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gonewiththetwins_dot_com

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  1. One of the other comments here mentioned Bogie's sharp suit and precise grooming, but all the little details seem to go out the window when Vickers appears. Her over-the-top portrayal is so boldly naughty (dangerous, but not quite noirish) that it's difficult to concentrate on the coolness and collectedness of the shamus. However, once she disappears, the dialogue kicks back into gear with an exchange with the general that would be reminiscent of Gutman in "The Maltese Falcon" if Greenstreet weren't so cartoonishly larger than life (though still entirely amusing).
  2. This opening has such a harsh contrast with the thundering, ominous music that transitions into a travelogue-like narration over scenic sights. When it shifts back to nighttime shots, we start to get a sense that the story will once again be just as dark and menacing as Andre Previn's music. It's also strange to think that six decades later, the subject matter is still just as relevant today.
  3. There really is nothing more noirish than obscuring a main character's face with shadow during an entire conversation. That introduction raises so many questions as to who the Swede is - what unspeakable things must he have done to deserve not only the claustrophobic isolation of his dwelling but also the fatalistic resignment to gun-toting gangster reprisal? Perhaps his face is hideously disfigured - or perhaps his crimes are so despicable, light can never again shine on his visage. What a compelling way to introduce and foreshadow such a mysterious persona.
  4. Although this has nothing to do specifically with the film noir style, the most noticeable thing about this scene for me was the extreme restrictedness of the striptease - and the fact that it makes almost no difference. Hayworth exudes enough sexuality for multiple numbers, despite only shedding a single glove by the time the song ends. If this were made nowadays, there would certainly be less artistry, less impact on the characters, fewer allusions toward unspoken feelings, and a lot more flesh. It's strange how censorship forced filmmakers to find (perhaps unintentionally) more effective ways to portray noirish activities.
  5. Has anyone seen the HBO miniseries of "Mildred Pierce"? Anyone else think they've removed a lot (if not most) of the film noir elements from that re-adaptation?
  6. Powell's Marlowe always seemed to be a poor man's Bogart. Powell plays it with less inflection, more monotonic, and with a somewhat inhuman sternness. The dialogue is sensational, but even with lesser scripting, Bogart has a better screen presence. Either hard-boiled detective is a natural component of film noir, as their on-the-fringe jobs and antihero maneuvers suggest.
  7. Andrews has this smug look on his face right from the start, as if he's already figured out exactly the kind of conceited fraud who owns this overdone dwelling. When he handles the "priceless" glass item, it's not that he doesn't appreciate its value - it's as if he recognizes its ultimate lack of value to Lydecker, who certainly keeps such things around for the benefit of others. What a thrilling battle of steely wits, witnessed in a mere four minutes.
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