Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Darkness #13: Out of the Sun and Into the Shadows (A Scene from Out of the Past)

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A common element in many noir's that is accentuated by the proverbial venetian blinds is the idea of coming out of the light into the symbolic darkness. You could make a philosophical connection to Plato's Allegory of the Cave in which idealized shadow shapes are suddenly redefined and mean something different in the light, therefore not twisted and misconstrued in the shadows. The devils den, the Widow's web, a world lit mostly by fire like a Renaissance painting by Caravaggio done in the "tenebroso" manner or a Rembrandt in chiaroscuro. However the staging is more like a northern, later Renaissance style like that of Vermeer in which there are foreground constructions in silhouette, and a defined (but still in focus) middle ground and background. As we have learned from the reading, this is most likely due to the use of a wide angle lens or allowing a greater aperture. Most likely the lens in the shot of Kathie entering the cantina. Nothing is out of focus so we get a clear picture of the world of this particular scene in the film. We have been invited in to this moment that is very, very separate from the rest of the world. 

Greer is dressed all in white, perhaps a symbol that she is hiding under a veil of innocence. She doesn't say much, is mildly amused but speculative about Jeff, and this joint is no place for her to pursue her speculations. It isn't dark enough actually. She has to be careful. 

While there is so much more to why Jeff (Mitchum) could care less about 40 grand once he sees the girl, you can tell that he's not only done sitting in a cantina waiting, but kind of desperate, so Kathie's character is confused about how to read a guy she is sure came looking for her specifically.  So she invites him to meet her somewhere else in so many words. To me it is interesting that films noir typically make use of character archetypes, meaning universal symbols, and the cantina is like Plato's cave where we think we understand the characters as they appear in the cave (cantina) but there is far greater substance and complexity to their form and motives when the characters move into different contexts. There is a wonderful element of existentialist writing in a visual form in films noir that really could be elaborated on.  Writers like Camus, and Kafka that are the written form of the psychological elements that bring our morality into question, in parallel with the surrealist painters that brought subconscious thought into a still frame form, finally the film makers who placed that subconscious into motion.  Like the sharp contrast line between the sunlight outdoors and the darkness of the cantina, moral vs. immoral, Kathie and Jeff are walking on that edge between good and evil. 

A wonderful noir example from a cinematography standpoint that has all the quintessential elements of an classic noir.

 

THANK YOU for devoting some "ink" to chiaroscuro's favorite son, Caravaggio, whose influence Rembrandt utilizes to such magnificent advantage. To expand on your insights: Post-Impressionist and Expressionist painters also contributed greatly to the evolution of film noir sensibilities, particularly in the film maker's compositions and camera angles. Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh seriously messed with the conventional understanding of perspective, horizon lines, vanishing points, etc., essentially doing what iconoclasts do.In Van Gogh's case, his mature work was also imbued with an emotional intensity unequaled by any contemporary. Of course, the work of these artists and their confederates was cultural anathema to the establishment, but the status quo has always been red meat for rebels. Consequently, film noir's role in the re-imagining of cinema resulted from a deep pedigree in rebellion.       

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Love this film, and whenever I read an essay or comment which mentions it, it's this scene that comes to mind. I've seen it several times and never noticed that when Jane Greer lights her cigarette the shadow of her own hand reaches out and grabs her neck as if strangling her.

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How does this scene employ elements of the noir style while most of the scene is shot during daylight?

 

We see Jeff in very bright sun and then he enters a "cave" that is cool and isolated and safe from the sun.  I think, how can he wear that suit in such heat!  The contrast of sun to shadowy "cave" of the bar helps us enter the noir world.  Beyond that, though, the scene is about people and close-ups and dialogue, so we don't see much more of the interior.  The stage is set, that is all that's needed.

 

-- What do we learn about the characters of Kathie (Jane Greer) and Jeff (Robert Mitchum) in this sequence?

