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slaytonf

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Posts posted by slaytonf

  1. Thanks, sewhite2000, and GGGGerald for your interest and comments.  I have read the book, I read all Raymond Chandler's works every few years.  In fact, I'll probably do it again later this year.  But I do not remember all the details of it.  What I know of what happens in the book I got from discussion in this thread.  People can't get away with committing murder under the code.   They have to die, or go to prison.  The one exception I can think of is in the case of Scarlet Street (1945), where E. G. Robinson as Christopher Cross kills his faux-paramour Kitty, and sees her real lover Johnny arrested, tried, and executed for it.  A double burden.  But the censors let it go because the movie makes it clear he spends the rest of his life in a torment of guilt.  This is your movie, sewhite2000.

     

    For this movie, everything in it makes it clear Carmen is the killer, notwithstanding Marlowe's spiel at the end.  Even though Regan was hot for Mona Mars, there's not one indication he made any headway.  Mona is in good with Eddie Mars, and from what we know of him in the movie, even if he didn't kill her, she wouldn't have been in good shape, let alone allowed to go out and about (providing the opportunity for Agnes to spot her).  So Mars had no cause to kill Regan.  It's made clear in the movie Carmen, whatever her drugged state, doesn't black out.  If Mars came to Vivian with a phony Carmen-murders-Regan story for some fake blackmail, Carmen would certainly have discredited it.  But that was exactly the hold Mars had on Vivian.  Marlowe's rant at the end, for all its pyrotechnics, is just a big show Hawks had to put in to introduce enough ambiguity to satisfy the censors.  He doesn't have much belief in it himself, not giving Mars any opportunity to respond, obviously afraid he'd come up with inconvenient responses.  Remember how he grilled Joe Brody to get the story of how he robbed the Sternwood's chauffeur?  He clearly knows how to get information out of people when he wants to.  If he hadn't been interrupted by Brody's untimely shooting, he'd have got the murder confession out of him.  But Marlowe is not at all interested in getting any information out of Mars, because he knows what that is, and he doesn't want to hear it.  He's only interested in creating a plausible alternative to Carmen's guilt so he can point the police in Mars' direction, thus letting Carmen, who's a sociopath, escape punishment--so long as it's guaranteed she's put away somewhere safe.  As I said before, for the aristocracy, scandal is worse than murder.

     

     

  2. The reality of the events in the 1946 Hawks version is that Carmen is NOT the killer.   Carmen wasn't punished in the film because she was NOT the killer and not for the reasons you give.   Instead Mars is gunned down in a brutal fashion because he was the killer.   The code required this but yea,  it is rather contrived.   So Carmen will be sent away to deal with her sexual and drug issues and not for murder.

     

    Note that the Production code folks were generous to Hawks by letting him leave in the Marlow murder of Canino in the film (Marlow knew he had no bullets left).

     

    Another "reality of the events" in the film is that Vivian and Marlow have a thing for each other but in the book Marlow is having an affair with Mrs. Mars.       This change was made after the splash the two made in Too Have and Have Not.     

     

    I said what I said and I'm sticking to it.  I could go into a lengthy disquisition detailing the reasons for my assertion, but it would be onerous and unprofitable.  People who have a set opinion will not be convinced, and I will not enjoy doing it.

  3. In the absence of, to wit, a humble (to be kind to myself) offering:

     

    Phillip the private eye Marlowe

    In a cab driven by gal Barlow

    Was taken aback

    By this delectable hack

    Golly gee, who's next, Jean Harlow?

     

    As you can see, I'm not a very good relief pitcher. But shameless that I am, I like it. I mean, not bad ... for a hack.

     

     

    You get an A for aspiring.

  4. In the book Carmen kills Regan but in the movie in the final scene with Marlow and Mars,  Marlow implies Mars killed Regan and lied to Vivian that Carmen was the killer to blackmail the family.      This change had to be made for Production Code reasons (since Mars was punished at the end,  while Carmen wasn't).

     

     

    Putting too fine a point on it, Marlowe is made to introduce the ambiguity as a nod to the censors, but the reality of the events is that Carmen did kill Regan.  She is not punished because she is from an aristocratic family, where public scandal is worse than murder.  She is allowed to escape death or prosecution if she goes away and promises not to do anything bad ever again.

  5. Almost the first thing out of people's mouths when discussing The Big Sleep (1946) is how impenetrable the plot is.  How it is inconsistent, or illogical.  But this is not true at all.  It makes perfect sense, and though the pace is hurried at times, it's not hard to follow who did what to whom at what time, for why.  If you want me to, I'll explain.  You do?  Here it is.

