Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Darkness #14: Warner Bros. Noir (Scene from The Mask of Dimitrios)

173 posts in this topic

Week Four's Daily Doses are revolve around the theme of "Film Noir and the Studios." We will feature different clips from Hollywood studios this week, including RKO, Warner Bros, and MGM. Pay attention to the difference between the clips as they were made at different studios. As will be addressed in this week's lecture, each Hollywood studio had their own "house style" or stylistic tendencies specific to that studio and its filmmaking practices. 


 


Next up is a clip from The Mask of Dimitrios (1944). This clip will be available Tuesday morning, June 22, in Canvas through the link on the main page of Canvas. Click here for the Canvas Main Page


 


FYI, the old system of email delivery is no longer working, and you now will have to visit Canvas to watch each Daily Dose. We apologize in advance that we can no longer email the Daily Doses, but we are still working to fix email delivery. But all previous Daily Doses are still available at Canvas. Please visit Canvas every day Monday through Thursday for a new Daily Dose.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Great scene; reminiscent of the Maltese Falcon interactions between Bogart and Greenstreet at his hotel the first time they meet and at his apartment when Greenstreet and company are waiting for Bogart.

 

-- The scene contains two dramatic entrances, one for each actor.

How is each entrance different? Obviously, Lorre is coming into the room and is surprised to see it disheveled; Greenstreet enters with gun in hand and takes Mr. Lorre by surprise.

 

-- What changes in the scene as they continue to interact after their entrances? As they move closer they become more comfortable with eachother; Greenstreet sits with gun in hand and Lorre sits and lays back as they discuss their common interest in Dimitrios. The fact that Greenstreet appears to be higher in the frame as they sit (as well as when they were standing) it shows you that Greenstreet has the upper hand in the situation; not to mention he is holding the gun. Their dialogue is impeccable and that says alot for the writers. The wit exhibited in their talk is comparable to two expert fencers working out.

 

 

-- What elements of the noir style did you notice in this scene, for example, in terms of camera movement or lighting? The lighting is as expected in the film noir style; the camera movement again reminiscent of the way Bogart and Greenstreet interacted in their hotel room scene.

The camera goes close up on Greenstreet as he tells his tidbits then moves to Lorre and then we have both in frame.

 

 

-- Compare this scene in The Mask of Dimitrios with scenes from The Maltese Falcon or Nobody Lives Forever. What are the similarities? What are the differences? The lighting of this scene is similar to that used in the Maltese Falcon when Greenstreet and company were at Bogart's apartment as it was a night scene. The one element that I consider the most important in film noir films is the intelligent dialogue between the characters as mentioned above: comparable to two expert fencers working out.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What we have here is the classic Hollywood magic. High production values, elegant and exotic set design, great acting, and dialog that celebrates language. I suspect Neguleso delivered this on not much more than a B budget. Due credit must also be given to Eric Ambler's source novel. It is a typical Ambler conceit to put a banal protagonist in peril - in this case a writer of murder mysteries who has never seen a dead body.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll come back when I've thought about this a bit but first, a question:

 

Wasn't there a Colonel Haki (mentioned here as the source of information on Dimitrios) in Journey Into Fear and played - if memory serves - by Orson Welles? And, is there a link? 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the scene opens up and if you listen to the music it almost plays out like a silent film.  I see that Peter is more of a comic relief in this scene, not scared of guns or anything like that.  like the other post said both men enter the room at the same time one with gun, one without but in shock. yes this is a WB film alright. Same actors from "Falcon" so they were under contract with WB. Good dialogue also. I fail to see the Noir in this scene.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- The scene contains two dramatic entrances, one for each actor. How is each entrance different? What changes in the scene as they continue to interact after their entrances? 


-- What elements of the noir style did you notice in this scene, for example, in terms of camera movement or lighting?


-- Compare this scene in The Mask of Dimitrios with scenes from The Maltese Falcon or Nobody Lives Forever. What are the similarities? What are the differences?


 


First of all, this is one of my all time favorite movies.  So happy it is a daily dose!


The plot is different from other noirs, which is great!  But you have the standard noir  touches. This is just an excellent film.


Second of all Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet are my two of my favorite actors.


