Eddie is indefatigable in pushing the product, as is clear from this article centered at folks in the military. A combination plug for the new version of DARK CITY and overview of some noirs that (in one way or another) touch upon the "troubled war veteran" theme, the article gives Eddie a chance to discuss eight noirs and one "straight drama" (THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES). Much of what's here is very familiar to us, but a few items related to the topic and to the burgeoning revival of classic film noir are a bit off and warrant some additional clarification...
First, author James Barber gets the sequence of events involved in the film noir revival a bit jumbled:
If you've only seen Muller on TCM, you may think of him as a knowledgeable guy who knows a lot about film noir, but he's also one of the key people who fought to reclaim and preserve the genre in the '70s and '80s. Many of the movies we now consider classics had fallen out of circulation, and more than a few were considered lost forever.
What Muller and those like him did were show aging and fading original prints at repertory theaters in the big cities, tape late-night broadcasts on early VCRs and trade the tapes with other collectors. When he first wrote "Dark City," he was describing mostly unseen movies to an audience who may have heard rumors about most of them but didn't have access to any way to see them.
--Eddie did not enter the noir scene until the 1990s. He has certainly fought to reclaim and preserve the genre, but not in the 70s and 80s.
--The claim that many of the movies now considered classics had fallen out of circulation is exaggerated.
--Eddie did not show aging and fading original prints--that was Elliot Lavine, who formally began his noir crusade in 1991 at the Roxie. Additional evidence of significant interest in film noir and screenings in other locations has been covered by others, notably Dan Hodges, in other threads (including a recent one).
--Of course, many of us here (including Eddie) taped late-night broadcasts once VCRs existed and cable networks such as AMC and TNT came into existence in the early 80s. I can recall having two VCRs set up on separate televisions to capture all kinds of films from these cable sources and from local stations that were at that time still showing movies: it was a maniacal time.
--The above paragraph refutes the notion that most film noirs were completely unavailable prior to Eddie's efforts. Large quantities of these films were accessible through AMC and TNT; the launching of TCM also pushed forward that effort. The first edition of DARK CITY certainly provided further momentum, but it was already well-underway in 1998.
--Eddie filled in some key aspects of the successful strategy that was employed with the studios in a recent article about one of his major early boosters, Yoram Kahara, who opened many doors early in the process once the LA noir festivals at the Egyptian Theatre began in 1999. To his credit, Eddie took Kahara's strategic advice to heart and followed through with it--the results speak for themselves.
Returning to the "troubled vet" theme that's covered in the article: Eddie discusses the notion that Dix Steele (Humphrey Bogart), the protagonist of IN A LONELY PLACE, is a troubled war veteran. The distinction between a "garden-variety" soldier and a Hollywood screenwriter brought into the war effort at a different level (officer) is something that Eddie elides in his discussion, seemingly assuming that Dix's temper issues were either caused or exacerbated by the war.
No such evidence is presented by the one character who served under him in the war, Brub Nicolai (Frank Lovejoy), now a police detective. The escalating undercurrent of doubt about Dix's mental state is initiated by Brub's wife Sylvia (Jeff Donnell), whose character is a holdover from the novel (where Dix Steele is a serial killer, as Eddie notes). Brub reports that all the men who served under Dix thought he was "an exciting guy"--dynamic and charismatic, while Sylvia finds his enthusiasm for murder scenarios (the more-than-occasional occupation of a Hollywood screenwriter) to be sinister at best, and psychopathic at worst. She later sows seeds of doubt in Laurel Grey (Gloria Grahame) regarding Dix, which makes her behavior more and more skittish, thus creating an inevitable and near-tragic downward cycle in their romance.
I think there's very little room in the revamped version of IN A LONELY PLACE for war veteran issues--it is only a vestige that permits some key plot movement that is not at all focused on "troubled vet" issues per se. One might want to stretch the notion that the reason why Dix Steele "hasn't had a hit since before the war" is due to his war experiences, but the film really fails to differentiate between his pre- and post-war behavior. It seems that Dix was volatile before the war as well.
Of all the films discussed in the article, IN A LONELY PLACE clearly has the least direct connection to the "troubled vet" theme. Of course, it's known to be Eddie's favorite noir, so it may simply be that he has (in a manner analogous to Dix Steele) an irresistible impulse to talk about it. I don't think it's leading to any more pronounced sociopathic behavior...but what would Sylvia Nicolai say?? :-)