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About glynnda

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  1. Well there is no mistaking the classic noir techniques in this scene. I'll say up front, this is NOT one of my favorite films and it is for one thing.....that annoying music, it distracts me through the entire film. I have watched this film once......so I'll discuss the music first and get it out of the way. I think the music was there to not only give us a European feel, but to almost make light of the situation. There is no dark feeling in this music no sound of impending doom, but a light continuous sound of someone playing a game, someone toying with other people....it is unusual for noir. Sigh I have yet to see the point in it. It also for me personally was quite distracting and I don't believe I ever picked up the true plot of this movie. I doubt I ever will because I have not been able to sit through it since. Although I am not a huge fan of Welles I certainly understand his presence on film. When Cotton's character calls him out, we are waiting to find out who this mysterious and scary person is following him. Although Cotton's character acts confident, it is obvious that he is unnerved. Cotton's behavior is unusual in being so public and vocal for such a cloak and dagger situation, but that is the catalyst for our introduction to Welles' character. That cute little kitty sitting there between his feet is our indicator that Welles' character is playing cat and mouse with Cotton's character. We see the light shine on his face and he looks smiling and confident that he is not going to be caught. This is characteristic for Welles, taking command of a scene, keeping his audience guessing. He is masterful as a director and I think it is because of his brilliant acting talents although he did not direct this movie, it certainly looks as if he could have and I have to wonder if Reed became an influence on his directing. One of his most notable being "A touch of evil" which pretty much scared the hell out of me....I am much more a fan of his directing than I am his acting.... Joe Cotton is one of my absolute FAVORITE actors. He is exceptionally suave and charming in many of his bad boy roles i.e. "Shadow of a Doubt" a great Hitch movie. In this scene though we see him confused, in chaos, frightened and unsure of himself. I love his acting in this scene as he seems to be trying to convince himself as well as the officers on hand that he's not crazy and he truly did see Harry Lime, someone who is apparently not supposed to be around. The cinematic features in this scene are incredibly good examples of the noir style. The angular scenes as Cotton chases Welles down gives us all the proper sense of chaos, confusion and bizarre-ness for this scene. We understand that Cotton cannot believe his own eyes and he almost has to prove to himself that he saw what he saw. Those deep dark shadows provide the sense of creepiness, that cloak and dagger feel appropriate for this scene. Harry Lime could jump out of any doorway and pounce on Cotton. Cotton is the prey in this scene and he knows it....or does he? At the same time we get beautiful shots of post war Vienna.....at night of course as we generally get in a good solid noir, but beautiful nonetheless. I have to wonder, Richard discusses how America was now contributing to film making in other nations.....European nations. Was this not only giving back for the cinematic genius that came out of Europe pre-war, but could it also have been part of the effort to get Europe back on its feet post war? I think so....
  2. LOL, my first thought after viewing this scene....."His itchy feet are gone...." Frank strikes me as a lonely post war soldier, out of the service and no ties. He's looking for a life to build. He's a traveler as happens in so many noir films but this one I suspect has seen the horrors of war and is trying to come out on the other side. There is no snarky P.I. here, just a guy who is looking for something but he doesn't know what.....his first mistake.... The DA who picked him up is a good guy and truly concerned about him and his views on life.....I sense honor in him and a caring for those soldiers who have made it home....at least physically. We are all with the DA on this one.....we love our soldiers and we want them to do well when they come home.....we feel no differently about Frank and we are immediately on his side. We immediately sense the vulnerable spot in Frank....that desire to fill that lonely void, forget the war and build a life. When he stops at the "man wanted" sign we begin to have a little hope for him. Perhaps this job could be just the ticket to just be a regular guy again for a while and regain his footing. As he is left alone to tend the burger, on cue, in walks his ruination......okay, she is THE picture of the femme fatale. Cold, cynical, smokin hot and dismissive......just the kind of woman a man like Frank will become addicted to. The pan from the lipstick case to her feet is telling in the shadow and light work.....this man has just entered his prison and he's glad. The shadow of those shutters is obviously representative of prison bars....it is funny to me when he doesn't pant his way over to her to give her the lipstick case. He makes sure she comes to him......the game started the minute they laid eyes on each other. She doesn't think it's funny however as she walks over to him, obviously sending an instant message, "You can look all you want, but you will NEVER have this buddy".....she is a tease and a game player and I believe has instantly spotted her "ticket" or "sucker" who can get her out of the mess she has made of her life. No sooner does she shut the door on Frank, than he jumps the counter, rescues the burnt