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50 minutes ago, TheCid said:

Did we see the same movie?  I distinctly remember Wesley being told not to be there and to leave and he chose not to.  Also, Harry had no knowledge that the criminals would be threatening murder when they came.

There you go again, Cid, blaming the victim. And you're changing the story to strengthen your argument. I have no memory of Harry telling Wesley not to go down to the Sea Queen the day of the robbery. Wesley wanders down there for something to do. Of course Harry doesn't anticipate this to happen. It's a tragic occurrence (some might say fate). Harry also lets valuable time go by when he doesn't stop Wesley from turning over the boat motor, knowing that time was ticking by as the robbers were on the way. A minute later the bad guys arrive and one of them cold bloodedly shoots Wesley.

Once again, the unpredictable consequences that occurred from Harry's risky decision to play with the devil, and Wesley is dead as a result of it. Of course, Harry will experience guilt over this. His best friend would still be alive if he hadn't done it.

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21 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I don't see my statement, that Harry will suffer guilt over Wesley's death, as any "theory" but a natural conclusion as a result of his risky behaviour. I'll repeat what I said previously because Wesley's death in The Breaking Point is a perfect illustration of it - the unpredictable consequences of a desperate action by an individual. In this case those unpredictable consequences resulted in the death of a friend (and a young boy losing his father, to extend it a logical step further, to add to that guilt). I don't understand why you and Cid have so much difficulty accepting this.

Now you're saying that he will "suffer guilt." I might go along with that. That is a "natural conclusion" But you're opening sally on this said he would be "haunted." I took that to mean much more. Haunted for the rest of his days, something like that.  I respect your opinion, but your opinion is not compelling to me. He will overcome it as we all more or less do in our own lives. If the movie wanted to suggest beyond all doubt that Harry would be another Chris Cross, then they would have done it. They didn't do that. I think 'nuff said on this.

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1 minute ago, laffite said:

Now you're saying that he will "suffer guilt." I might go along with that. That is a "natural conclusion" But you're opening sally on this said he would be "haunted." I took that to mean much more. Haunted for the rest of his days, something like that.  I respect your opinion, but your opinion is not compelling to me. He will overcome it as we all more or less do in our own lives. If the movie wanted to suggest beyond all doubt that Harry would be another Chris Cross, then they would have done it. They didn't do that. I think 'nuff said on this.

To me suffering guilt, possibly for the rest of one's life (it depends upon the individual, of course, but Harry is a sensitive man) and being haunted by a death are one and the same thing. At least we are in agreement, though, that enough has been said on this topic. That's common ground for us, at least.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

Did we see the same movie?  I distinctly remember Wesley being told not to be there and to leave and he chose not to.  Also, Harry had no knowledge that the criminals would be threatening murder when they came.

I don't see where Harry has much to feel guilty of as it relates to Wesley.      Yea,  he could have avoided getting involved with criminals,  period,  but if Harry wasn't going to do this to save his marriage (his wife says she and the kids will be leaving him),  he wouldn't do so just to protect Wesley from some potential violence (that as you note he had no knowledge was going to occur).

I also remember Harry telling Wesley to stay away but I could be getting that confused with the Bogie version.   (where Bogie slaps Brennan around and makes him feel really bad,  and then later in the most moving part of that film,  Brennan realizes why:  Bogie got physical because he was trying to protect him).      

Either way there was no way for Harry to keep Wesley from getting involved.   E.g. if Harry had told him more forcefully "stay away,,,, something bad is going to go down and I don't want you involved",    that would have made Wesley MORE likely to get involved.      

The killing of Wesley isn't to show Harry's sense of guilt but instead to give Harry the green-light to shoot first;  to kill these hoods without any warning.   

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16 hours ago, SadPanda said:

I'm sure you looked very handsome in it.

I don't recall, but I never expected to see an adult wearing it, outside of a Pee Wee Herman

fan convention or a carnival. 

