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bobrack

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  1. This scene begins with the darkness of the bar room. Suddenly, Kathie appears in a bright, white dress and hat creating such a contrast. We have the quick, snappy patter, while the music evokes Mexico and everything Mexican. Kathie, at this point, is quiet and somewhat self-effacing while Jeff is intelligent, patient, and totally blind-sided by Kathie's beauty. This scene contributes to film noir by displaying all the elements we expect in a noir film, drawing us in with mystery, questionable behavior, a bit of lawlessness, and a hint of something ominous about to happen. This is an excellent movie.
  2. Marlowe introduces himself as soon as the butler opens the door kicking things off right out of the box. He next meets Carmen, the younger sister, telling her he's a shamus--a detective. We get down to business right away with Marlowe meeting General Sternwood, the father, in a greenhouse/conservatory, where we learn that Marlowe worked for the DA's office, that he's relatively young (38), educated, and good at his job (listen to all he knows about the Sternwood family). Bogart as Marlowe is confident, self-assured, no nonsense, and full of sharp, witty comments. With these attributes, he is similar to Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, but a little lighter (you get the feeling that could change if the going gets tougher). This opening is important to film noir in that it has all the necessary elements--B&W presentation, great camera angles and lighting of the characters and their surroundings, and plenty of noir patter. Once again, we have a film that has music, music, music--mysterious, off-beat, almost cozy drawing us in, making us want to see what comes next. An altogether great opening to a really good noir movie.
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