burger and runs outside to accept the job and walk into a tragic mistake. He didn't even check to see who she was to the owner.....second mistake. That boy should have ran......he was outclassed and outmatched immediately. OKAY!!!!! we have to mention that man wanted sign.....hardly noticeable the first time you watch the film, but once you know how this story pans out......we all know what that sign really means....the irony in films noir has always been so fascinating to me. This is why I generally watch noirs multiple times, because I know inherently that I will discover new things, find new interpretations, see new meaning..... I love the games the creators play with things like that "man wanted" sign, phrases like "It's the stuff dreams are made of". Everyone of us stops to think how those subtle effects can be so thought invoking, so life changing, such a warning sign when you come to that fork in the road. They make us once again so glad to live in our normal and boring lives, so glad that we are cautious that we don't run into femme fatales or dangerous men who have the ability to make wrecks of our lives, to hook us and drag us down into their darkness. Film noir, such a delicious and satisfying way to spend ones' leisure time.
  3. As we enter this scene I see several parallels to Maltese Falcon. First we have the large room where our characters will eventually go through their dialogue. Then we have our two obviously unsavory characters in search of a treasure, this time on opposing sides. Lorre's character looks haggard as he enters the apartment and finds it ransacked. As he is surveying the damage, out of the dark room walks Greenstreet, pistol in hand to both shock and confront Lorre's character. The dialogue between them is priceless. Greenstreet is certainly the master of "prose" and doesn't disappoint in this scene. The cat and mouse exchange begins immediately. Lorre sizes up Greenstreet while figuring out a way to get out of his current "pickle" while Greenstreet takes his usual comfortable position of authority in the nearest throne-like chair. The shot that sticks out to me is that up shot of Greenstreet which makes him look so powerful and threatening, such a familiar character for him. He means business and he wants answers however he intends to get them in style. Lorre meanwhile continues to play his game and eventually admits that he does indeed have knowledge of Dimitrios as he takes on his true character in this movie, a wily and crafty little weasel.....he always does it so well. I love this exchange and as our professor points out it is a common occurrence when these two get together on film. They exchange their little quips as naturally as if they were having a true exchange, not in movies. It is rare to see two actors interact so naturally with no indication that they ever had to rehearse this scene. MGM certainly did make use of their stars for this scene. I have to think that the way movies were done i.e. the ownership of actors, lots and every tier right down to the movie houses, provided the necessary elements to create such a natural flowing dialogue between two gifted actors. The fact that they worked together in 8 movies under this contract in the same story line over and over makes it quite believable that not only did they work well together, but because they were under contract to MGM, they were very used to working together.
  4. Out of the darkness is one of the best examples of film noir we will find. It is not one of my favorites-story wise- but an excellent example. I have watched it a number of times and still find fascination with the use of light the personality and character traits of the characters and the unexpectedness of our femme fatale. She is so believable and we want to believe......but oh are we disappointed......why isn't it one of my favorite story lines, because I wanted the happy ending. I wanted to see Jeff with the women he loved so much, but this story is ill fated and I continue to be disappointed when I watch this movie....LOL.....I guess I think somehow the story will change......what can I say? I'm a romantic. In this scene we see a mixture of uses of realism and subjectivity as well as the classic uses of dark and light, but in this scene there is a twist. In so many movies we are placed into a dark setting where those fascinating silhouettes are set against the harsh light of a street lamp or something, but in this movie, we are actually in a bright daytime scene. We are in the dark of a canteen hiding out from the sun. Kathy's silhouetted entrance is deceptively beautiful and feminine has an immediate effect on Jeff. Her appearance changes his perspective and his thoughts about love of a decent woman in love with him back home very quickly. She looks ladylike and innocent in that wide brimmed hat and we all have to wonder how she could have ever been with a man like that snake back at Lake Tahoe. What the snake said about her could not possibly be true..... Then she takes a seat and lights up that cigarette so nonchalantly. There is no indication that this is a woman that needs protection. She has a hardness about her, her eyes look dead and when Jeff comes to sit down with her, we can't really tell if she suspects who he is and why he is there or not. We quickly become convinced that this is indeed a femme fatale and perhaps she really could be low down dirty and rotten......who can tell? One of the great aspects of this film is we are never sure about Kathy's character until the end of the movie. Jeff on the other hand is the subjective descent into darkness. When this movie opens we are in the light and everything seems so normal and nice. Jeff is literally forced back into the darkness of a world he thought he had escaped. He takes it all in stride