Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"The Man With Icy Eyes"

Here is an unusual piece of Italian film noir, "The Man With Icy Eyes," filmed in Albuquerque in 1971, and starring Victor Buono and the beautiful Barbara Bouchet. The film shows many BrBa and BCS filming sites back in the days when neon signs still dominated Central Ave. For example, at the start of the film, the first victim dies at the house directly behind Jesse's (and briefly seen in BrBa). The framed shooter flees in a panic, and tries to run behind Chuck's House. Then there is the Courthouse too.

It's amusing how the needs of Hollywood don't change. They all look for a settled, wealthy, professional or upper-class neighborhood. In Albuquerque, that means they gravitate to the same suite of 20 or 30 homes, decade in and decade out.

I'm amused by the Italian-accented Spanish accents. I was intrigued when a witness suddenly gets a stroke and sits mute in a wheelchair (1:03:30). I wonder if this film influenced the development of Hector Salamanca's character?

There are many personal touchstones: sitting in a sidewalk cafe on a frigid day (a stone's throw from where my mom started working in 1972), a glimpse of Lerners Shops (where I worked in 1974), and a wrestling poster featuring my childhood idol, Ricky Romero. Plus, the bad guys share my name.

The offices of a long-defunct newspaper, the Albuquerque News, were used for the Albuquerque Sentinel. When I was in high school, the father of a friend was a reporter there. We sometimes got advance info about the movements of politicians from him. No one seems to remember that newspaper anymore, even though it wasn't that long ago. Google was useless. The building is now gone. I had to query a website of Albuquerque antiquarians ("Albuquerque Memories") to find even one soul who remembered where that place formerly was.


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