We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.

Register

If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.

Re-Register

Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.

X

Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

X

Jump to content


Photo

Daily Dose of Darkness #10: Nighthawking (A Scene from The Killers)


254 replies to this topic

#241 jistoops

jistoops

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 16 June 2015 - 08:00 AM

YouTube also has a short film based on The Killers that was made in 1956 by Andrei Tarkovsky, Marika Beiku and Aleksandr Gordon while they were students at the State Institute of Cinematography in the Soviet Union. Includes the Nighthawiking scene and the scene in the Swede's room. Worth watching.

 

[...]


Edited by TCMModerator1, 16 June 2015 - 11:31 AM.
Removed link to full video

  • Femme Noir likes this

#242 MissDavis442

MissDavis442

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts

Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:43 AM

1280px-Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942.jpg
  • cigarjoe, Femme Noir, Joifuljoi and 1 other like this

#243 MissDavis442

MissDavis442

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts

Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:40 AM

In contrast to the brightly fluorescent-lit diner scene that Nick Adams rushes away from, we see Nick leaping frantically over the many back fences only to find the Swede just lying in the darkened room; shadows cover his face, his voice monochrome, almost emotionless. His movement is minimal. The Swede is a man waiting for the inevitable, a man waiting to die. All Nick could do is leave the room with his head held low. You can’t get any more Film Noir than that.
  • Femme Noir and Ms_Sternwood like this

#244 JosephRicci

JosephRicci

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 22 posts

Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:34 AM

Dark, dark, dark!  Very evocative of Nighthawks.  Tension from the very start.  The Swede only adds to it with his reaction.  Why is it so inevitable?  What did he do in the past?  Why not run and hide?  So many questions!



#245 anasu

anasu

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:26 AM

The similarities to Fritz Lang's visual style are quite apparent in the light treatment and the suggestive audio "effects"; chiaroscuro which culminates in the Swede's room adding the veil of mystery, the unsettling music score which makes our hearts flutter in anticipation of something sinister to happen...


  • Ms_Sternwood likes this

#246 dwallace

dwallace

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 150 posts

Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:18 AM

I haven't seen all of The Killers, just the excerpt, so my knowledge of the film's contents are pretty bare.  However, I have a question about the significance of Lancaster's physical absence during the scene.  Sure, we see Nick standing over a body lying down on a mattress, and we hear what should be the Swede's voice.  However, we never see Lancaster's face.  I bring this up in reference to one of the suggested topics of discussion for this clip.  Is this the first time we see this technique of the "protagonist" (not entirely sure if he is the protagonist, or just the main subject of the film, I think that's an important distinction) being introduced right off the bat as "faceless".  Usually in film, we see character introduction done such that we hear a name, and soon after we see a face that we can put to that name.  Here, we have only feelings about the Swede.  There are those of worry and sympathy that we get from Nick and George, as well as feelings of uncertainty as to the morality of the Swede that we can deduce from the fact that somebody wants him dead.  However, we are not given a human visage that can ground those feelings in reality and for the time being, we are left with no other option than to let our imagination run wild.  The director could have just as easily had Lancaster stand up during his chat with Nick, but he doesn't.  I feel that in some way, this must mean something.  Unfortunately, I'm not so learned in film that I actually know what it is, so I turn to you, the esteemed community, to help answer my query.

I would think he is not the protagonist.  The insurance investigator is.  That's why he is faceless, he is already a corpse.


  • vic12 and Ms_Sternwood like this

#247 kevroy7

kevroy7

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:17 AM

Killing Burt Lancaster in the first ten minutes of a film may not be considered good form, but that is exactly what director Robert Siodmak does.

Siodmak knew good writing when he saw it, as did  John Huston with a writer like Dashiell Hammett in “The Maltese Falcon”. “The Killers” on screen is a beat for beat portrayal of Hemingway’s short story of the same name. Dialogue is spot on. The tension palpable. But where the literary version gives a sense of shifting sand and uncertainty, rather like a piece of music constantly changing key, the movie instills palpable, unambivalent fear. 


  • Ms_Sternwood and MissDavis442 like this

#248 dwallace

dwallace

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 150 posts

Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:16 AM

In the diner we see realism, nicely shot along the counter, we see the people in the diner, it looks like any diner we have been in over the years.  The lighting is for the utilitarian aspect of being able to see what you are eating, and moving you through quickly, this is not a romantic spot to take a date.  When the “killers” leave the counterman unties the cook and Nick Adams then sends Nick to warm the Swede.

 

We see Nick running through the alley, jumping over white picket fences along the way.  The shot is angled down on him, much of the way, not unlike the shots in M as the crowd moves in on the killer.  As we get to the Swede’s room things are different.  You see the triangular shape of the lamp, then as Nick opens the door the triangular shadow of the lamp.  Nick talking upright holding the door open, telling the Swede killers are coming.  The Swede just lays there, his head in darkness, Nick talking excitedly, the Swede in a monotone.  No reaction, no concern that he is about to die, he’s tired of hiding and he had done something wrong once.

 

This is an important scene in that the victim is just going to accept what he feels he has coming.  The life is out of him, his position on the bed, his head in darkness, reminds one of a corpse.  He’s already dead, just forgotten to die, and that is about to be fixed. 