though and we can hear it in his voice during the narration while flying over Acapulco. During the descent of this flight we begin to understand that we will not be landing here for pleasure but the descent into this beautiful city is a descent into a dark story. Next we are entering that cantina and Jeff continues the narration stating that he will wait here....that wait however is not the wait of your average P.I., he has the feel of a predator in his voice. This is a job and he is there to do it (get his prey) and get back home. He is a no-nonsense type. We are missing the style and swagger of many of our favorite past detectives. He makes no bones about the effect Kathy's appearance has on him and how he instantly changes. Kathy begins the cat and mouse game immediately and we are treated to a scene not unlike the "just whistle" scene in "to have and have not" as Kathy exits the cantina. My suspicion has always been she suspected who he was the minute she saw him. This film was a rich addition to the film noir genre. The use of realism and subjectivity were classic but so intertwined in this movie. We received a dark story with a character continuously trying to get back to the light, a place, I might add, where most did now want him and felt he didn't belong. In the end he knew they were right and we tragically find out that he will never be anyone's slave and he means it!! This particular scene is so full of classic noir features, the dark/light usage, the narrative storytelling, a wonderful femme fatale......and the excellent twist of having a daylight scene from which our characters walk into darkness. It was like they knew they were ill fated from the moment they met. The attraction was instant and startling and in this scene we just have no way of understanding how deep this movie is going to go......
  5. The Big Sleep……I watched that movie about 10 times I think before I could actually figure out the plot! That movie is a chaotic mess!!! Okay now to discussion- The comparison between Spade and Marlowe is fairly distinct for me. Obviously we don’t have our fair-haired man of the devil here, but Bogey pulls off the suave affect needed, and deals successfully with Carmen, his first female challenge in this film. There is one thing to note here…..no one but Bogey could have been paired up with Bacall in this movie and we all know it. Fortunately Bogie is the kind of actor that can take on the challenge of not looking physically like the character from the novel, but putting on the demeanor that makes him believable. Marlowe’s cool and suave demeanor is a definite contrast to that rough and tumble Spade. He played Spade so well in Maltese Falcon - he was no nonsense. He didn’t play games and spoke straight from the gut and he sure did like making monkeys out of cops although he had respect for the good ones. Sam Spade was the kind of man that didn’t give respect easily and when a man earned that respect he felt good about it. Marlowe is a little smoother, a little more silver tongued, he will “play the game” to get what he wants, but just as much the private eye as Spade and determined to get to the bottom of a matter for his employer. He is more one of those people that allows people to just keep talking or going until they show their behind and he can quietly and efficiently nail them. Later in the film though we will see his sinister side come out as he sends his would-be killer to his own demise…..very chilling. I think if were to compare his nature to the animal world, he would be a cobra, quietly observe, hypnotize the victim into thinking he/she is safe and then……strike. In this scene he is dressed nicely (and lookin’ good I might add) because he is going to an impressive estate to meet a very rich guy. The butler absolutely cracks me up when he comes out of the arboretum and sees Carmen in Marlowe’s arms. It doesn’t faze him one bit……I’m thinking this is normal activity and the butler is quite used to it!!!! Very cute and very humorous, we all have to wonder what butlers have observed in the homes of the curious rich over the years…. Carmen’s character….what an annoying little girl….did she master that role or what??? Bogie’s character just plays right along with her little game partly because she’s cute and he’s interested but more I suspect because he knows she is probably the reason he’s there….he needs to observe and learn. So Carmen makes her first impression and then we head to the arboretum….. Here we encounter a sniveling shell of a man…well- a very rich sniveling shell, so everybody listens to him and obeys except of course his rebellious and spoiled daughters…..the way he immediately launches into the details of his pathetic life as a “poor little rich boy” is beyond nauseating to me….I have to wonder if this was the intention of the director……if so, he is the master…..I bow down to him…. The lighting in this scene is upbeat and feel-good to me even when we are in the arboretum, although I get the feeling of slowly strangling while watching Bogey struggling to be pleasant, talk compassionately with this man and attempt to hide his obvious discomfort……(I’m thinking they had to have a seriously hot light pointed right at him during that scene….LOL)….their discussion leads us to believe that this job is going to be a routine job of dealing with some small time blackmailer whom Marlowe will easily deal with……it is not to be so. If only our clip had lasted about three minutes longer we would have had the pleasure of watching one of the most fiery scenes ever produced between Bogey & Bacall……what a steamer!!!! The electricity between these two is just unmistakable…..it’s there in every movie they made together…..oh well, I’ll just have to watch it……again…..I think I’ve watched this movie about 15 times.
