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Thoughts about SHOCKPROOF (1949)


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Okay I am still processing this film. Someone uploaded it on YouTube last night. I had seen it about five years ago when I was going through stuff written by Sam Fuller. But I had forgotten the ending.

Screen Shot 2021-02-25 at 8.54.56 AM

I really like this lead actress, Patricia Knight, who was married to star Cornel Wilde at the time. She only made five or six movies which is a shame. She has a real presence and in this story gets to play a blonde and a brunette. As a blonde she does resemble Wilde's second wife Jean Wallace, so he clearly had a "type."

John Baragrey, the actor who plays the criminal hood is someone I hadn't heard of before, and he has a limited filmography as well. But he's very good. 

I read an article that talked about director Douglas Sirk's contribution to the picture, which I found convincing enough...but I still think Fuller's stamp is on it more than anyone, due to the lurid aspects of the drama and some of the campy dialogue spoken by the female characters. I've always felt Fuller had a unique interpretation of women, especially "dames" in these kinds of tales.

After I finished watching, I started to analyze what goes into a Columbia noir especially from this time period. I love THE MOB (1951) which was made a short time afterward by the studio. They tend to have contrived but entertaining set-ups and the endings are always neat and tidy, even when you think these characters can't possibly overcome the odds.

Thoughts...?

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I don't remember it Ill watch it and see if I recall it.

I just watched it, I'd seen it before and the ending was really contrived, and they all lived happily ever after, lol.  

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16 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I don't remember it Ill watch it and see if I recall it.

I just watched it, I'd seen it before and the ending was really contrived, and they all lived happily ever after, lol.  

The ending was a rewrite, not how Sam Fuller had originally intended it to be. I guess the studio was afraid audiences wouldn't go for a downbeat conclusion.

The most unrealistic part of this revised ending is that Wilde's character gets off the hook for everything-- including having married a parolee he is in charge of, and not reporting that to his superiors. Then there's the fact that he's been on the run for days/weeks and couldn't have been carrying out the other duties of his job while he was away. Yet he seems to be facing no real consequences for any of his actions.

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11 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The ending was a rewrite, not how Sam Fuller had originally intended it to be. I guess the studio was afraid audiences wouldn't go for a downbeat conclusion.

The most unrealistic part of this revised ending is that Wilde's character gets off the hook for everything-- including having married a parolee he is in charge of, and not reporting that to his superiors. Then there's the fact that he's been on the run for days/weeks and couldn't have been carrying out the other duties of his job while he was away. Yet he seems to be facing no real consequences for any of his actions.

What was Fuller's original ending? Shockproof reminded me of Tomorrow Is Another Day lovers on the run with a similar kumbaya ending.

 

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5 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

What was Fuller's original ending? Shockproof reminded me of Tomorrow Is Another Day lovers on the run with a similar kumbaya ending.

 

In Samuel Fuller's original script, the film ended with a violent rebellion by Marat against the system that kept him and Marsh apart. The studio had National Velvet scriptwriter Helen Deutsch step in to pen a soft-suds rewrite.

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Thanks James. Yes, our two lovers were not supposed to end up together and Wilde's character was not supposed to hold on to his job.

Basically it would have been an unhappy ending that made a big social statement, a la Fuller.

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