Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Darkness #15: MGM Noir (Scene From The Postman Always Rings Twice)

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- How are the "entrances" of John Garfield and Lana Turner staged in this sequence? What do their "entrances" reveal about their characters?


 


They have each  met their match, is all I can say at this time.


-- What are some of the noir elements in this sequence?


 


Black and White, up and down....dismay and disgust, dismay and desire....


-- What did you notice in this sequence that you identify with the MGM "house style?" (Answer this question only if you are already familiar with other MGM films noir from this time period).


 


#NOIRSUMMER


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Garfield's entrance is definitely full of double entendres. Firstly, but unknowingly, he hitches a ride with the county's D.A. This D.A. drops him at a residence/business needing help and advertises by way of a "Man Wanted" sign. Garfield exiting the car, continues on in his conversation with the D.A. who says to him, "Maybe I'll be seeing you again." Next, a police officer enters the film, and alongside the D.A., both will be legally pursuing Garfield (their "man wanted") and Turner.

 

Turner's entrance is masterfully cinematic. Her lip stick "accidentally" rolls up to Garfield's feet. As she stands awaiting for its return to her hand by Garfield, he is reeled in immediately. His breath is taken away upon his first glance at Turner, who possessess him by her striking beauty. This entrance by Turner solidifies her Femme Fatale status. She quickly garners his attention and continues to linger in the doorway in just the perfect amount of time while she puts on her lipstick. Garfield is helpless, and can do nothing but watch in complete awe.

 

The addition of the burning burger is also a great nod indicating Garfield is going to get burned.

 

This scene employs classic elements of noir; there are two law enforcement figures in an urban setting who will be hunting the main characters. We also witness the "hero" immediately fall victim to the Femme Fatale (who is already scheming.) The Postman Always Rings Twice is an interesting addition into the film noir style/genre.

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The entrance of Garfield is a voice over, so you know we're in a flashback sequence (first film noir element). From here, the noir-ness sort of drops a great deal for me. The strange intent from the man playing  District Attorney throws me off. His line delivery isn't very convincing. Why would he care so much? 

 

The whole scene is done with a film-maker's formalism. There isn't any evidence of "realism" here. Nothing documentary-like or even remotely approaching it. I would equate this to Mannerism in the painting world. A period of painting from a group of artists who were skilled painters but not innovators of the style or craft, but instead simply mimicking a style in a not so good way by going about the "manner" in which a painting should be done. So, basically you have MGM who is stepping out of their element a bit and really banking on the star power to carry the ticket sales. 

 

in an article written by Paul Schrader entitled, Into the Shadows, Notes on Noir, Schrader mentions the way in which style often would over take the content and vice versa as film makers became more aware of the interest in this type of film simply to sell tickets. So MGM, who was accustomed to over the top musicals or film epics, would attempt to slum it a bit and see what they could draw. I believe that in some ways this film illustrates this idea. It isn't as gritty. Not as dark, not nearly as much chiaroscuro, doesn't take place at night or even day-for-night. Warner Bros. wouldn't have sacrificed content or the style, and if anything did go awry, it wouldn't be the poignant content. Here MGM has good content, but lack of understanding the style keeps it falling short of a really good noir. 

 

Other elements that approach the noir style are the use of venetian blind shadows that really could use a bit more of a stark quality. Boost that contrast a bit, and it would help things along. The shadows occur on the floor too as Turner "drops" her lipstick and it rolls on the floor. We see the shadows blocking and jailing the lipstick. Possibly an attempt to symbolize how Turner's character needs to be sprung from the prison she is in, and is hoping that Garfield's character takes the bait. Her entrance is pretty dramatic. Dressed in white, but obviously far from innocent. I love how Garfield's character doesn't walk the lipstick to her, he waits, and she finally succumbs to it. However, she doesn't give in too much. She lets him watch as she applies her lipstick, and oh yeah... the meat is burning!!!!. Which symbolizes what will happen to him if he doesn't just give the lipstick back and walk away forever.  

