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October 13, 2019

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"Kiss Me Deadly" along with several other great Aldrich flicks of the mid-50s ("Big Knife", "Attack" among them) were released thru UA but made under the auspices of Aldrich's company, Associates & Aldrich, so in that instance they were basically independent rather than studio produced. I do think we owe the studios a major debt for nurturing, even inadvertently, the genre. I think "Maltese Falcon" was considered a "nervous A", certainly not big budget. "Indemnity" aside, probably more classic noirs were considered programmers at the time of their release.

Michael, that's good to know. I came across that quote from Aldrich and he sounded as if he'd had plenty of experience or run-ins with the studio heads. Maybe he got some of his training and experience within the studio system before he struck out on his own.

What's a "nervous A" -- I've never heard that term. Oh, you must mean a movie that might be the "A" of the double bill, but it's hanging on the edge.

That was a genuine expression which I just love ("Nervous A). Aldrich had a lot of great experience before directing himself, working with Renoir ("The Southerner"), Lewis Milestone ("A Walk in the Sun"), William Wellman ("Story of GI Joe"), Rossen ("Strange Love of Martha Ivers" & "Body & Soul") Abe Polonsky ("Force of Evil"), Losey("The Prowler" & "M"). He worked at RKO, Paramount & Columbia. His first notable films as a director were for Burt Lancaster, "Vera Cruz" & "Apache", both 1954. Love Aldrich. His version of Odets' "The Big Knife" was, he admitted, an attempt to get revenge for John Garfield who'd been crucified by HUAC & who had played the lead in the Broadway version of "Knife".


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