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BRONXGIRL'S MOTHER, HENRY FONDA'S HIRSUTENESS, ETC.


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On 9/12/2021 at 4:09 PM, laffite said:

I see. Gosh, why do I feel you are out of place in California. You have also recently mentioned that you also lived in Southern California. You are so Bronx and so Florida. Which is of a feather. New Yorkers often relocate to Florida in later life, yes? Well, hey, you get around. Now we need to get you to the Riviera.

I don't know much about SF. My father was military and we were in New Haven, Connecticut, and then to Rhode Island. Then to Alameda, CA (across the bay from SF, as you know) when I was 7-9 years old. Too young by far to gallivanting around the city. When i was discharged from the Navy in '67 from Treasure Island I lingered in the Bay area for a week or two before returning to San Diego. The morning I was discharged I went straight to a bar and watched the seventh game of the World Series, when MY Red Sox fell to the Cardinals. In about '68, my mother and I and sister drove to SF for a outing/vacation. We visited Haight-Ashbury and I had lots of lots of pictures of hippies. I was a nerd in comparison and regarded them with curiosity. One pretty girl with a painted face mockingly flirted with me and assumed provocative poses. I don't remember what we did there besides that, how disappointing. I'll curb the ramble, it is all by saying that I know hardly a jot about my native town.

What part of SF did you live, as if I might I know where you are talking about. And for how long?

I always had a hankering to live primarily in Southern California; don't know when San Francisco took primary attention but it did, so after the death of my father in 1969 that's where I headed.  Frankly, it wasn't the best experience of my life -- I don't think I ever really felt settled there.   Moved around the city -- I think my mind even now is blocking the addresses -- resided around Market Street I believe.  Lots of hills...I worked at a bank and had a roommate for a short while.  Then I got fed up and left for Hollywood in the late '70's.  This was more compatible in the long run.  Made a few good friends and hobnobbed with some people in the horror film industry.   It was fun, but oh that smog!  Horrible!  SoCal was a much better fit for me. 

Midwesterners retire to Florida's west coast and New Yorkers gravitate towards the Atlantic side.  But my family had been in the Sunshine state since the 1950's -- my grandmother moved down there around that time, followed by her son and his family (Uncle George, Aunt Elaine and my cousins) Florida was truly a paradise back then.  We visited often from the Bronx, then after Mom remarried she and her new husband relocated to Boca.

The Riviera I guess will have to wait... 

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On 9/12/2021 at 3:44 PM, laffite said:

I was incredulous of the McKittrick Hotel scene. We actually saw her in the window, yes? But she was not there. That could kill the movie right there.  And as you intimate, there are conventional ways that could have met. How about simple flirtation? Madelaine would have succeeded. If she were a dog then maybe she would have to jump in the bay to get his attention. Why was Judy/Madeleine hanging around San Francisco, she is an accomplice to murder. Or is she supposed to be continuing her affair with Elston? But how could that be, Elston seems pretty well off, he could have kept her and she wouldn't have to work?  How did Elster get his murdered wife up the tower. He is not a young man, but even Hercules would have be challenged. It was necessary for the murder plot for Scottie to bring "Madeleine" to the tower, yet it wasn't Madeleine who initiated the idea, it was Scottie. How can you realistically count on that? It should have Madeline's idea perhaps, more realistic that way? But just in case it turns out okay, I'll kill my wife and carry her up the tower. He must have smothered her to death to fix the autopsy report. Why not just propose a trip to the Tower, smother her there and throw her down. No, this fantastical murder scheme instead. Murphy's Law does not exist. A myriad of things to go wrong but there is none. Scottie did not suddenly fall in love with Judy.  He noticed a resemblance and was astonished by it. It became obsession, not love.

Those who love this movie evidently don't care about the plot. And they might have a point. The movie plays well, especially in the early going. The story moves very slowly and the plot holes are not immediately apparent. The beginning is quintessential Hitchcock, quixotic and disturbing, the falling to death of a policeman and the trauma involved for Scottie, etc. Scottie being hired to track a spouse, typical stuff of noir.  The following of Madelaine, often with nothing be said at all, is very seductive. It easily draws you in, Carlotta is an intrigue which serves the story, at least up to now.. The McKittrick incident is bothersome but suspension of disbelief is easily invoked, who knows that might be explained later. Madeleine attempted suicide is no shock, we have already been told that she might be suicidal. There was never doubt that they would fall in love. Typical love story and typical in a noir setting. Even when, in Scottie's POV, she jumps to her death does not give pause. We remember she is suicidal. Then the inquest, my memory fails completely with that. Somewhere along the line something happens that make us question the overall plot and I am not sure when that first happens. The point being that the movie plays well for a long, long, time at which time we are still unaware that we have led on a wild goose chase.