Here, Peter Lorre still has his nervousness, but a bit more relaxed and calm and I get to see more of Syndey Greenstreet doing what he does best: the ability to use a lot of big words and say nothing.  I absolutely love when Peter Lorre says "what are you talking about"


When Syndey Greenstreet starts talking in circles its the best.


It's similar to the Maltese Falcon in that both actors have similar personalities but here, they seem to expand on it more.


  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both Lorre and Greenstreet enter the room casually, only Greenstreet is holding a gun.  The room is wrecked.  There are two lit lamps in the room.  The larger one is kept between the two men as they stand talking to each other.  When the camera is focused on Lorre alone it is reflected in the mirror behind him.  As Greenstreet talks about Dimitrios the camera gradually moves in closer on him.  It is also shooting upward at him, as in the "Maltese Falcon", but not at as steep an angle.  When Lorre speaks he just doesn't sit but is partially reclined and the camera shoots downward at him.  This emphasizes the difference in size between Lorre and Greenstreet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Peter Lorre (Cornelius Leyden) leaves a room and comes into the hallway he is still speaking over his shoulder to Grudek, while kneading the brim of his hat.  He seems nervous and ill at ease as he enters his room to find it ransacked, with the lights bright in the back ground.  Out of the shadows comes a figure holding a gun, Sydney Greenstreet (Mr. Peters). 

 

The imagery is noir, as it consists of shadows and light, falling around the characters.  There are down shots mostly hitting Leyden, while Peters get up shots, especially in close-up, he does hold the gun.

 

The discussion is both quick, witty and even funny as they discuss the condition of the room, and Peter’s tries to get information on why Leyden is interested in Dimitrios. 

 

Peter:  “…close the door, if you use your left hand you can do it without moving

            your feet.”

 

In that great voice of his.  While Lorre’s character at first seems whiney about the mess in his room, and Peter apologizing “…such vandalism.  I had hoped to tidy up…”.  This is like the discussions with Sam Spade in Maltese Falcon.  It is short, fast paced and witty, and Lorre whines so well in both.  Both characters seem to have more backbone and more about them that is on top of things, than they did in Maltese Falcon.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lorre's entrance is seemingly carefree as he thinks aloud arriving home from an outing. He does, however, immediately become startled upon entry to his room, seeing it has been ransacked. The music heightens here as the camera glides toward the left revealing the perpetrator. The confessor of the vandalism is Greenstreet. He enters the room via dark figure holding a gun. Negulesco has now presented us with a doom-like atmosphere. Greenstreet wants something from Lorre. Thus, they begin a somewhat friendly, verbal sparring of sorts.

 

Dim lighting dances about in this scene, which sets the film up perfectly. This is both effective and appropriate as darkness within a film noir often indicates a sinister foreshadowing. Following this dim lighting is a dark figure which emerges from an adjacent room. An arm extended holds a gun, and the figure is revealed to be Greenstreet.

An additional and great work of the camera occurs when Greenstreet explains to Lorre why he's "interested" in him. At first, we see Greenstreet sitting in a chair (gun still in hand), Lorre stands with only a portion of his body in the frame. Slowly, the camera moves into Greenstreet as he begins to tell of Dimitrios. Lorre sits, and the camera moves closer and closer into Greenstreet. Eventually, Greenstreet is photographed in a low angle (camera tilted upward) shot, which is indicative of his superiority and his having the upper hand.

 

In comparing The Mask of Dimitrios with The Maltese Falcon, both contain the quick, snappy dialogue and sparring interaction in between the actors. This scene in "Dimitrios" is also similar to scenes in "Falcon" with it's very generous lingering of the camera on Greenstreet. Greenstreet is a towering figure in both films, and directors Huston and Negulesco effectively capture this type of presence. Both "Dimitrios" and "Falcon" are highly effective films noir that implement all of the classic noir elements; Femme Fatale, darkness/shadows, dark/light contrast, quick dialogue, and at the core, an intriguing mystery.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The theory advanced by Anton Chekhov that if a gun is introduced early in a drama it ultimately must go off seems somewhat turned on its head in this scene.

