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2 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

I do not believe for one moment that  that old lady really thought the spirit of her dead husband was communicating with her.  To me it was clear that she was making the whole thing up because she suspected Greenstreet  of embezzling her investments and was using the dead husband story to catch him.  She was just pretending to believe her husband's spirit visited her as a means of tripping Greenstreet up.  This took some fine acting on the part of Rosalind Ivan--she had to convey to the audience,  without saying anything, that this was what she was up to.    You could tell she was stringing Greenstreet along, for instance,  the way she told him she couldn't marry him because her husband would be jealous.  The expression on her face, her tone of voice -- it all indicated to me that she knew what Greenstreet was up to and was playing with him.

Toward the end of the film she seemed to realize what Greenstreet was up to, but before that I figured

she was just another of those well off English eccentrics who like to dabble in things supernatural.

Wherever one wants to draw the line of what she knew or didn't know, Rosalind Ivan was wonderful in

the role. 

 

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30 minutes ago, laffite said:

She would have been an excellent choice. She had better looks for the part but Astor was so astonishingly good, it's hard to "replace" her.

Gotta say, and nothing against Mary here (well okay, maybe a little, but not in regard to her acting abilities), but every time I watch Lee Patrick as Bogie's secretary telling him at the beginning of the movie, "You'll want to see her. She's a knockout!", and then when Astor comes walking through the door, I think to myself, "Really? You think SHE'S a 'knockout'?! Sorry, but she's doin' nothin' for ME here anyway!"

(...aaah, but I get the feelin' I wouldn't be thinkin' that IF Geraldine had been the one walkin' through that door, and like I said up there, after seein' her in Three Strangers last night)

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2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

They did all three sign the back of the ticket.

Anyway it was an entertaining enough film for me. Made a bit more interesting with the Irish Sweepstakes tiket angle. I remember the Irish Sweepstakes when I was a kid. My folks had purchased a ticket and got a horse just like in the film. The big day of the race their horse didn't run so they ended up getting a consolation prize, I was too little to remember any details but it was enough money to take an extended trip to Europe. 

I was thinking that if Lorre was playing one of his typical conniving underhanded characters he would have

found two people to stand in for the other two ticket signers and tried to cash the ticket. It certainly would

have been worth the risk. As he was playing a more honest person, he didn't try it. 

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5 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I was thinking that if Lorre was playing one of his typical conniving underhanded characters he would have

found two people to stand in for the other two ticket signers and tried to cash the ticket. It certainly would

have been worth the risk. As he was playing a more honest person, he didn't try it. 

I think his hands would've been tied in this regard too, Vautrin. This would not have been an option even if he had tried it, I wouldn't think.

It probably would've been common knowledge that Crystal Shackelford (Fitzgerald) had been murdered and by Jerome Arbutny (Greenstreet) by the time he had tried to cash in the ticket.

(...remember all the headlines in the local London papers naming her as the potential big winner of the lottery in the first place, and so word of her murder would have almost assuredly soon  been the next big headline, wouldn't ya think?!)

 

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

Gotta say, and nothing against Mary here (well okay, maybe a little, but not in regard to her acting abilities), but every time I watch Lee Patrick as Bogie's secretary telling him at the beginning of the movie, "You'll want to see her. She's a knockout!", and then when Astor comes walking through the door, I think to myself, "Really? You think SHE'S a 'knockout'?! Sorry, but she's doin' nothin' for ME here anyway!"

(...aaah, but I get the feelin' I wouldn't be thinkin' that IF Geraldine had been the one walkin' through that door, and like I said up there, after seein' her in Three Strangers last night)

That's a misdirect to be sure to hear someone refer to MA as a "knockout." It's a common opinion, I believe. But how necessary is it that the dame should be so over-the-top gaga gorgeous? Is it possible that Mary was just attractive enough.  Is there any sympathy here for the idea that Mary gave the character a certain depth that comes across more effectively not being a sex goddess? I worry that Geraldine might have been too flashy and might have come across as a little crazy. The character is not really like that, IMO. It's true that Spade through her easy enough but she was nevertheless a great fighter.

:ph34r:

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9 minutes ago, laffite said:

That's a misdirect to be sure to hear someone refer to MA as a "knockout." It's a common opinion, I believe. But how necessary is it that the dame should be so over-the-top gaga gorgeous? Is it possible that Mary was just attractive enough.  Is there any sympathy here for the idea that Mary gave the character a certain depth that comes across more effectively not being a sex goddess? I worry that Geraldine might have been too flashy and might have come across as a little crazy. The character is not really like that, IMO. It's true that Spade through her easy enough but she was nevertheless a great fighter.