  6. au contrer......Carmen is a grown up girl.....she knows exactly what she is doing....she is looking for attention....she knows how to get it,.....generally from slimy and lecherous men, much to the chagrin of her daddy....
  7. Okay, I’ve seen these sort of entries into noirs before and although it is quite well done cinematography-wise, it’s pretty much a snoozer as a noir opener…..I have not seen this movie so I have no further insight on the movie itself. If I had the opportunity to watch it before, I probably never made it past the opener…LOL….and if I have watched it before it was obviously forgettable for me. I most definitely agree with the assertion that the fly over filming is quite beautiful and it gives us an idea of just how vast the agricultural areas of California are. We have no indication from our narrator or the beautiful scenery we are viewing that there could possibly be anything wrong in such a tranquil setting. It reminds me of a quote from Sherlock Holmes (one of my favorite literary characters) as he spoke to Holmes about a new case they were pursuing….”unimaginable horrors go on behind the walls of countryside estates”. He was discussing the fact just like our professor did in our posting this morning, that not all crimes go on in the gritty setting of the city…..on the contrary some of the most heinous acts go on in otherwise tranquil settings. People live, suffer and die without anyone ever having known what happened to them. I actually like the filming and did indeed notice the geometric designing of this filming. However in this setting, that geometric aspect gives me no feeling of entrapment as I discussed in yesterday’s posting because there is no “dark story” being portrayed, it is simply an educational discussion. Interestingly I would very likely be interested in watching an entire documentary about the subject of agriculture in California in those days as compared to today and for that purpose I would consider this a great and interesting opener!! I like the idea of realism as a part of noir, it certainly makes the subject matter more credible to the viewer even when behavior gets extreme, but the documentary-style narration truly throws the viewer off the fact that they are getting ready to watch a dark/scary story. Perhaps it is important to note that I have made several comments over the last week about the manipulative style of the film makers of the noir era and perhaps I should be looking at this type of opening scene as such a manipulative technique… The first indication here that we are going to get into a dark story is when the subject of illegal immigrants comes up and how they are violated in many instances. We are still in documentary mode here, but we are definitely getting into an underworld culture setting and interestingly, the filming/lighting at that point becomes physically much darker….we have left the light of the flight and moved into the realm of real people experiencing real things. The darkness of the set now indicates that many of these crimes happen at night and conceptually they are dark occurrences, very noir….what kind of story will Border Incident bring us, we can’t tell at this point, but we know it will likely deal with a crime(s) against an illegal immigrant or a group of them. One aspect of noir I would like to acknowledge here….the deviant behavior that ends up getting people deeper into trouble. Those illegal crossers are likely going to be the ones who get victimized and it started with their behavior outside of the law. Unlawful behavior makes a person vulnerable to so many unsavory characters i.e. blackmailers, the mob, thieves…..I mean seriously who are you going to report the crime to? If justice is to be gotten in these cases, it has to be done by the victim him/herself, another very noir aspect of this genre. This is the case in a good number of noir films. I watched Nightmare Alley last night….what a great movie!-which was an excellent example of this very issue. The Killers, Out of the Past, how many others deal in this same arena? There are very few “victims” in noir who are just innocent people who are victimized….and then do something about it since they have the authorities on their side. Once again we have the allure of the noir film yanking us out of our very ordinary lives and taking us on a dark adventure for just a little while. We are so glad to return to our normal routine lives after that. It is so easy to be dissatisfied with a boring, ordinary life until we get a glimpse of just what can happen in that dark side of the world in which we live. Ironically, the opening scene of this particular film will serve to introduce us into a very normal every day and beautiful setting and yank us into the dark……I’m looking forward to watching this film, although I’ll have to get past the opening scene…..LOL
  8. WD - agreed, those mistakes and finding them are part of the entertainment for me. It's like a game and you get a bonus story with it.....were we born to be detectives in some dark film noir? Perhaps......