 

Given that the assailant lazily hold the gun while seated and the victim casually lights a cigarette and leans back in a relaxed posture apparently on the edge of a bed, the gun's presence is less than ominous.

 

Yet a threat exists, made clear by the foreboding tight shot of the assailant's face, the accusatory statements, the existence of a "hidden" document. All these things, including the gun, point to one thing: Something bad is going to happen.

 

And like most viewers, I'll keep watching to see what that is.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet! They have such great chemistry and wonderful voices as clearly evident in this scene.

 

As the clip opens Lorre enters through an elevator door nervous and grasping his hat. Greenstreet enters through a door in Lori's apartment that he has just searched pointing a gun. The camera leisurely follows Lorre from the elevator to his door, but the Greenstreet entrance is a more distant and ominous shot.

 

While each entrance gives the characters different demeanors they're both fast and moves the action along very quickly. The scene is very tense at first then becomes almost comical as Greenstreet apologizes and says he had hoped to "tidy up" and Lorre announces that he's "tired and going to bed". Lorre become so relaxed he even lights a cigarette and starts lounging on the bed. Turning a situation on its head like this and making the outcome different than what we initially thought is a great film noir technique.

 

When Lorri enters the apartment the scene seems to be more of a wide angle to represent the initial tension and distance between the two characters. As the mood grows lighter and the two began talking the camera moves in closer giving a sense of intimacy. I like the way that as Greenstreet talked about the reason for his visit the camera lingered on his face even as Lorrie was speaking. This gave us a momentary first person effect for Lorre's character.

 

I agree with our instructor this is a great example of witty dialogue. I don't think any other two actors could have done better.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Difference in entrances:

 

Lorre enters at a medium range and the camera follows him from one door (elevator) to another (apartment), and his face is lit continuously from above, whereas Greenstreet appears at long range and in dark silhouette against a light background, framed in a doorway (we also see him framed in the mirror behind him). The effect suggests the difference in each actor's character: neither is morally scrupulous, but Lorre is presented as being more forthright, while Greenstreet is presented as ominous. We are clearly meant to sympathize with Lorre.

 

Changes in the scene as characters interact:

 

The camera moves closer to each actor's face as they interact; the slow, low-angle closeup on Greenstreet underscores his menacing, predatory nature--this is most effective and powerful camera movement in the scene. The way the camera lingers on his face while his expression changes, even though Lorre is the one speaking, is excellent. The effect of the camera placement behind each character as the other speaks, filling half of the screen, is also significant; it suggests they are equally distrustful of each other.

 

Elements of noir style:

 

The music, darkness, silhouetted figures, lighting, repartee, camera angles and placement, closeups, and framing all make this scene one of the most stylistically effective examples of noir we've seen in the Daily Doses.

 

Similarities and differences with scenes from The Maltese Falcon:

 

I revisited a single scene in TMF when Spade visits Gutman for the first time ("let's talk about the black bird"; they both feature entrances through doorways and Greenstreet's priceless banter), and I found that the camera work in each are similar and significant, whereas the differences in lighting and music are less important. The low camera angle and the slow rising close up into Greenstreet's face is the same in TMF and MOD, heightening Greenstreet's characters' ominousness and looming presence. The shift from full characters and an even camera angle to facial closeups as the characters interact  is similar also (the camera pulls back as soon as Spade and Gutman hit a verbal impasse).

 

The lighting and the music are different in both scenes, but not to a degree that is highly significant to me, as the camera work is more important in telling a similar story. In the TMF scene, the characters appear very dark in a light-infused room (a kind of ambient lighting coming from the windows) and they are both lit from above, whereas in the MOD scene, the characters are lit from above in a darkened room with punches of bright light behind them. In the TMF scene, music is foreboding but low, while in MOD, it is very intense and heightens a sense of panic.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lorre and Greenstreet are the greatest character actor pairing in noir todate.  They bring tension just by listening and seeing them together, you expect conflicts as they are from different worlds.  that said:

 

The entrance from Lorre is from his POV and then it changes  to Greenstreet.  I think alittle sharply.  The scenery in this clip is very interesting, the light behind Greenstreet is huge and Lorre's lighting just strange...........i wonder why???  I love the set in this clip

but think the Warnes Bros production was low budget or a B movie, not sure but think so.  I find that RKO low budgets or B's are better shot and find them richer in noir ish feel or photography.