 

Garfield's character isn't one that can be tied down. That is made clear from the beginning. After the whole scene, you clearly understand that he will stay too long, just like the meat on the grill. Lana, is the opposite. She has already stayed too long and is looking for the right train out of the station, but she has to make sure the "Man Wanted" is really filled properly by Garfield's character. So in terms of noir character qualities, both of these characters have that desperation. 

 

I am familiar with the film, and with MGM's house style. It doesn't represent the house style per se, but it forces a question about whether this was an "A" film in budget that was always intended as such, or was it an "A" film done on a "B" budget that was able to skirt the typical B listing flat rate? I mean, did they only spend their money on Lana Turner and a great script and hope to make a big profit, or was it really done on a true "A" film budget? If so, I don't see where they spent they money. 

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I've seen this movie a few times; once at Stanford Theatre just last year. I was disheartened to hear the younger crowd laughing at Lana Turner's entrance. It kind of killed the mood. 

 

Hmmm .. from our homework ...Chris Dashiell's writes, "...the studio era doesn't differ that much from today, except that the supposed profile of the mass audience being catered to is now a good twenty years younger, and apparently illiterate."

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"White is the new black", is my initial feeling about this opening clip to The Postman Always Rings Twice. There are too many atypical sterile whites in this clip for the usual film noir style: the white car, the bright daylight, the white of Garfield's teeth when he smiles, the crests of the waves crashing, the white lipstick case that falls, and of course, we can't help but notice that Lana is all decked out in white from head to somewhat toe.

 

There's even a corniness to everyone's good mood, good manners, and the please and thank-yous. Garfield's entrance is in the style of Realism and we get the feeling that he is a very trustworthy character. He manages to hitch a ride from someone who is sad to see him go, he got the job on the spot with very little discussion, the owner even offers him a room (rent free), he is trusted in the kitchen without hesitation, and he picks up a dropped lipstick case for which he is thanked. Despite all these things that fall into his lap, he only pays any attention to one; the femme fatale. He tells the driver he just wants to move on to new things, he tells the owner he can do the job but doesn't really want it (he has "itchy feet"), he admits he cares very little about his future, and well, he not only burned his food, but threw it in the TRASH as well. She is the only thing that has sparked his interest.

 

Lana's entrance, on the other hand only follows the disruption of the sound of the lipstick dropping and rolling, as we traverse through a long jungle of shadows cast on the floor. The camera follows this implied bumpy ride until it meets her feet (very reminiscent of the entrance of Stanwyck in Double Indemnity), then finally up to her face. This, like the entrance of the second character in The Mask of Dimitrios, is very consistent with the Formalist style. It is over the top, dramatic, and powerful.

 

The trap or web is set in motion the very second he picks up that lipstick for her because when he does, he is covered in the jail shadows we just observed on the floor. When he stands back up, the shadows literally cut right through his middle. He is a marked man, yet she is still beautifully illuminated, unscathed, and still blinding and bathing in white. 

 

Lastly, this clip reveals MGMs house style in it's appeal to the middle, or even upper class. The cop here just got one-upped by a random driver who only had to say "three words" that would have ruined his second-class life: "The District Attorney". We know that there are powers at play here and the corruption is at the top. We observe that important discussions happen through car windows (often a class to class symbol- seen all the way up to movies in the 1980s such as in This is Spinal Tap). One must ponder that if The Postman Always Rings Twice were a WB's film, the corruption would have come from the dirty criminals, or secretive racket, or some dead end kids.....

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At least this portion of the flashback sequence feels as though we truly are in the head of Garfield's character, with all of the "historical revisions" typical of memory. The down practically roles out the welcome mat for this vagabond. The DA gives him a ride, the police officer admits his mistake, and a the diner owner almost begs him to take the job. Then there's Lana Turner's entrance. Dressed in white with her head wrapped, she resembles a ghost or angel. That Garfield's character would remember her this way, at least their first meeting, speaks to her place as the femme fatale.

