects, and the detective are all stuck in the “locked room.” The new movie version, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh is problematic but it was much better than the trailers led me to believe.
Though I haven’t focused on it lately, I also write about films (often classics). I earned a master’s degree in cinema studies, really just for fun. Recently I was accepted into a stable of writers at Film Inquiry and they agreed to let me write a “Beginner’s Guide to Film Noir.” It was great fun…