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Everything posted by maltesefalcon

  1. I must say that digesting these daily doses of film noir are quite beneficial to me. Sometimes I see something new, and other times I see something I’ve seen before, but now I see it in a new light. In Edward Dmytryk’s ‘Murder, My Sweet’, we see how Dick Powell, in the role of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, a role perhaps more familiarly associated with Humphrey Bogart in John Huston’s ‘The Maltese Falcon’. Compared to Bogart’s Marlowe, Powell’s character seems to handle the complexity of Chandler’s character with graceful ease. Although that is not to malign Bogie’s performance, but
  2. When I saw the introduction to the Otto Preminger film, ‘Laura’, I realized that I must watch this film again, soon. I was amazed at the audio-visual blend of the narration, paired with the various objets d’art, bric-a-brac, and tchotchkes in the house. It was a surreal juxtaposition to say the least. I must say that although such an evolved means of telling a story exists besides what we see in the opening scenes of ‘Laura’, really this is a subtle combination of techniques which might be more than what filmmakers of today would be willing to gamble on, in terms of conveying a message
  3. Although Delmer Daves may not be a household name these days, those who appreciate his motion picture direction will include works such as ‘3:10 to Yuma’ (1957), and ‘Dark Passage’ (1947). In the opening scenes of ‘Dark Passage’, we hear the familiar voice of Humphrey Bogart, but never his face. Why? Perhaps only for the simple reason that his character is shortly going to have his face transformed through the modern-day miracles of plastic surgery. Being an ex-con on the lam from the penitentiary in San Quentin, Bogie’s character, Vincent Parry, flies off a truck while in a barr
  4. It is a quiet and moonlit night on a tropical plantation somewhere in south Asia. Sap drips from the rubber tree, causing a minuscule splash. Native workers relax in hammocks under the sky, while one of those still awake plays tune on a horn. The peaceful stillness is broken by the sudden clap of gunfire, to repeat itself stumbles out of the house, and down the front porch. A white woman, well-poised, empties the leaden contents of the revolver into the dying victim. Despite the surprise of the plantation workers, the woman, played by Bette Davis, calmly issues orders to a native
  5. Daily Dose #2: The Arrival of a Train (The Opening Scene of La Bête Humaine) In the opening scenes of ‘La Bête Humaine’, we have a pair of actors whose characters remain nameless and who only communicate via gestures and monosyllabic yells. And then there is the train, which seems to have a personality of its own, and it is the very reason why these 2 characters, played by Jean Gabin and Fernand Ledoux are here on the screen. Finally, as the trains rolls into the station, we get a name: ‘Le Havre’, the terminus of this trip. At this point the soundtrack erupts with a cheerful tune, gi
  6. Old enough to remember the First World War, a toiling mother finds the morbid lyrics of the children's song disturbing. But to the little ones, oblivious to the horrors of mankind, life is but a dream. The innocence of youth is contrapuntally offset by the darkest parts of the adult human psyche. Grave warnings, pasted onto kiosks, are overlooked by little Elsie Beckmann, who innocently plays ball, until the silhouette of a man shadows the offer of a reward. This mysterious figure addresses tiny Elsie in tones more fitting for a child. Thus we see the opening scenes from Fritz Lang's 1931 thr
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