 

The Falcon entrance to both characters are with flair, the entrance to these characters lack background.  Adding to the low budget

entrances.  One scene both characters of great importance to the film.  Interesting but low budget.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mehhhhhhhh......I dunno. I love Lorre and Greenstreet, but the studio contract system that had them paired repeatedly reduces rather than enhances my immersion into the film's world. So familiar are they that they take on a kind of evil Laurel and Hardy persona (big man/little man). These pairings were exploited later in their careers when they would appear in comedic sketches, spoofing themselves. Unfortunately, the spoofing was projected in what I perceive as their comfort in portrayal and in the dialogue written just for them.

By this time, films like we're seeing have become too formulaic for me; too comfortable. And that makes the sense of evil forboding disappear. Now it just feels like a comfortable in-joke.

No, the iconoclasm of the earlier and/or lower budget productions strike me as more genuine. I have the same feeling for other art forms that broke studio molds and constrictions, like early punk rock. Not the later Malcolm McClaren Sex Pistols, but earlier NYC hardcore bands like NY Dolls, Television, Richard Hell, the blessed Ramones (R.I.P.). The London teddy boys usurped our good old American rebellion. Again, that's the noir heist we're learning about: how low-brow public art (old-time radio, pulp mags, pre-code comic books) made its way into Hollywood, until it could be harnessed, roped, packaged and marketed like any other product.

You can use all the ingredients of noir: lighting, tough talk, locations, crime, evil thoughts, but if the film lacks original ideas and originality in presenting them, then I'm not spotting a ground breaking exhilarating film experience, I'm just overanalyzing a tired medium for no good reason other than to play spot the duck.

Nothing original in this clip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre was an exceptional pair for crime films and films noir. The one was huge, bright and sophisticated, the other seemed to have a vulnerable and fragile figure but could be very sinister (although it doesn't happen in this film). In The Mask of Dimitrios Lorre plays the good-natured hero who doesn't care about pecuniary gain and searches for the evil, presumed dead Dimitrios only out of pure curiosity. Greenstreet, on the other hand, doesn't play exactly a villain either, he's rather an anti-hero who has a unique and strange way of trying to win Lorre's allegiance for a purpose he'll not disclose to him for a long time.

 

The entrance of Lorre and that of Greenstreet are simply different because they reflect on the much different figures of the actors. Lorre enters the scene while we watch him talking to himself, lost in his thoughts and with low, calm music accompanying him. But he's disturbed when he sees his room upside down, and little time passes before he - and the audience - can see the man who's responsible for that. When Greenstreet enters the scene, the shot is from Lorre's point of view, as we see his large figure approaching, holding a gun and not bothering much about the mess he caused. The music shifts to more intense and dramatic, and both Lorre and ourselves watching the film have no clue about what exactly Greenstreet is doing, why he searched Lorre's room, or even who is he and what he wants. The only thing we know is he encountered Lorre twice, surely not by chance, but we don't know his "game", as he puts it, or his motives.

 

During the scene, the camera moves all the time. While both Lorre and Greenstreet stand still or don't move much, for some seconds we see the one's face, then the other's, and sometimes both. The most exciting shot, no doubt, is when the camera is pointed to Greenstreet and begins to close on his face, concluding in a brilliant close-up, perfectly combined with his large figure and sophisticated language.

 

As both Greenstreet and Lorre appear, in somewhat similar albeit with great differences characters, comparisons especially with The Maltese Falcon. Greenstreet always has an air of confidence and class, while Lorre seems ready to fall apart, but he's much more than that. Warner Bros. was surely the best studio for both actors to flourish; it was the one that developed and defined the crime and gangster genre during the 30's, and perhaps the first who made stars out of actors playing often immoral anti-heroes and outlaws, such as Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, George Raft, James Cagney and even Bette Davis. Greenstreet and Lorre often portray such characters, and they performed beautifully in Warner Bros. crime films, both alone and together.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The entrances of each actor is different with Peter Lorre's POV.  He seems a light character, an innocent, for a change, flipping his hat around and talking about someone he's met.  Greenstreet's enters the room menacingly totally blacked out until we see him...with a gun in his hand.

