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Everything posted by walk99a

  1. I wouldn't say the form disappeared. Evolved, definitely. But you can also see it (with some sound, but not a lot) in the Mr. Bean shows. And also in modern slapstick movies like Rat Race. A good gag never gets old!
  2. I can't add much to what's already been said, but a couple of comments: I thought the "Keep the Pot Boiling" message on the Salvation Army sign was a reference to a soup kitchen - literally keeping food in the pot for hungry people. Since it's also a metaphor for trouble, it seems appropriate for what happens next. The woman in the closet didn't just blink quickly, it was a couple of times and seemed very obvious, leaving me wondering if she was dead or not. The superimposed train over Howard's face was an ode to classic film noir. It may have been a over-used device by the time this film
  3. I would not have thought of this as parody if it hadn't been mentioned in the intro. Maybe it's not very creative dialog, but if they were trying to do parody it would be a lot more far-fetched, or have humerous double entendres (aka a Mel Brooks movie). And actually the opening credits were some of the best noir techniques I've seen. I loved the light of the train windows flashing through the title, and on-off-on-off the "Chicago Yard Limit" sign.
  4. Nothing ever goes this smoothly for this long. You know from the neat row of check marks by each entry that it's time for something to go wrong. Like watching a pitcher working on a perfect game, every pitch lowers the chance of that happening. Also, the heist is a great topic for film noir because it seems like a victimless crime. You can empathize with a character planning a heist out of a need for cash, where it would be a lot harder to do so with someone planning a murder or kidnapping. Of course it never turns out victimless, at least not in a noir movie.
  5. I'm adding this one to my "must see" list. Thanks to the folks who filled in some of the story that occurred before this scene. I didn't feel like the angled shots were over-done, as some people have posted, although maybe I will feel that way after seeing the entire movie. They worked because they're interspersed with straight shots, or shots that are straight but have a diagonal feel to them, like the opening wide shot of the street. I'm wondering if the now-you-see-me, now-you-don't motif shows up throughout the movie, or just in this one scene. The light goes on, we see him, t
  6. Having watched a few more noir films now, I'm wondering if anyone is EVER actually frightened when a gun is pointed at them. It just seems to bring out the sardonic dialogue. I didn't think this scene was overtly stylized, but the dialogue, lighting (especially the lamp in the corner), and camera angle on Greenstreet were definite elements of noir in this piece.
  7. The shadows of the chair against the white tablecloth really stood out, as did the archway and overhead light when Jeff stood up from his table. Also the way Kathie's hat framed her face was classic. She looks like a good girl (white dress, immaculate hair and make-up) but you know that she's got something to hide.
  8. Wow, was it a big deal for a star like Hayworth to do a scene like this? I'm surprised she didn't pop out of her dress, and the shot where you're looking up at her and can only see her bare upper chest and arms, and she's bouncing up and down and lifting her hair up. Not to be crude, but I'm sure the guys are thinking "that's how it looks when she's on top"! I'm not sure if seeing Johnny makes her ratchet up the sexiness, or if it's the looks from all the other men, but I think she's very much enjoying being the object of all their attention, and equally enjoying making Johnny mad.
  9. I found it interesting that Mildred is continually closing the gap between them (physically), while Veda keeps widening it by turning or walking away. When Veda finally confronts her mother directly, she does move in, but it's only for a few seconds, then she moves away again to the stairs. And after slapping her mother, the scene ends with Veda running up the stairs. Even though Veda is the "aggressive" one in the scene, you know that Mildred holds the power. I guess the Mother will always have control, especially if your mother is Joan Crawford.
  10. Style-wise, this has many of the same elements as the opening of M - sparsely furnished set, high contrast lighting, the use of very specific sounds. But the mood for me was entirely different. M was full of dread, an almost tangible heaviness and darkness. You got the feeling of moving out of normalcy into chaos. This one seems the opposite, the patient is being released, the doctor is cheerful and seems sure things will turn out well for Ray Milland. And he (Milland) is excited and hopeful for the future, ready to put the darkness behind him and start his life again. I can't wait t
  11. Why does this type of detective fit so well into the film noir context? Tough, suspicious, cool-headed, fast talking and even faster acting - you know this detective has learned a lot of lessons the hard way. He has secrets, and probably could be working on either side of the law, but something has kept him slightly on the side of "right". He's smart, and knows how to make things happen, yet it seems like he's often the victim of fate. But whatever situation is thrown at him, he takes it in stride, and usually turns it to his advantage. The character is full of complexities and co
  12. The POV worked for me, especially as you hear his thoughts as you see what he sees. Visually this style would get tiring if it went on for a lot longer, since the view seems really narrow and constrained. I haven't watched the rest of the movie yet, but the opening definitely makes me want to see more.
  13. Surprised? No, since I've seen it before, and it's been done a few times in the 70 years since the movie was made. But I imagine at the time it was a shocker! Bette Davis is still amazing as the smart, cool-headed, and cold-blooded female who knows exactly what she's doing, and gets what she wants. I don't think there's another actress who does it better. Before she says a word you see detachment as she drops the gun, then hate as she stares at the body, and then cunning and planning as she goes back into the house. Love it!
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