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  1. I too, thought the same thing instantly when watched this clip, in that Steve and Anna reminded me of Julien and Florence from Elevator to the Gallows. Rather than trying to meet, they are separating. Also Steve seems to be the planner, cool and calm; and in Elevator to the Gallows, Florence was the brains. Anna and Julien are the ones with trepidations. I did notice however that Anna seems to have two faces. She was this timid and deperate woman in love when she was with Steve, but when she was with Slim, her face hardened and her walk changed. Slim started right in on her and Anna knew how to hold her own. "Steve, all those things that happened to us, everything that went before....we'll forget it. You'll see, I'll make you forget it." "You and me. The way it should of been from the start." What happened and what did she do? Who is the real Anna? Steve seems kind and like someone who fell into a trap. The things people will do for love. This has been a great class. Watching these daily doses really makes you pay attention to everything; every word, every look, and every shrug of the shoulder. What's in the light and in the dark. Everything has it's place and purpose to help tell the story. After a class like this, you look at any movie differently. You're not just seeing a movie, you're actually immersing yourself in every second of it. Feeling every emotion and taking every journey with the characters. This has been a great journey. Thank you to everyone....TCM, Eddie Muller and Dr. Richard Edwards. Thank you all for taking the time of putting this together for all of us.
  2. A calm Munsey sits in front of a petrified Louis. Though not a big man, Munsey has a somewhat intimidating presence. He asks Louis what business he had in the drain pipe and when Munsey didn't like his answer he slapped Louis. Munsey slapped and scolded Louis like a child. Now Munsey realizes he has to get his hands dirty and by looking at his appearance he probably doesn't like to, but will if he has to. His appearance is clean, his office is tidy and has a refined taste in music. The shades go down, a pipe comes out, Munsey's man leaves and the music speeds up. Louis tried hard to look Munsey in the eye and not back down, but now he cowers. He beats Louis and during that we see men, with sorrow filled faces outside the office playing cards and acting like nothing is wrong, except for one man that throws his cards down in disgust. Now we're back in Munsey's office with him asking Louis questions. One question throws Louis, Munsey knew something he didn't. Musney stops, looks at the record player and goes to turn it up, as though this is the best part in the score and he can't miss it. He turns around towards Louis and walks toward him. The camera cuts to the record player, then the plant, and then Munsey's stoic yet smug portrait. I don't want to know what was happening during those moments. Louis gives up and then so does Munsey. End music. Louis is just going to be tossed aside and Munsey scrubs his hands, like he thinks he can wash away what he did. He also looked disgusted at the fact he got his hands dirty. Munsey is horrid. The act of playing that music while beating someone was sadistic. He got pleasure out of what he was doing and the music helped him perform. He turned it up at that one point to help get him going. Musney definitely has some kind of inferiority complex and is trying to overcompensate for something.
  3. A single light and a low angle makes Walt and his cronies large and intimidating. Walt cooly walks over to Steve and POW! We get Walt's fist right in our faces, showing us what it must of looked and felt like for Steve. Walt is so calm and conniving, trying to do anything he can to get Steve to do what he wants. -"You're in it now Steve, with both feet." -Steve tries to leave and he gets pushed againts the light, causing to swing. -"I think we can convince him now to go to the police." Walt's men start in on Steve and with the light swinging there's a panicked feeling because you don't now which way the punches are coming from. The camera closes in on Walt's dead, cold stare coming in.....and out.....in.....and out of the light. It gets completely dark for a moment and we see a side profile of Walt. Not once does he flinch and all the while we only hear Steve being hit over and over again. He is definitely someone who has done this kind of thing more than once; it's almost as if he is immune to such acts of violence. You don't need to see it to know how brutal the beating must be; hearing it is bad enough. -"Hold it." Now Walt thinks he's convinced Steve, but not so. Steve would rather die. Walt breaks a bottle and like Walt's fist, the broken bottle comes right in your face. Killing Steve is too easy, so Walt threatens his wife. Now we see desperation in Steve's face and he's willing to do what he's told. The rhythm of the swinging light was very in sync with Walt's calm demeanor; almost hypnotizing, but at the same time it gives you a very anxious feeling.