 

We already know what Kathie has done, but we don't know the lengths to which she can go.  She appears to be only careful and the kind of girl who has to fend off men all the time since she is so beautiful, so we aren't surprised that she is puts Jeff off.  She may very well know what he is there for and doing, and may have seen him around.  She has no reason to trust him or be drawn to him, but she gives him a little hope, knowing she can manipulate him. 

 

 

-- In what ways do you think this scene from Out of the Past contributed to the development of film noir?

 

I consider this the quintessential film noir because she is so destructive a character.  The scene shows the tension between men and women, that women could use their power.  World War II was a time when women had to work outside the home to help the war effort and support thefamily when husbands were gone.   They were not longer powerless, and film noir shows not so much an economic power or political power but psychological power of women.

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What struck me about this scene is that he is instantly smitten with her. He is so flummoxed after she walks in that he drops some change on the floor. He tries to be Mr. tough guy, but he is putty in her hands. I was similarly entranced with her character. She glows in the sunlight. When she sits down in the cafe, her skin appears flawless with a subtle inner glow. She is also very mysterious and resists his somewhat pathetic attempts to ingratiate himself with her.

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As I watched Jane Greer enter, I thought " out of the sunlight into the shadows."  She's a self-assured woman who doesn't fall for flattery, says what she means and cuts to the chase. She also knows she's alluring and throws Robert Mitchum a crumb (..."I go there sometimes.").  Mitchum, on the other hand, is clearly susceptible to her charms and his facial expression and body language (see how he drops the coin) tell me that he's going to get in trouble behind this woman.

The scene uses a film noir technique we saw in Hollow Triumph/The Scar: use of the cantina tables' ceiling lights. The 1st person voice over narration is also a film noir technique.

There is also a mix of realism and formalism: the aerial pan of Acapulco and the cantina setting.

The contribution to film noir? A very cool detective and a beautiful femme fatale.

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From the outset, the scene sets the stage very tantalizingly...as mentioned in a previous post, the line clues us in: want to know how hot it gets in Mexico, go to Acapulco. Elements of film noir style: lots of diagonal lines in the composition in this clip's opening shots. The lighting clearly a signature of film noir style...darkness and light. Usually though most of the film noir tends to happen at night..so here we are seeing some new things that the Hollywood system is producing..on location and daylight shooting but still much play with lighting, nonetheless. The two characters are out of place..they are Americans in Mexico. Another theme in film noir: alienation. And of course, we have the sultry female character, very cool exterior, with a smoldering sexual undertone. Robert Mitchum drops his coin, I'm not sure what that accomplishes in establishing his character: her beauty distracts him to the point he can lose his only? Or he's willing to lose money for her? I'm not sure, any other thoughts on that?

And finally, I always find that film noir are stories of paradox..the good guy can be bad sometimes, the femme fatale is really a good girl at heart and so on. Acts of betrayal and double twists. In the darkness of night, we see the light of truth.

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This clip sets up a juxtaposition between the brightly lit outdoors and the darker interior of the cantina. At one point the camera is outside in the light looking into the interior. Then as we are introduced to the narrator the point of view shifts from inside the cantina looking out. The archway of the door serves as a sort of frame separating bright from less dark, and the hanging overhead lamps inside the cantina cast shadows that are certainly within the films noir stylistic vocabulary.

 

The banter between Mitchum and Greer sets a flirtatious tone. Then Greer gets up and leaves and Mitchum's eyes follow, suggesting that he's already fallen for the angel in white who is more and less than she seems.

 

This opening scene from Out of the Past expands upon the possible settings for films noir and reinforces the theme running through these pictures that evil can be found in the most unexpected places.

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It’s a delight to watch both Greer and Mitchum’s entrances into the cantina, where the cinematography employs the complete tonal greyscale.  One can literally count the entire range from pure white to inky black, creating a lot of visual interest.


