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xkot

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  1. Another bit of symbolism that struck me (it should have hit me over the head immediately) is Ernie's job as a taxi driver, and his new dream of running a filling station. Instead of going places as a champion prize fighter, he's now relegated to running around in circles, taking other people places, and his new dream is to help send other people on their way. He's going nowhere. No wonder his wife doesn't share that dream.
  2. Boy, this one is packed with post-War disillusionment and tension! Here we have a not-so-young couple, both of whom have given up on their youthful dreams of success (Ernie, a boxer, *this* close to a championship; Pauline, a showgirl dreaming of stardom). He's still holding onto hope of a better life, but his new dream doesn't interest his wife. The bauble on her wrist hints at her new dream, and it isn't as wholesome as owning a small business. Prof. Edwards makes a keen point about the contrast of movies and television in this scene. At the time of this movie (1953), TV was still in its
  3. I watched this one for the first time last week, a poor copy from one of those public domain collections that I've had for years. I didn't realize it would be a focus of our studies this week, but am so glad it is. I'm looking forward to a re-watch of the restored version Friday; it's that good. For those of you who haven't seen it, oh my, see it! You're in for a ride. This opening scene doesn't begin to hint at the tale to come. I would urge you all to analyze the three male "leads" in this movie as you watch. They're almost archetypes. And Lizabeth Scott. Put the Bacall comparisons o
  4. I agree with many of the previous comments, but have a few, hopefully additional, thoughts. Imagine the same opening, but with a different score. Score was always an important element of a Hitchcock film. The music here is very light and jaunty. Imagine this opening with a darker, more foreboding score. If it had, I believe those of us who are having a hard time slotting this film into the noir category would be swayed, because ... ... there are so many noir elements here! The cab going from light into darkness; the mannered camera angles, cutting the two characters off at the knees, m
  5. I'm struck by how dreamlike/nightmarish this scene is. Almost everything seems unreal, despite the very real location. Like a dream, things seem so very real while you're in the dream-state, yet in the waking world, you realize just how preposterous they actually are. The first composition of the walls, street and buildings almost look like a Cubist painting -- your eye has trouble making sense of the perspective in that shot. That wonderful, crazy zither music plays, contrasting so fully with the angular, shadowed world. The Dutch angle on the doorway where a cat casually grooms itself wh
  6. Besides many of the other things that caught others' attention, I was struck on the second viewing by the hapless husband's throwaway line to Garfield's character, "Don't go away!" sealing his own doom. And that hamburger! At the moment that Garfield/Frank seems to be in control of the situation -- having made Turner/Cora come to him to get her (obviously) dropped lipstick -- the hamburger foreshadows his fate. Like the burnt burger, Garfield/Frank symbolically throws his life away because he was too distracted by Cora.
  7. I noticed the camera position and movement the most in this scene, as the dialog plays out. The camera is at waist height as Lorre/Leyden enters the scene and his room. As Greenstreet/Peters enters the room, he's holding a gun, implying the upper hand, but he's the smaller figure in the scene. Even with the weapon, he's at a disadvantage. He'd been caught in the act of searching the room. He hasn't found what he wanted. He admits he had wanted to tidy up and leave before Leyden returned. The camera moves behind Greenstreet as he insists on "a little frankness." He's larger in the frame now
  8. As others have said, Marlowe is a "new" kind of detective in that he not only observes, he acts. You'd never have seen Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot bend someone's wrist, dump her purse out and force answers out of her. Even William Powell's droll Nick Charles wouldn't do this (though the Nick Charles on the pages of Hammett's "The Thin Man" novel might very well have done so.) There is an ends-justifying-means, gray-area behavior on display with the noir detective. He's clever and observant, but he's also no-nonsense and will act expediently to get the (thankfully, noble) results he's loo
  9. I love how Lydecker shows his contempt of "detectives" by keeping McPherson waiting while he watches him from his bath, but how McPherson goads him into cutting to the chase by opening his cabinet of expensive knick-knacks and handling one of them. Also interesting is how Lydecker complains about being "widely misquoted" (implying a desire for facts), then moments later dismisses having misreported the means of the death of Harrington, since his (factually incorrect) version was "superior," and that he never bothers with "details." Dana Andrews has always been a favorite; he's not well
  10. Agree with Ninnybit's comment: you ARE him, and so you can't help but empathize with his plight, even though you know he's a convicted felon. As far as being conditioned to shakycam these days, yes, this camera work does look stiff by comparison. However, I'm always impressed when I see unconventional camera work like this in the pre-Steadicam days. There's a good chance you'd smash up a camera rolling one down a hill in a barrel. Speaking of that, I loved the shot from inside the barrel as Bogart's character runs away from it. Like looking down a rifle scope or a gun barrel at him as he races
  11. Besides the things other have noted -- the slow drip of the rubber, the oppressive heat, the shadow passing over the moon, the juxtaposition of wild jungle and "civilization," Davis's passionless emptying of the revolver into the victim -- I noted the slow push-in of the camera after the murder, giving viewers a moment to think, as they get closer to those big, cold eyes ... what's going on behind them?
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