Day 26: A Movie that is a Guilty Pleasure

With some notable exceptions, most of noir is a kind of guilty pleasure to me. Even the strength of the femme fatale hardly makes it feminist, it’s full of gratuitous darkness and violence, and it’s rarely socially enlightening. I do think we can learn about ourselves and our culture from our pleasures, guilty or otherwise. And guilt is generally overrated (aka never a good excuse for anything). Still, some noir and noirish films are just so BAD, you hate to admit you’ve enjoyed them, as is the case with my choice for this prompt:

THE SHACK OUT ON 101 (1955)


Just about everything in this film is ridiculous, from casting Keenan Wynn for a largely comic role to Frank Lovejoy as the romantic lead. I’m no fan of Terry Moore’s charms either. Lee Marvin is probably the best part of the flick, gangly and lanky and villainous … or is he? But the set is worse than community theater and the cold war plot is both thin and uninteresting. Still, I watch and delight in it, from a sexploitative beach opening scene to Keenan Wynn walking around a restaurant in flippers.