     

    Carmen is hot for Sean Regan, but he sniffs at her, lusting for Mona Mars, so she kills him--Carmen, that is.  The excuse is she was hopped up, but I don't buy it.  Eddie Mars is just as happy not to have to go to the trouble of killing Regan, also getting an angle for blackmail.  Carmen proves a font for material.  She gambles, which is what Geiger goes to General Sternwood with first.  But more is to follow.  Wave drugs under her nose and she'll strip for anybody, even A. G. Geiger, who by chance rents a house from Eddie Mars--who by chance gets a cut from the pornography proceeds.  But the Sternwood chauffeur, hot for Carmen, and coincidentally hot for the blackmail money, busts in on the session, kills Geiger, and snatches the film.  But he is anticipated.  Joe Brodie, who has a source of info on Geiger through Agnes, Geiger's assistant, is waiting to snatch as well.  Brodie follows the chauffeur, kills him, gets the film, then runs the chauffeur and the Sternwood Packard off the end of the Bay City pier.  He and Agnes then go to Vivian with the pics of Carmen and offer them in exchange for money.  Vivian just wants to pay them and get done with the whole thing, but Marlowe busts that up, and is in the process of wringing a confession out of Broody when he's killed by Carol Lundgren, Geiger's assistant (and something else?) in mistaken retaliation for his (Geiger's) murder.  So Agnes, trying to get something out of this whole mess, has Harry Jones, who is hot for her, and who she would not use as a doormat, make Marlowe an offer of info on where Mona Mars is.  But Mars' hit man gets to him first and makes him drink his own death (hard core).  Marlowe makes contact with Agnes anyway, gets Mona Mars' location, walks into a trap, into the arms of Vivian, pays back Mars' thug for the murder of Harry Jones, who he thought was a straight guy, and walks out of it.  For the grand finale, Marlowe and Vivian lure Mars into a trap to get his long overdue due, getting his own heavies to kill him.  Poetic justice.

     

    See? Simple.

    • Like 2
  6. I have not watched this movie but imdb.com lists: 'surfing' as keyword for: Feet of Clay (1924) and the plot summary mentions a surfboard.

     

     

    According to Wikipedia, you never will, as it is considered lost.

     

    Uuuuh.  Ya beat me to it, Dargo.

  7.  

    2) Now back to the bit about shooting puppies, well, here's the thing ... HE SHOT PUPPIES! And they just told him to go home and maybe go see a headshrinker - which, we learn later in the film, he's spent most of his childhood doing, and it didn't stop him from SHOOTING PUPPIES! In 2017, if you sent a puppy murderer home without charging him, PETA protesters would be outside the station for the next six months. In 1955, it apparently ... wasn't a crime? In 2017, shooting puppies would be considered seriously deranged behavior. In 1955, a bit troubling, but not really worth prosecuting.

     

     

    I can see you're upset.  What I can't is what it is you're upset about.  Is it that shooting puppies wasn't treated as a big thing back then, or that it is today?  Or both, maybe?

  8. Noticed that too last night, eh slayton?! Yep, it might be, but I'm thinkin' there might have been some earlier reference to surfing made in maybe some movie set in Hawaii and made in the '30s or earlier '40s.

     

    (...btw...was that Powell and Pressburger film one glacier-paced affair or what?!)

     

     

    I wouldn't be surprised.  

     

    Yeah, the movie was not one of their triumphs.  Even though it had the visual elements that make an Archer movie special, the magic wasn't there.  Of course, the subject matter was grittier than any other effort.  It crossed into the overwrought, especially during Sammy's breakdown.  And the menacing hallucinatory whisky bottle was regrettable.  

    • Like 1
  9. LOL

     

    Not a big fan of the muscle-headed Austrian either, are ya slayton?! ;)

     

    (...btw...I think I'd like to change that fake movie title I made up for the guy down there...how does "You Were Maid For Me..And Much More" sound to ya instead?)

     

     

     

    Every place has its dark time, I guess.  Even California.

     

    (I'm afraid I don't get the references, I'm happy to say.)

  10. I can't speak for Black Narcissus (1947), because I didn't watch it last night, but as for A Matter of Life and Death (1947), it was not a restored print we saw.  The print looked second or third generation, the colors were muddy and fluctuated, and the focus was blurred.  The rest of the movies shown last night were black/white.  The Red Shoes (1948) has been restored, I can't recall by who, and it is magnificent, bringing back the original glory of that masterpiece.  I would expect that all movies made by The Archers, at least the ones directed by Michael Powell would receive proper attention, as his widow, Thelma Schoonmaker is dedicated steward of his legacy.

  11. Just spent at least half an hour trying to find an internet pic of Franciosa and the Jag that Sepia was talking about slayton, but it appears Valentine's Day was such a short-lived series that very few images of him in that program are to be found, and none with him and an E-Type Jaguar.

     

    But now and speaking of beautiful old British Iron...the two-wheeled variety in this case...here's a shot of Roger Livesey's Ariel Square Four(appears to be around a 1938 model) in the film TCM showed once again this evening, A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946)...

