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A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Some Hardboiled Streaming Options

Monday, May 18th, 2020 | Posted by Bob Byrne

“You’re the second guy I’ve met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail.” – Phillip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep

(Gat — Prohibition Era term for a gun. Shortened version of Gatling Gun)

Today, I’m going to talk about two streaming sites for your hardboiled/noir lock down needs. And then, a third site with a show I really dig. First, up:

WATCH TCM

BrotherOrchid_LobbyCardI have recently spent a lot of time on Watch TCM. It can be streamed free on your PC and Smart TV, and you can download the app for mobile devices.

Most movies running on TCM (Turner Classic Movies), are posted on Watch TCM within several hours of airing. Some which they sell, like Casablanca and Key Largo, are not posted, and movies generally drop off after a week. You can watch any movie listed, as many times as you want, free. If you have TCM through your cable provider, you can watch the east coast and west coast feeds live. So, if you miss something on the east coast, you can still catch it later on the west coast. This is good for the ones that don’t end up posted.

I’m obviously a hardboiled/noir fan, and May’s Star of the Month is Edward G. Robinson. Which has resulted in a plethora of movies in that genre, plus other non-genre movies from stars like Robinson, Bogart, and Ida Lupino.

Thursday is Star of the Month day, and in less than 24 hour period from last Thursday afternoon, the following movies were posted:

All Through the Night (Bogart), The Hard Way (Lupino), The Return of Doctor X (Bogart), The Whole Town’s Talking (Edward G. Robinson), A Slight Case of Murder (Robinson), Larceny, Inc (Robinson), The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (Robinson, Bogart), and Brother Orchid (Robinson, Bogart).

And the previous Thursday’s haul remained up until Friday, and it had some VERY good stuff as well. Last Monday’s post was about a bunch of the movies showing through the rest of May. Check it out.

Of course, there’s far more than hardboiled/noir, which is my favorite area. As I type this, there are two Marx Brothers movies, and one from The Bowery Boys. They had a musical day, so Yankee Doodle Dandy and several others are up. I will always watch Mister Roberts when I can. There are relatively ‘newer’ classics, such as Network, and Coma, as well. It’s not just all old black and white movies.

CrossfireNot every movie you want to watch is available, by a long shot. But if you like TCM, this is your chance to stream most of their schedule, at your convenience. Especially for those without a DVR, or TCM in their cable package. And you’re going to find something slight more ‘anything’ than Tiger King, here. It’s a great site.

MOVIES! TV NETWORK

This is a free, streaming network. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an app, but you can stream it through your web browser on your various devices. I mention it here because Thursday is Noir to Die For. All day long, it’s classic black and white noir. This coming week includes two Bogart movies: The Desperate Hours (his last gangster film), and The Harder They Fall (his last movie, period). Also, a decent mid-fifties crime movie from Edward G. Robinson, Illegal. And that’s not even mentioning the more-than-solid Crossfire.

And Sunday Night Noir, starting at eight, is usually a repeat showing of some movies from Thursday, in addition to a few others here and there. Of course, they show movies all week long, so you’ll get plenty more than hardboiled/noir. It doesn’t have a replay option like Watch TCM, but hey – It’s an online option when you’re looking for something to watch. And it’s got hardboiled and noir, which works for me.

PLUTO TV

Pluto TV is a streaming alternative for those trying to get off of the cable grid. It’s got a slew of stations in different categories, like Entertainment, News, Movies, and Binge. I only use it for one station, in the Binge category: Leverage.

Leverage is a caper/heist show that ran for 77 episodes from 2008 through 2012, starring Timothy Hutton (star of A&E’s terrific A Nero Wolfe Mystery). He had been a top flight insurance investigator, who fell off the rails for personal reasons. He ends up putting together a crew of former thieves. They take on clients who have been wronged, and who the normal system can’t/won’t help. The team provides ‘leverage’ and sets the wrong right.

Each is a specialist: the tough guy, the grifter, the cat burglar, and the tech geek. The interrelationships of the crew really helps make the show work. And the plots are clever. This is a really well-written show.

