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THE LOCKET (1946) Sat Oct 13


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The commonly held notion that every black and white film made before 1970 is a "B" movie is a maddeningly idiotic one at best, and THE LOCKET, a sumptuous 1946 noir classic from RKO is a prime example of that particularly misconstrued paradigm. (The similarly held notion that "B" films are inferior to "A" films in the first place is another source of consternation, but that's a whole topic in itself.) It airs on TCM this coming Saturday, October 13.

 

THE LOCKET is perhaps one of the most seriously misunderstood and underrated films of the 1940's. Stylishly directed by the brilliant John Brahm, THE LOCKET is a prestige "A" production in virtually every respect, outshining many of its better-known noir cousins in the process. Boasting its notorious "flashback within a flashback within a flashback" structure, the film is a visually mesmerizing, thematically vibrant psychological melodrama. Nancy Monks (Larraine Day) is a young woman who has been emotionally scarred by a childhood event, one that has serious and homicidal repercussions in her later life. Through a succession of relationships (most notably with Robert Mitchum as a struggling, arrogant artist and Brian Aherne as an altruistic physician) Nancy leaves a trail of misery and death in her wake and her eventual comeuppance is a cinematic tour de force that will leave astute viewers breathless and heartbroken.

 

THE LOCKET deserves a much better reputation than it seems to have and hopefully it will find a place in one of Warner Home Video's upcoming film noir box sets. It far surpasses many of the films already included. Don't miss it!

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Professor Dewey -- The Locket is the film I've been wanting to see the most this month. Your prior recommendation of the film really increased my want, too.

 

I didn't read your post on this thread, though. Why? Because you usually don't know what the heck you are talking about, so I just skim. You buyin' that? Actually, professor, I'm trying to avoid any words on the film right now. I can't wait to see it.

 

Arkadin -- Keep posting those noir posters. I absolutely love them.

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FF sez: "Hey if Robert Mitchum's in it, it's can't-miss noir."

 

Right you are. Despite the fact that Mitchum's role in THE LOCKET is a supporting one, he nonetheless nearly steals the film from everyone else with one of the best of his early performances. Keep in mind this is a full year before OUT OF THE PAST cemented the deal for Mitch. The impression he made on movie-goers in THE LOCKET must have been quite an eye-opening experience; his charisma is undeniable -- and the perfect lead-in to a career that defies conventinal description or rational explanation.

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>THE LOCKET deserves a much better reputation than it seems to have and hopefully it will find a place in one of Warner Home Video's upcoming film noir box sets. It far surpasses many of the films already included. Don't miss it!

 

I agree. This is a great noir movie! It's very unusual, has a good unusual plot. Everyone movie buff should see this film!

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I just watched this. It was interesting. Parts of it reminded me of "Rebecca" and "Suspicion" but with the genders switched. It also felt close to "Spellbound" with the interest in psychiatry.

 

I guess my problem was that I had confused the film with "Ivy" and so I expected the film's Nancy to be more of a femme fatale and thus the ending would be more final instead of leaving the door open to a therapeutic solution. Certainly, the film goes farther than most other noirs in generating sympathy for its femme fatale and doesn't simply condemn her at the end.

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I can't believe it, Dewey and Film, I missed it this morning!

 

CONSARNIT!

 

I set my alarm but slept through a few more hours. (well, I had an exhausting time what with looking for an apt. in Chicago and all, I guess...)

 

Godfrey Daniel.

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It's a good thing MR. SARDONICUS wasn't shown, because I can't watch that; it frightens me,

Ditto (to a lesser degree) HOMICIDAL. I liked Joan in STRAIGHTJACKET (see Films and Filmmakers) and I always enjoy 13 GHOSTS; those apparitions could only scare 5 year olds, but I really love the cozy domesticity of the family, and of course Margaret Hamilton gives it a wonderfully referential atmospheric tone.

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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