Friday, 8 June 2018

60 Free Film Noir Movies

noir film pic
During the 1940s and 50s, Hollywood entered a “noir” period, producing riveting films based on hard-boiled fiction. These films were set in dark locations and shot in a black & white aesthetic that fit like a glove. Hardened men wore fedoras and forever smoked cigarettes. Women played the femme fatale role brilliantly. Love was the surest way to death. All of these elements figured into what Roger Ebert calls “the most American film genre” in his short Guide to Film Noir. In this growing list, we gather together the noir films available online. They all appear in our big collection 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.. You might also enjoy perusing our list of 20+ Free Hitchcock Films.

·       A Life at Stake - Free - Directed by Paul Guilfoyle, this American noir film stars Angela Lansbury and Keith Andes. (1954)
·       Beat the Devil – Free – Directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, the film is something of a comic and dramatic spoof of the film noir tradition. (1953)
·       Behind Green Lights - Free - Stars Carole Landis, John Ireland. Police lieutenant Sam Carson investigates a political murder after the victim is dumped at the door of police headquarters. (1946)
·       Big Bluff Free - Directed by W. Lee Wilder. When a scheming fortune hunter finds his rich wife is not going to die as expected, he and his lover make other plans to get her millions. (1950)
·       Blonde Ice - Free - A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men. They all die mysteriously afterwards though. (1948)
·       Borderline - Free - Fred MacMurray and Claire Trevor are caught in Mexican dope-smuggling ring, fearing each other is involved, but both undercover agents. Alternate version. (1950)
·       Cause for Alarm! - Free - Ellen (Loretta Young) narrates the tale of "the most terrifying day of my life", how she was taking care of her bedridden husband George Z. Jones (Barry Sullivan) when he suddenly dropped dead. (1951)
·       Club Paradise - Free - The film, also known as Sensation Hunters, was directed by Christy Cabanne. The story: a touching story of girl who like many others makes the wrong choice in life – and pays for it. (1945)
·       Convict's Code - Free - An ex-con is employed by the man who framed him for bank robbery. Directed by Lambert Hillyer. Starring Robert Kent and Anne Nage. (1939)
·       Dementia - Free - Also called Daughter of Horror, this film by John Parker incorporated elements of horror film, film noir and expressionist film. About the film, Cahiers du cinema wrote "To what degree this film is a work of art, we are not certain but, in any case, it is strong stuff." (1955)
·       Detour Free - Edgar Ulmer’s cult classic noir film shot in 6 days. (1945)
·       D.O.A. - Free - Rudolph Maté's classic noir film. Called “one of the most accomplished, innovative, and downright twisted entrants to the film noir genre.” You can also watch the movie here. (1950)
·       Fear in the Night - Free - Low budget noir film directed by Maxwell Shane & starring Paul Kelly and DeForest Kelley. It is based on the Cornell Woolrich story "And So to Death". (1947)
·       Five Minutes to Live - Free - Amazing bank heist movie stars Johnny Cash, Vic Tayback, Ron Howard, and country music great, Merle Travis. (1961)
·       Guest in the House - Free - Directed by John Brahm, the noir film stars Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Aline MacMahon. (1946)
·       He Walked by Night – Free – Film-noir drama, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal. This move became the basis for "Dragnet," and stars Jack Webb. version here. (1948)
·       Impact - Free - Arthur Lubin’s well reviewed noir flic. Considered a little known classic you need to watch. (1940)
·       Inner Sanctum - Free -  A gripping noir film about "a murderer who is on the lam and hiding out in a small town. Unbeknownst to him, he is not only hiding in the same boarding house as the only witness to his crime, he is sharing the same room." (1948)
·       Jigsaw Free - Directed by Fletcher Markle, and starring Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace and Marc Lawrence, the film features cameo appearances by Marlene Dietrich and Henry Fonda. (1949)
·       Johnny O'Clock - Free - Directed by Robert Rossen, based on a story by Milton Holmes. The drama features Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, and Lee J. Cobb, with Jeff Chandler making his film debut in a small role. (1947)
·       Kansas City Confidential – Free – A film noir gem that inspired Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.” (1953)
·       Key Lime Pie - Free – A zany animated film in the noir tradition. (2007)
·       Lady Gangster - Free - Warner Bros. B picture directed by Robert Florey based on the play Gangstress, or Women in Prison, by Dorothy Mackaye, Stars: Faye Emerson, Julie Bishop, Frank Wilcox, Roland Drew, and Jackie C. Gleason. (1942)
·       Man in the Attic - Free - Jack Palance as Jack the Ripper! (1954)
·       Parole, Inc. - Free - Parole officers fight against gangsters trying to infiltrate the parole system. (1948)
·       Please Murder Me – Free – Lawyer Raymond Burr  brilliantly defends Angela Lansbury in 1950s noir film. (1956)
·       Port of New York Free - Two narcotics agents go after a gang of murderous drug dealers who use ships docking at the New York harbor to smuggle in their contraband. First film in which Yul Brynner appeared. (1949)
·       Quicksand Free - Peter Lorre and Mickey Rooney star in a story about a garage mechanic's descent into crime. (1950)
·       Scarlet Street - Free - Directed by Fritz Lang with Edward G. Robinson. A film noir great. (1945)
·       Shock Free –This film noir tells the story of psychiatrist Dr. Cross (Vincent Price), who is treating Janet Stewart (Anabel Shaw), a young woman who is in a catatonic state. The coma was brought on when she heard loud arguing, went to her window, and saw a man strike his wife with a candlestick and kill her. Alternate version found here. (1946)
·       Shoot to Kill - Free - Gangster framed by crooked DA. Wife and newspaper reporter team up. (1947)
·       Strange Illusion - Free - B-movie update of “Hamlet” has troubled teen Jimmy Lydon doubting smooth-talker Warren Williams who is wooing his mother. (1945)
·       Suddenly - Free - Buy DVD - Noir film with Frank Sinatra and James Gleason. The story line influenced The Manchurian Candidate, which again starred Sinatra. (1954)
·       The Amazing Mr. X Free - Noir film directed by Bernard Vorhaus with cinematography by John Alton. The film tells the story of a phony spiritualist racket. (1948).
·       The Basketball Fix - Free - A college basketball star collaborates with organized crime and becomes involved in 'point shaving.' A sportswriter tries to get him back on the right track. (1951)
·       The Big Combo Free - Directed by Joseph Lewis, this film is today considered a noir classic. Critics like to focus on cinematography of John Alton, a noir icon. (1955)
·       The Capture - Free - Lew Ayres is an oil man who guns down a thief who may have been innocent. (1950)
·       The Chase - Free - An American noir film directed by Arthur Ripley, based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.
·       The File on Thelma Jordan Free - This noir directed by Robert Siodmak features Barbara Stanwyck and Wendell Corey.  At the time Variety said, "Thelma Jordon unfolds as an interesting, femme-slanted melodrama, told with a lot of restrained excitement." (1950)
·       The Great Flamarion - Free - Vaudeville star Erich von Stroheim entangled with married assistant. Directed by Anthony Mann. (1945)
·       The Green Glove Free - A World War II veteran in France, played by Glen Ford, gets mixed up in murder while investigating a stolen treasure. Directed by Rudolph Maté. Alternate version on YouTube available here. (1952)
·       The Hitch-Hiker Free - Buy DVD - The first noir film made by a woman noir director, Ida Lupino. (1953)
·       The Hoodlum - Free - Lawrence Tierney ("Reservoir Dogs") plays an unreformed, hardened criminal who has just been released from prison. While working at his brother's gas station, he becomes very interested in the armored car that makes regular stops at the bank across the street. (1951)
