Tuesday, 1 January 2013

JANUARY 1, 2013

001 ROGUE'S REGIMENT (1948) Directed by Robert Florey ***

French born Robert Florey was set to direct FRANKENSTEIN for Universal before he was usurped by James Whale. This was probably a blessing given the evidence of THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE. Florey has, at least, a couple of good films to his name, both starring the great Peter Lorre, THE FACE BEHIND THE MASK and THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS. Mainly because one of its stars is Vincent Price I have wanted to see ROGUE'S REGIMENT for a long time and while it does not bear comparison with the two Lorre films it stands the test of time as a competent thriller - part post-war propaganda and part film noir. It is probably the first film to deal with the situation in Vietnam under French rule. Dick Powell is an American agent who joins the French Foreign Legion in Saigon while on the trail of a fugitive German war criminal played by the excellent and underrated Stephen (Horace) McNally. He is hindered in his investigation by illegal arms dealer, Vincent Price, who is running guns to the Viet Cong. The performances are excellent with the lovely Marta Toren as the sultry night club singer who is more than she seems.

Rogue's Regimen (1948)


Cerpts said...

ROGUE'S REGIMENT is one of those films I read about in books on Vincent Price and never hoped to get a chance to see. However, as for MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, are you familiar with the original scene order which we never saw because the studio rearranged the scenes? One of those horror film magazines like MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT or MIDNIGHT MARQUEE or some such actually published an article listing each scene's original order so that one may shuffle the scenes to play how they were meant to be seen by Florey and apparently the film is better for it. I never tried it (especially since I can't remember what magazine it was in to get the scene list LOL) but I do remember the first scene in the film was supposed to be the scene in the fog with the two men knife-fighting and Bela waiting in the coach. Ah well. I'll have to dig out that magazine and give it a try.

Weaverman said...

ROGUE'S REGIMENT can be viewed on You Tube. I didn't know that about MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE. I don't actually dislike the film but it has always seemed to me that something went wrong in the editing. Many of the scenes are striking although those closeups where the gorilla becomes an angry chimp are disastrous. Perhaps Universal put those in and it is unfair to blame Florey. He remains an interesting figure.

Cerpts said...

Actually the musical monkeys, I think, was always in the picture and I don't think one has to lay that at Florey's doorstep. But yes your thinking that "something went wrong in the editing" was indeed the case as the film we have today does not correspond to the order of the scenes in the shooting script. The aforementioned magazine article took the shooting script as a departure point in reconstructing how the film was originally supposed to run. I really really must try to find that article so I can see if there is an improvement when re-ordering the scenes.