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Wesley's death was one of those Hollywood ones where you're saying to the character Get the hell

out of there, the bad guys are on their way and you might get hurt or killed. Of course he hangs

around while you're mentally urging him to leave and sure enough the bad guys show up and kill

him. If only he had left a minute or two earlier he would have been okay, but it was not going to

happen. 

I can't blame Garfield for not wanting to quit the sea-faring life for picking lettuce for his in-laws.

They might have turned out to be a bunch of nasty bastards and the he would have been stuck.

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5 hours ago, TheCid said:

I  liked Phyllis Thaxter, but she seems too nice.  She did not portray the range that Patricia Neal did.....

 

 

"I  liked Phyllis Thaxter, but she seems too nice."  Too nice in what way?  She certainly wasn't sickeningly "good"; she has several scenes where she gets angry with Harry,  plus she shows real grit in her meeting with the Neal character.  She shows spirit and resilience and humour.   She's actually one of the most three-dimensional "good" female characters in noir.   In fact, she displays a lot more character development than Leona  (Neal's character.)

This is not to say that I didn't like Leona, nor that Neal's portrayal of her wasn't really good. It was  quite good, and I like Patricia Neal  (my favourite Neal performance is in "Hud".)  But Lucy had a lot more going on with her character, and her story  (conflict between her understanding of her husband's desire for independence, and her concerns around being  able to feed their family,  her love for and physical attraction for her husband,  her insecurity when she feels he is looking elsewhere for sexual excitement, etc.)

Leona, by contrast, really just wants to get Harry into bed.  I kind of liked that, it was refreshing to see the woman hitting on the man for a change. And Leona's not a "femme fatale";  she doesn't want anything from Harry except sex  ( and a free boat ride to the mainland...)  She has no "bad intentions" other than to try to get him to be unfaithful to his wife. And even that isn't to destroy Harry's marriage so much as it is just to ignore the fact that he's married - Leona doesn't care one way or the other about his married state.

But all that said, Leona's character has less going on than Lucy's.  We do get a glimpse of her loneliness when Harry ultimately rejects her, a sense of her worrying about the years ahead as she gets older and starts losing some of her attractiveness without a faithful man in her life.  But this is just me inferring the character is worrying about that- I think Patricia Neal deserves credit for conveying the sense that Leona is thinking such things, without overtly stating them.

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

"I  liked Phyllis Thaxter, but she seems too nice."  Too nice in what way?  She certainly wasn't sickeningly "good"; she has several scenes where she gets angry with Harry,  plus she shows real grit in her meeting with the Neal character.  She shows spirit and resilience and humour.   She's actually one of the most three-dimensional "good" female characters in noir.   In fact, she displays a lot more character development than Leona  (Neal's character.)

This is not to say that I didn't like Leona, nor that Neal's portrayal of her wasn't really good. It was  quite good, and I like Patricia Neal  (my favourite Neal performance is in "Hud".)  But Lucy had a lot more going on with her character, and her story  (conflict between her understanding of her husband's desire for independence, and her concerns around being  able to feed their family,  her love for and physical attraction for her husband,  her insecurity when she feels he is looking elsewhere for sexual excitement, etc.)

Leona, by contrast, really just wants to get Harry into bed.  I kind of liked that, it was refreshing to see the woman hitting on the man for a change. And Leona's not a "femme fatale";  she doesn't want anything from Harry except sex  ( and a free boat ride to the mainland...)  She has no "bad intentions" other than to try to get him to be unfaithful to his wife. And even that isn't to destroy Harry's marriage so much as it is just to ignore the fact that he's married - Leona doesn't care one way or the other about his married state.

But all that said, Leona's character has less going on than Lucy's.  We do get a glimpse of her loneliness when Harry ultimately rejects her, a sense of her worrying about the years ahead as she gets older and starts losing some of her attractiveness without a faithful man in her life.  But this is just me inferring the character is worrying about that- I think Patricia Neal deserves credit for conveying the sense that Leona is thinking such things, without overtly stating them.