  4. Foreboding music and broken-down desolate streets. This could be any city and that could be why it has no name. The maze of alleyways, rundown train cars, a mangerie of wires over the city streets, and criminals running loose....it's a jungle out there. A patrol car is looking for anyone they can, all the while a man (Dix) is lurking down a train platform and hides at the sound of the police radio. Then a call comes in over the radio, a hold up. Dix marches a narrow, claustrophobic alleyway to find solace in a ramshackle of a diner. He hands a gun to Gus to hide in the cash register. Gus turns up the radio, why? Is it a signal to the police or is it to make it look as though Gus wasn't able to pay attention with the radio so loud? The whole time the police are dealing with Dix, Gus just looks the other way. Then as soon as they leave, he turns the radio back down. The city is in a sad state of affairs. There is so much crime and everything is completely rundown, that you have to just deal with the cards that are delt to you and there doesn't seem to be anything that can change it. Back at the station there is a line up and Dix is part of it. As a gallery of people watch, Dix stares down the victim. If looks could kill and because of that, the man couldn't pick him out. It seems as though Dix knows this man and maybe he has something on him. "No, isn't him." A smirk from Dix. The whole time, Dix was calm and calculating. Side note: I've been watching Hills Street Blues and it's a good example of an "unnamed city."
  5. In Florence's eyes and voice there is sadness, desparation, longing...."Je t'aime, Je t'aime." Then we meet the desparate Julien on the other line. Then a smile from Florence and an at ease look from Julien..."Love isn't daring." Now smooth and sultry sounds of the trumpet begin as we watch our lovers have a tête-à-tête over the phone. She in a lonely phone booth on a busy street, somewhere, and he looking a out one of many lonely windows. End music and Florence gets serious and she has plan for them both to meet. She's trapped wants to be free with Julien. "Kiss me," as she caresses her cheek on the phone, so eager to be with Julien. She reluctantly hangs up the phone, as if she hangs up, she'll never see or hear Julien ever again. Her judgement seems clouded by the love/lust she has for Julien. Julien however says Florcence's name in a panic, not wanting her to hang up. He seems unsure about what they are going to do, but he eventually leaves with a bit of uncertainty.
  6. It's 1918 and the end of WWI. It's seems like a quiet town with the Salvation Army bringing Christmas cheer. Everythings seem fine; no post-war angst. We meet Howard, a handy man, and now you know something isn't right when he can't find Mrs. Warren. The opening of the door and the look of sheer horror tells us he found her, laying face up in the light. All he can think of is to run, but why? Now we have a man full of anxiety and desparation and doesn't want to be found out. He runs to the bridge overlooking the criss cross of the tracks. Which path to choose? Last we see him hopping a train, with a look of guilt, fear, and paranoia. He smirks a bit, happy he got away, but he didn't do anything. He comes off as someone on the verge of a breakdown. Howard reminds me a little of Mike Ward in "Stranger on the Third Floor," in that Mike was so afraid that everyone would think that he killed his neighbor, he started become paranoid. So, does Howard have a dark past that will make him guilty by association?
  7. A roar, whistle, and bells. The train gets louder, but you can't see it. Then....a bright flash of light hits you....THE NARROW MARGIN comes out of the light. The title whizzes off the screen along with the speeding train. The loud clanging of the bells almost rattles you. Now it's calm and the train slows down, but Walter and his partner are still in a hurry. The quick-paced talk and actions of the detectives matches the speed of the train. This definitely parodies earlier noir, but maybe not so much in a spoof sort of way, rather an homage to it's predecessors.
  8. Tick, tock, tick, tock goes the clock. It's 10 a.m. in the midwestern community of Kansas City and here "the amazing operations of a man who conceived and executed a 'perfect crime'" is about to happen. Tim overlooks the morning activities of the bank and surrounding areas down to the second. Everything has been checked numerous times and everything calculated perfectly. We get to go inside the mind of a criminal and see how everything is planned out. Time is very important and every second counts. Time can also signify impending doom or danger is around the corner. "M" -- the clock struck noon and the children got out of school, but danger lurked around the corner. "Ministry of Fear" -- the clock ticked away during the credits and Stephen watches the time tick away until he's free, but again something sinister is near. "You sat there watching the clock......The clock stood still. You killed me!" was said durning the seance. "Laura" -- while time wasn't a factor, the clock itself was important, in that it held something dark.
