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10 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Just a couple more comments about "The Man Who Cheated Himself":

 

As for a plot point a couple of people here have mentioned, about the murder itself:  It is not at all clear what the husband, (Howard Frazer), intended to do when he returned home, more or less bursting in. Maybe he did mean to kill his wife, since he knew she was planning to change her will and quite likely wanted to stop her from doing this  (we can assume her will at the time of action left everything to her husband.) And he had left the gun there, hidden in his "den" (or whatever that room is). He did not notice the bill of sale that had dropped onto the floor before he burned all the other evidence of the gun purchase, so from his point of view, his wife was unaware that he had a gun there at all. Plus we saw him tamper with the balcony door, presumably with the intention of enabling him to enter Lois' home unexpectedly, possibly grab his newly purchased gun, and shoot her. His plane ticket could be his alibi.  

Oh, I dunno....I'm just saying, although Lois flipped out and killed the man without waiting to find out why he'd returned, it does look as though he might very well have been planning to murder her. So she could theoretically have pleaded self-defence.

i think that was how they were able to get away with the ending in the lobby of the court house, wherein it kinda leaves the door open (is clear) JANE WYATT is gonna get off scott-free (ed note: hahahahahahahahahahahahaha) while LEE J COBB is SO DEFINITELY GOING TO JAIL.

It's downright deliciously Dostoyevskian- one dumb act to get a Dame snowballs into something where there's no out for you, you stupid, stupid man.

(ed note: again, hahahahahahahahahaha)

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i've enjoyed reading what everyone has written about THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF, the SPAMALOT yesterday made it tough to post right after viewing, so i'll just touch on a few points.

I think John Dall is great in ROPE and THE CORN IS GREEN (for which he was nominated), I think he deserved a nomination for GUN CRAZY; this was the first film I have seen him in where he was "off." It was a really, really glib performance; and I think it was a case of overcompensation  because he was working opposite WILLIE LOMAN himself, LEE J COBB.

IN RE: LEE J COBB, I can never completely forgive him for GOLDEN BOY, but it was nice to see the underplaying it. is it right to say he is understated in ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM? (that's how i recall him in it.)

i would bet you almost anything that COBB asked for JANE WYATT to be cast, I am thinking they had theater roots together, yes? And she also was having a hard time finding work because of some of her Leftist connections, i think? while it was a little like watching Nancy Reagan do DOUBLE INDEMNITY, i thought she had a feline quality that made her alluring(ish) in the right light. the costume dept. did her no favors, she wore a full house frock/bathrobe thing in the first scene that looked like an anniversary cake.

I bet her and Cobb's characters stayed up well past nine, blasting Glenn Miller records, playing double solitaire and eating graham crackers like nobody's business!

FORT POINT is still standing, it's a Historic Landmark (for the time being). with the housing crisis in the Bay Area tho, it's only so long before it's condos.

it was nice of Mickey Mouse to loan his convertible to the filmmakers for use as John Dall's "coupay" in this.

(i love how they say "cou-pay")

(i also hope FELIX FEIST pronounced his name as "FELIX FIST.")

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FORT POINT is still standing, it's a Historic Landmark (for the time being). with the housing crisis in the Bay Area tho, it's only so long before it's condos.

FORT POINT IS IN THE PRESIDIO, WHICH  is a very valued historic and tourist attraction.  Unlike other cities, San Francisco takes its architectural  heritage very seriously.

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ps- THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF is available for viewing on TCM OnDemand.

It's the first Noir Alley title in a long time to be included, and I thank whoever made the decision. (still annoyed CRIME WAVE wasn't ever OnDemand even though they said it would be in the listing for it.)

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

it was nice of Mickey Mouse to loan his convertible to the filmmakers for use as John Dall's "coupay" in this.

(i love how they say "cou-pay")

(i also hope FELIX FEIST pronounced his name as "FELIX FIST.")

Must have missed a line or two and maybe a scene of two.  Did John Dall actually have a car?  I only recall him driving his fiancee/wife's Nash Rambler convertible, which is not a coupe.  Lee J. Cobb did have a Nash coupe which Dall borrowed to show to the witness.  It was an unmarked police car.

As for pronunciation, way back when the cars of this type were called coupe, as in the French word with the accent over the e.  This was prevalent even into the 50's and then fell into disuse to be replaced with the now accepted coupe without the accent on the e.

Is there a Mickey Mouse connection with the Nash Rambler convertible?

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26 minutes ago, TheCid said:

Must have missed a line or two and maybe a scene of two.  Did John Dall actually have a car?  I only recall him driving his fiancee/wife's Nash Rambler convertible, which is not a coupe.

