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leithlawrence

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About leithlawrence

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  1. You are exactly right: Gilda is a kind of faux femme fatale throughout the entire film. By the end, we learn that she's the one who's been wronged--evidently in the first go round between Gilda and Johnny, and certainly in the second one. It turns out that Gilda is a virtual saint. Also, I think it's always important to look at context and background. In this case, we know that Gilda was a Rita Hayworth vehicle. We also know that she, Rita Hayworth, was known (by then) for dancing and singing (although her singing parts were dubbed, the public was left to think it was actually Rita singing). F
  2. One thing that's a little different--and I think changes the dynamic considerably--is that Marlowe is alone when he meets the woman in his office. He's a loner from the beginning. I don't think Philip Marlowe ever had a partner in any of the Chandler novels.
  3. Excellent points. Regarding the "happy ending," that's all Hollywood, wrapping up the story in a neat little package, the guy gets the gal, and they live happily ever after. Chandler's novel, Farewell, My Lovely, has no such happy ending. Marlowe ends up the same way he was in the beginning of the story: alone. The same is true of The Big Sleep, with Marlowe and the older Sternwood daughter Vivian falling in love and riding off into the sunset (so to speak) at the end of the film. In the novel, that does not happen. In fact, I hope we'll talk a lot about The Big Sleep (film), especially the tw
  4. I think part of what we see in Powell as Marlowe--and it's the first time Marlowe was represented on film--is Powell's own sort of reinvention of himself as an actor. All through the thirties he's a crooner in numerous musicals, and he generally plays a sweet, boyishly handsome character. But he got tired of that and wanted to expand the range of characters he played, and he especially wanted to play characters with more complexity, ambiguity, etc., instead of the light-hearted ones he'd played earlier. By the time he made Murder, My Sweet, he was in his mid-30s and wanted to play characters m
  5. Thanks for emphasizing the role of the hardboiled detective novel in what came to be known as films noir. I discovered and read Raymond Chandler novels long before I'd ever even heard of film noir. And, with all due respect to Hammett, whom Chandler followed and acknowledged his debt to, Raymond Chandler took the hard-boiled detective novel to a new level. Although he conforms to many of the pulp-fiction trademarks, such as gritty street realism, urban settings with characters from all walks of life, moral ambiguity among individuals and society, and the darker side of American life, his works
  6. Good point about the elevator operator. But he's not just pointing to "someone interesting," he's specifically conveying to Marlowe that an attractive woman is waiting in his office to see him. Powell's initial reaction to the operator is par for the hardboiled detective that Marlowe is, in both the original Chandler novels and the many films that represent him. One of Marlowe's qualities--and it's generally true of all the hardboiled detectives--is that he's cynical about nearly everything, including and perhaps especially regarding women. He's seen it all and had his share of heartaches, per
  7. Regarding the bank book, I'm sure we are supposed to notice the $5,000 balance, which is a clue that the young woman is probably wealthy, has a wealthy patron, or at least that she's financially "pretty well fixed," as a noir character might say.
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