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Ghostrider55

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  1. The imagery of the clock certainly lends itself to many interpretations. At the most basic and obvious level, we anticipate the impending "something is going to happen." We aren't sure yet what that something is, but it becomes obvious that Milland's character is about to complete his sentence (or in this case, treatment) at a hospital/asylum. I was reminded of a similar clock image in High Noon with the ticking and constant return to the main street clock counting down the ominous arrival of the gang bent on revenge against Gary Cooper's stoic marshall. Maybe even a more modern Western can fi
  2. I can see both sides of the question about whether MP is a film noir. On the one hand, we don't have the criminal element of Dark Passage or Laura. On the other hand, we have an element of cynicism, selfishness, and distinctly amoral characterization (Veda). The clip itself limits our understanding of the characters (prior story line, following story line), so we are somewhat forced to focus on the obvious mother-daughter conflict. Veda could be considered a femme fatale, in that she is depicted in this clip as a manipulative, spoiled individual. I would not characterize her (as some posts
  3. Powell pulls off a perfect detective for the genre. He's street smart, as well as professionally competent in his own right. He plays things straight, but can also string things out when it serves his purpose (such as letting the "reporter" hang herself with her false persona facts). I see the film noir stories as a hard side of life, with cynicism born of a tough time (the depression and post-depression era). Yes, those who lived in that time had reason to be suspicious of others (including the government) but also were aware that when others proved they deserved assistance, were quick to
  4. To begin with, as full disclosure, Laura is probably one of my favorite movies; Gene Tierney was a true star in the days of real movie stars. As for this Daily Dose of Darkness thread, the characters are pretty much laid out for the audience in those opening moments. Clifton Webb's character (Lydecker) is almost cartoonish in his pompous attitude and apartment surroundings. Dana Andrews' Lt. McPherson is the epitomy of the hard-boiled detective of the era, almost the model for a later day Sgt. Joe Friday in Dragnet. Yet, as the movie plays out (no spoiler, hopefully) he lets down his guard
  5. The POV from Bogart's character's eyes gives the movie viewer a distinct sense of being in the action. The limitations mentioned in some other posts (lack of peripheral vision, camera angles, etc.) seemed to be minimally disruptive for me, on a cost-benefit tally. The fact that the complete story is enhanced by the POV hidden facial characteristics makes the story flow more effectively for me (having seen the movie numerous times). The overly curious character who picked Bogie up may seem irritating, but the backstory, so to speak, plays out later in the movie (well after the opening scene cli
  6. The film definitely didn't drag at the opening. The only thing missing was "It was a dark and stormy night. A shot rang out. A woman screamed." The almost immediate enactment of an apparent cold-blooded murder (Davis' character seemed relatively unmoved as she emptied the revolver into her husband, with a subsequent calm ordering to the servants to get the plantation manager, and a casual matter-of-fact conversation and having dinner is almost stereotypical of the British stiff upper lip and "stay calm and march on" attitude. Looking forward to viewing the complete film at leisure (I had t
  7. Dose#2, La Bete Humaine. Unfortunately, I was unable to view the movie (traveling on a plane, ironically). However, the comments I have read bring to mind the use of trains (and more modern conveyances) to impart a sense of powerlessness of the travelers to influence the transportation from Point A to Point B. The general sense of emotion seems to be independent of the actual situation, in that individuals will either be calm or anxious (whether it is a train or plane or ship) depending on their own perspective of the experience itself. Many films have used the setting of trains to con
  8. I found the subtle yet anticipated dark mood of the opening scenes built a sense of apprehension. The movement between the carefree innocence of a children's game, played against the dreary daily life of typical (for the time of the 1930s) housewife/mother add a stark contrast that presents an impending dread. The shadow of the likely child murderer at the reward post with the young girl playing with her ball is not, in my opinion, representative of the time gone by, but still evident in today's world. Whether it is perpetrated by an unknown/unseen killer or a modern techno-predator, child vic
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