 


Kathie plays everything close to the chest and it’s clear she has a hidden agenda, while Jeff is open and honest to a fault, with an attitude that hints he knows it will ultimately get him in trouble.  I’m reminded of Body Heat and the verbal interplay between Kathleen Turner and John Hurt when they first meet - in a bar of course.  (What great noir couple doesn't have a bar scene?)  Yet Out of the Past does it so much better, making the exchange fascinating to watch, while the Body Heat color version seemed washed out.


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As I watched Jane Greer enter, I thought " out of the sunlight into the shadows."  She's a self-assured woman who doesn't fall for flattery, says what she means and cuts to the chase. She also knows she's alluring and throws Robert Mitchum a crumb (..."I go there sometimes.").  Mitchum, on the other hand, is clearly susceptible to her charms and his facial expression and body language (see how he drops the coin) tell me that he's going to get in trouble behind this woman.

The scene uses a film noir technique we saw in Hollow Triumph/The Scar: use of the cantina tables' ceiling lights. The 1st person voice over narration is also a film noir technique.

There is also a mix of realism and formalism: the aerial pan of Acapulco and the cantina setting.

The contribution to film noir? A very cool detective and a beautiful femme fatale.

I'm struck by the Greer's entrance from the light exterior to the darker interior. Is this a reflection of her interior as well? She plays it close, controling the exchange. She lets Mitchum go on, shotting him down until she is prepared to make a move. She goes there sometime and so should he. Greer is just too slick, too controlling. You can feel the menancing interior. This makes it a perfect nior. We feel the evil and we wait for it to engolf everthing--especially Mitchum.

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Jane Greer may be the best ever femme fatale. Unfortunately she was in only a few films. Both actors are filled with confidence and sex appeal. When she walks away, all eyes are on her, including ours through the well-placed camera's lens. Is there anyone today who could walk that walk? 

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Wk 4 Out of the Past

 

 -- How does this scene employ elements of the noir style while most of the scene is shot during daylight? During the voiceover, we see the traditional “lay of the land,” cinematic template: the world of the story.  Except this time, instead of an urban landscape, or the farmlands of California, it’s Mexico, presented on the surface as a fun and touristy travelogue, and in fact, with a different voiceover it could very well be.  It starts with an aerial shot of what looks like a beautiful city plot, cross dissolve to what appears to be a large modern apartment building or hotel, another cross dissolve and we see the city glistening in the reflection of a state of the art tour bus, and the final cross dissolve of the sequence, which brings us to the destination of this part of our story: Acapulco streets.  This setting seems like Hollywood’s version of a Mexican street, no dirt in these streets, no garbage in the alleyway through which Mitchum walks.  As I’m beginning to understand, these “overviews” give us the “world” of the story, and when we finally get to the café, we enter the story itself.  In the opening “big picture” shots, we’re given the context in which the story takes place so we can see it/understand it as an informed observer.  The VO tells us that it’s very hot here.  However, neither of these two characters seems affected by it.  They’re not sweating, they’re not out of breath, and they don’t seem like they’re about to fall over from heat prostration.  These are two cool characters.  “Cool” is the essence of noir.  Cool and detached exterior auras.  Inside, though, is a hotbed of pre-eruptive volcanic activity! They are in a café that sells alcohol, beer and “Cuba Libres”.  There is the obligatory diegetic music, except this time it’s not a piano or a jazz combo in the room, but Mexican music coming through the wall from the cinema next door. He conveniently drops a coin that just happens to roll near her table.  Enter the local shyster, coming from the same street, through the same lighting setup that she did.  This is another noir staple: the “local” who is there for some nefarious purpose, who interfaces with the “non-locals” and gives them the lay of the land.  In this case he presents himself as a tour guide and a seller of jewelry, and he facilitates Mitchum’s sitting down at the table, so we are spared any awkward moment should he have had to ask her if he might sit down.  Mitchum tries to pick her up with a line that suggests he’d like to see the sights with her. She brushes him off with, “Well, there’s always Jose Rodriguez.” She’s a crafty dame; nobody’s fool.  She wants to do business with him and suggests that he meet her at a different place. When she mentions “like a little place in the fifties.”  That’s where many jazz clubs were in Manhattan at that time.  Was she referring to a place to which they had already been?  She says “I go there sometimes,” referring to an American style place nearby.  She is the coolest of the cool.  Lots of mystery here, and the sun hasn’t even set yet.  Her exit was even more dramatic than her entrance.  I would’ve preferred she melt into the whiteness of the day, dissolving into the blazing heat of the street.  I guess it was more about what he was thinking, they cut back to him so quickly, almost not establishing her exit fully.

