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MissGoddess

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[Arkadin] -- Leave it to the French to put Timothy Carey front-and-center of a Cassavetes film poster. They've got taste! Thanks.

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Hi, Bronxie -- What Basehart films have you seen?

 

 

I wonder what Miss G will think of Tension?

 

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Hi, Frankie! Haven't seen TENSION; saw MOBY DICK and LA STRADA. I think a few others, but I can't remember. Was he in 14 HOURS? Having a brain freeze right now. Richard didn't age well -- he looked almost as bad as the formerly gorgeous Bill Holden -- I'm thinking of him in the t.v. show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Basehart's beautiful speaking voice remained intact, though.

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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Miss G saw Tension and LIKED Tension! (Right now I'm watching it again with the commentary track) I give this movie the highest possible marks for complete unpredictability. Seldom has any film kept me guessing what would happen next. And because it was Richard Basehart playing the part, I felt complete sympathy. As I've said before, he has a sort of vulnerable quality like Alan Ladd that completely disarms my potential contempt for any weaknesses. I don't know why this is suspended in Fonda's case---I don't feel sorry for his weenies. Anyway, back to Tension---Audrey's character was almost as hard-core as the woman in DETOUR and there was no reason at any point to feel sympathy for her, contrary to what that Haskell woman said about her. Did Barry Sullivan's cop really fall for her or was he playing her the whole time? I got the feeling he regretted having to arrest her at the end.

 

I liked Cyd Charisse's character and Tom d'Andrea was sweet as Basehart's loyal employee and friend. I dislike intensely the stupid remarks made by the commentators about him---why are people so weird today? I don't see ANY of the stuff they read into everything. Maybe I am really too naive, maybe all that weird stuff is going on in noir movies but I don't want to know unless it's confirmed by the writers and director. I don't like the imposition of modern mores and perspective which a lot of critics and commentators are guilty of. There is Audrey Totter who could be saying so much and she barely has been allowed to say two words. I like commentaries that go into the actual details of how it was shot, based either by the personal experience of participants or on production records and extensive research.

 

All in all, a very good film noir and a great example of how underrated Basehart (and Audrey Totter) is as an actor.

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[Arkadin] -- You're on a roll with me. First, my favorite Method Madman, Timothy Carey. And now, my favorite noir, *Gun Crazy* aka *Deadly Is the Female* and my favorite non-English language noir, *Ossessione* , which for me beats the Garnett/Garfield/Turner version by a mile. To quote Henry Gibson, "Keep a'goin'."

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Hi, Miss Gun For Hire -- Miss G saw Tension and LIKED Tension!

 

I really wasn't sure as to what your opinion was going to be about this film. Of the seven I've seen in the recent Warner box set, this is the weakest for me. I love Totter in the film and I kind of like Sullivan's grey cop, but the story just didn't move me as much as it did you. I'm glad you enjoyed the film so much, though. I like it when you enjoy noirs.

 

And because it was Richard Basehart playing the part, I felt complete sympathy. As I've said before, he has a sort of vulnerable quality like Alan Ladd that completely disarms my potential contempt for any weaknesses. I don't know why this is suspended in Fonda's case---I don't feel sorry for his weenies.

 

I agree with you. Of the Basehart films I have seen, he's very adept at conveying vulnerability. Fonda, the weenie, didn't excel in this area.

 

Audrey's character was almost as hard-core as the woman in DETOUR and there was no reason at any point to feel sympathy for her, contrary to what that Haskell woman said about her.

 

Well lookie here, I'm agreeing with you again. I guess we can get along a little after all. Totter was a selfish tramp... which is why I loved her in this film. She really did put on a femme fatale show. I was completely into her rottenness.

 

Did Barry Sullivan's cop really fall for her or was he playing her the whole time? I got the feeling he regretted having to arrest her at the end.

 

I think he did, too. Sullivan was really on the creepy side to me. Very two-faced.

 

I liked Cyd Charisse's character and Tom d'Andrea was sweet as Basehart's loyal employee and friend.

 

Okay, it's challenge time for the Goddess. If you knew that your friend's husband was cheating on her, would you tell her? Would you cover for the husband if he asked you to?

 

I dislike intensely the stupid remarks made by the commentators about him---why are people so weird today? I don't see ANY of the stuff they read into everything. Maybe I am really too naive, maybe all that weird stuff is going on in noir movies but I don't want to know unless it's confirmed by the writers and director. I don't like the imposition of modern mores and perspective which a lot of critics and commentators are guilty of.