  9. Low angles and close-ups bring you right into the brutal fight. The defeated and anguished look on Ernie's face is both in the ring and at home. He is a man losing all hope with a wife who doesn't support him. The room they are in is like a fight ring, only instead of physical blows they're verbal blows. Ernie's in his corner and Pauline in her's, then the fight begins. "I'd been a star if I hadn't married you" (That's one for Pauline) "You were a showgirl (That's one for Ernie; insinuating that being a showgirl is talentless and it doesn't mean she's a star)....I could have been a champion" Then it looks like Pauline has given up saying she has lost patience. Then Ernie notices her watch wondering if it's real, but it's "rhinestones around a ten dollar movement," or is it? "They might be real if I hadn't married a pug!" That's the blow that ends the fight, Pauline has won...maybe. A close-up on Ernie's face show's desparation, defeat, but a little bit of determination, as though he isn't ready to give in just yet. I have the feeling he's going to do something he's going to regret. Both Ernie and Pauline are wanting a future, but a different future and they also live in the past. They talk about what they were and could have been. Only Pauline wants money, power and stardom. She reminds me of Jane in Too Late for Tears, wanting money and status, and willing to do anything to get it. Ernie is happy to just have a gas station, but he only wants it so fans will remember him.
  10. 18 years later and a ghost from the past returns to his hometown, but from what you get from this clip is that it won't be like old times. First we meet Sam, the vagabond gambler and Walter, the tense alcoholic politician. "All life is a gamble" "...some win, some don't" "You needn't had made that point" Walter was so snarky about it, like he lost something to Sam. Maybe he won Martha from Sam, but in the end it turned into a loss for him. Sam comes back to town not just to see old friends, but what else, he needs a favor. "Just like old times sake." I think Sam will find though that a lot has changed in their town after 18 years. Then Martha comes to visit and Walter seems reluctant, yet eager for Sam to see Martha again. After she comes in and finally remembers Sam, they seemed to pick up right where they left off, like 18 years hadn't gone by. "I always was big for my age, you remember?" A reluctant glance towards Walter, "Yes, I remember" "Anything else you remember?" I can't believe the flirtation between these two, right in front of Walter. "Thank you for my wife" Walter, with a drink in hand. Again, it seems like Walter won Martha from Sam, but he doesn't sound all too happy about it. To Sam, that sounds funny, Martha being his wife and that he always thought of her as being....what? Being with him, being his wife? It sounded as though she almost chose him when he asked "Aren't you glad you missed that circus train?" "I don't know." Sam must have been fun. "Oh, you will do that for me, won't you?" "I'll try my best" Walter said with a cynical smirk. Sam might be sorry that he asked for help from Walter. "Here's hoping you win that election" "Thanks I will" "What, sure thing?" "Ask Martha" "Sure, sure thing" She didn't sound so sure, but why ask Martha? Is she the one in charge of Walter and his election? "A sure thing is never a gamble" Was Walter the sure thing and Sam the gamble? Is she a woman in need of power and the only way to get it was to marry the sure thing, Walter? But with the circus train showing up, she may have the temptation of wanting to be with Sam. Looks like a lot of trouble is going to ensue in this town. A love triangle, a gambler, an alcoholic, politics, corruption, etc.
  11. A grand archway lit in the opening leading out into the city, with cars parked facing inwards. Coming in or going out? A sense of a criss cross pattern in the entrance of the train station during the credits. A cab pulls in and a pair of fancy black and white wing tip shoes and pinstriped pants enter to light, jovial music. Another cab, and this time, a plain monotone shoe and pant; accompanied by a plain suitcase and tennis rackets. Both walking with authority and ease in time to the music. It's interesting how much you find about these characters just through their shoes, pants, and luggage. The shoes themselves seem to be their own character. Next we see the criss cross pattern of the train tracks. Which way? Right or left? This time, right. Is this forshadowing of what is yet to come for our two characters? The two paths of Bruno and Guy meet, first with a bump of the toe. When Bruno finds out who Guy is, he suddenly has an interest in him. There's something uncomfortable about Bruno; he's the kind of person that insists on talking to you and won't take a hint about wanting to be left alone. "Oh, I certainly admire people who do things" - Bruno. He seems to be the kind of person that had everything handed to him and has other people do things for him. What is he going to want Guy to do? "I don't talk much, you go ahead and read" - Bruno, as he nudges closer to Guy and peers over his shoulder. There's no despair or hopelessness in this clip, like in Kiss Me Deadly and The Hitch-Hiker, but rather an ease and fluidity. But you know something is around the corner. Why else would these two characters, these strangers, be the main focus and then have them meet? What is to come out of them meeting. I, like many people, have seen Hitchcock's films and I never thought of him as film noir. But before this class, I didn't know much about the subject and now I can see how he could be considered as film noir. I'm interested in seeing his films again with a whole new perspective. There could almost be a whole class dedicated just to him because he definitely had his own style.