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I'm inclined to agree with some of the other opinions I've read regarding the "house style" of MGM, particularly the swelling ominous score and the shameless glamour of the sweater girl herself: Lana Turner. The studio definitely had a bigger budget, and these dollars signs show up in the high key lighting of this opener. In Hollywood, more money equates to brighter noir visuals. There is however some nice shadowing from the Venetian blinds when Frank approaches Cora.

 

The voiceover and man wanted sign are nice little bits of foreboding, but I must admit the one bit of set up I love most from this opening conversation is when he tells the DA that maybe his future starts right here. It's a slightly optimistic line that is so corrupted in noir expectations by the time it gets to our ears that it really sums up the nature of Frank Chambers. His intro is quant, intimate almost, whereas Cora Smith stops the entire world for a few seconds and makes Chambers' jaw literally drop. It's clear from the get go whose going to be calling the shots in this adulterous relationship. I'm going to fire off a bold shot here, but I think this film far surpasses Double Indemnity in both performance and content.

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The femme fatale here is a bit too obvious for my taste. Give me Jane Greer any day. However, the camerawork and direction is perfect for the character development. As the camera follows the lipstick, and then back to the doorway framed Turner, we become hooked into the story. The husband running out to greet him is a bit much. 

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-- How are the "entrances" of John Garfield and Lana Turner staged in this sequence? What do their "entrances" reveal about their character?

 

Garfield's entrance begins with a voiceover and the establishing shot of a rural diner/gas station.  His tone is matter of upbeat, matter of fact and carefree.  He is a man lacking in responsibility or ambtion who has plenty of time to worry about his future.  He's found a place where there's a "man wanted" and may his future starts there.

 

I'd like to thank the fellow students who commented about the meaning of the D.A. saying "Maybe I'll see you again."

 

He also has the con man in him.  When Gus asks him how he is with cars, this no steady job drifter says he's a "born mechanic."

 

Lana Turner enters by first rolling her lipstick bait across the floor.  We pan across the floor and then up from the floor getting a slow scan of Turner, toe - head.  She's beautiful and glowing in her white outfit.  The outfit is clearly out of place in her environment and she waited for her husband to be away before she put herself on display.

 

Garfield is dumbstruck by her, but tries to play hard to lure by making her come to him for the lipstick.  This was nicely played since it was obvious he wasn't at all cool about his reaction to her.

 

-- What are some of the noir elements in this sequence?

The use of voiceover and establishing the scene with a location shot of the diner/gas station restaurant.  The use of lattice shadows behind Garfield as he sits at the counter and on the floor as the lipstick rolls into the scene.  The establishment of the future sucker the sap husband and the seductive femme fatale.  Also like stairwells and wet streets Films Noir make good use of lunch counters.  I was reminded of The Killing.  These people must never eat in the booth.

 

-- What did you notice in this sequence that you identify with the MGM "house style?" (Answer this question only if you are already familiar with other MGM films noir from this time period).

All I know about the studio system is from our assigned reading.  MGM is said to have featured established stars in safe middlebrow pictures with high production values.  

Although the opening scene is shot on location it is well lighted and there's no sense of grit anywhere.  This light reflects softly off the car roof and the whole environment is smooth and shadow free.

Don't know where Garfield was at this point in his career.  During the entrance he is framed in the passenger side window like a portrait so here's a nice picture of one of our stars.  

Lana Turner is similarly framed in the doorway of the diner which itself is a beautiful clean set.  She is lighted with a soft glamorous glow in a shot that could easily have worked as a  summer outfit cover for a fashion magazine.

The dialog is just the dialog.  It's effective and keeps the story moving, but there's none of the snappy patter, sharp wit, irony or sarcasm as you get in The Maltese Falcon or The Mask of Dimitrios.  

Up to this point it would might be possible for this film to go in a direction that would end up not being Film Noir.