Hitchcock, whether he realizes it or not, could be accused of holding his audience in contempt. He strings us along with an apparently great story and so beautifully rendered only to invalidate it. It's no fair to create a great story if it ultimately falls flat. Anybody can do that. How many novelists and screenplay writers have had to give up a project because it doesn't work in the end. Not Hitch, dazzle us with your obviously brilliant cinematic story telling, then show us that there is no foundation for it. If this screenplay had been a thesis of higher education, it would have received an F.

 

 

 

 

 

What also baffles me, in addition to what you bring up, is how Judy managed to keep her job of three years while apparently spending so much time with Elster.   How could they have occasionally met at her hotel (so close to the department store) without anyone knowing their association?  How long before she met him did Gavin start planning his wife's death?  How many days did Judy take off her job to be with him.  Where did they go for the trysts?  Surely not his apartment, even with wifey being away so much in the country, neighbors would notice and get suspicious. 

We do see Madeline at the hotel window.  From the way the manager acts, it doesn't appear this woman is "in" on anything, but of course, we don't know for sure.  And yes, surely Judy didn't have to jump into the bay.  Maybe she told Elster she would think of something dramatic to get Scottie's attention and at the last minute dreamed up the bay jump -- so perhaps that's the reason Gavin seemed shocked over the phone when Scottie told him.

I as well am not certain when the story fell apart for me. 

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Laffite here, resident thread killer, this is not a deep apology at all but only a cursory one, and I know I shouldn't apologize a all. But yes, perhaps a too exuberant cavalcade of posts some of which rather unsightly photoshopping (I am remembering that this was a number of settings on the photoshop function of a previous cell phone. Not that great, eh?) Anyway, the thought I had is somewhat what a Chekhovian character oft utters in the plays after a party or something and everyone has fled, "They're gone." Usually there are only one or two characters present at this point, main characters no doubt, and there is a usually silence of a sort of melancholy or sadness, a sense of abandonment, that is a quintessential Chekhovian mood. And yet, there is no abandonment. And this is not Chekhov.

Looking for explanations could entail impute the influence of either Surrealism and/or fantasy. But how to pull that off without distraction. Another is having Elster portrayed as some kind of Mad Professor type who is obsessed with committing crimes with elaborate elements for the sheer joy of it. Getting rid of his wife, however, being absolutely necessary to him might have fallen in the category, do it cleanly, intelligently, without too many risks. But this is boring to mad professors. It must be done with panache. Hence, a tortured and wholly fantastical plan right out of Mission Impossible. But it can't work (Hitch would say), nothing must detract from Scottie's own obsession. So important is that, that Hitch in a highly controversial move, has Judy spill the beans with the plot. The audience must not be distracted whether or not Judy is or is not Madeleine, the audience must have that out of the way so it can share in the creepiness of the makeover.  Maybe that's where story begins to dishevel. If Madeleine and Judy are the same person, Madeleine doesn't make any sense. ("Okay, Judy, so when he follows you the art gallery, just go in and sit there for 45 minutes."  "That long?" ... ... After you get in the McKittrick, just disappear."  "How do I do that?" "You'll think of something." ... ... "Can't I just meet him by flirting with him?" "Too boring. Jump in the bay and do it at the Golden Gate. We need a good backdrop, it's more cinematic that way. You can swim, can't you?"
 

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Re: Judy spilling the beans. According to "lore", after an early preview Hitchcock rethought the letter writing scene in which Judy revealed the whole plot. In discussions, he had some support for (and some resistance to) the idea of not revealing such an important plot point that early. He decided to cut the scene but somehow, at the studio level, there was a royal proclamation that the scene should stay and so it did. I remember noticing Judy's necklace before the Scotty character did, which is such a Hitchcock thing, letting the audience see something other characters on the screen don't, at least at first. I think Hitchcock may have been right in deciding to axe the letter scene, and it's too bad he was thwarted. Without foreknowledge, seeing that necklace could have been a real punch in the gut for the audience.

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1 hour ago, DougieB said:

I think Hitchcock may have been right in deciding to axe the letter scene, and it's too bad he was thwarted.

That's a real bombshell comment. So it wasn't Hitch, then. (according to lore)

OVERKILL ALERT.  Still have Scottie notice the necklace. Judy denies she was Madeleine.  But Scottie is sure and this tweaks his obsession. His anxiety goes up a notch. The audience is left to decide but either way it has not been absolutely confirmed. During the drive towards the Tower, Scottie is railing at her but she doesn't give. Then she confesses out of the car. She swears her love for him. He doesn't respond to her love and she thinks he may kill her. She breaks away him from ascends the tower thinking that he cannot follow. It is still not absolutely certain even after she falls. Final scene: Scottie back at the hospital in a catatonic state.

(optiional Midge is in the room with him as before. She says, "At least now she's really gone, whoever the damn hell she is. He's all mine now." :lol:

***

i know, i know, we should talk about something else now

 

 

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5 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

The biggest mystery could actually be why Midge broke off their three week engagement back in college.

