I had never heard of this movie until I started working at Warner Archive Collection last year and when I saw that they had a movie with Marcello Mastroianni in it, I just had to watch it. I finally got around to watching it earlier this week and discovered that it was in fact directed by a woman (Kidron also directed To Wong Foo among other things). I’m glad I waited so long to watch it because I’ve learned a lot in the last few months from things I’ve read and conversations I’ve had with women and I think I wouldn’t have appreciated this movie as much if I had watched it earlier.
Continuing with Noirvember, I decided to write about a proto-noir, William Wyler’s Dead End. This is a fabulous example of crime cinema, coming at the end of the thirties and a wave of films like Scarface and The Petrified Forest. Dead End takes a look at the life of several residents who live in tenements located below luxury apartments built for the view of the picturesque East River. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, though it didn’t win any: Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress Claire Trevor and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were The Awful Truth, Captains Courageous, The Good Earth, In Old Chicago, Lost Horizon, One Hundred Men and a Girl, Stage Door, A Star Is Born and winner The Life of Emile Zola.