 

-- What do we learn about the characters of Kathie (Jane Greer) and Jeff (Robert Mitchum) in this sequence?  He followed her there, and seems very interested in her.  He’s waited here for days for the chance that he would encounter her.  She enters.  The classic line: “and there she was…”  She is coy coy coy.  For a guy who followed a gal all the way to Mexico, with  $40K involved, he’s super cool when he finally sees her.  He sits with his arms folded, doesn’t attempt to light her cigarette.  She, too knows he’s there, but doesn’t react to him.  Cool characters. He introduces himself, so they don’t really know each other, but he knows who she is, and we get the sense she knows who he is as well. She’s playing cat and mouse, but sets up their next encounter.  We look forward to it.  So does he.

 

-- In what ways do you think this scene from Out of the Past contributed to the development of film noir?  You don’t need dark shadows and eerie music to create mystery.   Both the voiceover intro and this interaction are not as heavy-handed as in some others, especially the RKO entries.  That’s not to say that this won’t end up just as dark/heavy as the others, it just goes about it in a new and refreshing way.  Plus, the characters are presented in a positive way.  Mitchum has schlepped all the way to Mexico to catch up with this dame.  He looks cool, not bedraggled, and not downtrodden.  The gumshoes in these things are always so downtrodden: no sleep, rumpled clothes, razor stubble, a fuzzy perception.  Mitchum seems like he’s ready for the prom, or a job interview even, not like the guys you usually see skulking around in these films.  Greer, too, is different.  She looks like she’s just come from a garden party, perfect makeup and hair.  She may have a past or a problem to solve, but she doesn’t seem like the desperate “women with a past, or a problem to solve” that we see sacheting around in these films.  She’s modern, she’s in control.  This is a great alternative template to reach the same noir end.  Bravo.

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Great comments from all the posters..I'm learning as much from all the astute observations as I am from the modules and daily doses. How many times have I heard that Al Stewart song?. Great addition to the conversation.This scene in particular, is typical in many ways from set-ups we've seen by now in many noir classic. Disaffected, bored male smitten by a mysterious, distant "dame". We know he is about to fall into a web of darkness..will he emerge? The difference is the art. The setting, the optimized use of the B&W format, and the actors themselves are drawing me in ..I can't wait to see what happens next.

The development of the "noir" style is getting honed in this film..that is one contribution. "Body Heat" has been mentioned many times in the conversation..once loved by me, now I'm afraid I'm going to see it as a total rip-off!

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- How does this scene employ elements of the noir style while most of the scene is shot during daylight?

It helps me feel the P.I. film noir style with the voice over at the beginning and the entrance of kathie.  You learn that Jeff has been waiting and waiting and when he finally sees what hes been waiting for it almost seems like he doesn't care.

-- What do we learn about the characters of Kathie (Jane Greer) and Jeff (Robert Mitchum) in this sequence?

It seems very interesting the start of this movie as we have no idea why Jeff is after Kathie although we hear something about 40,000 in the voice over.  Both characters seem very natural and lonely when they meet.

-- In what ways do you think this scene from Out of the Past contributed to the development of film noir?

Out of the Past is one of the movies from the time period that seems to be talked about often and very favorably so I can't wait to see it.  From the clip it is very interesting and want to know more.  The scene definitely creates intrigue for the viewer. 

