Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Written by / 8/09/2016 / No comments / , , , , , , , , ,

JACQUES TOURNEUR'S 'THE FEARMAKERS' WITH DANA ANDREWS

Year Released: 1958 
Of the three motion pictures actor Dana Andrews starred in under the direction of Noir-Horror guru Jacques Tourneur, we'll cover two, made a year apart: CURSE OF THE DEMON and THE FEARMAKERS...

Dana Andrews w/ Marilee Earle & Dick Foran's shadow
Very rare a film go after the "Peace at any price" groups even and the 1950's when not a sci-fi flick played out without a hidden or not so subtle message against nuclear weapons — and FEARMAKERS is a reverse sermon in a vacuum, and it's not a "Red Scare" film, which would center on Americans fearing Americans but instead, having been captured and tortured by actual Communists in their country, fear is real, palpable, and has merit: Herein beginning with a low-budget, rushed version of patriotism about as obvious as Michael Rennie leaving Earth following his Martian State of the Union Address...

Dana Andrews gives to faint spells no thanks to Korea
But enough of all that... FEAR is no space movie or the usual Noir despite one of that genre's signature leading men from LAURA, FALLEN ANGEL, BOOMERANG, DAISY KENYON, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, and especially OUT OF THE PAST director Jacques Tourneur, who Andrews requested after the surprise success and worthy turnout of their first collaboration (reviewed below) the year before, CURSE OF THE DEMON...

Our heroic when tortured after being captured in Korea war-vet Andrews has a horrible fake-looking beard in the prologue — and thereafter flashbacks — and it's nice to see him all cleaned up and suited, back home, processed by the Army as sane (despite reoccurring dizzy spells), ready to dive back into work — his own business: A somewhat complicated operation that has a big surprise waiting, and it's no party...

The lovely Marilee Earle with Dana Andrews
At first viewing the plot runs in talky circles and depending on prior knowledge of the "Public Relations Business" of Public Opinion Polls, Consumer Analyses, Industrial Research, Census and Surveys, it really needs some paying attention to...

The movie does almost entirely through dialogue what Noir handles with guns and shadows, alleyways and romantic entanglements...

After finding out that, while imprisoned overseas, his business partner died in a car accident right after selling the company to a man so obviously crooked he'd need a spinal shoehorn to stand erect, Andrews spends the rest of the semi-suspenseful, dialogue-driven picture figuring things out: When he gets word at a restaurant that his new boss may have something to hide, it takes two conversations with two different men, back to back and both very similar except one really gets the ball rolling, involving a possible murder...

Dick Forman, Mel Torme and Kelly Thordsen
The pace picks up later as the plot clears, and it's not Andrews, looking much healthier and somewhat back to his 1940's dapper style than most of his other 50's B-Pictures, nor is it moon-faced beauty Marilee Earle as secretary/inside-gal Vivian that truly makes this flawed yet entertaining programmer shine...

Musician Mel Torme as office dweeb Barney Bond completely owns his scenes, which happen to be the most intriguing as they involve either Dick Foran as the gentleman heavy, or Vivian, or both...

FearMeter: ****
With Andrews playing a kind of parenthetical cat and mouse in-between, knowing the business better than anyone and realizing those otherwise kindhearted D.C. idealists are being used as pawns ("useful idiots"), selling their own in-pocket politician through the manipulation of public opinion: Thus,  Mel Torme's Barney knows almost as much as Andrews, and far more than Foran (aided by a big thug henchman), who uses the put-upon, spectacle-wearing underling to weasel back information...

But what makes Torme's character stand-out also sets him over the edge, and in that, he eventually "chews up the scenery" yet in a wonderful b-movie fashion...

The office brain lusts for Dana's smitten Girl Friday, while feeling sorry for himself, with a shaky gun at one point, and don't expect a bombastic climax: FEARMAKERS, unlike most of Tourneur's more atmospheric, multi-layered ventures, is basically a Cold War Thriller's desk job. But how the papers are shuffled, as described smoothly by Andrews, is the key in this obscure vehicle that's much better the second or third time around.
A very serious Dana Andrews stands tall in Jacques Tourneur's THE FEARMAKERS
"What is it?" Dana Andrews snaps politely at Mel Torme
Dana Andrews, Marilee Earle, Dick Foran's Noirish shadow and Dick Foran in The Fearmakers
Marilee Earle's quick scene in the Film Noir HOT CARS
Dana Andrews strangling Dick Foran w/ Marilee Earle & Mel Torme in THE FEARMAKERS
The beautiful Marilee Earle in THE FEARMAKERS
Dana Andrews and Mel Torme in THE FEARMAKERS
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

KRISTY SWASON IN WES CRAVEN'S SCIENCE-HORROR 'DEADLY FRIEND'

Blu Ray Cover Artwork for DEADLY FRIEND Year Released: 1986 Rating: **** A year before giving her class the lowdown about FERRIS BEULLER'...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP KEN HUTCHISON MONTH

RIP KEN HUTCHISON MONTH
Reviews with the late Scottish tough guy actor

JACK NICHOLSON IN OCTOBER

JACK NICHOLSON IN OCTOBER
from Chinatown to THE SHINING Halloween

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "You don't say Hitler in an airport." Harley Morensteinm from TUSK

CRIME/FILM NOIR/NEO NOIR


Gritty Exploitation Cinema of Charles Bronson

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)THE FEARMAKERS 3)HOT CARS 4)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 5)CANYON PASSAGE 6)THE CROWDED SKY 7)JUNGLE STREET 8)VIOLENT SATURDAY 9)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 10)HELL IS A CITY 11))THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)HARDCORE 15)FRENZY 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)THE SERGEANT 19)AL CAPONE 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)ASH WEDNESDAY 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)THE HIJACKERS 24)KILLER FISH 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY 30)WHERE THE SIDEWALK ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)JACK NICHOLSON 5)STANLEY BAKER DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

CINEMA INCUBO SPAVENTATA

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

PEAKING IN THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE