Hot Spot: Black & White 1953 Film Noir, The

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
"He always said that she just sort of happened." "The smart thing would've been to get out and let her happen to somebody else."
Original Movie Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1990
Original Running Time:
130
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
92
Time Cut:
38
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
"A guy comes in from out of town. He doesn't have a past - at least not one he wants to talk about. He gets a job in a used-car lot. It's one of those typical small towns from the movies of the 1940s and 1950s, the kind of backwater where the other guy on the job is a nerd, and the boss is a blowhard with a bum ticker - but the boss' wife is this great broad with blond hair and big eyelashes and when she gets up in the morning she puts on her negligee just when the other women in town are taking theirs off. Oh, and the bookkeeper at work is this innocent young girl who is intimidated, for mysterious reasons, by the vicious creep who lives in a shack outside of town." - Roger Ebert (1990)
Intention:
To imagine that this movie was an actual Film Noir made in 1953, when the book was written. Make it black and white, with less nudity, and much faster-paced.
Additional Notes:
The 1953 book "Hell Hath No Fury" is a 35¢ pulp story. The author also wrote the screenplay. The transformation from Dennis Hopper's Neo-Noir into an actual 1950s film is only in spirit, not literal, because some 1980s objects cannot be cut from the story (e.g. Sutton's Ford Taurus). The soundtrack is gorgeous! John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, and others create a mesmerizing mood. The audio track is in uncompressed 24-bit PCM. Enjoy! Also, listen for the crackling of the fire; the sound-recording engineer on this film is outstanding. Though I must pair my adminration with one criticism: Gloria's flashback on the beach sounds AWFUL. I suspect that part of Connelly's monologue was taken from a rehearsal because the acoustics are clearly different and there are a few background noises that don't relate to anything on screen. To obscure those, the engineer dialed up the waterfall background noise. Including in the center channel, contaminating the monologue. I minimized the 'damage' in that scene as best I could.
Other Sources:
Kino Lorber bluray for the video.
Shout Factory bluray for the 24-bit stereo track.
Antilles soundtrack CD to clean up some music transitions.
Isley Brothers "Twist and Shout" (1962).
Film Noir "Jeopardy" (1953) for MGM's roaring lion from 1953.
Special Thanks:
Dwight Fry for feedback, The Scribbling Man and Wakeupkeo for inspiration.
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
1.85:1 (1080p)
Stereo PCM (24-bit)
English subtitles
Editing Details:
I used Vegas Pro to turn the film into Black & White, comparing my trial-and-error with several 1950s movies to achieve a satisfactory lighting balance.
I prefer the original stereo audio over the surround track. I only used the 5.1 track to clean up a few transitions, then down-mixed those and level-matched them with the stereo track.
Cuts and Additions:
- The film is in Black & White.
- It's faster paced. This is no meandering homage to Film Noir, it's a sweltering pulp story where events spiral out of control. Trims in almost every scene.
- Most nudity is cut. Sex is more suggested than shown. Still not appropriate for kids though.
- Streamline opening credits to be more like Jeopardy (1953) with Barbara Stanwyck (including using the MGM logo from that movie). Title font is Brushot.
- Replaced the 1981 song "The Stroke" in the stripclub with 1962 "Twist and Shout". It was too distractingly obvious that "The Stroke" did not fit the 1950s mood.
- Madox no longer grabs and kisses Gloria in the car. There are plenty of other, less gross, examples that Madox is a "bad boy".
- Madox no longer denigrates Dolly after they have sex. He no longer voices doubt or shows hesitation about his actions regarding Dolly, Harper, the bank robbery, or Sutton.
- Originally Madox made the alarm clock in his hotel room and planted it in the empty building. To speed up the action, he now does everything there. To prevent a continuity error and to show a passage of time, I've intercut the drunk banker stumbling around on the street. Which required me to cut Dolly and Madox having sex in the elevated car.
- No topless Harper sisters on the beach. I never liked that Gloria or her sister's possible bisexuality is the big taboo: surely the insinuation of incest with her sister would have been the bigger scandal.
- Cut George telling his wife that Madox and Gloria are so great together. She's already decided to kill him, she doesn't need the extra "trigger".
- Cut Dolly telling her husband that she cheated on him and is killing him with sex.
- When Madox discovers the sandals at Sutton's house, he no longer finds an envelop. The sandals alone are all the evidence he needs to jump to a (wrong) conclusion. Also cut Harper telling Madox she paid Sutton because the setup for that comment is cut.
- In the final scene, Madox resigns himself to his fate faster. I cut the half-hearted final fight between our "hero" who thought he could control his destiny, and the emotionally abusive psycho.
- Add improved subtitles (the original had many errors).
Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

Trailer

User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(2)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(2)
Audio Editing
 
9.5(2)
Narrative
 
9.0(2)
Enjoyment
 
9.0(2)
Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Great work saving an otherwise forgettable flick, now I love the vibe! The original feels like a typical 80's cool bad guy flick with so much nudity so while the movie is not actually re-set in in the 50s, the degraded town in the middle of nowhere setting works perfectly with the the color editing definitely makes this movie feel less dated and more timeless.

The only time I kinda noticed that this was in a newer decade was during Dolly's confrontation with Harry in the strip bar, as the 90s track stood out a bit. But such important dialogue was interlaced there, so its completely understandable given that adjusting the score here would be nigh impossible without the original stems.

Feels right for Harry getting trapped by Dolly, that succubus! Awesome work Lapis!!

User Review

Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
This is a movie that was meant to be seen in black & white! I haven't watched this film in years, so I don't quite remember what's missing (except for one big scene, which is no big deal). If you are a fan of this film, you will probably enjoy the new black & white aspect to it... and if you haven't seen it before, def check out this edit!

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Blu-Ray
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0