Day 23: Your Favorite Character from Any [Noir] Movie
Rita Hayworth’s Gilda is in many ways my favorite, although she’s also a character who causes me much pain in viewing. And I’ve talked about Gilda in this challenge already.
Most characters in noir are either despicable or pathetic, and though I love some of the private dicks, they don’t reach the level of my very favorites.
Some sidekicks or secondary characters are favorites, like Claire Trevor’s Gaye Dawn in Key Largo (1948) or Richard Widmark’s psychopaths.
And who doesn’t love Lauren Bacall in any number of noir films (my favorite is The Big Sleep).
Then there are those you love to hate, like Robert Mitchum in Day of the Hunter (1955). (Come to think of it, that could’ve been my “Most Underrated Movie” choice.)
But I’m going to go a slightly different route for this prompt and pick my favorite hot shitty mess (aka complex protagonist). I could easily pick Barbara Stanwyck in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), but I’m going for the lesser known this time:
LAWRENCE TIERNEY IN BORN TO KILL (1947)
Tierney is surprisingly sexy in this film, aggressive and perfectly matched with Claire Trevor in this taught tale of self-destruction. You can feel the urgency in a desire for success in Tierney’s tense performance, and you can’t look away. They say he played himself in most of his roles, and he makes you feel every ounce of anti-social messiness in this one.