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The word Quintessential applies to virtually every aspect of this masterful piece of American movie making. The cantina scene is one of finast in movie history. From the point of where Jane Greer's character walks in and out of shadows to sit down at the table, to the banter of two lonely people and finally, the suggestion to Robert Mitchum's character that they meet again at Pablo's when Kathy Moffet says, "I sometimes go their!!!, is Flim Noir at its very best and it's easy to see why this film influenced the Noir films to follow!!

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Black and white.

 

This scene is all about the contrasts. The black widow is in the white dress. She comes out of the light and into the dark shadows. She hints that she's not interested in the Mitchum character, tells him about a place he should go to get lost, then adds that sometimes she goes there.

 

Mitchum comes off as someone who's not going anywhere soon. Here's a guy who waited days to casually bump into the Greer character, and he's bold enough to just sit down and suggest sharing a sunset together. And while I've seen this picture many times, I think anyone can tell from this scene that the Mitchum character is going to be a short leash from then on.

 

I LOVE this movie. It's got everything you want in a film noir, from Musuraca's amazing low key black and white photography and the punchy dialogue and voice-over narration, to the dark alleys, seedy bars and characters with dark passions. Definitely one of the best noir films I've ever seen.

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Like any good night creature, the femme fatale can't exist in the direct sunlight. As Robert Mitchum says, she has to come "in out of the sun." She crosses the threshold from the street to the bar to become a dark shadow and then a soft-lit woman in white who sits down under a bare bulb that casts harsh shadows on her skin, first from her hat and then when she lights her cigarette.

 

Interesting choice of the white dress. Virginal, clean, innocent - Jane Greer is anything but, which Mitchum will find out. 

 

Mitchum will become the infected by the femme fatale and display some of the typical anti hero traits; ambiguous morals, down on his luck, no control over his fate, but no spoilers here. 

 

Out of the Past is one of my favorite film noirs....can't wait to watch it again.

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The clip opens with a scene that shows the influence of realism on film noir.  As some others have pointed out, the scenes would not be out of place in a travelogue about Mexico.  However, the narration reminds us that we are still in noir territory, as does where we end up.  After aerial views, we gradually zoom in closer and end up meeting Jeff in a shaded alley.  Even in the bright sunlight, he exists as a shadowy outline.  He is in the sunlight for a few moments before passing through the shadows again, this time as he crosses the threshold of the cafe, signifying that we have left the realism behind and are now entering a segment more on the formalism side of the spectrum.

 

Entering this almost completely enclosed space allows Tourneur to control the lighting, making it the rather harsh lighting sometimes used in noir.  The high-key lighting causes harsh light to shine down on the characters, causing a bit of shadowing around their faces and a clear shadow exists behind Kathie the entire time she is at the table.  This seems to suggest that the white she wears is not all that there is to her, that there is a darker side that she is keeping hidden. 

 

We get the sense that she is playing a part in this scene.  She does not encourage Jeff, although the way she steals a quick glance at him as he sits, gives the impression of her appraising him.  She turns down the earrings he offers her and seems to have no interest in being his traveling companion, all giving the impression of the “proper” woman.  However, this is contradicted by the fact that she never objects to him having a seat at table in the first place.  Therefore, we are not surprised when she tells him of the cantina he can visit and casually throws in the fact that he can find her there.  Kathie remains cool and calm throughout the entire scene, seemingly unperturbed by the heat and the advances of a strange man.

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From the first time I ever saw OUT OF THE PAST - it became one of my favorite "films noir". In my mind, Jane Greer became the prototypical femme fatale. The scene where she walks in the Cafe La Mar Azul is absolutely stunning.

 

I want to get off subject a bit. As the movie opens, you see a highway sign that says it is 78 miles to Lake Tahoe and 1 mile to Bridgeport. When Jeff (Robert Mitchum) picks up Ann (Virginia Huston) he asks her to ride with him to Tahoe. It is definitely night - say 9 or 10 pm. After he tells her the story through flashback, they arrive at Whit's (Kirk Douglas) place in Tahoe and it is the following morning. Must have been a extremely slow 80 mile drive. They did have to drive through the past!