  • vic12 likes this

#249 cigarjoe

cigarjoe

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,209 posts
  • LocationNY

Posted 16 June 2015 - 06:53 AM

-- What are some of the influences you see in this sequence from other cinemas (such as German expressionism) or other art forms? For example, consider this scene in relation to the work of Fritz Lang (who also worked at UFA).

 

What a nocturne. The lighting of course, the dark shadows, the flood of light from the lunch counter, as if it is an oasis from the night.

 

 


  • jkbrenna, Ms_Sternwood and MissDavis442 like this

#250 Mishka

Mishka

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • LocationKeene, Ontario

Posted 16 June 2015 - 06:48 AM

For me, the visual shift from realism to formalism happens as soon as The Swede's friend hits his property. We shift from an average neighbourhood, jumping over white picket fences viewed at eye level, to a high angle shot of almost gothic archways of ivy and architecture. This gives the sense of a large, looming threat. And then the round curves give way to the angular shadows and darkness in The Swede's room.


  • kevroy7, Ms_Sternwood, MissDavis442 and 1 other like this

#251 Mishka

Mishka

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • LocationKeene, Ontario

Posted 16 June 2015 - 06:41 AM

I haven't seen all of The Killers, just the excerpt, so my knowledge of the film's contents are pretty bare.  However, I have a question about the significance of Lancaster's physical absence during the scene.  Sure, we see Nick standing over a body lying down on a mattress, and we hear what should be the Swede's voice.  However, we never see Lancaster's face.  I bring this up in reference to one of the suggested topics of discussion for this clip.  Is this the first time we see this technique of the "protagonist" (not entirely sure if he is the protagonist, or just the main subject of the film, I think that's an important distinction) being introduced right off the bat as "faceless".  Usually in film, we see character introduction done such that we hear a name, and soon after we see a face that we can put to that name.  Here, we have only feelings about the Swede.  There are those of worry and sympathy that we get from Nick and George, as well as feelings of uncertainty as to the morality of the Swede that we can deduce from the fact that somebody wants him dead.  However, we are not given a human visage that can ground those feelings in reality and for the time being, we are left with no other option than to let our imagination run wild.  The director could have just as easily had Lancaster stand up during his chat with Nick, but he doesn't.  I feel that in some way, this must mean something.  Unfortunately, I'm not so learned in film that I actually know what it is, so I turn to you, the esteemed community, to help answer my query.

What a great inquiry. For me, the Swede's facelessness signifies both his feeling of  helplessness and the mystery of what he did…once.

The Swede is overshadowed by the weight of his past. He has no say in his fate now that these men have caught up with him. And, we literally can't see him. Just as we can't see what has happened, what led to this. The Swede is cloaked in a dark mystery. 


  • vic12, Ms_Sternwood, MissDavis442 and 1 other like this

#252 leaveit2me

leaveit2me

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 16 June 2015 - 06:29 AM

I haven't seen all of The Killers, just the excerpt, so my knowledge of the film's contents are pretty bare.  However, I have a question about the significance of Lancaster's physical absence during the scene.  Sure, we see Nick standing over a body lying down on a mattress, and we hear what should be the Swede's voice.  However, we never see Lancaster's face.  I bring this up in reference to one of the suggested topics of discussion for this clip.  Is this the first time we see this technique of the "protagonist" (not entirely sure if he is the protagonist, or just the main subject of the film, I think that's an important distinction) being introduced right off the bat as "faceless".  Usually in film, we see character introduction done such that we hear a name, and soon after we see a face that we can put to that name.  Here, we have only feelings about the Swede.  There are those of worry and sympathy that we get from Nick and George, as well as feelings of uncertainty as to the morality of the Swede that we can deduce from the fact that somebody wants him dead.  However, we are not given a human visage that can ground those feelings in reality and for the time being, we are left with no other option than to let our imagination run wild.  The director could have just as easily had Lancaster stand up during his chat with Nick, but he doesn't.  I feel that in some way, this must mean something.  Unfortunately, I'm not so learned in film that I actually know what it is, so I turn to you, the esteemed community, to help answer my query.


  • Ms_Sternwood, MissDavis442 and Louis' Friend like this

#253 jamesjazzguitar

jamesjazzguitar

    There is nothing as bad as something not so bad

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,541 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Posted 15 June 2015 - 09:15 PM

I haven't watched the excerpt yet. But The Killers! So good! The rare movie where I enjoy it and its remake to a nearly equal degree (I give a slight edge to the 50s version).

 

Yes, both version are good.  Even Reagan does well in the remake.    But I still feel Ava has an IT factor in this film that can't be matched,  with the exception of Rita in Gilda.



#254 Takoma1

Takoma1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 117 posts

Posted 15 June 2015 - 08:45 PM

I haven't watched the excerpt yet. But The Killers! So good! The rare movie where I enjoy it and its remake to a nearly equal degree (I give a slight edge to the 50s version).



#255 Dr. Rich Edwards

Dr. Rich Edwards

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 270 posts
  • LocationBall State University

Posted 15 June 2015 - 08:21 PM

This is the official topic thread for your thoughts on Daily Dose #10 from the film, The Killers. Let the discussion begin! The Daily Dose clip will be delivered Tuesday morning, June 16. 


Richard Edwards, PhD

Ball State University

Instructor: TCM Presents: The Master of Suspense: 50 Years of Hitchcock (2017)

Instructor: TCM Presents: Painfully Funny: Exploring Slapstick in the Movies (2016)

Instructor: TCM Presents: Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir (2015)

 

 




Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users