 

I've got stars in my eyes.

 

I like commentaries that go into the actual details of how it was shot, based either by the personal experience of participants or on production records and extensive research.

 

Why is it that I feel like I'm about ready to be called a bad word? I actually prefer film analysis commentaries the most. I like to read similar film analysis on this board, too.

 

I think you are pretty good at film analysis yourself. You're very good at opining on character motivations. You smacked me pretty good with the Hollingsways. The High Noon triangle that I still haven't shared my complete feelings on is an example of film analysis. It's nothing but speculation by all of us, but I find this to be fun and fascinating. You may read a character or story slightly different than I may. That's why I wanna hear your words more than I want to hear my own. You are the same way. You want to hear my words, Pandora. That's why I enjoy talking about a film after I watch it. I can't just say to myself, "well, that was fun" and move on. I have to babble. I happen to love babbling with you about films.

 

So do you dislike all suppositions on film or is it that you dislike the manner in which some dispense their suppositions? I'm thinking your angst is more with the "know-it-alls." So do you think I'm a know-it-all? Don't answer that, Miss Intellectual in Disguise.

 

By the way, I do like learning about the production of a film and the bios of those who made the film, but this can get dry for me after awhile. The noir commentaries are almost always my speed. They tend to feature a mixture of analysis (meanings and look) and background. The Tension commentary was on the loose side. I don't think Silver and Ward value the film all that much. There's a lot of "tongue-in-cheek" going on.

 

All in all, a very good film noir and a great example of how underrated Basehart (and Audrey Totter) is as an actor.

 

DianaBat also liked Basehart in the film, so maybe women are drawn to him and his character more.

 

You comin'?

 

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Other than the Totter scenes, this was my favorite scene in Tension

 

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Hey, BronxGirl -- Yes, Richard Basehart was in the underrated 14 Hours.

 

 

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14 Hours is also known for the big screen debut of a certain Princess

 

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Hi, ChiO -- my favorite non-English language noir, Ossessione , which for me beats the Garnett/Garfield/Turner version by a mile.

 

Ossessione is one of my favorite foreign-language films of all time. It's brimming with sweaty passion. I haven't seen all of the The Postman Always Rings Twice, but it's gonna have to be pretty darn good to top Ossessione with me. I do like John Garfield and I'm pretty sure I'll end up liking Lana Turner, too.

 

 

Visconti's Ossessione

 

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Hey, Arkadin -- This Sudden Fear film, is that the one that stars Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, and... I seem to be drawing a blank. I think it's a girl with blonde hair. Do you know who I'm talking about?

 

 

Wait a second, I think she just walked in.

 

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Ohhhh, that's right, it's her, that girl. That very naughty Gloria Grahame.

 

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"Thanks. Thanks a lot." "Thanks for what?" "For still loving me."

 

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"I'll turn him inside out."

 

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"Why don't you use that key I gave you and come over. We've got lots to talk about."

 

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Basehart is an actor with a very elusive persona---he disappears quite deeply into his characters which is probably what keeps me at a distance when I would prefer to get "closer". My own appeal for him is for weird reasons I've already mentioned. But the more I see of his movies the more I am coming to appreciate his unique skills. Thank you for posting the 14 Hours screencaps, as that's the first movie I ever saw of his. I was deeply moved by his character---he really made an impression. Poor thing.

 

Okay, it's challenge time for the Goddess. If you knew that your friend's husband was cheating on her, would you tell her? Would you cover for the husband if he asked you to?

 

I absolutely would NOT tell my friend but I wouldn't go out of my way to "cover" for the husband either. I firmly believe in staying out of other people's business and in what you don't know won't hurt you, especially if it's about flings. In her place, I would not want to know. For my peace of mind---for his health.

 

So do you dislike all suppositions on film or is it that you dislike the manner in which some dispense their suppositions? I'm thinking your angst is more with the "know-it-alls."

 

The thing with film commentaries is they are not discussions, they are intimately tied to the film itself and this gives them the aura of a definitive analysis. Very, very few of the participants in commentaries I've listened to so far (and I admit I've only heard about 15 or 20) have had the humility to preface their statements with disclaimers like "this is only my point-of-view," or "this is one way to look at it". No, they're usually quite adamant and someone unsure of their own analytical abilities might be persuaded into adopting their pre-digested opinions. I could take anything they had to say if they would present it in a fair and more objective manner. It's different, though, in a discussion. Then, irrational emotionalism, such as mine, should be excused.