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From the first time I ever saw OUT OF THE PAST - it became one of my favorite "films noir". In my mind, Jane Greer became the prototypical femme fatale. The scene where she walks in the Cafe La Mar Azul is absolutely stunning.

 

I want to get off subject a bit. As the movie opens, you see a highway sign that says it is 78 miles to Lake Tahoe and 1 mile to Bridgeport. When Jeff (Robert Mitchum) picks up Ann (Virginia Huston) he asks her to ride with him to Tahoe. It is definitely night - say 9 or 10 pm. After he tells her the story through flashback, they arrive at Whit's (Kirk Douglas) place in Tahoe and it is the following morning. Must have been a extremely slow 80 mile drive. They did have to drive through the past!

 

Yes,  Greer's character Kathie is the prototypical femme fatale.     As for the trip from Bridgeport to Tahoe.  I go to Twin Lakes to the west of Bridgeport for camping and fishing once a year.   Great place.   Often I take the road to Tahoe and it only takes an hour and 1\2,  so even back than when that road wasn't as nice as it is today,   it shouldn't take more than 3 - 4 hours,  even at night.   

 

I have also been to Ann's white picket fence house.   The town hasn't changed much,  but it now has 2 gas stations and that sign, looks the same (but I assume it is newer).    Every time I go there I feel like I'm driving through the past!    (but I'm lucky that my wife is more like Ann then Kathie!). 

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While a generous part of the scene is shot outdoors with all the bright sunlight that is so contrary to film noir, I think the elements of noir are still present. The dark lines that trace the buildings and diagonal shadows cast upon them is stock noir. The smoke from cigars and cigarettes obscure the the sharpness of the scene and provide another color and element. There is that feeling in the shot as Kathie enters the bar that she is some type of heavenly vision. The use of bright lighting and her light colored clothing gives a celestial sort of feel. She is a vision as the dark, contrasted archways highlight the light at the end of her tunnel. Sucked in by what one would assume is an angel. ...She is beautiful.

 

Once you enter the bar, the scene becomes idyllic of the film noir. Contrasting shadows and light walls, upbeat brass playing in repetition in comparison to the somber conversation holding a lonely lope. Kathie plays as if she is uninterested and yet she drops a coin and leaves her calling card, Pablo's. Jeff lays it on thick...I'm lonely, I want to share my time with you, maybe that's why I'm here... A little cat and mouse banter, foreplay. If it was hot outside, you wouldn't know it because the flame ignited in La Mar Azul.

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Noir style lighting helps make this scene visually active and interesting. It seems to me that high-key lighting was used to convey [to the audience] a normal encounter of a man and woman in a cantina - if it weren't for the voiceover that he's been looking for her but no longer cares about the 40 grand! Kathie's in a white dress, seems reserved but attentive - she seems to be annoyed that he presumed to call her a "difficult girl". But also mischievous and flirtatious when she does/doesn't invite Jeff to meet her sometime "I sometimes go there...". She could be Jeff's femme fatale as he's already smitten with her enough to forget about 40grand.


The full mise-en-scene of the cantina lends itself to the light casting shadows all over everything, a little cigarette smoke (only Kathie smokes), and the doorway out into the daylight offers escape? From what or whom? When Kathie gets up to leave, her shadow looms on the wall behind her - symbolic that she has "another self"?


The scene is also framed by arched doorways and other objects (tables, chairs, walls) with horizontal and vertical lines.


I'm looking forward to this movie!


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Although the scene takes place during the day, the use of light within the cafe employs the noir style. We learn that both of these characters have an element of mystery and a shady past. The scene from Out of the Past, contributes to the development of film noir because of the title, narration and the mystery that surrounds the characters.

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This clip screams film noir style in every camera shot.

