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  1. I've seen this movie, and I know George Murphy's fate. So it's certainly a film noir. But I don't like the opening. It has a celebratory, uncritical take on the status quo, and implies that it's only the lawbreakers who are making things bad. The end of the movie, when the status quo is re-established, has the same sort of attitude. Maybe this has to do with post-war American attitudes about itself. But I prefer films that show the dark side of that attitude.
  2. The second question was very suggestive... How does this move from realism to formalism. The diner is lighted in a more realistic manner, whereas the scene in the boarding house has all the hallmarks of film noir style ... the contrast between light and shadow, leaving Burt Lancaster's face in darkness as he speaks (which gives the impression that he's trapped in a moral darkness). Still, the diner is somewhat stylized as well, and I'd never heard the connection between the Hemingway story and Hopper's painting (on display at the Art Institute of Chicago). I liked the way the two kil
  3. There has been a lot of discussion about the ticking clock, of course, but I found myself enjoying the painterly way that the scenes are composed... at the end, for instance, the perfect composition of the doctor, the departing patient, and the guard in the background, all framed by the gateway.
  4. I'm a fiction writer, and I was troubled by what I'd call a break in point of view. The movie begins with the voiceover of Lydecker, which would imply that we're with his consciousness and therefore have access to what he knows. But then the point of view breaks, and we're in a more traditional dramatic mode of cinema, without a voiceover. It seems to me that, in much of film noir, the voiceover belongs to the detective figure, the one who shares the same information as the viewer, and is finding things out at the same time as the viewer. Since I suspect that Lydecker knows mu
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