Jacques Tourneur

  • Jacques Tourneur – The Flame and the Arrow (1950)

    1941-1950AdventureDramaJacques TourneurUSA

    Burt Lancaster’s megawatt grin and acrobatic athleticism light up this grandly entertaining swashbuckler. He tumbles, vaults, and swings his way through the role of a Robin Hood-esque rogue who executes dazzling feats of derring-do as he and his rough-and-ready band of mountain men launch a rebellion against the occupying German gentry in 12th-century Italy. The filmmaker’s powers as an aesthetician are on full display in the exquisite Technicolor compositions, including one particularly striking moment of Tourneurian shadow play: a climactic duel in the dark wrought in finely shaded chiaroscuro.Read More »

  • Jacques Tourneur – War-Gods of the Deep AKA The City Under the Sea (1965)

    1961-1970AdventureJacques TourneurSci-FiUnited Kingdom

    City Under the Sea (released as War-Gods of the Deep in the US) is a 1965 British-American adventure horror science fiction film. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur (his final film) and starred Vincent Price, Tab Hunter, Susan Hart and David Tomlinson.

    The plot concerns the discovery of a lost city beneath the sea off the coast of Cornwall. Price is the captain overseeing a group of sailors who have lived there for more than a century where the peculiar mix of gases has allowed them to extend their lifespan.Read More »

  • Jacques Tourneur – The Leopard Man [+Commentary] (1943)

    1941-1950ClassicsHorrorJacques TourneurUSA

    A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy New Mexico town.Read More »

  • Jacques Tourneur – Toto (1933)

    1931-1940ComedyFranceJacques Tourneur

    Escaping from a policeman who has caught h.im with a stolen dog, Toto (Albert Préjean), a petty crook, hides in the apartment of a typist, Ginette (Renée Saint-Cyr). The two quickly fall in love, and after a brief incarceration, Toto returns to her and schemes to have her win a beauty contest. Bruno, a “financier” who met Toto in prison, briefly comes between the couple, but they are reunited at the end.Read More »

  • Jacques Tourneur – I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

    1941-1950ClassicsHorrorJacques TourneurUSA

    A young Canadian nurse (Betsy) comes to the West Indies to care for Jessica, the wife of a plantation manager (Paul Holland). Jessica seems to be suffering from a kind of mental paralysis as a result of fever. When she falls in love with Paul, Betsy determines to cure Jessica even if she needs to use a voodoo ceremony, to give Paul what she thinks he wants.Read More »

  • Jacques Tourneur – They All Come Out (1939)

    1931-1940CrimeDramaJacques TourneurUSA

    A “Crime Doesn’t Pay” morality drama about a young man sentenced to a prison term and attempts by the system to rehabilitate jailed criminals.Read More »

  • Jacques Tourneur – Great Day in the Morning (1956)

    1951-1960Jacques TourneurUSAWestern

    Film Society of Lincoln Center Writes:
    Tourneur’s moral and aesthetic complexity elevates this dark, anti-heroic western. Set on the brink of the Civil War, the deceptively titled Great Day in the Morning stars Robert Stack as a smooth-talking, opportunistic Southerner who drifts into Denver, his presence inflaming the already heated tensions between the Yankees and Confederates—and between two women he caddishly pursues, played by Virginia Mayo and Ruth Roman. As the film circles around themes of greed, jealousy, and violence, its increasingly sinister tone is mirrored by Tourneur’s intricate mise en scène, which begins in soft pastel hues and ends in noir shadows.Read More »

  • Jacques Tourneur – Easy Living (1949)

    1941-1950DramaJacques TourneurUSA

    from Film Society of Lincoln Center:
    Money, sex, and football: the three cornerstones of American life spell doom in Tourneur’s tough, subversive anti-marriage melodrama. Victor Mature is a star quarterback with a fatal heart condition who’s willing to risk death on the field to give his power-hungry wife (Lizabeth Scott) the life she wants, even as she pursues a sordid affair with a Wall Street sugar daddy. Co-starring Lucille Ball—who delivers some of the film’s most memorable moments as a hard-nosed working girl spouting world-weary cynicisms—Easy Living is a Sirkian sports movie with a dark noir undercurrent.Read More »

  • Jacques Tourneur – Nightfall (1956)

    1951-1960250 Quintessential Film NoirsFilm NoirFranceJacques Tourneur

    Fred Camper wrote:
    This 1957 noir masterpiece by Jacques Tourneur stars Aldo Ray as a man fleeing a private investigator and Anne Bancroft as the barroom acquaintance who agrees to help him. Ray’s past is revealed gradually in a series of flashbacks, which are intercut with the couple’s flight and the investigator’s pursuit; by developing each narrative in a parallel space or time, Tourneur movingly articulates the theme of a character trapped by his history. The images have a smooth, almost liquid quality, the high-contrast lighting of most noirs replaced by a delicate lyricism that takes the natural world as the norm. Tourneur links this naturalism to Ray’s growing observational skills (“I know where every shadow falls,” he says), but it also contrasts with the story’s acute paranoia.Read More »

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