|Vintage Pulp||Apr 28 2016|
This unusual poster was made to promote the Spanish run of Retorno al pasado, a movie better known as Out of the Past. The title says it all. A man who thinks he's left his sordid past behind sees it rear its ugly head and threaten to ruin the good future he's planned for himself. Starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas, this is one of the top noir thrillers, in our opinion. Certainly it's one of the most beautifully shot, thanks to director Jacques Tourneur and cinematographer Nicholas Mesuraca. Like the poster art by Macario Gomez, the film is richly textured and lushly black, which makes for a nice sense of gathering danger, especially in the pivotal fight sequence about forty minutes in. Plus it has the always compelling Mexico connection used by many excellent noirs, as well as nice location shooting around Lake Tahoe and Reno. Highly recommended, this one. After opening in the U.S. in November 1947 it had its Spanish premiere in Madrid today in 1948.
|Intl. Notebook||Mar 31 2010|
Frank Sinatra made a lot of nightspots famous. His mere presence—along with that of his Rat Pack—sprinkled gold dust on bars and eateries from end to end of the U.S., bestowing places such as 21, Toots Shor’s, and Chasen’s with fame that lasted long after the Rat Pack had died. That fame helped many of those old haunts survive into the new millennium, but now one of the most magical Rat Pack hangouts—the Cal Neva Lodge in Lake Tahoe, Nevada—is on the endangered list as it closes its gaming rooms today due to low profitability.
Sinatra owned the Cal-Neva between 1960 and 1963, his star power drawing Hollywood’s top celebrities, along with mob figures who he reportedly shuttled back and forth to various points around the property via old bootlegging tunnels. He made the Cal-Neva Lodge the jewel of Lake Tahoe, a piece of Tinseltown in what was little more than an alpine village.
But the Cal-Neva’s fortunes have been in decline for decades due to the proliferation of nearby Indian casinos, and the general dominance of Las Vegas. When the recent recession hit, the current owners—who had laid off about a hundred employees since 2006—finally decided they could not keep their gaming rooms in operation. Officially, at least, today’s closure is temporary, but industry insiders note that Rat Pack chic is not enough to draw modern gamblers to an older casino like the Cal-Neva Lodge. If so, it’s quite possible that not only will the gaming rooms never reopen, but that the entire Lodge has begun its final decline.