:ph34r:

Ok,  I feel it incumbent upon me to comment about Mary Astor's appearance in "The Maltese Falcon".  (Why, I don't know....🤥 )

I've always thought Mary's hairdo in TMF was wretched.  Makes her look matronly and unsexy.  I like Mary Astor,  I think she was a good actress, and I also think she had a lovely face.  But definitely that   hairstyle they make her wear all through this film diminishes her attractiveness.  It's a terrible 'do, and I don't know what the make-up/hair people were thinking to make her look like that.

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One aspect of the Irish Sweepstakes angle in "Three Strangers" that I don't understand is this:  ok, I get the actual Irish Sweepstakes ticket thing, and the bet placed on "CornCraker"  (the favourite) and all that.  What I don't understand is this other option, this idea Greenstreet had about claiming some other money from it, not as much as if it won the Irish Sweepstakes, but still, quite a lot.  That was why he went bonkers , he was obsessed with getting at least some money from the ticket, even before the horse race was run.  What's up with that?  Was there an earlier but lesser cash prize you could get , even before the actual Irish Sweepstakes race happened?  I've seen this movie at least 3 times now, and I still don't understand what it was that Greenstreet was trying to do about the ticket.  I guess this makes me look dumb, but so be it. If anyone can  'splain about this ticket business and the smaller but still significant amount of money one could claim  (?) before the horse race, please 'splain away.

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

I think his hands would've been tied in this regard too, Vautrin. This would not have been an option even if he had tried it, I wouldn't think.

It probably would've been common knowledge that Crystal Shackelford (Fitzgerald) had been murdered and by Jerome Arbutny (Greenstreet) by the time he had tried to cash in the ticket.

(...remember all the headlines in the local London papers naming her as the potential big winner of the lottery in the first place, and so word of her murder would have almost assuredly soon  been the next big headline, wouldn't ya think?!)

 

He could have pointed the cops toward her husband. He went into her apartment and looked like he was

just about to pull a gun out and blow her away for lying about her pregnancy when he realized she was

already dead. Of course the problem with that is that Lorre didn't know about it. But seeing it was a lot

of dough, I think it would have been worth the risk. Lorre does end up with a woman who is obviously

totally in love with him, but they have no money. Better to have both. :)

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2 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

One aspect of the Irish Sweepstakes angle in "Three Strangers" that I don't understand is this:  ok, I get the actual Irish Sweepstakes ticket thing, and the bet placed on "CornCraker"  (the favourite) and all that.  What I don't understand is this other option, this idea Greenstreet had about claiming some other money from it, not as much as if it won the Irish Sweepstakes, but still, quite a lot.  That was why he went bonkers , he was obsessed with getting at least some money from the ticket, even before the horse race was run.  What's up with that?  Was there an earlier but lesser cash prize you could get , even before the actual Irish Sweepstakes race happened?  I've seen this movie at least 3 times now, and I still don't understand what it was that Greenstreet was trying to do about the ticket.  I guess this makes me look dumb, but so be it. If anyone can  'splain about this ticket business and the smaller but still significant amount of money one could claim  (?) before the horse race, please 'splain away.

Remember Arbutny in a phone booth with a guy who is going to pay him for the ticket? Then he goes up and for some reason asks for his share. As you say, that’s nonsense, the ticket has no value with the race being not being run yet and you can’t split the ticket in three. But soon he asks for the whole ticket. He tells Shackleford that he will get money for the ticket and that she will get what he doesn’t need. He doesn’t go into it but he wants her to believe that whatever he can give her would be better than a ticket that yields nothing if the horse should not win. He doesn’t want to gamble on the race and he wants her to feel the same way. He doesn't say what he is to receive from his buyer, which might be strange since he is so desperate. It must be at least enough to pay off his debts, which must be fairly considerable sum. Who would pay so much for a sweepstake ticket, si it's all sort of nonsensical anyway.  I don't know, what does someone else think?

 

 

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10 hours ago, laffite said:

Remember Arbutny in a phone booth with a guy who is going to pay him for the ticket? Then he goes up and for some reason asks for his share. As you say, that’s nonsense, the ticket has no value with the race being not being run yet and you can’t split the ticket in three. But soon he asks for the whole ticket. He tells Shackleford that he will get money for the ticket and that she will get what he doesn’t need. He doesn’t go into it but he wants her to believe that whatever he can give her would be better than a ticket that yields nothing if the horse should not win. He doesn’t want to gamble on the race and he wants her to feel the same way. He doesn't say what he is to receive from his buyer, which might be strange since he is so desperate. It must be at least enough to pay off his debts, which must be fairly considerable sum. Who would pay so much for a sweepstake ticket, si it's all sort of nonsensical anyway.  I don't know, what does someone else think?