·       The Limping Man Free - Stars Lloyd Bridges and Moira Lister. A WWII veteran goes back to England after the war only to discover that his wartime sweetheart has got mixed up with a dangerous spy ring. (1953)
·       The Man Who Cheated Himself - Free - Some call it "an under-appreciated and little known gem."  Stars Lee J. Cobb, John Dall, Jane Wyatt, and Lisa Howard.  YouTube version here. (1951)
·       The Naked Kiss Free - Constance Towers is a prostitute trying to start a new life in a small town. Directed by Sam Fuller. (1964)
·       The Payoff - Free - Directed by Robert Florey. James Dunn (known for his role in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) plays a newspaper reporter promoted to the sports desk, but saddled with a wife whose spending habits drive her into a relationship with a blackmailing racketeer. (1935)
·       The Red House - Free - A noir psychological thriller starring Edward G. Robinson. Here's the gist of the plot: "An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods." (1947)
·       The Saint Louis Bank Robbery – Free – Steve McQueen stars in a "gritty, downbeat, and sometimes savage heist movie." (1959)
·       The Scar (aka Hollow Triumph) - Free - Just released from prison, John Muller (Paul Henreid) masterminds a holdup at an illegal casino run by Rocky Stansyck. The robbery goes bad, and the mobsters captured some of Muller's men and force them to identify the rest before killing them.
·       The Second Woman - Free - Directed by James Kern and starring Betsy Drake, this lesser known noir film gets some good reviews. (1951)
·       The Strange Love of Martha Ivers – Free – Noir film starting Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas. Entered into 1947 Cannes Film Festival. (1946)
·       The Strange Woman - Free - Edgar G. Ulmer's femme fatale film starring Hedy Lamarr. (1946)
·       The Stranger Free - Buy DVD - Directed by Orson Welles with Edward G. Robinson. One of Welles's major commercial successes. (1946)
·       They Made Me a Criminal - Free - Boxer John Garfield flees believing he has committed a murder while he was drunk. Pursued by Claude Rains, he meets up with the Dead End Kids. (1939)
·       They Made Me a Killer - Free - A fugitive receives help from a victim's sister (Barbara Britton) as he tries to clear his name of robbery and murder charges. (1946)
·       Three Steps North - Free - After a prison sentence an American GI stationed in Italy (Lloyd Bridges) discovers that his hidden loot has disappeared and goes searching for it. Directed by W. Lee Wilder. (1951)
·       Time Table - Free - After the theft of $500,000 in a carefully executed train robbery, an insurance investigator (Mark Stevens, who also doubled as director and producer) is forced to cancel a planned vacation with his wife to assist a railroad detective in identifying the culprits and recovering the money. Alternate version here. (1956)
·       Too Late for Tears – Free – Directed by Byron Haskin and based on a novel by Roy Huggins, Too Late for Tears is pure noir. (1949)
·       Trapped Free - Starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, the plot of this B noir film turns around a counterfeiting ring. (1949)
·       Walk The Dark Street - Free - An Army officer and a hunter engage in a simulated manhunt with one using real bullets in Los Angeles. (1956)
·       Whispering City - Free - A Canadian noir, directed by Fyodor Otsep, starring Paul Lukas and Mary Anderson. (1947)
·       Whistle Stop Free - Buy DVD – A noir flic with Ava Gardner. Love triangle leads to murder. (1946)
·       Woman on the Run Free - After Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) is the sole witness to a gangland murder, he goes into hiding and is trailed by Police Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith), his wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), and newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O'Keefe). YouTube version here. (1950)
For more free films, please visit our big collection of Free Movies Online.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Watch: 100 Filmmaking Tips, Tricks, and Hacks in Under 10 Minutes