 

My favorite shot is a shot I also noticed taken of Sydney Greenstreet in "The Maltese Falcon".  The low-angle shot seems to come up between his legs, to let us catch his very formidable size and get the impression that this is someone not to mess around with.

 

The banter in the dialogue between Lorre and Greenstreet is very similar to the other films as well as the lighting techniques. I can't believe how closely I'm looking at films now, since I started the course.  Noticing a lot more that I used to before.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre!  It just does not get much better than this.  The two of them command the scene: as always!!!  The conversation is intense, but never over the top.  I get the strong feeling of a great respect for each orher, even though they have only recently met.  They are playing a virtual board game in their banter.  "Are you drunk?"  Great line!  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great scene, For a B picture, the set design is first rate. Lorre and Greenstreet were paired together some many times because it work. The Dialog is upbeat and witty and delivered perfectly by the two vetran actors. If it wasn't for the gun in Greenstreet's hand or the disheveled appearance of the room, you would think it was two old friends catching up. Also get the noir feeling by the lower lit room casting a darkness over the scene and allowing the showdows to creep in.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-- The scene contains two dramatic entrances, one for each actor. How is each entrance different? What changes in the scene as they continue to interact after their entrances? 

 

Lorre enters and finds his room tossed, searched, everything is strewn about he expresses surprise and dismay.

 

Greenstreet materializes out of the bathroom with a gun in his hand pointed at Lorre. As they converse Greenstreet is photographed from a low angle and is also zoomed in on making him fill the frame showing his domination over events.

 

 

-- What elements of the noir style did you notice in this scene, for example, in terms of camera movement or lighting?

 

The zoom and low angle on Greenstreet.

 

 

-- Compare this scene in The Mask of Dimitrios with scenes from The Maltese Falcon or Nobody Lives Forever. What are the similarities? What are the differences?

 

They have similar scene compositions showing the dominant subject as higher or more in the foreground than the actor without power.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two elements that I enjoy in this scene:

 

1) I like the almost meta-commentary in Lorre's first lines of dialogue: "Utterly without scruple. Totally amoral. Fascinating." Doesn't this just sum up perfectly one of the main draws of noir? To witness the actions and plotting of people who are amoral or, at least, who are willing to wander from the moral code? Even if we root for the "good guys" (like Marlowe), we're still captivated by the evil characters.

 

2) There is something a little darker in this scene than the "honor among thieves" vibe that it projects. There's this sort of double-edged sword where each man knows that the other is playing "a game". But their detachment is partly what makes them dangerous. Certainly they are in the "game" because they want something--and you never know until it's too late how far the other person is willing to go to come away the winner. The same detachment that lets you see it as a game--and to have a good sense of humor when you are beaten--might also make it easier to hurt or kill someone.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I noticed the camera position and movement the most in this scene, as the dialog plays out. The camera is at waist height as Lorre/Leyden enters the scene and his room. As Greenstreet/Peters enters the room, he's holding a gun, implying the upper hand, but he's the smaller figure in the scene. Even with the weapon, he's at a disadvantage. He'd been caught in the act of searching the room. He hasn't found what he wanted. He admits he had wanted to tidy up and leave before Leyden returned.

 

The camera moves behind Greenstreet as he insists on "a little frankness." He's larger in the frame now; he's now asserting his dominance as he plays his cards, revealing why he's there.

 

Lorre then asserts his own dominance in the scene. Greenstreet sits --taking the lesser position -- as Lorre accuses him of being a thief, or drunk or perhaps insane, waving his "silly" pistol. For a moment, Lorre is dominant. But not for long.

 

At the mention of "Dimitrios," the advantage is Greenstreet's again. The word knocks Lorre down onto the bed. The gun is no longer needed and falls into Greenstreet's lap. Words are enough. The camera pushes in on Greenstreet as he shows his hand and demands again "frankness" from Lorre. He knows he has Lorre now. The camera moves in and Greenstreet becomes larger, looming ominously. There's no getting away from the frankness he insists upon.