 

So do you think I'm a know-it-all? Don't answer that, Miss Intellectual in Disguise.

 

I'll think you're something worse if you continue to call me by such disgusting names. :P

 

By the way, my favorite part of the film was when Milk-Sop Boy turned into Flash-Man-of-the-World and bought those fancy sports jackets and got a hot car. I almost felt sorry for Audrey when she saw his "new life", considering he never exhibited any of that flash for her. I don't know if you picked up on it either, if anyone but me reads this into Cyd Charisse's character, but she seemed to be alot like "Warren" was with Audrey---responding to someone who was witholding his love. Ah, humans are so perverse! We only want what we can't have!

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Hi, BronxGirl -- Are you getting a DVD player? I saw you mention that on a thread about a month ago. I hope that you do.

 

Hey, Arkadin -- You're gonna keep getting love from me for all the posters you continue to share with us. It's been highly entertaining to me.

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Hi, Miss Gun For Hire -- I absolutely would NOT tell my friend but I wouldn't go out of my way to "cover" for the husband either. I firmly believe in staying out of other people's business and in what you don't know won't hurt you, especially if it's about flings. In her place, I would not want to know. For my peace of mind---for his health.

 

I'm not surprised by your answer, nor do I think it's a wrong answer.

 

As for me, I'd tell you if your husband was cheating on you but I would have a serious tug-of-war inside of myself before I did so. The only way I wouldn't tell you is if I knew I could convince your husband to end the adulterous affair or if I thought it would ruin you emotionally for a long, long time. It would be an awful spot to be placed in.

 

My one aunt had to face the above situation in real life. She found out my uncle's fiancee was cheating on him. She was torn on what to do. She chose to tell her brother and the wedding was called off. It ended up being the right decision.

 

The thing with film commentaries is they are not discussions, they are intimately tied to the film itself and this gives them the aura of a definitive analysis.

 

I think you're partially right. There are commentary tracks that feature more than one person and they sometimes turn into mini-discussions. But I think you are very right about the solo commentary tracks.

 

Very, very few of the participants in commentaries I've listened to so far (and I admit I've only heard about 15 or 20) have had the humility to preface their statements with disclaimers like "this is only my point-of-view," or "this is one way to look at it". No, they're usually quite adamant and someone unsure of their own analytical abilities might be persuaded into adopting their pre-digested opinions. I could take anything they had to say if they would present it in a fair and more objective manner.

 

Excellent point. I happen to agree with everything you said.

 

The key words for me are "someone unsure of their own analytical abilities might be persuaded into adopting their pre-digested opinions." That's a home run with me. I'm someone who thinks for himself with most everything, so I don't consume everything I hear or read as fact. I consider commentary tracks as more opinion than anything. It's film theory to me. I love film theory. But just because Eddie Muller says something about a scene doesn't mean I think it's automatically right. Having said that, his points are often quite valid to me.

 

I'm just glad you actually give commentary tracks a chance. Not many people do. It shows to me that you do want to learn a little more about a film than just your own feelings and thoughts, although it's your own feelings and thoughts that matter most, particularly with me.

 

DVD commentary tracks and featurettes have really helped me climb the classic film ladder much quicker than I could have done without them. I've learned so very much in a short amount of time.

 

It's different, though, in a discussion. Then, irrational emotionalism, such as mine, should be excused.

 

Irrational emotionalism? Are you kidding me? I have yet to see that from you. Not once. Sure, you are emotional, but I think your emotions are quite rational, quite pertinent. I love 'em.

 

By the way, my favorite part of the film was when Milk-Sop Boy turned into Flash-Man-of-the-World and bought those fancy sports jackets and got a hot car. I almost felt sorry for Audrey when she saw his "new life", considering he never exhibited any of that flash for her.

 

That's an interesting point. I thought Claire (Audrey Totter) was the type of woman who would never be happy. She was restless and preferred possessions over love. Warren (Richard Basehart) was the exact opposite. He wanted love and to please her any which way he could. She was definitely using him. Would Claire have become faithful with the "new" Warren? I don't think so. She'd get bored with him, too. All she cared about was her own happiness, no one else's. Warren rather have seen Claire happy because that's what made him happy. It was a losing battle.

 

I don't know if you picked up on it either, if anyone but me reads this into Cyd Charisse's character, but she seemed to be alot like "Warren" was with Audrey---responding to someone who was witholding his love.