Hold on to your hats! Here are 100 tips, tricks, and hacks that you can use on 
your next project.

In filmmaking, we all need a little help along the way, and sometimes, we need that help to come in tiny bite-size portions that pair well with our short attention spans and ability to get the gist of just about anything within seconds. Well in their latest video, The Film Look unfurls 100 tips, tricks, and hacks for filmmakers like little fortune cookies, giving you a ton of short but oh so sweet advice on how to do a myriad of things from labeling batteries to properly handing off expensive equipment. Gorge yourself below:

Now, that's a lot of fortune cookies! There are tons of great pieces of advice in the video, especially for those who are just starting out. I mean, let's get real; when you're a newbie, you want and need to learn everything about the craft. The Film Look covers all phases of production in their video compendium, from screenwriting to editing, so you're definitely going to learn a little bit of everything.

And for all of you more experienced folk, maybe most of this stuff was a review for you, but hopefully, you found at least a handful of things in the video that will help you on your next project. 

What about you? What are your top five filmmaking tips, tricks, and hacks that you've learned over the years? Let us know down in the comments below! 

Reblogged via No Film School

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Understanding the Formatting of a Screenplay (and Why It All Matters)

Most filmmakers know scripts follow a very particular format, but do they know why they do?
Thanks to all of the low-cost/free screenwriting programs that are available nowadays, writers don't have to think too hard about formatting when penning scripts. However, understanding what all of the different formatting components are, like slug lines and action, as well as why they're formatted the way they are is important for making sure that your story is not only organized and clear but that it adheres to industry standards. This video from StudioBinder helps demystify many of the basic formatting rules as well as several obscure ones in screenwriting. Check it out below:

Again, screenwriting software like Final Draft, Celtx, and WriterDuet make it easy to not concern yourself with script format too much, but it's still important to learn. You may not have to worry about margins, typeface, or indentations, but you'll still need to know how to write action, dialogue, as well as what a slug line is and why the information included in it is so important.

Because even if you understand everything that's going on in your screenplay when it comes to formatting, there will (hopefully) be other people looking at it that may not. Remember, if your script gets selected to be turned into an actual film, it will need to be turned into a script breakdown sheet. So, if you don't take care being clear and concise with your slug lines, action, and dialogue then the director, DP, and 1st AD will have a hard time doing their job.

Luckily, screenplay formatting isn't rocket science. It just takes a little effort to wrap your head around several key concepts and elements...and once you do, you're off to the races.      

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Media laws: Who will buy what and will it make any difference anyway?

Via By business reporter Stephen Letts Updated 16 September 2017

As the new media laws finally clambered over their last obstacle, you could almost hear the high-fives slapping in the boardrooms of the big — although somewhat diminished — media companies.

Key points:
  • Fairfax and Nine appears to be the most plausible and powerful merger opportunity
  • News Corp's main hurdle to any acquisition is likely to be the ACCC
  • Even after merging most businesses would still struggle to grow sales in the face of massive competition from overseas digital giants

The denouement of the drawn-out and fraught process, televised on the Senate channel, had more the torn and frayed look of the Survivor franchise than the smoochy fairytale feel of The Bachelor, which aired around the same time.

So now the rule book has been rewritten, how is the game going to change? And is the promise of mergers and takeovers of struggling media businesses going to create new champions able to protect and expand their turf?

Certainly, the prospect of mergers is real — if for no other reason than: why did the media owners champion the changes in media ownership rules? Will they be successful? That is an entirely different question.

What are the new rules?

It was not so much a rewriting of the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill as just hitting delete on a couple of key provisions that changed things. Out went the "75 per cent audience reach" rule prohibiting a TV network broadcasting to more than 75 per cent of the population. It opens up possibilities for the likes of Seven, Nine, Ten and the regional players Prime, Southern Cross and WIN.

The removal of "two-from-three" rule — owning any two of TV, print and radio was OK, owning all three was not — is the one that puts everybody into play. There are also bits like replacing TV and radio licence fees with a "spectrum fee", although they are unlikely to make much difference to the flow of deals in the wings. However, that doesn't mean it is total open slather — some checks remain.

The "five/four rule" enshrined by the Howard government in 2007 to prevent the number of media owners falling below five in capital cities and four in regional areas, is still on the books, while the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission — with its own rule book — is still on the prowl looking to bust market domination. To lesser extent, the Foreign Investment Review Board and shareholders themselves are in the mix, but they have never really been known to stop media takeovers.

A couple of times, shareholders have tried to stand in the way of a merger — to wit, a body of West Australian Newspaper investors against Kerry Stokes in 2011 and Ten investors at the moment — but they have generally been run over in the process.

Here are the most likely deals

The big investment bank, Morgan Stanley, has tallied up the permutations and combinations flowing from the law changes and has come up the most likely deals. There are a fair few options, but for the sake of brevity, this is the short list of the bigger deals being discussed:
  • Nine Entertainment and Southern Cross;
  • Fairfax Media and Nine;
  • Seven West Media and Prime Media;
  • News Corporation and just about anyone.

Nine and Southern Cross have previously said they've had discussions, but Nine's sale of its 10 per cent stake in the regional broadcaster was not seen as a positive step to a future takeover. Would it create a bigger, stronger company? Morgan Stanley's Andrew McLeod thinks not. "Bigger combined audience reach, yes, but higher growth and higher return on capital are questionable," Mr McLeod said.