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Wk 4 The Postman Always Rings Twice 


-- How are the "entrances" of John Garfield and Lana Turner staged in this sequence? What do their "entrances" reveal about their character? John Garfield: We see the “Man Wanted” sign and hear a short voiceover; a quick, clean setup for the scene we’re about to see. As Garfield gets out of car, he tells the driver about what’s going on with him, the thing that he most likely would’ve said had the voiceover continued. His entire entrance sequence is fraught with foreshadowing: his pointing at the sign and saying, “maybe my future starts right now”. The driver, who a few seconds later is revealed as the DA says “maybe I’ll be seeing you again.” We hear a police siren and then see a cop on a motorcycle. Garfield looks slightly apprehensive. We don’t know yet if he’s any kind of fugitive, only that he’s a drifter. He has a restless spirit, is tough, on his own, not willing to settle down unless it’s for something really good. Lana Turner: in the theatre, when an actor makes an entrance, in order for it to really have an impact, the actor must “take stage,” or “take the stage,” depending on what acting teacher you have. Well, I don’t know what the equivalent is called in the movies, but Lana Turner does it here. She takes the screen and burns it up with so much “presence” that it remains with you forever. She did the same thing in “Johnny Eager.” And, she hardly says a word! She drops her lipstick a split second after the slam of the door that signaled her husband’s exit; we don’t see how she drops the lipstick-I’m sure if we did, it would be the equivalent of a Victorian woman dropping her handkerchief in front of a man, to get his attention and make a connection.  It’s clear she has more than a buggy ride through the park in mind.  He sees her; she literally takes his breath away. In fact, he gets up and walks a little closer, just a few steps, but it’s almost like there’s a force field that stops him. He must take all of her in, and to do that, he can’t get too close. She waits. He picks up the lipstick. She smiles and poses, looking into her compact mirror, with her other hand palm up, expecting him to walk over and place it there. There’s this fabulous power play between them. She looks at him, clearly surprised—this rejection scenario is not in her playbook. It’s clear he’s not walking over to her; he’s setting his ground rules. This submission scenario is not in his playbook.  She snaps her compact closed, saunters over to him, says a quick and aspirate “thanks,” She gets close enough to him to give him a whiff of her perfume. She turns and walks away, without seeming defeated at all. She may have lost this battle, but the war's not over.  She turns, and in the doorway, poses as she puts on lipstick, and closes the door slowly, creating her own slow fade. That’s his punishment for not going over to her. Before the door closes, we notice a staircase behind her. OMG! She lives there!  These two are both used to having their way with the opposite sex.


 


-- What are some of the noir elements in this sequence? The guy’s doomed from the start, plot-wise. There should be additional double entendre signs around the “Man Wanted” sign: “Proceed with Caution” and “Dangerous Curves” come to mind. The voiceover, the contrast between the projected mar vista backdrop behind the car, shot at the studio, and the actual location set, which doesn’t really match in lighting, adds a surreal noir feel to the proceedings, the “context” shots, which in this one are a couple of quick detail shots and then a lingering view of the entire plot of land the gas station/diner sits on: the world of the piece. Once he’s inside, the story begins—a gobo throws the shadow of a trellis on a far wall. Easy unobtrusive shadows; you hardly notice them. The obvious metaphor of the hamburger burning echoes that not only is he burning with desire at the sight of her, but also foreshadows the possibility that he may “fry” because of this woman. Plus, he throws it in the garbage!  