 

 

I got confused by it as well as it appeared the race was about to begin even as Arbutny was arguing with Shackleford.  He would have had to get the ticket, go downstairs to the waiting man and get the money.  So while all that is going on, the race is being run.  So, if the horse looses, the man buying the ticket is out?  I don't see how Arbutny could have gotten downstairs and sold the ticket before the race is finished.

Overall, I was not impressed with the movie.  Good actors, but the screenplay just went in too many different directions for me - and not in a logical sense.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

I got confused by it as well as it appeared the race was about to begin even as Arbutny was arguing with Shackleford.  He would have had to get the ticket, go downstairs to the waiting man and get the money.  So while all that is going on, the race is being run.  So, if the horse looses, the man buying the ticket is out?  I don't see how Arbutny could have gotten downstairs and sold the ticket before the race is finished.

Overall, I was not impressed with the movie.  Good actors, but the screenplay just went in too many different directions for me - and not in a logical sense.

Agreed. It's all for nothing anyway, the gist of the scene is that Arbutny loses his head. His fool request supports that.

When A first enters the room he makes his plea to S and she is in a sort of trance-like state listening to the radio and not even acknowledging him. He hovers over her waiting for a response. She sort of blinks and seems to finally notice that he is standing there and says, "What?" in that exasperated way as if she is being mightily put out, like "What do you want now?" I loved the way she said that "what?". Those who still have access to the movie, I bid you take a look. There was something very real about that woman.

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14 hours ago, laffite said:
15 hours ago, Dargo said:

Gotta say, and nothing against Mary here (well okay, maybe a little, but not in regard to her acting abilities), but every time I watch Lee Patrick as Bogie's secretary telling him at the beginning of the movie, "You'll want to see her. She's a knockout!", and then when Astor comes walking through the door, I think to myself, "Really? You think SHE'S a 'knockout'?! Sorry, but she's doin' nothin' for ME here anyway!"

(...aaah, but I get the feelin' I wouldn't be thinkin' that IF Geraldine had been the one walkin' through that door, and like I said up there, after seein' her in Three Strangers last night)

I agree. As I've said before while Mary Astor was a very talented actress I don't consider her to be either a "knock-out" or a "bombshell".  Obviously,  now it's hard to  imagine a different actress playing her roles in THE MALTESE FALCON or ACROSS THE PACIFIC, but I can think of several that could have done it.  

 

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I have often felt that other actors could "have done it" when it is advanced that "no one could have done it better." We get so attached to a performance we think it as the definitive. I've done that too and despite what I have just said there are some performances where the actor DOES seem to have an unassailable stronghold. This might be a good idea for a thread. Somebody mentions a role that which no else could have done effectively, and others rebut by trying to find who could have.

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I seem to have "bad luck" with THREE STRANGERS.   Fell asleep twice at the beginning while trying to watch it Saturday night and then Sunday morning.  

Sidebar -- Can anyone explain to me why Spade's secretary Effie, after Sam asks her opinion on Bridget's character, tells him that she's essentially "okay"?

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28 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Sidebar -- Can anyone explain to me why Spade's secretary Effie, after Sam asks her opinion on Bridget's character, tells him that she's essentially "okay"?

I don't remember the exchange but it might be one of those little misdirects so that we don't judge Bridget to much and too early. It doesn't take Spade long to see through her, right away in fact. The movie may want Spade to be the outer, and not Effie. I don't know if I'm on the same wave length on this as you are. If not, never mind :).

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1 hour ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

I seem to have "bad luck" with THREE STRANGERS.   Fell asleep twice at the beginning while trying to watch it Saturday night and then Sunday morning.  

Sidebar -- Can anyone explain to me why Spade's secretary Effie, after Sam asks her opinion on Bridget's character, tells him that she's essentially "okay"?

1. did you wake up suddenly RIGHT AT THE END? That always happens to me! (Someone told me it's quite common.)

2. Agree with Laffite, I think it is purely misdirection on the part of the makers- plus If a WOMAN can't see through ANOTHER WOMAN'S BS, we are left to assume that said second woman is either on the level or her BS Game is superb...and with Miss WonderO'Shaugnessy, it's clearly the second. Also, there is the outside chance that this was a line in the novel (I can't be sure) but I find that a lot of HAMMETT adaptations are very loyal to his dialogue- right down to incidental bits like this.

