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Posts posted by btfilmlover71

  1. Boy, this is a tough and knowledgeable crowd :-) Point taken. FYI, I address the topic of jazz and its use and contributions to film noir in Video Lecture 2. 


    But let's not focus too much on the music we selected for the video lectures. I am hoping we focus more on the main points of Lecture 1 (he says, as the saxophone fades in the background....)

    To rrrick,


    you lost me at diegetic. sorry, but smoky night clubs,  dames in backless shimmery glam gowns, champagne cocktails, and YES. sexy music from a sax all go hand in hand. Cut the prof some slack.

    • Like 1
  2. Laura would be a lesser film without the gorgeous Raskin title song, and yes, music definitely enhances and underscores so many movie themes. When you think of North by Northwest, Vertigo, Psycho, can  you think of them without Bernard Hermann's great Hitchcock's scores coming to mind??? I can't. Sorry to the person whose comments my last batch went into at the end of their post. It looks like they were your thoughts, but it sounds like you wouldn't disagree. Guess we are all finding our way around the messge boards this week. Cheers.  Great comments on what no doubt will be a memorable course.


    The beginning of Otto Preminger’s Laura introduces the viewer to Waldo Lydecker through a voice-over of Lydecker giving a flowery description of the unseen meterological conditions outdoors while the camera pans slowly through the objets d’art in his luxurious, museum-like apartment.  The voice-over establishes the recent, horrible death of the titular Laura Hunt and the relationship Lydecker felt he had with her: “I . . . was the only one who really knew her.”  Lydecker also calls attention to the unusual standing clock in his apartment and notes that the only other one like it in the world is in Laura’s apartment.  It seems almost as if Lydecker views her as a precious objet d’art that has been taken from him.



    Detective Mark McPherson wanders through the “museum” of Lydecker’s living area, and Lydecker’s dialogue with the detective begins when McPherson opens a glass case to pick up a fragile object displayed there.  As McPherson proceeds into the inner sanctum, we are surprised to see that Lydecker receives him while sitting in a bath.  And this is not just any bathtub!  No, it is situated like a throne commanding a spacious room replete with full-length windows, armchairs, fresh-cut flowers, and everything necessary for Lydecker to read and  compose while seated in his marble bath.



    I feel that this introduction to Lydecker does support Nino Frank’s contention that Laura is “a charming character study of furnishings and faces.”  While Lydecker may be a supercilious æsthete, he is certainly an interesting character who awakens our curiosity about Laura and pulls us into the story.  I think it is interesting that the opening voice-over belongs to Lydecker and not to the detective, as one might find in many other films noir.  Finally, one cannot comment on Laura without mentioning the beautiful, haunting David Raksin theme that begins just three seconds into the movie as soon as Lydecker utters the words “I shall never forget the weekend Laura died.”  I’m not sure whether Raksin’s score can be considered a contribution to film noir, but it was certainly an unequaled contribution to film culture of that era.



    A final, random observation — For some reason I was reminded of the voice-over opening of Hitchcock’s Rebecca, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” and the atmospheric Franz Waxman score.


    Yes, Raksin's gorgeous score can certainly be considered a contribution. and a huge one. Where would Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho be without the  haunting Bernard Hermann's gorgeous and unforgettable soundtracks??


  4. I agree with you about Lawrence Tierney. I know standards of beauty were different 70 years ago, but he was too pasty faced to inspire adoration.

    I agree completely. This guy had about as much sex appeal as  alfred e newman. He was more tall, blonde and robotic rather than tall, dark and sexy. Robert Taylor must have been busy making the great Johnny Eager. Now HIM, I could consider doing bad things for.

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