 


-- What did you notice in this sequence that you identify with the MGM "house style?" (Answer this question only if you are already familiar with other MGM films noir from this time period). It has the same creamy look as “Johnny Eager”: The ratio from light to dark is not as great as in the other studios: the shadows have a lot of detail, much more than in the other studios’ noir. The independent studios have the deepest shadows, RKO next, WB next, then MGM. This is a roadside truck stop, but it is pristine! You could eat off these floors. Miss Turner’s costumes are iconic, Irene did an amazing job—only at MGM would a truck stop wife have designer, custom-made playtogs. If this were RKO, or even WB, they would have a grittier, less perfect look. They’d still be sexy, but not so perfect. This MGM truck stop wife shops at Neiman Marcus, most other Noir truck stop wives shop at Bullock’s, or even the May Company! In “Johnny Eager,” even the “poor” people lived nicely in a simple apartment, but it looked comfortable and clean. A “fleabag” hotel in MGM looks more like a 2-star! The super dark shadows in the cheaper studios’ productions helped to make a cheaper set look better. MGM boasted their sets by always keeping them visible.  Even as noir took more of a hold by the late 1940s and early 1950s, an MGM film like “The Asphalt Jungle” had deeper shadows than its MGM noir predecessors, but it still had more shadow detail than the amazing Alton films like “Border Incident,” “Mystery Street,” and “The People against O’Hara.”


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The eagerness of Garfield's character as he talks with the DA contrasts with the weary tone of the opening few lines of narration.  This makes me wonder what happened to cause the jarring difference in tone.  

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I'm inclined to agree with some of the other opinions I've read regarding the "house style" of MGM, particularly the swelling ominous score and the shameless glamour of the sweater girl herself: Lana Turner. The studio definitely had a bigger budget, and these dollars signs show up in the high key lighting of this opener. In Hollywood, more money equates to brighter noir visuals. There is however some nice shadowing from the Venetian blinds when Frank approaches Cora.

 

The voiceover and man wanted sign are nice little bits of foreboding, but I must admit the one bit of set up I love most from this opening conversation is when he tells the DA that maybe his future starts right here. It's a slightly optimistic line that is so corrupted in noir expectations by the time it gets to our ears that it really sums up the nature of Frank Chambers. His intro is quant, intimate almost, whereas Cora Smith stops the entire world for a few seconds and makes Chambers' jaw literally drop. It's clear from the get go whose going to be calling the shots in this adulterous relationship. I'm going to fire off a bold shot here, but I think this film far surpasses Double Indemnity in both performance and content.

I agree.  And when the driver asks Garfield, "not worried about your future?" he replies "Oh I got plenty'a time for that."  There's that "noir" message that just maybe, maybe we don't have as much time we think!  Maybe life has a way of flicking the "off" switch to our expectations much more quickly than we could imagine.

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(Okay, so what is it about dropping things to get someone's attention and getting permission to approach? I'll have to try that next time I see a good looking man in a suit.)

Coming out of the shadows the emphasis is the lighting on the middle of her face. Turner's movements are deliberate. It is almost as if she knew where the light would hit to bring attention to her face, the face she powders so that the stranger knows exactly where he should land his gaze after following her legs up. Every bit of that entrance is staged and controlled by Turner's character. It's obviously deliberate. I believe Garfield's character knows this and reacts to it.

 

The shadows and lighting, of course, are noir-ish. I especially noticed the shadow on the wall of the lattice from the window. It created bars to the scene, indicating a prison- or enclosure-like feel.

I think what I like most about the lighting features is the realism the lighting brings forward. The details of the door Turner closes is an example. Doors in the 40s do not typically have insets - they are smooth, unassuming affairs. Here, the white door is given depth to play against Lana's figure in white.

 

From the Dashiell reading, I know MGM did adaptations, and 'Postman' is no different. The movie has the big name of Lana Turner and, of course, this was a higher-class production (the set indicates this). The set is also clean -- it isn't seedy or dumpy like other noir films. This gas station could be run by Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in middle-class American respectability.

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(Okay, so what is it about dropping things to get someone's attention and getting permission to approach? I'll have to try that next time I see a good looking man in a suit.)

 

 

Isn't it just an updated version of a woman dropping her handkerchief? :)

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I tip my hat to the colleagues of this course, they have covered with insightful analysis the most important aspects of the clip. So, I will talk about first about some points I haven't seen discussed much so far. The first one is the sign Man Wanted. Probably I have never seen  one with so many meanings in just one movie, Man Wanted by an Employeer, Man Wanted by a Lover/Sexy Woman and finally Man Wanted by the Police. Maybe there are more meanings to that signal, if you are aware of a new one, please let me know.

