Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled Character Traits

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 28 Apr 2002

Anthony wrote:

> At best there's a co-credit. The stories come from here, the actors
> from here, etc. Direction is only one part of it. Did directors do
> back then? Today, it's the art director that's responsible for the
> atmosphere/look.
> If influence is going to be enough for credit we're going to have to
> back before film existed to find the source.

I didn't mean to imply that film noir was invented by Europeans, just that Europeans were responsible for a very large part of what has come to be known as the film noir look (which of course was far from universal, as evidenced by films such as THE MALTESE FALCON & at least one or two colour films noir for example) - which is something that isn't disputed by anyone, as far as I know. Naturally, there were many other influences such as US hardboiled fiction & as you've pointed out most of the actors, etc were Americans - I wasn't trying to steal film noir away from it's rightful home, honest. Sure, film is a collaborative thing so it's not just the director but many of the film technicians of the time were also refugees from Nazi terror & the turbulent times in the Europe of the day.

>I don't see much of a difference between Lee Marvin and Mel Gibson
other than age, but then Mel's role as Mad Max is how I was introduced to the actor>

Of course, it's purely a subjective thing about my not finding Gibbo to be a convincing tough guy. I'll just say that if I was in a bar and either of these 2 guys were there in a drunk & surly mood I would put some space between us. In Mel's case,because I would with anyone in the same situation, it's just common sense. In Lee's case, I'd feel like it was an act of self-preservation. (OK, I confess. I'm not a very hardboiled guy. I'd certainly watch your back in dangerous alley ways but I probably wouldn't do you much good. We'd both be better off not going into the alleyway unless your name is Mouse.)

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