The scene opens in First Person POV as the camera follows the aerial shot from a plane or helicopter flying over Acapulco as our narrator (Jeff) tells us how he came to this place. The influence of documentary film is obvious. Having our point of view be the aerial shot as he speaks suggests that we are along for the ride as he describes coming to look for "her." We follow along a road that ends in a traffic circle (are we going to be led in circles, too?) Jeff is saying how he is "following that 90 pounds of excess baggage," ironic as the camera "follows" the road below. The shot is appealing in its visual design from the air. The emphasis on design in the shots is obvious. The camera cuts away from its birds eye view to a street shot showing people and buildings, then cuts to a shot taken from the side of a bus as it travels along the street focusing on both old and modern buildings of interest. As Jeff describes the heat, we see shots of the coast and then a local well in town. Finally we pull away from the first person shots and see Jeff as he walks along the street to a café framed with dark archway. As he approaches, he tells us how he goes every day and waits for her. He describes the cafe and the movie house next door. The camera shows us these sights as if we are walking along with him and able to see for ourselves. The music playing is local and feels like it is coming from the street, not playing over the action. It feels random even though it isn't. 

Inside the café, we see Jeff sitting alone at the table. The people around him are in groups, but he is alone. The lighting is subdued, casting the shadow of the empty chair in front of him onto the table. He is waiting. He is also the only one wearing a dark suit. Everyone else wears white. He doesn't belong. He stands out. He is alien. 

We see Kathie as she walks in first bathed in light outside, then through the darkened arched opening into the light of the café. Jeff introduces her as she comes in our view. We know it is the "her" he has been waiting for. She is beautiful, willowy (90 lbs?), in control. She is a vision in white, with a large hat that frames her face like a halo. She is impeccably dressed, in compete control as she floats in and gracefully sits, pulls a cigarette out and lights it herself. She is independent. She needs no one.

Jeff stands and drops a coin from his pocket - perhaps to suggest that he throws his money around?

As he goes to pick it up next to her table, a man approaches and asks Jeff to sit to listen to his sales pitch. Was this set up perhaps so that Jeff could sit at her table? The look they give each other makes me think so. But when the man offers himself as a guide, she says. "I don't need a guide," and it is clear she doesn't. She is a woman who knows her way around. He asks if they would like earrings, and Jeff buys them but she says, "I never wear them." She is not so easily bought and does not fall easily into men's clutches. She is polite, but brushes the man off and then brushes Jeff off, as well.

Jeff tells her how he would like to have some company, but she calmly sidesteps his offers and tells him, "there is always Jose Rodrigues," the salesman, to talk to if he gets lonely. As she leaves, however, she mentions to him about a cantina, and at the very end, suggests that she might be there. "I go there sometimes," she says, almost to herself as she walks away, leaving most of her drink still on the table unfinished.

As she walk away and is in the darkened part, we can see the name written on the wall in front of the café, "Cantina La Guerreo." A warning in perfect film noir style (clues hidden in plain sight) - Guerreo translates as "I wage war... ."

Love it. 

 

What we know about Jeff is that he is looking for "her," a private eye most likely. He follows with no real plan, just clues. He is laid back and smooth, a little rumpled in his dark suit and tie that blows around. He is handsome and unhurried. He has a set up to get him to be able to sit at her table. We meet Kathie and see that she is a beauty, controlled, independent, cagy, untrusting, attracted to men, but not easily trapped, she has money, taste and sophistication. She is impeccable despite the heat. She is unmarried (Si, Senorita.)

 

 

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It's still noir despite the daylight b/c of clouds, shadow, and a lot use of overhangs/alleys that block out the sunlight.

 

We learn that Mitchum's character is lonely - and likely willing to compromise himself for a chance at companionship.  

 

She's mysterious and aloof, but with just a tinge of enticement to hook him in.

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Forget the lighting. The sexual tension in this scene is off the charts. And all within the rules of the time.

 

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