Is there a Mickey Mouse connection with the Nash Rambler convertible?

you're right, i'm wrong, and you're very damn perceptive.

it was Lee J Cobb who had the "cou-pay"- referred to as such by the colorblind witness; it was Dall's wife who had what I referred to as "the Mickey Mouse car" which is a term I borrow from my father [who originally used it in reference to those 1980's two door sporty Mercedes convertibles) to refer to any compact convertible where (it seems) like half the driver's body sticks out above the frame (aka a charming deathtrap.)

like so:

2091390o5gvkmh3sb.jpg

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2 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

you're right, i'm wrong, and you're very damn perceptive.

it was Lee J Cobb who had the "cou-pay"- referred to as such by the colorblind witness; it was Dall's wife who had what I referred to as "the Mickey Mouse car" which is a term I borrow from my father [who originally used it in reference to those 1980's two door sporty Mercedes convertibles) to refer to any compact convertible where (it seems) like half the driver's body sticks out above the frame (aka a charming deathtrap.)

like so:

2091390o5gvkmh3sb.jpg

Not so much perceptive as obsessive about cars.  One reason why my wife hates to watch recorded movies with me. I keep going back to look at the cars.

Incidentally, the English and Italian sports cars were actually much smaller and more likely for the driver/passenger to "have half the driver's body stick out above the frame" than the Mercedes-Benz SL types.  Then there was also the American Crosby "sports" car and even the Nash Metropolitan, an Anglo-American-Italian joint production sold in America.  But I digress.  Sorry.

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I'm very behind on my car history, so any lessons are appreciated 

Only recently was Nash becoming AMC (the defunct car company, not the worthless TV network ) explained to me.

 

 

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16 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Just a couple more comments about "The Man Who Cheated Himself":

As for a plot point a couple of people here have mentioned, about the murder itself:  It is not at all clear what the husband, (Howard Frazer), intended to do when he returned home, more or less bursting in. Maybe he did mean to kill his wife, since he knew she was planning to change her will and quite likely wanted to stop her from doing this  (we can assume her will at the time of action left everything to her husband.) And he had left the gun there, hidden in his "den" (or whatever that room is). He did not notice the bill of sale that had dropped onto the floor before he burned all the other evidence of the gun purchase, so from his point of view, his wife was unaware that he had a gun there at all. Plus we saw him tamper with the balcony door, presumably with the intention of enabling him to enter Lois' home unexpectedly, possibly grab his newly purchased gun, and shoot her. His plane ticket could be his alibi.  

Oh, I dunno....I'm just saying, although Lois flipped out and killed the man without waiting to find out why he'd returned, it does look as though he might very well have been planning to murder her. So she could theoretically have pleaded self-defence.

I think he was definitely planning to kill her. Cobb's character raises the point that the husband went to the airport early and left his car there when he returned home as an alibi. He obviously did not want his wife to know about the gun and did not want her to know that he returned home. However, Wyatt's character seemed a little too happy to shoot him when she had the chance.

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What did everyone think of THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF?

I noticed that Lee had trouble lighting his cigarettes.

Was that intentional, as in DOUBLE INDEMNITY?

John Dall as Cobb's younger, dogged detective brother....oookaay, lol.  I didn't find him especially believable for any number of reasons.

The proto-VERTIGO San Francisco locations were the best thing about this movie in my opinion.  Otherwise, meh!

 

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Oops, I didn't realize before posting that people had and were commenting on THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF.

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8 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Actually, I think possibly the person got "Bowser" confused with either(or both) "Blowsy"  or "Frowsy".  

And Joe, your "little cousin" must really be long in the tooth, as "Bowser" has long been a stereotypical canine name, like "Fido" for an equal amount of time.  And remember......

"Bowser" is the nickname of that goofy guy in SHA NA NA.(JON BAUMAN)  ;)

Then again, maybe your cousins are Australian as the word is also the name of a company there that made gasoline pumps and also became the slang term there for them.

Sepiatone

I realise it's long been used, it's just he used it as a noun rather than a name.

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4 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

I noticed that Lee had trouble lighting his cigarettes.

He should have placed a call to this guy:

 

194739298_download(1).jpg.71e05ab0d16992a8549f016a0882297e.jpg

 

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23 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Actually, since we're talking about this, I'll just say that the reason I chose that avatar pic has nothing to do with Mary Astor herself; it's just that she played "Miss Wonderly", aka Brigid O'Shaughnessy, in "The Maltese Falcon"  ( as I'm sure everyone reading this knows.)  When I was deciding what "screen name" to use on these boards, way back years ago when I first joined the TCM message board community, I picked "Miss Wonderly" because I'd always thought it was a really funny name, so improbable, so obviously fake. I just liked the name, plus it was an obvious allusion to a great classic movie. I use that Mary Astor avatar because it's her as "Miss Wonderly", that's all.

