|Intl. Notebook||Sep 7 2023|
Funiculars in their most primitive form date back to Germany's Hohensalzburg Castle in the 1500s. The famous 1880 Italian song “Funiculì, funiculà” was written to commemorate the opening of the first funicular on Mount Vesuvius, and helped spread awareness of such railways. Angels Flight was the first funicular in Los Angeles. We stumbled across this shot made today in 1959 of the venerable tram and liked the way it captures the steepness of the ascent/descent, and makes clear how much strenuous climbing the railway saved pedestrians. Its name, by the way, is spelled correctly here, without an apostrophe. As we've noted before, Angels Flight was featured in several vintage books, including Lou Cameron's 1960 novel Angel's Flight, and in a score of vintage movies. Some of those we didn't mention in our previous discussion of this subject: Cry of the Hunted, The Glenn Miller Story, The Indestructible Man, The Turning Point, and The Exiles. The tram gets only cameos, but with the exception of The Indestructible Man all those films are good-to-excellent, so maybe watch them anyway.
|Vintage Pulp||Jan 26 2019|
The crooks, of course, don't just stand idly by while they're being targeted by the authorities. Their retaliation comes on multiple fronts and pushes O'Brien, who heads the crime committee, to the point of quitting. But we know he won't. What kind of movie would that be? Does he win? In film noir victory is never a foregone conclusion. Tragedy of some sort is almost assured. But if it indeed strikes, who will fall? Therein lies the tension in The Turning Point. With O'Brien, Holden, and Smith in the leads, the movie is in the hands of confident performers, and what could have been mere pro-law enforcement propaganda turns out to be something more nuanced. Is it a top effort? Not quite, but if you watch it you definitely won't be wasting your time.