     

    i028337.jpg

     

     

    Well, it's not a car, but it's still nice.  Only now I'm worried that this thread will turn into That's a Nice Hog!

  12. So very many thanks for posting and including that fascinating article, Slaytonf. I was rather taken aback at this film, but figured it HAD to have been before those nasty censors came into the fold. There are some scenes there that really just blew me away. Being an artist myself, I've done some nudes, but to see this in a film from 1933... Wow. I enjoyed it. I fell asleep after the fire tho... Tired. I can only guess what happened at the end. Has this been shown on TCM before?

     

     

    This was a TCM premiere.  It doesn't look like it's scheduled any time soon.  But it's available for viewing on YouTube.  In the search bar type in "song of songs 1933."

  13. Nice write-up here, slayton. Must say though, I found the way the film played out and in particular director Mamoulian's work much less forgettable than you evidently did, and the camera work much more modern than its 1933 year of production would indicate.

     

    (...oh, and instead as you suggested Lily's statue "evoking distantly the Archaic style of ancient Egypt", what came to my mind was more the thought that it evoked Nazi Germany state approved art)

     

     

    That was an oversight in my post.  Yes, Dargo, the direction was very well done.  And kudos to Victor Milner for his cinematography.  What I was referring to was the story and the dialog, which is thoroughly ordinary.  Unfortunately, all the good things in this movie can't lift it above that.  As for the evoking, if there is any deriving from state sponsorship, it's more likely to come from fascist Italy.  But I'm sticking to my guns.  Scarpitta was a well-educated sculptor, fully aware of the history and evolution of Western sculpture.  Though I read in one place he was commissioned to do some work for the mussolini government early in it's tenure (and which I haven't seen a pic of), none of his work displays the italicized propagandistic styling of fascist art.  By that I mean all artwork of that type, if you can call it that, seems to be italicized, as every point made by it is emphasized

    • Like 2
  14. Song of Songs (1933) tonight is a forgotten romance triangle movie with Marlene Dietrich, and for good reason.  There's not much in it worth wasting your time on.  Except Miss Dietrich is always fascinating to watch, and as the romantic lead, played by Brian Aherne, is a sculptor, there sculpture to see in his studio, and some of it's good.  The movie has been discussed at length in an article here:  

     

    https://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc53.2011/FellemanDecayAura/2.html

     

    so I won't need to go on at length about it, just reproduce a few photos and make a few observations.  The movie's story centers around an artist who finds his Muse in human form (hm, where have we heard that before?), who then with her as his model creates his Great Work, or a Great Work.  The Work here in question is a statue of the musette:

     

    12ScarpittaSong.jpg

     

    Racy, even for it's time, but this is a theme the movie plays with.  As Lily (Dietrich) is coaxed into the studio, and eventually into undress, the camera quick-pans/cuts from her at various stages of disrobing to the appropriate part of a sculpture in the studio; teasing and toying with us while giving us something less satisfying than what we were looking forward to.  As for the statue itself, I find it for all its spiritual elevation, a little awkward, and off-balance.  Maybe evoking distantly the Archaic style of ancient Egypt, with a modern consciousness.  This is surprising, seeing as is was done by a bona fide sculptor of note, and a really good one, too--Salvatore Cartaino Scarpitta.  I know this because other of his works appear in Waldow's (Aherne) studio.  Like this:

     

    22SongTransition.jpg

     

    a sculpture of the artist's wife, reminiscent for me of Michelangelo's Slave sculptures, the figure emerging from a rough background, and displaying similar posture and sinuosity.

     

    The rest of the works in the studio are a mishmash of different styles and quality, some by known artists, and some that seemingly were grabbed by the art director from the Paramount warehouse.  They range from what look like reproductions of Classic bronze sculptures (though by someone who had little idea of the style), to abstract statues that are a too modern for the time period of the movie:

     

    20SongBronzes.jpg

     

    Notice the fig leaf.  Evidently, there were some parts, or one part, of the anatomy that couldn't be shown, even in a statue.

    • Like 3
  15. Ah, inverse snobbery.  So pleasant to encounter.  Nothing but it doesn't have to be dragged down to the lowest common denominator.  But perhaps it's only a dodge, the point being to criticize TCM about anything that doesn't meet complainant's exact specifications for what the channel should be.  I have zero interest in wine clubs, or cruises, or bus tours, or wandering around back lots.  I also have zero objection to TCM sponsoring them.

     

    If anyone does want to raise an objection, then it might be best to compare the time spent on TCM promoting these superfluous adventures with the time spent airing commercials on regular stations.  Even if the time is the same, or even more, TCM still wins out.  The movies aren't interrupted, and the promotions as sappy or uninteresting as they are aren't nearly as insufferable as the fare on other stations.

     

     

    This is the most liked post I have ever made.  I shall have to study it so I can make others as popular.

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