Can't really put my finger on it, but she doesn't seem to resonate with me.  Felt the same way about Women's PrisonTo me, she doesn't show much emotion.   Not saying she was bad, but not stellar.   Guess we will have to disagree on this one.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

Can't really put my finger on it, but she doesn't seem to resonate with me.

If you can't out your finger on it, then maybe...

Phyllis Thaxter was perfectly cast and did a good job. That wholesome home spun house-wife prettiness is just what they wanted. I've said I didn't like that last over-the-top teary look but that wasn't her fault. Even that didn't come off well for me. I wish they had just let her be herself and act. But without specificity, Cid, not sure what to say. When she threatened Harry that she was leaving if he took of this fool's mission, did she not show enough emotion? When she pushed the Salinas idea on him, was she not emotional enough? I thought she was fine. But I still know what you might mean. It's easy to feel something though it be vague. I thought she was just fine. And make no mistake, she is indeed a pretty woman. Her eyes twinkle when she puts on that wide smile. I like it when she let go of that quick slap. About Leona's legs. That took a bit of spunk. I thought she was much alive and normal. ////

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Something no one's mentioned yet in this discussion around Phyllis Thaxter is that we saw her quite recently on Noir Alley, in The Sign of the Ram.  She played the new secretary to the Susan Peters character  (remember, the passive-aggressive lady in the wheelchair?)   Thaxter doesn't have much to do in Sign of the Ram except hang around and look disturbed at the odd events occurring all around her.   (In fact, why does Peters' character need a secretary anyway ?  But I digress...)

It's just  interesting  that this actress we're talking about here was so recently seen in another Noir Alley feature.  I don't think Eddie has a hidden agenda to draw attention to Phyllis Thaxter, it's just a coincidence.  Before these two films shown on Noir Alley, I had barely heard of this lady, and knew very little about her.  (For some reason I had her mixed up for a while with Betsy Drake. Is that unfair?  😏 )

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14 hours ago, laffite said:

If you can't out your finger on it, then maybe...

Phyllis Thaxter was perfectly cast and did a good job. That wholesome home spun house-wife prettiness is just what they wanted. I've said I didn't like that last over-the-top teary look but that wasn't her fault. Even that didn't come off well for me. I wish they had just let her be herself and act. But without specificity, Cid, not sure what to say. When she threatened Harry that she was leaving if he took of this fool's mission, did she not show enough emotion? When she pushed the Salinas idea on him, was she not emotional enough? I thought she was fine. But I still know what you might mean. It's easy to feel something though it be vague. I thought she was just fine. And make no mistake, she is indeed a pretty woman. Her eyes twinkle when she puts on that wide smile. I like it when she let go of that quick slap. About Leona's legs. That took a bit of spunk. I thought she was much alive and normal. ////

I assume there are two questions here related to Phyllis Thaxter;   One is her performance in The Breaking Point;   I think it is stellar.    Very good,  very emotional without going over board.      First rate.      I have also seen her in other films and T.V.  (e.g. Wagon Train) and found her to be a reliable actress. 

The second is why wasn't she a bigger star;     While she is a pretty woman she doesn't have that something special look that Hollywood was often looking for in a leading lady.   In addition there can only be so many stars and studios had their stars and especially once WWII started studio became a lot more reluctant to sign actors to high dollar long term contracts especially if they already had stars under contract.

 

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2 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Something no one's mentioned yet in this discussion around Phyllis Thaxter is that we saw her quite recently on Noir Alley, in The Sign of the Ram.  She played the new secretary to the Susan Peters character  (remember, the passive-aggressive lady in the wheelchair?)   Thaxter doesn't have much to do in Sign of the Ram except hang around and look disturbed at the odd events occurring all around her.   (In fact, why does Peters' character need a secretary anyway ?  But I digress...)