  9. LOL, I have that figured out.....I watch the movies over and over....I always get new stuff to analyze and ponder out of them....
  10. J - it's so funny.....to me the analysis, the trying to figure out the twists and turns, solving the puzzles, running through the dark alleys with the characters, the scary shadows, the scary music, that is the entertainment to me. I think some people are born to analyze, I believe I am one of them. I do love to look for the "mistakes" in film, but I will say this, most of the stuff my family watches, bores me to tears. I need something to tear apart and figure out....why I am that way I don't know, but noir certainly fills that need for me.
  11. I have to admit I have these same feelings and have been accused by family as well of being overly critical. It just amazes me so how these certain films can truly draw me in and affect me! It is film noir that has done that. Most films I have figured out about 10 minutes after the opening and then I can settle in and enjoy how the director and cast get to the end I already have figure out.... Film noir is different, it's the twists, the turns, the play of shadow and light, everything in these movies that keeps one guessing and unsure of things that are usually quite predictable in film. I love a good puzzle and film noir provides me with it. Also, I learn new things everytime I watch a noir for the second, third, fifteenth time. There is always something I miss, a feeling, a concept....a pattern. There is so much to keep the mind busy and happily occupied in the world of noir. I am totally fascinated by these movies and I think I'll always be a fan. These movies are special and unique in the world of film in my mind.
  12. The Killers is one of the great examples of that true film noir feeling. In this scene we can immediately sense the European influence. The killers have come to town....(so cool to see Bill Conrad in old time movies!) and are attempting to intimidate the guy at the diner. We are soon to find out their tactics don't work. Their tactics are quite gestapo in nature, mixed with mob...one has to wonder if the film maker may have experienced some of this treatment himself before coming to the US. The music is also quite dramatic, another European trait. I have seen a lot of that tendency to over dramatize in a number of European films, perhaps for European film makers that is just the right amount of drama...in any case, the mixture of the alarming music scoring and the pushing around by the two killer bullies is quite intimidating. When they leave the diner however, we see heroism spring to life. Very American indeed. I think the heroism aspect is worth mentioning in this film because the year the film was made, 1946, was just one year after the great victories of WWII. I think the nation was very likely in an upbeat mood and American Pride was quite noticeable and appropriate. I think we had, as a nation, the attitude that we could do anything we set our mind to and that no one was going to scare or intimidate us. Such attitudes fit in nicely with the actions of the men in the diner following the exit of the killers. I believe the actions of those men was likely quite appealing to the audience. One more quick note....we see the very respectful treatment of an African American in this scene, he was treated as an equal and cast as one of the heroes who took action to warn the Swede of impending danger. The owner of the diner unbinds him first and brings him a drink of water before attending to Nick. There is no issue with this man being black, he, as the other two are just good people of this little town who care about the Swede and he is in no way cast in a demeaning manner. The scene is played off without a hitch and the audience is moved right past any racism issues and swept right into the drama in a seamless manner....very notable.... Our three heroes act quickly as the camera pulls away from the killers slipping into a dark doorway across the street. The diner owner runs to the back and frees his men. They immediately put together a plan and execute it. The young man (Nick) runs out the back door and off to warn the Swede while the other two keep watch on the bad guys. The accompanying music keeps