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Posts posted by Stacia

  1. I'm sorry but I just couldn't get over the heavily overdone breathing and gasping for breath.



    I think that KISS ME DEADLY intentionally goes campy/overboard in a lot of scenes, for effect. The breathing and her behavior are a good example of that. Velda and Nick both get framed in some really interesting shots during the movie, also, Velda sweaty in a kind of unappealing way, Nick making funny faces as he's in a tight close-up. It's reflective of a world gone haywire, among other things, and also I think to prepare us for the completely bonkers finale.


    The documentary LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF mentions that Hammer is made as non-fascist as possible in the film -- the original version of Hammer in Spillane's book is often considered to be sadistic and fascist. I'm not sure I agree entirely with the assessment, but I definitely get the impression in this opening scene that some of the edge has been taken out of the original novel, to make this more palatable to film audiences. But it's already pretty edgy stuff, even though it's somewhat modified.

  2. Personally I always get the title of this movie mixed up with Blackboard Jungle. 


    I have too! And I get THE ASPHALT JUNGLE confused with THE KILLING quite a bit as well, though I think there's an argument to be had that Kubrick meant for his film to be a reimagining or followup to ASPHALT.


    Visually, I always thought this opening sequence was reminscent of the TOUCH OF EVIL outdoor set near Grande's "office." Well, given the timeline, TOUCH OF EVIL is reminiscent of ASPHALT.


    The look on Strother Martin's face when he's in the line-up cracks me up every time.

  3. I'm going to be super nitpicky here and say that the reason I don't find the opening successful is because you can tell that the man running with his back to the camera isn't Bogey at all. That has always bothered me, though I don't quite know why, other than it takes me out of the story, but it's not like almost every movie in existence doesn't take you out of the story at some point.


    Also, I've always felt that the first-person POV shots were a cheap way of achieving the "plastic surgery" plot point without having to go to a lot of trouble with either prosthetics or a body double.


    I wish I could say I liked DARK PASSAGE but something about it has always rubbed me the wrong way. Even all these decades later it has a whiff of "hot celebrity couple starring in major motion picture together" -- the publicity department's dream but not my idea of great cinema, I guess.

    • Like 1
  4. When the lesson questions asked if I was surprised by the opening of the film, I had to laugh because I've seen THE LETTER about eight times, so no, I wasn't surprised. But I don't think I was surprised the first time, either, because it's such an iconic scene that I had seen it before watching the whole film. That's kind of a problem with classic films, isn't it? The suspense and surprise are so often ruined just by a film's age.


    Something I noticed this time was the gown Bette was wearing. Back in 1937 she'd been in a film called THAT CERTAIN WOMAN and it was the first time she'd been in this same style of gown, and the layers and the puffy sleeves and tight waist looked really great on her. For TCW she actually did a couple of glamour photo shoots for magazines in this style of dress. For whatever reason, I didn't notice until this viewing that this is an almost identical dress. Clearly, they were wanting her to look glamorous and put-together and beautiful for this scene, which I think was the perfect choice. When she looks back up at the moon peeking from behind the clouds, she looks almost like a vampire in the modern sense: gorgeous, sexy, and absolutely terrifying in the face. Love it.

    • Like 1
  5. Thank you, Marysara, I'm pretty sure that was the song. I saw this year's TCM Remembers tonight just before "The Apple Dumpling Gang", and I'd like to say I clearly remember the song, but I got kind of choked up during the montage and forgot to listen closely.

  6. I've been having this problem for several days. Since it said I was banned I didn't even think to come here first, instead I emailed. No answer yet on the issue.


    The weird thing is that for a brief second I can see the boxes where you type your request pop up. Then they're replaced with the same message the rest of you are seeing. And since others can request movies, obviously it's not a bug that affects everyone. So odd.

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