 

This is why I like talking film, especially with you. Yet another interesting point. I actually think Mary (Cyd Charisse) liked "Paul" (Warren's alter-ego) for himself, although his "himself" wasn't himself. Mary was upset when she found out she was being deceived by the man she had fallen in love with, but she didn't want to believe it to be true because she truly loved him. She decided to trust her gut instincts and place faith in him. She was right in the end.

 

Mary also liked Warren as Warren. He didn't have to become "Paul" for her to love him. There was no need to make her love him like he was attempting to do with Claire. No make-over was needed with Mary. True love. Uh-oh, I think my hopeless romantic side is showing.

 

Tension is a story about selfish (wavering) love and unselfish (unwavering) love. I think the two different dolls in the film say it all.

 

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"Well it happens to be only me."

 

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Claire is a store-bought, expensive doll and Mary is a homemade simple doll. This is where my old soul comes out, I like simple, old-fashioned romance over all else. It's home-cookin', baby.

 

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Warren/Paul: Do you see it?

 

Mary: Hmm? What?

 

Warren/Paul: That faraway island.

 

Mary: I see it. It's beautiful, but you're not on it.

 

Warren/Paul: I've been looking for it all my life.

 

Mary: You don't know how to look. Let me show you. See it?

 

Warren/Paul: Yeah. Yeah.

 

Mary: You see, it's easy. There we are.

 

Warren/Paul: We happy?

 

Mary: Only on weekends. The rest of the week, you traipse around from island to island selling a set of cosmetics.

 

Warren/Paul: Out there, too?

 

Mary: Yeah.

 

Warren/Paul: I gotta cut that out.

 

Mary: Be sure that you do. How long is it that we've been out there?

 

Warren/Paul: Oh, let's see. Ten years, twenty.

 

Mary: And you still love me?

 

Warren/Paul: I still love you.

 

They share a quick kiss and then a longer, passionate one.

 

Mary: We could make it real.

 

Warren/Paul: Yeah, real. If this were an island. You... and me... It's the right girl with the wrong guy. Sorry, wrong guy.

 

Mary: It can be real, Paul. It can be real.

 

Of course, "Paul" is not real. Warren is real. Would Mary like Warren?

 

 

 

I think the sweetest moment in the film is when Mary stuffs the little pipe cleaner (wire) figure of herself in Warren's pocket.

 

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Thank you for explaining the business about the "dolls". I had no idea what they signified.

 

I still think this movie depicts the constant love scenario of wanting someone you can't have. Basehart's character never seems to really want Cyd Charisse until that very last segment. See, in some ways you are more of a die-hard romantic than I. ;)

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I still think this movie depicts the constant love scenario of wanting someone you can't have. Basehart's character never seems to really want Cyd Charisse until that very last segment.

 

You still think wrong. Well, that's what Richard Schickel told me to tell you.

 

Here comes some more agreeing/disagreeing with you. Warren (Basehart) had Claire (Totter). He was married to her. He was doing everything he could for her. The thing was, she was using him as a safety blanket. She really didn't want what he wanted, like a home with a white picket fence.

 

Should Warren have realized this before he married her? Probably. Was she always like this before he married her? Probably. That's the part where I agree with you. Warren wanted Claire even though he could never truly have her love. That's the something he could never have. I doubt anyone could. Warren did have her in other ways, though.

 

I think the reason why Warren didn't latch onto Mary right away was because he wasn't over Claire. She was his wife and he was completely infatuated with her. That's not an easy chain to break. It actually took Claire being arrested for him to wake up. And even then, is he really over Claire? If he's smart, yes. But the odds are, he was still dumb on some level. Love can be a very strange phenomenon.

 

Ah, humans are so perverse! We only want what we can't have!

 

I wanted to comment on this in my prior post but I forgot to. I completely agree with you on this one. Did you read that, "completely agree"? Closed doors fascinate the vast majority of people and locked doors really drive some people crazy.

 

See, in some ways you are more of a die-hard romantic than I.

 

Could it be that this noir guy may be more of a hopeless romantic than even you, Miss Gone with the Wind?

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Could it be that this noir guy may be more of a hopeless romantic than even you, Miss Gone with the Wind?

 

A few years ago there is no way that could have been true. But today, I am beginning to suspect Rhett is better off without our Miss Scarlett. And it wounds me to admit it! And yet here is another instance of wanting what you can't have---in the course of the film he admits that he alway knew she was "rotten" but like Belle Watling (his friend & prostitute) tells him, "You're poisoned with her."