So Fairfax and Nine? Far more plausible and powerful, according to Mr McLeod. "This could be a rare opportunity to combine media assets and actually lift revenue growth rates via the two online businesses," he said. "Nine's video content could strengthen Fairfax's online video capability and lift traffic and audiences for the Fairfax sites."

Importantly, Mr McLeod notes both companies have little or no debt, which is a big advantage in delivering a highly positive earning per share outcome to both sets of investors.

Seven has always been regarded as a natural predator for its regional partner Prime and now the reach rule has been removed, it is off the leash. Given Prime is a reseller of Seven content, no-one else is likely to bid for it. Does it make sense for Seven? Sort of, but Prime is a lean operation and the cost savings in merging the two may not be large enough to make it worthwhile, and the potential for ongoing earnings growth is minimal.

News Corp is the $10b gorilla

Talking about off the leash, News Corp has never been shy about buying businesses — good, bad or indifferent, profitable or unprofitable — it just buys them and considers the consequences and write-downs later.

Last month, it wrote down the value of sundry newspapers, its stake in Foxtel and the REA real estate portal by $1.3 billion. Although that is dwarfed by the impairments News Corp has racked up by buying the likes of Dow Jones and Gemstar over the years. With its US rival CBS likely to snaffle Ten, News Corp could well turn its attention to Nine or Seven.

News already owns plenty of assets here and so any deal could be quite cost-effective or nerve-racking, depending on whether you are a shareholder or work in a newsroom facing further "rationalisation". The merger of online businesses and picking up Nine or Seven video content would be handy for News Corp's digital platforms.

Of course, any move from News while OK under the new media laws would still need to leap any hurdle put in its way by the ACCC. News could always satisfy itself with a tasty morsel like the $700 million Here, There & Everywhere radio network owner of brands such as KIIS and Gold, as well as the Adshel outdoor advertising business.

Earnings (2018 estimates)
Market capitalisation
News Corporation
Seven West Media
Nine Entertainment
Fairfax Media
Southern Cross
Here, There & Everywhere
Prime Media
Earnings based on Morgan Stanley estimates of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

What does history teach us?

The last significant media law changes in 2006 — largely centred on abolishing foreign ownership rules — certainly arced up deal making, both large and small. It also sparked activity not held back by foreign ownership issues.

The then-Packer vehicle PBL sold half its media assets to the foreign private equity business CVC, proving you can have more than Alan Bond in your life. Kerry Stokes also hooked up with private equity, this time Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts selling it a 50 per cent stake in his media assets including Seven and the magazine business for $3.2 billion. They are worth about a third of that today. That deal allowed a cashed-up Mr Stokes to get a large foothold in, and ultimately control of, his hometown West Australian Newspapers. Fairfax headed bush and bought Rural Press.

Morgan Stanley's Andrew McLeod says the experience of 2006 shows transactions could occur very quickly in 2017. "Some of the remaining ownership rules, such as the 'five/four minimum voices' rule, present a first-mover advantage for consolidation occurring in some assets and some markets," he said.

So can the mergers turn back the tide?

The bigger question is whether any of this will create more robust businesses able to compete and grow against the likes of Facebook and Google in the ad market.

Unlike King Canute of yore, who stood in front of a tide to prove his fallibility knowing such things were beyond mere mortals, the Government is backing its plan to help turn back the digital tsunami crashing in from offshore and sweeping away local profits.

Good luck with that, says Mr McLeod. "We think the key debate is whether on the other side of any merger and acquisition, higher growth/better quality media companies emerge — or if after one year's costs savings are banked, the downward trajectory in earnings and shareholder value resumes," he said. "We can envisage a few genuine re-invention opportunities, but in most cases it's more likely the latter."

Crushed: Digital giants vs Australian media

Last year Australian TV networks lost around $1 billion between them, newspapers have lost even more over recent years, while profitability in radio is flat-lining at best. The test will be to achieve real top-line growth in sales, not just confected and unsustainable profit growth from cost-cutting.

The problem there is the advertising revenue pool is a bit of a zero sum game — with some GDP-style growth added in. In such a relatively stagnant pool, gaining sales means someone is losing. And on an exponential scale, the digital giants are winning and everyone else is losing.  The one thing the likes of Facebook and Google won't do is bail out Australian shareholders with an ill-considered purchase of an old economy business. They are not that dumb.