Tuesday, May 14, 2013

All Through The Night (1941)

WHO: Humphrey Bogart.

WHAT: I have not seen All Through the Night. But my friend Miriam Montag (a film programmer herself; she's put together a show at Oddball Films for this Friday) has, and generously contributed her thoughts for Hell On Frisco Bay readers:
Nestled in his filmography between The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart is a politically myopic version of Rick Blaine, “Gloves” Donahue, a Broadway promoter straight from Damon Runyon, in a deceptively light entertainment. The first delirious part of All Through the Night seems to have genre-issues. The tough guy patter is broad, goofy and often veers into a hard-boiled version of Francis the Talking Mule. At the same time, the bodies start piling up. It's a bit like squawking that the strawberries under your Devon cream are the wrong size, but it does put the Noir fan on guard. What gives?   
It seems this hellzapoppin entertainment was aimed at those Americans who might, just like “Gloves”, ignore the front page. Europe isn’t just in flames, folks, there are darker deeds afoot. Bogart is beautifully dumbed down, an isolationist who needs to be reminded there’s a war on, who can barely pronounce the crazy names the Germans have given to the outposts where they are keeping their enemies. A film-goer would have to be a real schmoe to not awaken to the horrors along side our man about town. Such heavy going needs the all the help it can get to make its message palatable, and the entertainment appeal is applied with spades: the wisecracks are sure fire. You want a lilting Johnny Mercer title song? We’ve got one for you. It’s so loaded down with your second banana favorites, it's positively dizzying. 
WHERE/WHEN: Tonight only at the Roxie at 8:00.

WHY: Bogie appears on local cinema screens far less frequently than you might expect for a star with such an enduring and regenerating cult. To the best of my knowledge the next scheduled opportunities to see him in a communal screening situation will be when They Drive By Night and High Sierra play as part of the Pacific Film Archive's Raoul Walsh series this summer (precise dates TBA). 

For those who have already been attending the Roxie's I Wake Up Dreaming series this week, the appearance of Peter Lorre in All Through The Night makes for a three-night-run of movies featuring the sleepy-eyed actor. He was excellent in Sunday's Black Angel, practically carried the picture in last night's Island of Doomed Men, and won't be appearing in any more of the series titles over the next week and a half, so catch him while you can.

HOW: On a double-bill with a 35mm print of Nightmare, but projected digitally. Miriam Montag has a few words on that as well:
Roxie programmer Elliot Lavine has been trying to get a 35mm print out of Warners for years, without any luck so All Through the Night will screen digitally. If you want to miss out on Jackie Gleason’s fine performance as “Starchy” because it’s not on 35mm, fine. The rest of us will just move back a few rows.

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