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Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,324
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN/SUNDAY 10 A.M. EASTERN TCM

[ Edited ]

"Witness to Murder"

 

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Saturday/Sunday Midnight Eastern, and then repeated Sunday 10:00 a.m. Eastern--  "Witness to Murder"   Barbara Stanwyck, George Sanders, Gary Merrill, Jesse White, Claire Carleton, Juanita Moore

 

"Noir Alley" scores again!  This isn't strictly a noir, more like a really good suspense film with my favorite, the peerless Barbara Stanwyck, that has "noir" elements.

 

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This actually came out just before the similar "Rear Window", which TCM is airing earlier on Saturday, @ 4:00 p.m. Eastern.  It's not splashy like "Window", but very satisfying, especially for Stanwyck fans.

 

Stanwyck is a successful interior designer, "Cheryl",  who glances out her window one night and sees a woman apparently being killed in another apartment.  But the police, including rugged investigator Gary Merrill, and soon others, are not so convinced-- there's no evidence that anything untoward happened in the home of the neighbor in question, a very suave, plausible George Sanders....

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Stanwyck is great as an initially confident, usually "in control" woman who starts to doubt her own sanity.  George Sanders also gives a typically well-thought out and polished performance as the enigmatic neighbor.

 

A word on Gary Merrill, the cop whose interest in Stanwyck goes beyond the "professional"--  I love him!  For a guy who was apparently fairly "turbulent" in his real life, onscreen he is so often a solid, reassuring presence, appealingly intelligent, masculine and "in charge".   No wonder Bette fell for him!  (And by the way, he was married to Bette Davis at the time that "Witness to Murder" was made.  I wonder if Bette was jealous of Merrill's and Stanwyck's chemistry in this?)

witnesstomurder2.jpg

 

I found a candid, presumably off-screen photo of the two on set while the movie was being filmed.  They look so great together, and like they were probably getting along well!  Or am I just imagining that.  Wonder why Babs' hair looks blonder in the photo than in the film?  Maybe this 'still' was taken in pre-production or something, and she darkened her hair a little in the interim...

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Other points to note--   A smart script by Nunnally Johnson, and great, I mean, GREAT cinematography in this-- that's where the shadowy, noir-ish atmosphere comes in.   There are so many still shots I love, but they'd give away too much of the plot, if you haven't seen this yet!

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Oh, watch out for a small cameo by Juanita Moore, of later "Imitation of Life" fame.  She's in a hospital scene.

 

The sense of hectic, Fifties' Los Angeles is very well-evoked in this, another thing I love about the film...

 

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,717
Registered: ‎01-04-2014

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM

I've never seen this film and it sounds interesting. 

Stanwyck looks luminous as a blonde. I'm curious what book she's looking at.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,131
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM

I wish I had TCM.........😩😩😩😩😩

 

But our xfinity bill is already outrageous.........😤😤😤😤😤

 

 

“People do, I don’t.”
Cosmo Kramer
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,405
Registered: ‎09-05-2014

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM

About the book Barbara is holding in the picture:

 

Speculating,  but 1953 was a busy year for her,  making 3 films released in 1954: Witness, Cattle Queen of Montana and Executive Suite.

 

She may have been shooting Witness right before or while Executive Suite was in pre-production.  They were released around the same time.

 

She could be reviewing the novel Executive Suite by Cameron Hawley (published in 1952) and the basis for the film.

 

That could be Hawley on the back of the dust jacket but I can't tell.  I tried!

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,294
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM

@Oznell  I loved your description of Gary Merrill. He is all of that! I thought he and Bette were a perfect couple-looked good together. I saw an interview with her once and the interviewer asked her why she divorced Gary Merrill. (the nerve of anyone asking someone anything that personal!) Anyway, she said, 'well, he wouldn't shave.' She was serious! I'll bet GM had to shave a couple times a day just looking at him-maybe that was it, lol.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,294
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM

Wasn't she in a similar movie, something like Wrong Number or something-she was an invalid and someone kept calling at night and she thought he was coming to kill her?

 

BTW, if it's on at midnight tonight, that means it's on at 10am tomorrow. Just sayin'.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,405
Registered: ‎09-05-2014

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM

[ Edited ]

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948).  One of my favorite Stanwyck films and her fourth and final, unsuccessful Oscar nomination. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 31,907
Registered: ‎08-19-2010

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM

I saw it. It's OK. She does 'panic' good. All her movies where she rears her head back and bellows and shakes her head brings down the wrath of the almighty on you. That's how I remember her.

 

Sorry Wrong number, all the westerns she did, etc.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,499
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM

Will record this.  And look forward to Eddie's comments!

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,499
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: BARBARA STANWYCK SUSPENSE SATURDAY MIDNIGHT EASTERN TCM


@4kitties wrote:

I wish I had TCM.........😩😩😩😩😩

 

But our xfinity bill is already outrageous.........😤😤😤😤😤

 

 


I understand.  Our bill for cable/internet/phone just went up $60!!!! $30 of which goes to "taxes and fees" BUT TCM is a must for me--LOL!!!