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Mr. Lucky

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  1. Before reading this, I want to say it's not a direct commentary on this film, rather more an observation of how far we have come. Over a month and a half into the study, (and after viewing the last 2 clips), I wonder are we now beginning to see all things NOIR? Not to say I feel I'm being force fed. It's simply a shift in the dynamic. And I love the fact that TCM has offered us these wonderful films and this course. Studio production lines were in full operation, per usual, but as we moved into the 50's, there was a major shift underway in the industry. I may be in quite a minority by sayi
  2. I don't know. Everything seems over the top to me. More scrambled than hard-boiled. Just for fun, picture a less-yappy Lawrence Tierney type, (or as he was known, "a frightening force of nature"), disembarking a 'steamy night train'. Taking a hard look around. Getting in a cab. "Tolerating'' his blabbering sidekick, only responding with, "I know what she looks like". Who's she? Who are they, really? What are we in for? The margin is already getting narrower. Sorry, I'll stop re-writing the script. It's just where my mind wandered. FYI, McGraw sadly suffered a very tragic and untimely accidenta
  3. In this scene, what do you see as the interpersonal relationships between Sam, Walter, and Martha? Douglas is an intense guy, dead set on defining his role in this scence with Heflin. He's made it. And what's more, he got "the girl". Quote, "I married her". And "what does Heflin do?", he asks in interrogative fashion, after all, he is a lawyer. But this scene has nothing to do with law, or Heflin's request. These are side streets and backroads. It's all about the girl. It's all about Stanwyck. Notice Douglas when Stanwyck remembers Heflin. He's incensed at even the notion that someone els
  4. "On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair...". (The men are wearing jackets so there must be a chill in the air). "Up ahead in the distance..." they spot a hitch-hiker. Quiet sort of fellow until he pulls a gun, "what a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)". Also, we are led to believe he's killed before. So, here we are again with the makings of another 50's snapshot of paranoia, as in, "we are all just prisoners here, of our own device". I think Ida Lupino's hand will make it a more sustainable, (and viewable), film. And I respect the prominent role she played in film. But as in so man
  5. Up front, I acknowledge it's a cult and fan favorite. Hammer's a sleazy detective, and from the opening scenes, it becomes very clear that this is not a feel good movie. You just can't unsee a movie like "Kiss Me, Deadly". Some noir enthisiasts buy into the theory that self-destructiveness is the most natural of human instincts. But even in these opening secenes it's 'too crude' and sadistic for my liking. Writers like Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler could entertain you and make you think. More my taste. That's just my two cents.
  6. I will be in the minority when I say I cannot support this film as a true noir gem. The story is centered around a plot that (for me) is strangely unexciting and predictable. Both characters are unconvincing. And I disagree that the score is what everyone says it is. Personally I think it works at a counter point to the film. As a musician, I realize that it's not un-fitting for post-war Vienna, drawing from old world folk music and traits. But in my mind it's too jarring and unfitting it to be a decent score. This movie has stood the test of time, but I feel it's merits are rather shortco
  7. Seems Greenstreet and Lorre are always after something or someone. They are both masters of the trade, yet often when sharing a scene together, I find their presence to be somewhat patterned and predictable. Almost comical, as we 'feel' we know so well what to expect. In roles outside of noir, they seem a bit more flexible. And I confess, I was fixated more on the actors than the surroundings, which is intended as a high compliment. I have a great deal of respect for these actors and always enjoy watching them. I look foward to finally seeing this film Friday evening.
  8. -- How does this opening sequence establish Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe? What do we learn about Marlowe in these first few moments of the film? From the start, we wait for the face behind the voice, "I'm Phillip Marlowe". The hall of the mansion is spacious. Marlowe notices his surroundings. He checks out young Miss Sternwood, but I've a hunch he's wishing she would go away. He's there on business. Besides, Bacall would be much more in his league than young Carmen, as he would soon learn. -- Do you see a difference in Bogart's portrayal of Marlowe compared to his performance as
  9. I cannot comment on realism vs. formalism as I am too unfamiliar with it. What I know is actors and acting. McGraw and Conrad alone are enough to capture my attention. It's so interesting to me that we are drawn into the film at the beginning, by 'the killers' themselves, and the victim, 'the Swede'. Two very different personality types in direct contrast to one another. One with purpose, one without purpose, and all hope gone. The music heightens the suspense. The darkness, shadows and lighting are intense. This gripping noir thriller has everything, and it all starts with the opening scene.
  10. I find this scene to be the strongest in the entire film. It reveals perhaps the darkest and deepest issue this film addresses: the wounded human spirit. I noticed on the staircase, Veda "very, very briefly" looks at her mother, after Mildred has told her to get out ("before I kill you"). Veda is momentarily 'hypnotized'. There is a purity and an innocence. But she quickly snaps back defiant, and bolts up the steps. And the staircase itself is symbolic. It winds and twists like the lives of it's characters, and Mildred is again on the bottom. But Mildred is a force, while Veda is clinging to s
  11. Powell's Marlowe wants answers and is completely focused on 'his' case. He obviously takes his work quite personally. While he definitely weaves in and out of the lines, and over a few, he is focused on answers.
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