 

Many people commented that Cora is wearing white, symbolizing purity, a strange idea for a noir woman who usually is related to the dark side. And I believe that many also have noticed that the main female character in the previous clip, Out of the Past, also is wearing white. Both entrances mesmerize their male partners for different reasons. Cora is all about raw sexuality and manipulation, something more primal and primitive. Kathie is also highly manipulative, but in a subtler way, her entering in the cantina seems more an angel descending gracefully from heaven than a woman taking  a man to his fall/hell . And she is so good at it that he doesn't even care. And that is the line that got me hooked on Out of the Past. People who watched the movie will understand what I am saying.

 

Finally, I also tip my hat to the scriptwriter of Postman. In a few lines of dialogue they efficiently established  who is the main character, his "philosophy of life", we have the law hanging around foreshadowing bad things in the future and then, splah! We watch the sexy bombshell and the power struggle between both and we immediately see the direction the movie is taking.  All of this in in four minutes. Oh, boy, these guys are really good. 

 

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Boyyyy, they knew how to make stars enter the scene in those days!!!! One way or the other, with superlatively known people or unknown ones, everything was there to adore those lights and shadows on the screen. Nothing is the same today, and I have to reckon with, understandable. But to the ones that prefer classic movies, there is always a feeling of loss. 

 

Miss Turner breaks the air and space. And if that image was not enough prove, we are also able to witness that, just by the simple look at Mr.Garfield face, breathless. Soooo well acted by both, and masterfully well done Mise-en-scène by the Director.

 

 

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You can actually see that she took his breath away. Very subtle, but very powerful. She captured him but he wants to be on top.

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Wow, what an impact this seen has.  John Garfield's character seems to reveal a man searching...ah...man wanted, in more ways than one.  Oomph, va va voom, what a entrance on Turner's part.  That seen sizzles from the moment the camera pans the floor to those legs.  She traps him from the first seen.. He's hers, but, not without some submission.  Great scene.  

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Frank comes in on a streak of good luck: a ride from the District Attorney, the owner comes right out and offers him a job, and even a free hamburger.  And in a noir fashion, you know his luck is going to change when the lipstick rolls across the floor, from shadow into a patch of light.  The lattice work shadow against the far wall is the backdrop for Frank as he sits at the counter – perhaps a sign that he’s at a crossroads. 

 

Unlike Frank’s entrance which is filled with talking and movement, Cora’s entrance is still.  She is statuesque in her white clothes with a white wrap around her head.  It reminds me of Kathie from Out of the Past.  White tends to be a virginal color, but in noir films, it tends to mean a woman who is going to change things – shake things up. 

 

As Frank walks to retrieve the lipstick, the music swells with a heavy horn sound.   It is seductive, another noir troupe.  It provides the perfect background to the silent power play between Frank and Cora.  Their expressions spell doom, right along with the music.  From that brief few seconds, the audience knows something dangerous is going to happen between the two characters.  

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Garfield enters the film with his back to the audience which could indicate he is not what he seems or that he could on the run from something. Turner enters the scene with every bit of felinity and star power they could muster. She is not subtle while Garfield appears to be more elusive in defining his character.

 

Turner's cora enters as a woman of intense sexuality where as Garfield utilizes his aw shucks likeabilty at the start. turner's entrance reveals that she is a heap of trouble whereas garfield's indicates that there may be a past he is running from or a future he is running to.

 

The use of white clothes for turner is very noir in that it allows the director to utilize the b&w film better. Putting her in white is, in essence, adding color to the film at the start. The use of shadows and lighting and movement are very noir as well. also the transition from outside dot inside as well in setting locations.

 

This is a film that is abundantly raw while also being honestly clever in its character development. the dialogue is terrific and there's some serious wordplay going on. 