 

But Greenstreet appears to lose the advantage again the moment he asks about Colonel Haki. Lorre relaxes and falls back on the bed; the cigarette, lit nervously, is now smoked casually. There's a little smile on Lorre's face. It's as if Lorre realizes he still has the upper hand. Yes, Greenstreet knows about his connection to Dimitrios, but not the role of Haki.

 

I have never seen this movie before, and know nothing of the plot. So my analysis of the camera movement and what it implies may be a reach -- over-analysis -- but it was  fun nonetheless. I look forward to watching this one Friday!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter Lorre's dramatic entrance is him entering his room, noticing that is messy and that somebody must be searching through it. The searcher is quickly revealed to be Sydney Greenstreet, who enters from another room holding a gun. Throughout the entire scene, Lorre and Greenstreet go through a sort of power struggle over information about "Dimitrios." This power struggle can be visualized as a see-saw, with one side having the upper hand over the other at different points.

 

However, the overall dynamic between the two shifts from confrontation and nervousness to relaxed conversation by the end of the clip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leyden (Lorre) steps out of the elevator in good spirits after an enjoyable evening learning more about a fascinating character named Dimitrios he was introduced to only a day before.   (He's a writer, and is interested in fascinating characters.)     The hallway is well-lit and the camera angle is level with him.   He's light on his feet, happily talking to himself, but he steps into shadow as he approaches and opens his door.   

 

Only to find it's been ransacked.  The camera pans right to meet the rotund Peters (Greenstreet) as he waddles out of shadow, into the light, gun in hand.    Peters' size and gun instantly command the room.  

 

In typical wonderful patter, Peters apologizes for the mess as only Greenstreet can.  It's a sincere apology, for Peters is a man of principles and standards, just as Caspar Gutman was in Maltese Falcon.   Greenstreet, an actor trained on the NY stage, is clearly a man who likes to talk, and is fond of charming asides and soliloquies that establish the worldliness and learning of his characters.

 

In Maltese Falcon, Gutman wants to learn what Spade knows about the Black Bird, here, in Mask of Dimitrios, he's determined to learn what Leyden knows about the shadowy, presumed dead, Dimitrios.  (Here again, the past looms large.   Peters and Dimitrios have a history together.) 

 

It's wonderful how both the lighting abruptly changes, and begins to vary for each character, as the scene begins to unfold and get down to business...which is really when Leyden finally sits down.   He sits on the bed, but it's like he's sat in a hole in the floor.   The disparate size of the two men suddenly becomes more important, and Peters' bulk more menacing.   He's shot from below, so that the camera is looking up at him...a device Orson Welles used to great effect beginning with Citizen Kane, through to Lady from Shanghai, The Stranger and finally with Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil.  

 

Peter's says he wishes Leyden no harm even as his character becomes larger and more menacing.   (This juxtaposition between what is being said and what is being shown can be tremendously effective, and was recently employed with great success in the flawed first season of the HBO series, True Detective).   When Peters' questions Leyden, we see him looming over the smaller Leyden from behind, again, as if Leyden was sitting in a hole.  

 

Just as fascinating, however, is the abrupt turning of the tables, as Leyden casually lights a cigarette and reclines on the foot of the bed.   Finally!  He knows something about Dimitrios that Peters' doesn't.   The balance of power has shifted, despite the fact that Peters' still holds the gun.   Leyden is no longer answering questions at gunpoint, he's exchanging ideas with an associate, a literary partner in waiting, only Peters' doesn't know it, yet.  

 

Very well played, and not unlike the claustrophobic sitting room scenes in Warner Bros. Maltese Falcon and The Three Strangers, to name only two.   (The Three Strangers was also directed by Negulesco, and starred Lorre, Greenstreet and Geraldine Fitzgerald.)   Warner Bros. seemed as fond of snappy patter in dark, confined spaces and still darker finales as MGM was of their players breaking out in song and dance in happy endings.        

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll come back when I've thought about this a bit but first, a question:

 

Wasn't there a Colonel Haki (mentioned here as the source of information on Dimitrios) in Journey Into Fear and played - if memory serves - by Orson Welles? And, is there a link? 

Good catch! Yes, there is a link. Eric Ambler wrote Journey into Fear and A Coffin for Dimitrios (on which the film Mask of Dimitrios was based).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us