Eddie stuck with a standard "auterist" approach for Fleischer and belabored that point ahead of THE CLAY PIGEON, an angle that is too pat and ultimately unconvincing as a narrative for Hollywood in general and noir in particular. Eddie's proof of Fleischer's talent was not that he went on to become a huge success in "A" pictures (while Fleischer did become a bankable director, his actual output in "A" films is in no way a game-changing experience for cinema), but that he would make one of the great "B's" of all time, THE NARROW MARGIN. Not a particularly convincing argument...
But Eddie was much more solid after the film in outlining the career of writer Carl Foreman, and tracing his subsequent efforts. He pointed out the interesting insertion of a scene in CLAY PIGEON where a Japanese war widow assists the protagonist (Bill Williams) when he's on the run. As Eddie noted, it was a scene based on Foreman's own convictions--and those convictions did, as Eddie went on to mention, lead to Foreman being blacklisted.
All's well that ends well on Noir Alley today, and more proof that Eddie is increasingly focused on the social aspects found in film noir as he warms up for introducing FORCE OF EVIL and TRY AND GET ME to the Brattle Theatre folks early next month.
Eddie didn't have time to go into the contretemps between Foreman and producer Stanley Kramer, but here is an essay from the NYT that discusses it in light of a documentary made about Foreman's life and career: