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Mom of 4 Great Ones

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  1. I don't see a "battle of the sexes" in this clip - just a healthy conversation between two equals. In a battle, Fred and Ginger would try to outdo each other with new, fancy steps. But here, they're just dancing together, as a couple would interact and travel through life together. Women's roles in film could have changed in the 1930s to reflect a change in American culture. Many men, who had been the primary earners prior to the Depression, had lost good jobs that paid enough to provide for their families. These men were forced to take whatever job they could find, no matter how low
  2. What is most noticeable to me about these scene is that it is almost entirely in French, yet I know exactly what is happening, the emotions of the characters. I know the relationship between the woman and her husband: I would expect him to grab her by the arm and drag her out screaming. Yet this husband, after thinking she is dead, chooses to forget his anger at her betrayal and takes a moment to zip her dress and help her with her cape. He takes care of her, guiding her to the door. Alfred, after the initial surprise of the husband barging in, doesn't really seem to be to worried. The w
  3. Mmm ... on the surface only, maybe. Luise's character in this scene was not so innocent - she seemed very calculating in her decision to meet Ziegfeld, like she was adding up what she might get out of the meeting. (Yet in the latter portions of the film, (SPOILER ALERT) she just lies down as a doormat and lets Ziegfeld get away. Hard to put these two sides of her character together and come up with one person.) The difference between her and the child stars is that she is an adult - a grown woman acting childISH. Very different from Shirley and Judy being childLIKE. And Shirley and J
  4. What I find interesting about their interaction in the 2 scenes is how it is affected by eye contact. In the first scene, they talk while she has her back to him - no eye contact. He sings a beautiful love song, and we can see by her facial expression that it piques her interest - but no eye contact throughout most of the song. When she does turn to look at him, it is only with limited, short glances - and her interest in him becomes "what a goof this guy is." In the second scene, they don't speak. She sings, trying to use her talent in the only way she knows. He watches, catching her ey
  5. I love this film. Have watched it so many times ... and as I watched this clip, I found myself just as irritated by the character of Anna Held as always. I have never liked her childishness, her exaggerated lightness of speech and mannerisms. She seems to expect to be treated as though she's made of glass. Irritating. Now, having listened to the lecture and read the notes on this clip before viewing it, and focusing on the questions, I can see how her lightheartedness fits into the stylings of the 1930s musical. I love 1930s films, and I enjoy the light touch given to the care
  6. Anna is an attractive package. But open her up and - someone's gonna get it. She and Steve are planning their future, which is based on a crime. This will bring their past to the present and correct all wrongs. When Steve tells her it may take a few weeks, it's a foreshadowing that this is not going to go smoothly - and probably not according to plan. Anna is a femme fatale - and her quick, sharp answers to her husband show who the "fatale" part refers to. Duryea's character tries to dish it out, but Anna is too quick and too smart for him. She attacks as her defense, and she goes for t
  7. Just watched The Big Heat this afternoon, and this scene reminded me of the scene in which Lee Marvin beats Gloria Grahame while a group of cardplayers sits in silence and does nothing. In both scenes, one character gets up from his seat in frustration, but does nothing to actually stop the brutality in the next room. Sickening. Wagner's antisemitism was what drew Hitler to his compositions. The choice of Wagner clearly connects to the Nazis, who were beyond brutal. As the music volume rises, and the tone of the music becomes more excited, the beating becomes more brutal. The b
  8. In the closeups of Raymond Burr, the light and shadows switch back and forth even before the ceiling light starts swinging. When he's dialing the phone, he has his hand up so that his face is in shadow. When he's talking into the phone, his face is well-lit. The closeups of Burr make his demeanor even more threatening to us. The first punch of his fist doesn't just hit Steve, it also swings right at our faces. The broken bottle isn't just directed at Steve, it's directed right at us. We want to cheer Steve on for holding out and not taking the fall. But when Burr threatens Steve's wife,
  9. Call me "tardy to the party" - A week's vacation with no internet access - and would you believe there are hotels with no TCM?! Sacrilege! In the opening of Asphalt Jungle, we see the use of diagonals: the police car labors uphill, the power lines criss-crossing in the sky, the lines of the buildings in the long shots as we watch a man walk away from the camera. The police radio sets up the story for us, telling us the crime, the location, and a description of the suspect. But that description could describe anyone. We never really get a good look at the man. He's always sh
  10. I saw that, too. Had to replay it to make sure. Since it was left in the final film, I assume it means that the woman is not dead yet. So Howard could actually have gone for help - but didn't. Makes his running even worse.
  11. The band members are all facing different directions, with their backs to each other. Bands usually face the same way, showing uniformity and cohesion. This may be an attempt to show noir confusion. The bar on the trombone slides in and out, the upper and lower bars framing the face of the man with the cymbals, who seems almost robotic in his playing. The Salvation Army sign has 2 phrases on it. "Keep the pot boiling" - foreshadows that there is trouble brewing, and it will continue throughout the film. "From the kindness of your heart" - After watching the clip a second time, it
  12. Walter is a little much for a noir character. Quick to flash a couple of bucks or light a match. Trenchcoat, fedora. Constantly looking around, as if he's watching for someone to come out of the shadows. He spits his words out quickly, biting off the end of every sentence as a sign of dismissal. He doesn't have time for small talk. He refers to the woman as a "dish" and a "dame", calls her "cheap" ("worth 60 cents") and "flashy", and says she was "married to a hood". And "poison under the gravy" - Walter is more Marlowe than Marlowe!
  13. What strikes me is the meticulous detail of the scene. The map is carefully drawn and lettered. The times listed on the map match with each and every action. The man's watch measures each second. The bank opens exactly at 10:00. This man also has patience. He has watched this scene not for just a day or two, but for many. First, enough days to realize that there is a pattern. Then, enough days for that pattern to be established in a timeline. And on the paper we see that for 5 more days, the man has checkmarked each action at the time it occurs. When he does move away from the
  14. Turned on TCM first thing this AM and was immediately engrossed in Tension. So glad I remembered that I had set the DVR so I could turn it off and enjoy the whole film this afternoon! This is the best I've ever seen from Audrey Totter. Her first scene in the pharmacy is amazing. The hamburger, which she doesn't eat. The pie, which she doesn't eat. Caressing the soda jerk's hand. The way she purrs her lines. You just know she's so bad that this is gonna be good. She carries her performance throughout the film. Claire is not a character that I would normally consider to be beli
  15. The boxing scene is shot at close-range. Tight in on the action, limiting our view to only a small area of the ring. The action takes place mostly in one small area of the ring. This limited view is like what we see on television - small frame for a small picture. We can only see part of the scene. If it were shot as cinema, we might see the whole ring, the surrounding crowd - larger view for the large screen. Ernie's driving a taxi, with the intention of saving up enough to move up the ladder to a better-paying job. He sees the opportunity to be his own boss - no more taking order
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