the audience right up to speed with the seriousness of the situation and we are thrown right where the director wants us to be....into a state of fear and chaos.... The run to the Swede's house is so frightening...what if there are more men hiding in the shadows waiting to be led to the Swede? What if they are able to stop Nick? We cannot tell because it is so dark outside! No moon to speak of or streetlights. Nick knows his way around town and like a kid takes off cutting through back yards, jumping fences and finally making his way to the Swede's apartment. We see another European feeling scene here as the camera pulls back to a very high shot. Our hero bravely enters the stairwell with the foreboding shadows all around. A streetlamp somewhere in the distance gives us a shadow of an archway or something geometric, all very ominous. This tiny little man defying these very scary villians....it's almost as if he were a part of the French Resistance defying the invading Nazis...have these horrible men come to take over this quiet and peaceful town? Not while our three heroes are on the job!! I immediately thought of "The Third Man" when the stairwell shot came up. I have seen The Killers before and I have to admit I get that same thought everytime. The third man in my opinion was another movie that used shadow with geometric castings in contrast to light very well. I wasn't fond of the movie however becuase of that STUPID music that played all the way through it...quite distracting.... the geometric figures in my opinion give one a feeling of being pursued, trapped, desperate like there is no escape. Very prison-like....and to me it is no different in this scene of The Killers. The viewer's feeling of tension is increased as Nick breaks through that psychological barrier and runs up the steps to warn the Swede. Our director has done an excellent job here of setting a very alarming mood for the viewer and no doubt by this time the viewer has bought into the feeling of desperate alarm. But don't forget my friends, we are viewing a film noir here and in many cases our minds are being manipulated.... When Nick enters the Swede's room, all goes silent except the alarmed voice of our hero. The room is dark, the music has suddenly stopped. The Swede's voice is flat and lifeless when he replies. This sudden major change in mood is an absolute shocker for the audience's benefit. Nick warns the Swede that there are bad guys in town with bad intentions toward him. Does the Swede jump up and begin planning with Nick how they can most quickly get him out of town? No....he simply lays there calmly in the dark. The fact that we don't see his face is significant in my opinion. We can only see a body, the head is hidden in the darkness. The light/dark play here is beyond fabulous. It's as if he is already dead.....the body, as we will soon find out belongs to the great (and very HOT) Burt Lancaster. His reply that there is nothing he can do is quite telling. His calmness conveys a sense of acceptance, his confession that he did something bad, long ago, tells the audience that the Swede is a dead man walking, and he knows it. As he refuses any help from Nick, we see Nick's demeanor change. The Swede in this fatalistic scene has quickly changed Nick's mind and mood from heroic to puzzled. The alarm leaves his voice now changed to concern as he senses that the Swede has accepted his fate and his day of reckoning has come. He quietly backs out of the room and shuts the door leaving the Swede in the dark along with the audience to wonder how long he has left.... What a great and thought provoking scene. How often do we see characters quietly accepting impending death? Not often. Most of the time they fight their way scratching and clawing to a way out....i.e. "D.O.A.", but those of us who have seen that wonderful film, know that death also becomes accepted in the end. The Swede's calm demeanor in the face of impending death builds him up as an impressive and strong character and we the audience, now understand that we MUST continue watching because inside......we want him to live, we want him to scratch and claw and fight his way back to life....we are not just viewing a story anymore, we are part of the Swede's story...
