Saturday, July 11, 2009

Film noir and Western collections on YouTube

I have been planning a post surveying the literally thousands and thousands of classic films that are currently available on YouTube, posted in their entirety by rabid fans (in sequences of clips, all running 10 minutes long — pity the poor viewer who tries to watch Giant that way….). I’m pleased and pretty much amazed by the intense work that goes into this kind of “sharity,” so I believe I should get a few of these links up on the blog before the Kopyright Kops who arbitrarily enforce the rules come and take these stashes down.

The uploaders usually group the films in terms of stars, but more often they are arranged by genre. One gent, calling himself by two hallowed names in the film noir canon, has put up some seminal Westerns and noirs. As Joel Cairo, he has put up five Westerns including three of the perfect Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott collaborations (I need to upload clips from mine own interview with the late, great Budd). Among the offerings from “Joel” are Seven Men from Now (1956) which was beautifully restored by UCLA, thankfully during Budd’s lifetime, The Tall T (1957), and Comanche Station (1960).

Joel’s account

As Hank Quinlan, our friend has put up some of the greatest noirs: Out of the Past, The Lady from Shanghai, Nightmare Alley, and Touch of Evil are among the full films he’s uploaded. He also has added some of the cult favorites: Phantom Lady, Desert Fury, Ace in the Hole, and Blast of Silence. His collection is most definitely worth checking out. It’s very nice to have these films immediately at hand, although of course it would be best to see them in a theater on a screen with an audience. That experience doesn’t happen all that often outside the parameters of each city’s rep house or university auditorium, so this is a very handy way to catch up with the noir classics (although, one bit of advice: do yourself a favor and mark out the time to watch the films in their entirety, hopefully in one sitting; they are wonderfully paced for a single viewing experience).

Hank’s account

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