And what an inspired choice for a screen name, I've always thought so anyway. After a less-than-brief mention it is quickly forgotten giving way to an alias. I count that name as one of the best here. I hope you won't mind bringing this up but I do remember your attempt to change it. A number of us here on the Board were appalled (including me) and issued a plea that the name should not be changed. that it was too good to have out of our lives.  The exhortation was basically in good fun, there were no ultimatums or anything but there was still a measure of firmness behind it. To whatever degree the plea influenced you in changing it back is secondary to the fact that you did change it back. The current form of the moniker is the third of its name but no matter, the intelligence behind it is still the same. Vive MissWonderly3.

:)

;)

..

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On 6/25/2018 at 9:12 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

i think that was how they were able to get away with the ending in the lobby of the court house, wherein it kinda leaves the door open (is clear) JANE WYATT is gonna get off scott-free (ed note: hahahahahahahahahahahahaha) while LEE J COBB is SO DEFINITELY GOING TO JAIL.

It's downright deliciously Dostoyevskian- one dumb act to get a Dame snowballs into something where there's no out for you, you stupid, stupid man.

(ed note: again, hahahahahahahahahaha)

I thought that whole beginning was written badly. I couldnt figure out what exactly her husband was planning. If he was planning to kill her, WHY did he leave the gun there? Why not just shoot her then and leave without returning???

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On 6/24/2018 at 3:21 PM, misswonderly3 said:

Ok, "The ManWho Cheated Himself". Notes:

Yes, I have to agree with all who have observed that Jane Wyatt has no sex appeal, and that it's hard to imagine her seducing anyone into doing anything for her. It's interesting, it's hard to pin down what makes a woman in these movies seductive and attractive, certainly enough to persuade normally "decent" men to break the law for them. I mean, it's not technically "beauty", since Babs Stanwyck is not as "pretty" as Jane Wyatt. I love Miss Stanwyck, but she is not what is "traditionally" called "beautiful" or even "pretty". Same with Joan Crawford. What these woman do have is a kind of magnetism, appeal, that makes you think they're beautiful while you're watching them. It doesn't matter if they're actually beautiful or not, they come across as irresistibly attractive, you believe they are, and that's what makes them credible "femmes fatales".

Now back to Jane Wyatt:  While technically, she's "prettier" than either Joan or Barbara (and others), you just don't believe she has the kind of strength of personality which would give her power over men. She's lightweight.  (And I don't mean her figure, although she is certainly trim and slim. )

This "lightweight" quality may explain why we're not convinced that Lt. Ed would go to such lengths to cover up her murder. There's no chemistry between Wyatt and Cobb. I just don't believe that he's head over heels in love, or even in lust, with her.

Anyway, other than that small flaw with the film, I really enjoyed "The Man Who Cheated Himself". Funny thing is, I'd seen it before and been unimpressed with it. I have a collection of obscure noirs on a sketchy DVD set I picked up in the early 2000s. I suspect the set's just barely legal - maybe back then nobody was as concerned with "rights" as they seem to be now. Regardless, I saw quite a few rare and little-known noirs thanks to that dubious DVD set, including this one. But I remember not liking "The Man Who Cheated Himself" that much with that earlier viewing. This time around, I found it very engaging.

The best thing about the film is the final scene, rather a long one for a noir made in 1950. I absolutely love that setting, the abandoned courtyard / prison/ whatthehellisitanyway?  anyway that mysterious place where Cobb and Wyatt hide out in tower while John Dall, who's convinced they're there somewhere, searches for them. Eddie was right to give kudos to the cinematographer, Russell Harlan. That scene alone would justify the entire movie; it's deliciously atmospheric and, well, noirish. I gather it's the same place where Kim Novak's character meets her fate in Vertigo, eight years later. But I didn't really recognize it, the tower looks different to me. 

It's the long shots of Dall walking through the corridors of this mystery place, and the silence - no soundtrack music, all you hear is the wind - that's so memorable. It's what one of my noir books calls a "terrain vague" : a nowhereland, a strange unpopulated place where the protagonist  - or the "bad guy" - usually meets his end. They're just eerie empty spaces, often old factories or warehouses, but also railway junctions or even amusement parks  (as in the ferris wheel in "The Third Man" or the Hall of Mirrors in "The Lady from Shanghai".)  I love these mysterious obscure places, they're one of my favourite things about noir.