  12. The camera pans down the massive building of a police station late a night and we see a black figure walk into the foreground. D.O.A. hits you right in the face. A man in a dark suit marches down the desolate and never-ending maze-like corridors of the police station with determination and a slight sense of weariness. The speed at which he's walking is in time to the rhythm of the music. We only see him from the back for most of the clip. He finds the door he was looking for -- Homicide Division. He sits down in front of the investigator and tells him he is there to report a murder. When asked who's murder, that's when we see the man's face; full of anguish and despair. The look on his face gives off the impression that he's been to hell and back, and we see his suit is dirty. He answers it's his murder he's reporting -- Frank Bigelow. Here is Frank, dead on arrival in the police station. The clip's we've seen this week deal with characters in anguish and despair; in need of help and feeling like all hope is lost. For some, help may not have come too late, but for others it may never come. For Christina, in Kiss Me Deadly, she found help, but will Mike he really help her to the fullest? With Roy and Gilbert, in The Hitch-Hiker, who knows if help will ever come out on that lonely highway; they may have met their fate. Marie, in Caged, has met here fate and there doesn't seem to be any way to help her. As for Frank all hope may not be lost; as long as there is a way to rectify the situation. But the investigator in this clip reminded me of Mike in Kiss Me Deadly, where there seemed to be a sense of cynism from the investigator. It felt like they were looking at Frank more like a suspect, rather than a victim. They all had anxiety filled journeys, that ranged from being frenzied to more calm. Their journeys all had a lonesome feeling to them even if they weren't alone.
  13. A black claustrophobic enclosement, with the faintest signs of the outside world coming through a small wired square in the middle of the screen. That small square opening feels like a mile away and you only hear the sounds of traffic and a siren. You feel like you're trapped with the women inside, being swallowed by the vast darkness. The little bit of light you see keeps you from completely going insane. Then the vehicle stops and a door opens; the light shining on a terrified women (Marie) waiting to meet her fate. "Pile out you tramps! It's the end of the line." The camera scales the wall showing the numerous barred windows of the Women's State Prison. A gruff women tells her "Grab your last look at freeside kid." With most film noir, women criminals are glamorous femme fatales. Here we see what true female criminals look like --- like everyday women. They aren't treated like ladies, they are treated like criminals.
  14. An isloated dark road with someone in need of help, but unlike in Kiss Me Deadly, this scene isn't frenzied at all. You still however have this feeling of angst, like something isn't quite right. We are introduced to the characters with their feet first, but we don't meet Emmett as quickly as we do Christina. Also, Christina had to jump in front of car to get someone to stop, but in today's clip the first car to come by stopped for Emmett. The only light source in both clips are from the headlights of the car, just enough to highlight their faces, only Emmett's is in shadow. We see his gun first then his face moves into the light. The panic-strickened faces of Roy and Gilbert when they see Emmett's gun and then the camera slowly zooms between there shoulders to reveal Emmett's hate-filled face and then zooms back out. A feeling of anxiety and claustrophobia inside that car, where in Kiss Me Deadly they were driving in a convertible. The speeding convertible fit the frenzied feeling you got from the scene in Kiss Me Deadly, having the top down with the wind whipping around them. Where as the in The Hitch-Hiker, the tension is slow brewing and having an enclosed car adds to that feeling. -"You like to shoot?" -"Yeah" -"So do I" Two buddies going on a fishing trip, what can go wrong? Wait...do I hear banjos in the distance?
  15. One thing that really got my attention was the song playing, "I'd Rather Have the Blues," to me it said it all. "The night is mighty chilly/ And conversation seems pretty silly/ I feel so mean and rot/ I'd rather have the blues than what I've got..." Mike was being rather mean and nasty to Christina and didn't seem to want to have much of a conversation with her. All he could worry about was his car and seemed rather put out by her. So many emotions: angst, frenzy, erotic, anger, and saddness. You have the soothing sounds of Nat King Cole with the erotic panicked gasps from Christina; while speeding down an isloated road in Mike's convertible and the only light is between their shoulders, shining from the headlights on the road ahead of them. While this is happening, bold credits come slicing down at an angle from the top of the screen. Just when you think Mike is going to turn her in, she gives him a slight grasp of the hand and he has a change of heart. This beginning scene was an emotional rollercoaster ride that started off with a bang.
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