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Noir_Dorothy

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  1. The relentless ticking of the clock in the opening of MOF. Is it bringing freedom? or counting down to an execution? a reckoning? It is repetitive and unrelenting, as were the chants of the children in M. Like a water torture: drip, drip, drip. The silence in which it ticks is oppressive: we are uncomfortable with the extended length of the silence. The camera barely moves - another silence of sorts, giving us no new information. We don't know WHY he stares fixedly to that clock: is he willing it to go slower? or faster? dreading its inexorable movement forward: tick, tick, tick. O
  2. I agree with you. I found the casting of Dick Powell to be a flaw in an otherwise excellent movie. He just did not have the gravitas, street toughness, and world-weariness necessary for the role. Mark Stevens (see Dark Corner (1946)) would have made a much better Marlow. IMHO.
  3. The movie starts with an extended shot of realism. A POV we rarely see in 1930s American cinema. A slow open yet it starts with a scream. We are tense, on high alert - what's happened? Oh, it's just the train whistle. The inferno - what happening? Oh, it's the train's boiler. The two men are working the train silently - what's going to happen to the smoker? Oh, nothing. They work well together. They are two well-oiled cogs in the big train machine. What are we seeing, looking for down that track? Will one of those people fall in front? Will something come from the other train? No.
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