 

Related image

What is this place?

 

Sorry, but I dont buy that about Wyatt. The movie doesnt give her anything to work with. After the initial scene (where she's stuck wearing a hideous, distracting outfit), she disappears for most of the middle of the film, only appearing at the very end. I thought she pulled off her final scene very well. She wasnt really much of a femme fatale in this because the part wasnt written that way. It became a brother vs. brother movie.

 

I did like the sequence at the above fort. but the capture after was really lackluster.

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I havent read all the responses, so forgive me if this has been mentioned. What gives with the 2 brothers sharing a BEDROOM???? (never mind that Cobb is old enough to be Dall's FATHER). Was cop pay that low back then??? I could see them sharing an apt maybe but a BEDROOM???????

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On 6/24/2018 at 4:52 PM, TheCid said:

As they said in the movie, it is Ft. Point.  An abandoned 19th century Army fort at foot of Golden Gate bridge.

While I enjoyed the movie, I found Dall's abilities to be a little exaggerated.  He must be the most brilliant detective in the world - ever.  Also, it would have taken him days to go through each of the rooms in Ft. Point, yet he supposedly did it in less than an hour, if that.  Even though he never found them, he still knew they were there and called in all those other police that Cobb never saw coming down the only road in.

Of course, if Jane Wyatt's lawyer is any good, she gets off on self-defense and Cobb gets off on mishandling a body.  Then all three take off together.

The movie either did not allow time or the director failed to develop the relationship between Cobb and Wyatt.  The hints are there.  Then again, Cobb is not a romantic lead in anything I have ever seen him in.  In a better film, there would have been something on how Cobb and Wyatt got involved, but then again there were lots of hints about him being a womanizer.  So we do not know how he met Wyatt or how much her millions played into his attraction to her.

I liked the ending scene in the courthouse where Wyatt is promising her lawyer a share of her millions to get her off and then Cobb offers a cigarette.  She has that interesting smile which says - yeah I know I told you I loved you and you helped with the murder, but you know, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  And Cobb just smiles back as in - ain't it the truth.

The Cars:  Cobb's was a Nash, which was very popular with police departments and movies about police.  Dall's wife's car was a Nash Rambler.  Essentially the beginning of the compact car in America though there were others that were not as successful.

 

Agree with your points. The relationship between Wyatt and Cobb wasnt developed well. I think it would've been a better film if there had been scenes in the beginning BEFORE her husband plans whatever he's planning. Everything was too rushed. And too much time spent on his brother!

 

And what would a socialite like Wyatt be interested in some cop anyway??? Unless she was planning something like this all along? (if so, that plot point, was never developed) How would they even meet?

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On 6/25/2018 at 9:49 AM, arpirose said:

FORT POINT is still standing, it's a Historic Landmark (for the time being). with the housing crisis in the Bay Area tho, it's only so long before it's condos.

FORT POINT IS IN THE PRESIDIO, WHICH  is a very valued historic and tourist attraction.  Unlike other cities, San Francisco takes its architectural  heritage very seriously.

And that's why the Fox theater was torn down in the early 60s? Just sayin'....

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17 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I havent read all the responses, so forgive me if this has been mentioned. What gives with the 2 brothers sharing a BEDROOM???? (never mind that Cobb is old enough to be Dall's FATHER). Was cop pay that low back then??? I could see them sharing an apt maybe but a BEDROOM???????

YES! THANK YOU!

WE got spammed hardcore on the boards this weekend, so i wasn't able to write up the movie while it was fresh in my mind, so i forgot details like that, but I MEANT TO BRING IT UP.

That was some WEIRD BERT AND ERNIE LEVEL STUFF, MAN.

(Even for the 50's)

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38 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I havent read all the responses, so forgive me if this has been mentioned. What gives with the 2 brothers sharing a BEDROOM???? (never mind that Cobb is old enough to be Dall's FATHER). Was cop pay that low back then??? I could see them sharing an apt maybe but a BEDROOM???????

Perhaps they could not afford another "set?"  Of course, why have the bedroom scene at all.  Why not do it in a living room, kitchen, etc.?

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

YES! THANK YOU!

WE got spammed hardcore on the boards this weekend, so i wasn't able to write up the movie while it was fresh in my mind, so i forgot details like that, but I MEANT TO BRING IT UP.

That was some WEIRD BERT AND ERNIE LEVEL STUFF, MAN.

(Even for the 50's)

LOL. Agree!

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