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Mr Brown

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  1. The tension is so thick in this scene you could cut it with a knife. Walter (Kirk Douglas) is very touchy from the beginning. He seems to alternate between smugness and embarrassment: smug because he “won” Martha and is now married to her, and embarrassed perhaps because he may owe his power and position to his wife. After all, we see her wearing expensive furs when she later appears, and it’s unlikely the couple would be that rich just on the husband’s salary as a D.A. and we know from reading the professor’s introduction that this all takes place in Iverstown, suggesting her family owns the
  2. While watching this clip I was thinking of the story from the husband's perspective, perhaps a recently returned vet finding out things about his wife he hasn't known before, that she's got a huge inferiority problem and a big hole inside her that she has to fill with money or acquisitions to make herself feel as rich or important as other people. When she sees the bag full of money, she sees that as her big chance, practically leaving her husband by the side of the road, and when careening down the hillside it seems like she's enjoying it because she's taking control of the situation, taking
  3. Fear and dread are certainly motifs explored in this clip, but even more so, I think, are the themes of alienation, meaninglessness, and chaos. Bigelow is a seemingly regular guy who has just had something completely crazy happen to him. We don’t know what it is yet – only that he believes he’s facing imminent and certain death. We also don’t know if this circumstance has to do with a choice that he made, or whether he’s the victim of randomness and chance. It seems like it may be the latter. He has come to the police station to make some sense out of his predicament – find some order in the c
  4. Claustrophobia, entrapment, alienation, fear: I see all of these noir themes in this clip. The decision to show us just the small window of the police van makes the viewer feel like we are in the van, too – we are seeing the same thing that the women prisoners see as they are transported in this moving cage. I also like how the music transforms into the siren, as if you don’t know where the music stops and the siren begins. The Warner style is apparent in the terse, hard-bitten dialogue (“File out, you tramps, it’s the end of the line” and “Grab your last look at free-side, kid”). And when all
  5. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet, but in comparing the dialogue to the book, it’s very similar except for two key lines. In the movie, she says “You’re not very tall, are you?” and Marlowe replies, “Well, I tried to be...” but in the book she says, “Tall, aren’t you?” and Marlowe replies, “I didn’t mean to be.” Then, in the film, she tells him he’s “not bad-looking” whereas in the book, she calls him “handsome.” The filmmakers were able to stay relatively faithful to the book, and keep the mood and tone the same, while, at the same time, altering just these small details so that Bogar
  6. I noticed how the camera is constantly panning to the right until the night scene with the illegal border crossing when it abruptly starts panning to the left, creating a feeling of unease and of "going the wrong way." The contrast between the light and dark scenes, combined with the reversal of the camera-pan, underlines this idea of the huge difference between going about things the right way, and going about them the wrong or illegal way. (After all, to quote from The Asphalt Jungle, "crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor...").
  7. I think this scene reveals a lot about Gilda’s character, including her emotional and psychological state, the way she views herself, and the way she views her relationship with Johnny. She seems to embody the Mame character in the song – a woman so sexy that she’s like a force of nature, causing earthquakes, blizzards, and fires, and even the death of a man. And it’s very likely that the killing of the Dan McGrew character in the song might foreshadow the killing of a man later in the movie. Her choice of song here, and the sexy way she sings it – almost like a striptease, as others have alre
  8. This clip from “Mildred Pierce” really lays bare the sordid human emotion of greed, which we see in a lot of film noir, and which tends to drive the protagonist to his or her doom. Veda is almost like the personification of greed, and she is also the quintessential femme fatale, a fact especially chilling, since she is still just a teenager. Like the femme fatale in many films noir, she is cruel, double-crossing, utilizes sex to her advantage, and is driven by a desire to get ahead at any cost. Her mother even says to her during the clip, “You’d do anything for money, wouldn’t you?” The disill
  9. I see the clock as a symbol of fate, inexorably ticking away and there's no escape from it. I also like how, during the opening credits, the Paramount logo, which itself is clock-like in appearance, fades out and then the swinging pendulum comes into view. Milland remains motionless and in total shadow until the doctor opens the door just as the hour is approaching, almost like they are two clockwork figures that start to move on the hour. The dark shadows, slightly off-kilter overhead shot, and theme of inescapable fate are all very much in the noir style. The sense of foreboding and doom is
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