It's just  interesting  that this actress we're talking about here was so recently seen in another Noir Alley feature.  I don't think Eddie has a hidden agenda to draw attention to Phyllis Thaxter, it's just a coincidence.  Before these two films shown on Noir Alley, I had barely heard of this lady, and knew very little about her.  (For some reason I had her mixed up for a while with Betsy Drake. Is that unfair?  😏 )

She was in another good noir too.  Act of Violence. She played Ryan's girlfriend. She starred in some memorable episodes on the Alfred Hitchcock show in the  50s and  60s and played the mother in The World of Henry Orient. Her movie career never really took off though. Possibly due to the studios setting free their actors in the late 40s/early 50s and them having to freelance. They no longer built up their up and coming actors and many of them went to television. (Anne Francis was another).

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I didnt know this but Thaxter contracted polio in 1952 (just looked her up) so I'm sure that had a lot to do with her career stalling. She must've made a complete recovery because I didnt notice anything different about her in her later roles. Also forgot she was married for a time to Jim Aubrey who later became the head of CBS (and later of MGM) called the Smiling Cobra.

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On 7/27/2020 at 12:02 AM, SadPanda said:

Miss Popularity is one of my favorite posters.

Miss Wonderly is very well liked here on this board. Possibly because she posts thoughtful content about classic movies rather than insulting others with sarcastic nicknames.

All this talk has made me pull out my copy of THE BREAKING POINT for another view.

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1 hour ago, nakano said:

She was very good in Jim Thorpe All American with Burt Lancaster.

Yes, I'd forgotten about that. She also played a split personality (one good, one evil) in some 40s film. Forgotten the title. It's very dated now, but she was good in it.

Oh, I think the title was Bedeviled. No, its Bewitched.

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4 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes, I'd forgotten about that. She also played a split personality (one good, one evil) in some 40s film. Forgotten the title. It's very dated now, but she was good in it.

I believe you're referring to Bewitched (1945).    Thaxter is good in this MGM suspense film. 

Bewitched poster.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes, I'd forgotten about that. She also played a split personality (one good, one evil) in some 40s film. Forgotten the title. It's very dated now, but she was good in it.

Oh, I think the title was Bedeviled. No, its Bewitched.

yes with Edmund Gwenn it was showed last year on TCM,it  was supposed to be a rare showing if i remember well,it was ok for the period-1945

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On 7/26/2020 at 9:01 PM, Vautrin said:

I think Patricia Neal was still trying to seduce Garfield right through their last meeting. He was

tempted but never went very far. I laughed at the bar scene when he tells her to turn it off,

turn it off. She turns it down, but never completely turns it off.  In a generally realistic flick,

their constantly bumping into each another seemed a bit unrealistic.

 

Eddie's suitjacket last night was awful. It looked like something I wore to church when I was ten years

old. 

OR, as that old saying went:

"Somewhere there's a horse missing a blanket."

;)

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It played in september 2019 it was during the day with another film with James Craig(!!!)not  shown for 14 years Dangerous Partners 1945 both with Edmund Gwenn  a rare part for him as a villain...

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5 minutes ago, nakano said:

It played in september 2019 it was during the day with another film with James Craig(!!!)not  shown for 14 years Dangerous Partners 1945 both with Edmund Gwenn  a rare part for him as a villain...

 

35 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I havent seen it in years. It rarely pops up on TCM.

 

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OH and btw, gotta say after just now catching up with the past couple of days postings in this thread and all the give-'n-take/back-'n forth that went on, BOY did I sure enjoy it all.

Yep, and NOT only some of great insights into and differing opinions about The Breaking Point, but even some of that personal conflict stuff that went on here TOO!  ;)

Yep, THAT part was almost like a little "noir" thing ITSELF goin' on right here on these boards!  LOL

YOU guys are the BEST around here, and I can't imagine ANY other group of cinephiles on Facebook OR Twitter(and unfortunately as we all know, the only damn social media locations Eddie mentions in his outtros to further discuss this film genre) could provide as stirring and stimulating a discussion on this topic as YOU guys and gals constantly provide!

 

 

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