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tallguy58

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  1. OK the shower scene, right? As amazing a piece of cinema that it is, I feel it's value is in shocking the audience. Hitch traditionally didn't like shock as a technique. He preferred letting the audience know the killer was about to strike. Case in point is when Arbogast goes to talk to the mother. The audience is thinking "don't go up those stairs" as he slowly ascends. Same thing when Marion's sister goes to investigate the house. The key scene for me, and the creepiest, is the final scene. A great piece of film making. The voice of mother with the brilliant acting of Perkins. The slow zoom in. The fly on the hand. And the coup de gras, the creepy smile dissolving into the car but not before a couple of frames of 'mother' are seen superimposed on Norman's face. Brilliant.
  2. I had this post under another topic (Psycho--Key Scenes) but someone removed it for some unknown reason. OK the shower scene, right? As amazing a piece of cinema that it is, I feel it's value is in shocking the audience. Hitch traditionally didn't like shock as a technique. He preferred letting the audience know the killer was about to strike. Case in point is when Arbogast goes to talk to the mother. The audience is thinking "don't go up those stairs" as he slowly ascends. Same thing when Marion's sister goes to investigate the house. The key scene for me, and the creepiest, is the final scene. A great piece of film making. The voice of mother with the brilliant acting of Perkins. The slow zoom in. The fly on the hand. And the coup de gras, the creepy smile dissolving into the car but not before a couple of frames of 'mother' are seen superimposed on Norman's face. Brilliant.
  3. Checking a calendar shows that December 11 fell on a Friday in 1959, the previous year of the film's release. It was first shown in New York in June of 1960 only 6 months after "the events in question". For those that like revisiting filming locations, head to Phoenix in 2020 for the next Friday December 11. Make sure to do it in a 1957 Ford Fairlane.
  4. Why HE WALKED BY NIGHT is not being shown is a mystery to me. I guess it's too much of a police procedural.
  5. It would be a whole lot easier to list films noir that had no smoking in them. I know it's hard to grasp, but damn near everyone smoked in the 40s. When my dad joined the British army in 1947 they gave him his uniform and two packs of smokes. He smoked until 1966. That's just the way things were back then.
  6. Looking at the literary precursors to film noir, one cannot ignore the advent of the crime comic book in 1942. Crime Does Not Pay was a comic that dealt with the gritty realism of criminal activity. Nothing was spared depiction. The more outrageous, the better. All in living four color. Like many cheap forms of entertainment, it "borrowed" heavily from other influences. In this case, the MGM shorts Crime Does Not Pay. That film series does have a number of noir-ish episodes. In '42, twelve million comics were flying off the shelves per month. Publishers were jumping on the bandwagon to cash in. Lev Gleason, the publisher, asked Charles Biro and Bob Wood (more on him later) to craft a comic to supplement his line. They figured a comic more suited to older readers with more adult themes would sell. They were right. Covers depicted violence in all its forms. The stories often dealt frankly with adult relationships, drug use and sex, in addition to the depictions of physical violence, torture, and murder. The art was very much in keeping with what we would know as noir. In the post war period crime comics exploded in popularity. Not surprising since many servicemen found Crime Does Not Pay included in their packages from home. They wanted more of the same when they returned. Likely the same reason for the plethora of noir films in the same period. Crime comics rode a wave of popularity very similar to the Film Noir cycle. Most disappeared in the mid fifties, partially due to Dr. Fredric Wertham and his Seduction Of The Innocent, a book that warned of the dangers of violence in comics that can lead to juvenile delinquency as well as the Senate Subcommittee dealing with the same subject. This led to the Comics Code which sanitized comic books overnight. Incidentally, Bob Wood bludgeoned a 45 year old divorcee to death in 1958 after an 11 day tryst. She had the audacity to mention marriage. He served 3 years in Sing-Sing. Released in '61 and unable to get work in the comic book field, he worked as a short-order cook in a New Jersey diner. Unable to pay gambling debts, he was "taken for a ride" and dumped along a Jersey turnpike. A fitting, ironic and very noir-ish end to the creator of crime comics. For more info, see: Blackjacked and Pistol-Whipped: A Crime Does Not Pay Primer. (I didn't write the book)
  7. I think Powell is a good Marlowe because of his snappy delivery. He also had the sense not to mess with Mike Mazurki who's looking for his Velma. The best Marlowe is Robert Mitchum who reprised this role in 1975's Farewell My Lovely. I consider him the best gumshoe actor in film history. The right combination of toughness and size.
  8. The Asphalt Jungle is full of layering. When Doc arrives at the meeting room near the beginning, the hallway has lighting coming from different directions as he walks down it. When Louis gets a call and walks from his bedroom where his wife is sleeping, to the living room, the lighting changes direction. When the detectives arrive at Emmerich's house and all of them walk into the study, check out the layers of light they walk through. A great scene is when Doc and Dix are walking in the train depot and come across a cop. Amazing lighting. The film is chock full of wide angle shots as well. The heist scene for example, Dix in the foreground, Doc in the middle and Louis in the back. This film is really a textbook on how to photograph a film noir.
  9. Anyone know how to do this? I click browse files, pick one and it does not upload.
  10. One thing I always look out for in these films is the layering. The beauty of light is that it's transparent and can flood a set from all different angles without being noticed...that is until someone walks through it. The effect is so subtle most people don't even notice it. Usually occurs when a subject walks forward toward the camera. You'll see the direction of the light change from say right to left, or from a bright background to a dark foreground. Also, the use of fast wide angle lenses really lent itself to bringing the viewer into the scene. These fast lenses helped shoot in low light thus creating the mood prevalent in film noir.
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