  13. Gilda is a classic film Noir…..the story has so many twists and turns it’s hard to keep up with them all! In this scene we see our femme fatale has already brought down her man (Glenn Ford) from a long time ago…..and the fireworks have been going on since they encountered each other again. This particular scene is full of steam and sexiness there is no doubt, but there is so much more to this scene. Gilda is absolutely in a full state of rebellion during this performance, she is a caged bird, and she doesn’t like it, so she is going to get back at her captor. Richard has asked us to take a look at the music in this film, which adds to the steaminess of the scene and fits perfectly in this sexually charged film. This music is completely trashy and akin to a strip club….is trash though, what we are really viewing in this scene? The music played in this scene and the manner in which it is played is that of a stripper-type act, the act of a seriously trashy woman….or perhaps one who believes she is just trash or feels like she is trash because of what she has done in the past to herself and others. She is a quintessentially a dark character and self-destructive person lashing out at others to deal with the confrontation inside and to get the attention she craves from the target, in this case, Johnny. Well it works and when Johnny discovers what is going on his emotions go from zero to absolute rage in about 10 seconds. Glenn Ford is a powerful actor, he always was and he is quite believable in this scene….fantastic engagement of his emotions….. Gilda plays the part knowing she will get the attention of Johnny …and not in a good way. She acts as if she is drunk-she is not. Gilda is fully aware of what she is doing to him and the men in the audience. This is a dark scene, full of dark men who if they could have accomplished it, would have stripped her naked right there on stage, and then who knows what…. there is no doubt about their intentions when they begin running toward the stage after her naughty zipper remark. There were no “rules’ in play here on how to treat a woman who may be slightly or seriously incapacitated…another serious look into dark behavior and as I have mentioned several times in my discussion, the alarming rate at which a person can descend into deviant behavior. I was struck at how quickly the men in the audience were reduced to animal status as several of them ran to the stage to “help” her undress, the way so many of them were pawing at her as she was escorted out of the room. Our civilized society expectations are that these men would have expressed shock at her behavior rather than open and violent lust…. There were plenty of other women in this room yet I never heard protest or shock from them nor were there any attempts by their accompanying men to protect them from this potentially horribly violent scene. Were these men so overcome with the entire situation that they forgot about the women they were with? Given my fascination with the psychological aspects of noir, this entire scene is of great interest to me and I see new things every time I watch this film. No doubt it was hard not to be reduced to this very animalistic status even for the most moral of men, Gilda is a breathtakingly beautiful woman and what a sexy performance!…..however those eyes in the dark were not the eyes of admirers, they were the eyes of predators. This scene directly addressed not only the raucous behavior of our rebellious femme fatale, but gave us a quick look at deviant and violent sexuality. Might this scene sexually excite or scare the absolute Hell out of a man who secretly harbored such tendencies? Maybe this scene makes average men think about how low they themselves could have gone in such a situation. That bright spotlight on Gilda as she performs only highlights the darkness around her psychologically and physically, both the lighting and the very dangerous position she into which she has actually inserted herself. It is a very childish act and could have resulted in a horrible outcome for her. Ford’s character however, when he enters causes instant silence across the room, this is a powerful moment and tells the viewer that he is a man to be respected and feared, his anger is lethal. The spotlight is gone now, it is Johnny that now creates the lightning (and I do mean lightning). If we are able to pull ourselves away from this incredible piece of acting and study the scene at this point, we see that the room is now fully lit, but it doesn’t feel that way. Johnny’s rage is unvarnished as he violently grabs her and almost drags her out of the room, during the ensuing confrontation all viewers feel that slap to the face he gives her. Ironically it is at the point where Johnny drags her out of the room that the onlookers in the room express shock. It is almost as if they have been awakened to their own horrible behavior by his smoldering anger… (Glenn Ford can most definitely pull that smoldering anger thing off…LOL…. I sure wouldn’t mess with him!!) It is interesting and I think correct that they picked Ford for this character. He has such a respectable face, a face that says, “once I pick my lady that’s it, I’m with her for life”. When this type of man is hurt emotionally by his lady, that pain runs deep and in Ford’s case results in anger, rejection of the woman and a mind to get revenge on whoever was involved in causing that pain…..a man in love scorned who descends into the behavior we see in this dark and gritty film. It is this type of film that truly strikes me as noir…..Gilda happens to be one of the films that got me truly interested in the world of noir.
  14. Interesting take and I have seen this same thought from many posts this morning.....it seems to me they have an interchanging struggle for power in this scene. It is Vida who has been in control of things to this point.....then we see a change.....Vida rises from the couch and openly insults mom, mom stops her and takes (what we think) will be her last stance as a weak mom by grabbing Vida's handbag and tearing up the check, Vida slaps her and them mom once again takes charge by ordering Vida out of the house (with a threat of death no less)......we see a moment where the insolence in Vida's eyes switch over to fear and uncertainty.....(HOW DID SHE DO THAT?) I think the struggle continues on between these two through the end of the movie......incredible.... There is no denying the extremely powerful acting forces at work in this film......and yes, I saw a comment on Crawford taking that slap.....WHEW!!!! I'll be she was a little ticked and had no problem acting the part at that point.....WHO dares to slap the great Joan Crawford? One of the most powerful scenes I have ever witnessed in all my movie viewing.
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