Every single episode, which has ‘Job’ in the title, is a new con to pull. It amazes me how original they manged to stay, constantly coming up with fresh angles on what is really the same plot structure. Each episode, they say, “Let’s go steal…” a country, an election: whatever.

I just watched The French Connection, which uses a tony culinary school as the central element, and it’s funny, well-paced, and one of my favorites. I like a good caper/heist movie, and this show is an excellent modern take on the sub-genre. The same folks made the Librarian movies and television series, and they do good quality. Leverage is being rebooted, without Timothy Hutton, unfortunately (he was accused of a thirty-plus year old rape, which he denies, earlier this year). Noah Wylie (of The Librarians) is replacing him. Three original cast members are back, with another appearing as a recurring character.

LeverageSeason1Pluto runs episodes 24/7, rotating through the entire series in less than a week. It’s a really good watch. I just finished the series finale, and they did a nice job wrapping it up. This was, quite simply, a high quality show.

I have little interest in anything else on Pluto (though the Classic Movies channel has some good stuff), and there are too many commercials for their pop culture garbage/ But I don’t have to watch those channels, so, you pick and you choose. And it’s free. There’s a station for Midsomer Murders, a show which a couple friends have recommended, so I might give that a try.

Of course, Youtube and DailyMotion have lots of movies and tv shows to watch. I used Youtube to catch up on The Murdoch Mysteries, and watched/rewatched over two-thirds of David Suchet’s marvelous Poirot. But it’s nice to find things to watch, in good quality, at places like the ones I talked about in this post.

Prior posts in A (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2020 Series
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hardboiled May on TCM

A (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2019 Series
Back Deck Pulp Returns
A (Black) Gat in the Hand Returns
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Will Murray on Doc Savage
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hugh B. Cave’s Peter Kane
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Paul Bishop on Lance Spearman
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: A Man Called Spade
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hard Boiled Holmes
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Duane Spurlock on T.T. Flynn
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Andrew Salmon on Montreal Noir
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Frank Schildiner on The Bad Guys of Pulp
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Steve Scott on John D. MacDonald’s ‘Park Falkner’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Patrick Murray on The Spider
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: John D. MacDonald & Mickey Spillane
A (Black Gat in the Hand: Norbert Davis goes West(ern)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Bill Crider on The Brass Cupcake

Clitterhouse_BogieEGRPhotoA (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2018 Series
With a (Black) Gat: George Harmon Coxe
With a (Black) Gat: Raoul Whitfield
With a (Black) Gat: Some Hard Boiled Anthologies
With a (Black) Gat: Frederick Nebel’s Donahue
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Thomas Walsh
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – January, 1935
A (Black) Gat in the hand: Norbert Davis’ Ben Shaley
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: D.L. Champion’s Rex Sackler
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Dime Detective – August, 1939
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #1
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: W.T. Ballard’s Bill Lennox
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Day Keene
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – October, 1933
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #2
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – Spring, 2017
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Frank Schildiner’s ‘Max Allen Collins & The Hard Boiled Hero’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Campbell Gault
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: More Cool & Lam From Hard Case Crime
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: MORE Cool & Lam!!!!
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Thomas Parker’s ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe Bonadonna’s ‘Hardboiled Film Noir’ (Part One)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe Bonadonna’s ‘Hardboiled Film Noir’ (Part Two)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Patrick Maynard’s ‘The Yellow Peril’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Andrew P Salmon’s ‘Frederick C. Davis’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Rory Gallagher’s ‘Continental Op’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #3
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #4
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #5
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe ‘Cap’ Shaw on Writing
A (Black) Gat in Hand: Back Deck Pulp #6
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: The Black Mask Dinner


Bob_Houston_HatCroppedBob Byrne’s ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ was a regular Monday morning hardboiled pulp column from May through December, 2018 and again from August through December, 2019. 

His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate  from March, 2014 through March, 2017 (still making an occasional return appearance!).

He organized ‘Hither Came Conan,’ as well as Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series.

He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded www.SolarPons.com (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IV,  V, VI and XXI.

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