Really good point. Why was Scotty so resistant to Midge "that way", when she was so obviously throwing herself at him? Something back then apparently changed their relationship forever. Hitchcock didn't really give her a lot of space, so she just comes off as kind of needy and whiney. I wonder if there was an equivalent Midge character in that elusive "French book" that's behind all this, because there could be some back story. I haven't seen it, but supposedly the DVD and Blu-ray have an alternate ending discovered sometime in the 1990's; Midge is listening to a local radio broadcast about Elster being pursued somewhere in Europe. She is joined by Scotty and they share a drink while looking out the window, presumably in silence. It was apparently asked for by the "Code" office (whatever it was called at that point in time) because bad guys have to pay and all that rot. Hitchcock shot it but junked it. No idea whether Scotty is still just haunting her apartment the way he always did or if they're now supposed to be "a thing".  Anyway, it's too little too late and only confuses the Scotty/Midge issue without adding anything. I'm glad it was never part of the original mix; there's already plenty to drive us crazy without that. 

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6 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

The biggest mystery could actually be why Midge broke off their three week engagement back in college.

Could it be to simply establish the relationship, that they once knew each other ; it would explain the informality between them, their friendship status. Midge chronically desirous to rekindle as behavioral backdrop. it could be seen as having been a relatively clean breakup back then. The 3-week engagement binds them together (but not in a way Midge would like, ha)

Not too imaginative but maybe simplicity is in order with a backstory detail like this and that answers only but thinly to the main story.

 

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19 hours ago, laffite said:

Scottie developed an Oedipus Complex and wanted Midge to dress up like his mother.

This actually makes sense, lol.   After all, he does tell her not to be so "motherly"

Scottie to saleswoman:  "And I'd like her to have a pair of sensible shoes"

Saleswoman:  "My, the gentleman certainly does know what he wants"

 

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zIIDUv3.jpg?1

"Oh, my good Lysander!"

Her best line in the movie. Of course all the lines of all the characters are pretty good lines since they were penned the Bard. Delivery is another thing and this is a good one. I was surprised to just learn recently that this was Olivia's very first movie. She is excellent. Amazing energy, she acts like a damsel in a melodrama, overwrought gestures, expressive facial expressions, wonderfully exaggerated. Way over the top but perfect for the role. She appears to have been a born actress right from the beginning,

///

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  • 4 weeks later...

🎵Happy Birthday to you🎵

🎵You belong in the zoo🎵

🎵With the lions and the tigers🎵

🎵And the monkeys like you🎵

I'm sure you had something equally obnoxious and insulting growing up. Enjoy your day. As a special treat for you Hackmark has chosen your big day to kick off its new Christmas movies, so prepare to be offended by Canadians sweltering in the summer heat in their scarves and winter coats. Hope there were no supply chain shortages of giant candy canes and nutcrackers. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Happy Birthday.

 

 

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5 hours ago, DougieB said:

🎵Happy Birthday to you🎵

🎵You belong in the zoo🎵

🎵With the lions and the tigers🎵

🎵And the monkeys like you🎵

I'm sure you had something equally obnoxious and insulting growing up. Enjoy your day. As a special treat for you Hackmark has chosen your big day to kick off its new Christmas movies, so prepare to be offended by Canadians sweltering in the summer heat in their scarves and winter coats. Hope there were no supply chain shortages of giant candy canes and nutcrackers. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Happy Birthday.

 

 

Thank you, Dougie!   Yeah, we had worse B-poems, lol.

I offici#virginia christine from {ninety thieves}ally turn 5

 

I officially turn 5,000 today.

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2 hours ago, rohanaka said:

Happy Birthday to you, Miss B!! (The Big Guy sends his love!) 💗🥰💗

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMxrXMjPMcc&t=8s

A happy moment indeed, ro!  Thank you, my friend!

I will be enjoying sausage pizza with a side of French fries this evening, washed down with Guinness and a piece of pumpkin pie smothered in whipped cream.  Usually I do Pepperidge Farm German Chocolate cake but for some reason the orange gourd is calling my name....

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I realize that some people get upset when I (constantly) diss the Hallmark Channel.   I am all for wholesome family entertainment, but it has to be good, filled with authenticity, charm, and soul.

This is nothing against our dear neighbors to the North.  They are not to blame.

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5 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Dougie, is Hackmark producing new stuff?   Or still the same recycled robotic drek?

New Christmas movies every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but, yes, probably the usual robotic drek. It seems like they're going all in on "diversity" in everything but the same hackneyed plot lines. No, we must never blame our neighbors to the North. Crown Media is American and based in Los Angeles, from whence the bad taste and questionable decision-making seem to emanate. My mother was born in Ontario and all my relatives on her side were Canadian, something I hold dear in the event that I may ever feel the need to seek asylum.  

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Ah, Dougie, how lovely you are Canadian on your mom's side!  

Given the state of our country in terms of the extreme divisiveness I've often daydreamed about moving to Montreal (I'm a foodie and appreciate French culture) although not sure I could make it through winter.  (better maybe to keep my Florida condo here in Boca for that season....)

Crown Media -- blecch!

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