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17 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Wow, lafitte, you've given me new insights!  I've been struggling with that scene forever but you make so much sense.  

So kind you are, Barb, to say that. Thanks!

I say this not out of courteous reciprocity but by simple truth telling. Your contributions on those threads of yore over on the FILMS AND FILMMAKERS and FAVORITES  these many years ago, are replete with enlightened brilliancy and I have ALWAYS and FOREVER envied your writing. Do you remember this post you did "One, Two, Three" You had just watched it and were delighted with it. You made all kinds of witty references too the Cold War and other things. It came off as totally spontaneous.  I had watched the film some time earlier but after reading your take felt I had missed out.  As a defense, I might blame Pamela Tiffin for my inattention to the movie itself, she was such a honey.

:)thanks

 

 

 

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It did look like Greenstreet was too busy having a meltdown to complete the business of selling

the ticket as time was quickly running out. I read up a bit on the Irish Sweepstakes last night.

While it was promoted as a way to assist the finances of Irish hospitals, it was actually a private

company. The hospitals did get money, but so did the small group of people who ran the thing.

I was happy to find out that some of the money even made its way to the IRA. I'd stick to scratch

off tickets. so much simpler. 

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Slightly off-topic, since the film I'm about to mention is definitely not noir, but there's a rather sweet and gently funny movie called "Waking Ned Devine" that's all about an Irish Sweepstakes ticket.  The I.S. must have still been going on in the '90s,   since "Waking Ned Devine" came out in 1998.

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6 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Slightly off-topic, since the film I'm about to mention is definitely not noir, but there's a rather sweet and gently funny movie called "Waking Ned Devine" that's all about an Irish Sweepstakes ticket.  The I.S. must have still been going on in the '90s,   since "Waking Ned Devine" came out in 1998.

I loved WAKING NED DEVINE. Can't believe it was 22 years ago. I'd like to see it again. I wonder (pun intended) if you know where one might find it. I want to bathe with "fruity soaps" and then watch with a pint and a chicken dinner.

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20 hours ago, laffite said:

So kind you are, Barb, to say that. Thanks!

I say this not out of courteous reciprocity but by simple truth telling. Your contributions on those threads of yore over on the FILMS AND FILMMAKERS and FAVORITES  these many years ago, are replete with enlightened brilliancy and I have ALWAYS and FOREVER envied your writing. Do you remember this post you did "One, Two, Three" You had just watched it and were delighted with it. You made all kinds of witty references too the Cold War and other things. It came off as totally spontaneous.  I had watched the film some time earlier but after reading your take felt I had missed out.  As a defense, I might blame Pamela Tiffin for my inattention to the movie itself, she was such a honey.

:)thanks

 

 

 

Oh lafitte your generous comments truly knock me out.   I have to say, however, that I don't think it was me who wrote a review on ONE, TWO THREE.  At least, not that I can remember!   

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20 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

1. did you wake up suddenly RIGHT AT THE END? That always happens to me! (Someone told me it's quite common.)

2. Agree with Laffite, I think it is purely misdirection on the part of the makers- plus If a WOMAN can't see through ANOTHER WOMAN'S BS, we are left to assume that said second woman is either on the level or her BS Game is superb...and with Miss WonderO'Shaugnessy, it's clearly the second. Also, there is the outside chance that this was a line in the novel (I can't be sure) but I find that a lot of HAMMETT adaptations are very loyal to his dialogue- right down to incidental bits like this.

1.  No, the credits rolled both times and the next thing I knew the whole thing was over, drat!  (maybe it's on YouTube)  It's that weird phenomenon I've encountered many times -- I get very excited beforehand about a movie I've never seen that will be aired, and then promptly fall asleep.  Not sure what that's all about.  It's as though perhaps the endorphins generated by just the thought of watching something new kick in and gets me super relaxed to the point of actual slumber.   Does anyone else experience this?

2.  Great points I did not think about!

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3 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Oh lafitte your generous comments truly knock me out.   I have to say, however, that I don't think it was me who wrote a review on ONE, TWO THREE.  At least, not that I can remember!   

It was you. You evidently did not see it when you recently perused the thread (that you recently mentioned). Then it was on another one. You said that you just saw it and were cracking up over it making scintillating comments along the way. My memory may not be the best but on this it is infallible. You did it, Barb! :)

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I'm actually more than halfway through this thread but didn't see it (yet?)  Still racking my brain to remember!   Might you give me a jog by perhaps including some things I said about the movie?  I'm a Billy Wilder fan and know I've talked about his work but for the life of me, as best as I recall, not ONE, TWO, THREE -- in any forum.

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