Noir for the Soul

While browsing Netflix Saturday I realized they have a huge selection of good old film noir available for instant view. Frank and I began watching them that afternoon.

One of the things Frank really misses from our shunned cable usage is Turner Classic Movies. Both of us grew up on Hollywood’s classic black and white films. We had become aware of their absence.

I Wake Up Screaming was the best of the two we watched on our kick-off Noir film day. I fell in love with the strange, beautiful energy of Laird Cregar.

He was big — 6′ 4″ — beautiful and gay. Sadly, he died young trying to lose too much of his ever-present and generous weight.

I think it’s fair to say his presence was mesmerizing. He made a compelling dark character. He was both good and bad in the aforementioned film noir, ultimately, a sympathetic character, at least, in my eyes.

Look at his eyes in this still from his last film Hangover Square. He had been punishing his body with radical dieting, amphetamines, etc. He died before the film was released following a weight-loss related surgery.

Laird plays a Jack the Ripper-like character in The Lodger .

We’ll have to wait for that one to arrive by snail mail. I can’t wait!

He plays the Devil in the 1943 version of Heaven Can Wait.

Though Laird looks the part in this photo (3rd on page) from the film Rings on Her Finger.

Here is a piece on Laird, from the New Jersey Star-Ledger.


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