 

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They drink coffee "in the booth" in a movie called The Dark Corner, starring Lucille Ball and Mark Stevens!

 

From Willireo:

-- What are some of the noir elements in this sequence?

The use of voiceover and establishing the scene with a location shot of the diner/gas station restaurant.  The use of lattice shadows behind Garfield as he sits at the counter and on the floor as the lipstick rolls into the scene.  The establishment of the future sucker the sap husband and the seductive femme fatale.  Also like stairwells and wet streets Films Noir make good use of lunch counters.  I was reminded of The Killing.  These people must never eat in the booth.

 

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His entrance is long and slow and developed in a series of establishing shots. She appears out of no where. Noir elements: voice over by main character, shadows all here and there, diagonal lines, his outsider status, didactic music track, and her overly stated femme fatale character. MGM house style: cleaned up reality ...perfectly lit perfect compositions, rich tonal values on black and white film, formalism: glamorous and fastidious details the complete opposite of a neorealism film.

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Noir is an odd choice for MGM, a studio known for creating lavish musicals. MGM films tend to be crisp, clean, and well-budgeted. Hardly the cynical, dark, urban tales spun by Films Noir. Indeed, the down-and-out drifter in this scene from The Postman Always Rings Twice has a conspicuously well-ironed shirt, a clean suit, and well-combed hair, only the lack of tie providing any visual indication of his social status. Yet, this film remains a classic, in spite of, or possibly because of the all-important contrast it forms with the majority of Films Noir.

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Noir is an odd choice for MGM, a studio known for creating lavish musicals. MGM films tend to be crisp, clean, and well-budgeted. Hardly the cynical, dark, urban tales spun by Films Noir. Indeed, the down-and-out drifter in this scene from The Postman Always Rings Twice has a conspicuously well-ironed shirt, a clean suit, and well-combed hair, only the lack of tie providing any visual indication of his social status. Yet, this film remains a classic, in spite of, or possibly because of the all-important contrast it forms with the majority of Films Noir.

 

Yes,  MGM was the glamor studio but they did release some fine noir films;  Robert Taylor was their primary noir actor with The Bribe, Johnny Eager, The High Wall,  Undercurrent (great cast with Mitchum and Hepburn but only OK),  Party Girl (very late in the cycle in 58), and Rouge Cop.    

 

A few solid noirs by the studio were; Act of Violence with Ryan and Van Heflin, and Mary Actor giving a great performance;    The Asphalt Jungle with Sterling Hayden;  Force of Evil with John Garfield;  The Strip,  with Mickey Rooney (the picture has a 'B' feel but its use of Jazz is great),  and a 1936 film that has many noir themes;  Fury, with Sylvia Sydney and Spencer Tracy. 

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Excellent point!  And not too far off topic: I was fortunate enough to have met another film fan, the very down to earth Quentin Tarantino at one of his film fests in Austin, Texas where the newspaper had quoted his comments about film audiences and their behavior. I shared with him an experience I had at the Rice Media Center during a screening of The Wild One.  There too a younger audience were laughing at the film's characters using slang of 50s, "cool", "crazy" etc.  I felt incensed that these people were not allowing themselves to get lost in the moment and appreciate the movie magic.  Not to mention I was equally embarrassed for the film's director Laszlo Benedek who was there for Q & A.  Tarantino replied, "I know, I know.  Some people just don't f**king get it!"  One of the few downsides to seeing a classic film with a large audience. 

It is always interesting to me that a younger crowd that would ridicule this film would venture in to see a classic movie at all. If you are one of the folks that think Transformers is good cinema than it is no surprise that they would react in that manner. Who knows, by screening these films, it may wear on them and one day they will take the time to understand and appreciate what they are viewing. Let's face it, every generation will eventually look back at the terms that were popular at the time and be shocked that they ever said "rad, awesome and dude" with a straight face. I have always thought some of the older terms like "snazzy" had some charm.

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