 

I bet if Mary wises up and started giving Warren/Paul a hard time he'd go absolutely over the edge for her. I hope she was smart enough not to keep on being so nice to him. But I don't know, girls named Mary are notoriously unselfish. ;)

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Hi, Miss Gun For Hire -- A few years ago there is no way that could have been true. But today, I am beginning to suspect Rhett is better off without our Miss Scarlett. And it wounds me to admit it! And yet here is another instance of wanting what you can't have---in the course of the film he admits that he alway knew she was "rotten" but like Belle Watling (his friend & prostitute) tells him, "You're poisoned with her."

 

You are more of a hopeless romantic than I when it comes to films. Far more. I like that. The real world stuff is arguable, although I'd still give you the edge in that department, too. It's pretty darn close, though.

 

I bet if Mary wises up and started giving Warren/Paul a hard time he'd go absolutely over the edge for her. I hope she was smart enough not to keep on being so nice to him. But I don't know, girls named Mary are notoriously unselfish.

 

You really don't like these "nice" girls, do you? I actually thought Mary was being herself in the film. That was just her personality. You know, "super sweet." Claire was the exact opposite. Sex is how she won favor with men, not sweetness. Mary's little pipe-cleaner figure of herself was stuffed in Warren's pocket, which was directly in front of his heart. Claire had her hands in other pockets and places.

 

From Fallen Angel:

 

"We were born to tread the Earth as angels, to seek out heaven this side of the sky, but they who race alone shall stumble in the dark and fall from grace. Then love alone can make the fallen angel rise, for only two together can enter paradise."

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Miss Goddess -- I don't dislike the "nice" girl characters, I just can't help but worry about them---you have to be on your toes with a man, any man. "Being yourself" without also being wise can be a recipe for disaster in a relationship.

 

I can't argue with that. Hey, I'm agreeing with you again. I better knock this stuff off.

 

The little pipe-cleaner business was so wonderful for a movie. In real life I wonder how many men would even understand it? Someone older probably, but not necessarily a young man like Warren who responds so strongly to a woman like Claire. It's just my point of view, I'm not saying it is right or wrong, just what I've observed and experienced.

 

There are many, many men out there who respond to sweet and cute acts of affection from women that they are attracted to. Any sign of attention from a lady usually elicits a response from a guy if he likes the gal. They will notice. Of course, you've observed and experienced more than I in this world, so I respectfully heed your words.

 

Tension is a very deep film! I want to show it to my "femme fatale" friend, boy will she have plenty to say about these characters. Ha!

 

Ahhh, Femme Fatale. What a pair you two make. Wait a minute, I still believe it is you who is the actual femme fatale. You're not foolin' me one bit, Miss Gun For Hire. Some of us guys need to stay on our toes, too, you know.

 

Who wrote that quote from Fallen Angel? It doesn't really make much sense to me I must confess. I still have not figured out who is the fallen one of the title.

 

From Fallen Angel:

 

Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews): June, why don't you just go on home?

 

June Mills (Alice Faye): We're married. Remember? Besides, I... I want to be with you.

 

Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews): Why?

 

June Mills (Alice Faye): I need you, Eric.

 

Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews): You need me?

 

June Mills (Alice Faye): Yes. You're my husband and I'm your wife.

 

Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews): Right out of a book. Again.

 

June Mills (Alice Faye): Yes... out of a book.

 

June Mills (Alice Faye) then says these words:

 

"We were born to tread the Earth as angels, to seek out heaven this side of the sky, but they who race alone shall stumble in the dark and fall from grace. Then love alone can make the fallen angel rise, for only two together can enter paradise."

 

The passage is about loneliness and finding love.

 

June is the "Fallen Angel." She was a very pure church girl who never got her nose dirty but she was also very lonely and without male love. When Eric entered her life, she initially viewed him with great skepticism but she was also turned on by his showing great interest in her. This is something she hadn't experienced in her life before. The only thing really holding her back was her own fear of leaving her safe world. Well, she decided to tear down her walls and take the plunge. She was an angel who had fallen in love for the first time in her life and she wasn't going to let it go at any cost.

 

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Alice Faye's character gets short shrift from the editing...she never quite springs to life for me and it's no fault of the actress. Moreover, the minute Linda Darnell's "Stella" enters the picture, I don't think the best editing in the world could change the fact that she's much more interesting and charismatic to watch than "June".

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