Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

BOGART, SYDNEY GREENSTREET AND ALEXIS SMITH BRING SUSPENSE IN "CONFLICT"


Recommended Posts

Midnight movie (Eastern Time) tonight --  Thursday.

12:00 Midnight Eastern--   "Conflict"     Humphrey Bogart,  Sydney Greenstreet, Alexis Smith, Rose Hobart, Charles Drake, Grant Mitchell

Affluent architect Bogey thinks he has the perfect solution to the rather "icky" and awkward romantic triangle of himself, his sleek and icily attractive wife, (Rose Hobart) and his rather naive, pliant sister-in-law  (Alexis Smith).    It's very stressful for Bogey, disposing of unwanted details like a wife.   The couple's long time friend, psychiatrist Sydney Greenstreet  soon develops insight into the situation so that events can take an unexpected turn...

This is my kind of Forties' thriller.   Great art direction--  over-furnished rooms, that end up feeling claustrophobic, high-design clothes.  Twisty mountain roads, remote fancy resorts.  Complex characters whose motivation you're not entirely sure of.  Lots of verbal fencing.  Talk, talk, talk.   And who better in a talky movie than a shrewdly psychoanalyzing Sydney Greenstreet?   Love him.   Bogart infuses his character with an unpleasant narcissism that is fascinating to observe.

Hey, I'm sorry that the picture below is so miniaturized.  I seem to have horrible luck with putting images on this site, ha.  It will probably get better with time, I expect. 

Anyway, what a fun mid-week movie for TCM to air,  part of their Greenstreet tribute, I guess. 

 

 

 

 

MV5BNjZlYjA2MTQtZDM3Ny00NjA4LTkwMTktYzIxMmQxNzQ4ZDUyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDgxNDMwNjY@._V1_.jpg

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this film and am glad you spotlighted it.

Interesting trivia-- Bogart's wife was supposed to be played by Joan Crawford. The part ended up going to Rose Hobart, because Crawford told Jack Warner she liked the script but "Joan Crawford does not die in her movies."

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I love this film and am glad you spotlighted it.

Interesting trivia-- Bogart's wife was supposed to be played by Joan Crawford. The part ended up going to Rose Hobart, because Crawford told Jack Warner she liked the script but "Joan Crawford does not die in her movies."

I have never heard of that,   but the timing is right with Crawford joining WB fairly recently after her long time at MGM.

I do wonder if another reason was because Crawford didn't wish to play a character where her husband kills her off for another,  much younger and prettier women.   I just don't see Joan taking on such a role.       Of course Crawford did play a character that does lose her husband to a much younger and prettier women that same year (1945) in Mildred Pierce,  but that women was her daughter instead of her younger sister.    (and maybe once was enough for Joan?).

Also,  do you know if the WB producers ever considered Crawford for the role in The Two Mrs. Carroll's?    Crawford would have been interesting in such a role (not that Stanwyck wasn't),   and she wouldn't have had to die!

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

I have never heard of that,   but the timing is right with Crawford joining WB fairly recently after her long time at MGM.

I do wonder if another reason was because Crawford didn't wish to play a character where her husband kills her off for another,  much younger and prettier women.   I just don't see Joan taking on such a role.       Of course Crawford did play a character that does lose her husband to a much younger and prettier women that same year (1945) in Mildred Pierce,  but that women was her daughter instead of her younger sister.    (and maybe once was enough for Joan?).

Also,  do you know if the WB producers ever considered Crawford for the role in The Two Mrs. Carroll's?    Crawford would have been interesting in such a role (not that Stanwyck wasn't),   and she wouldn't have had to die!

 

Good question. Wish I had the answer. She definitely would have been right for Stanwyck's part in THE TWO MRS. CARROLLS.

I know that she had a very good working relationship with Jack Warner. She was never suspended because she gave him good reasons for not doing specific scripts, he respected that and didn't push her. He even loaned her out to Fox for DAISY KENYON because she wanted to work with Henry Fonda and Fox wouldn't loan him to WB.

The other scripts she turned down at Warners were WHIPLASH which went to Alexis Smith and Dane Clark. It was intended as a follow up for her and Garfield but she felt it was too similar to HUMORESQUE. She also turned down STORM WARNING which went to Ginger Rogers. She told Jack Warner that nobody would believe her and Doris Day as sisters and of course, she was correct.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I didn't know Crawford was slated to play the wife, TOPBILLED.    You can just hear the frosty hauteur that must have attended her pronouncement that "J. Crawford does not die in her movies"!   Wondering also if she thought the part was too "small" for a star of her magnitude.  It was fairly juicy though.   

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

More great tidbits--   I also didn't know she turned down "Storm Warning".    Glad she did, as it was an interesting venture into noir for Ginger, and she and Doris were indeed quite plausible as sisters, I thought.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

I love this film and am glad you spotlighted it.

Interesting trivia-- Bogart's wife was supposed to be played by Joan Crawford. The part ended up going to Rose Hobart, because Crawford told Jack Warner she liked the script but "Joan Crawford does not die in her movies."

SPOILER ALERT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess Joan changed her mind for WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

SPOILER ALERT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess Joan changed her mind for WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

She dies mid-way through I SAW WHAT YOU DID (1965).  I guess by then, lead roles in studio films were harder to come by so she was starting to make concessions.

But yeah, during her heyday at MGM and WB she never died on screen.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Doesn't she die in The Damned Don't Cry (1951) or is she just on her death bed?

Nope. She doesn't die in THE DAMNED DON'T CRY. She is injured but it is said she will live.

Per the synopsis at the AFI website:

Ethel flees to her parents, where she now waits for Castleman to track her down. Martin follows her there, hoping to help her, but before they can escape, Castleman arrives. Martin kills Castleman and Ethel is wounded. Later, a group of reporters speculate that she will again try to leave her past behind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Crawford does not die at the end of BABY JANE.

Per the AFI synopsis:

Jane drags Blanche into a car and drives to a nearby beach. There Blanche confesses that she had arranged the automobile accident and had intended to kill her sister to avenge herself for the years of humiliation she had spent in the shadow of Baby Jane. As the police arrive upon the scene, the now totally deranged Jane goes into her song-and-dance routine of long ago.

  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Crawford's character Amy dies in I SAW WHAT YOU DID (1965).  This is the only film in which she has an on-screen death. Per the AFI synopsis:

Steve begins to panic and tries to counter Libby's quips with his own questions concerning a rendezvous. Amy becomes jealous while overhearing the conversation and goes into the bathroom; there she finds Judith's bloody clothes and realizes what has happened. The girls, curious to see Steve, visit him; but Amy sends them away after pocketing their automobile registration. Steve kills Amy when she tries to blackmail him into living with her.

***

I suspect that Crawford agreed to play this role, where she gets killed off halfway into the movie, because of the success that Janet Leigh had in PSYCHO...where audiences wouldn't expect it and would be truly shocked.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to mention something about lead actresses and death scenes. I don't think Crawford was being a diva when she told Warner "Joan Crawford does not die in her movies." I think she was informing him that audiences were accustomed to her playing women who prevailed and survived, despite their life's circumstances. In fact that may be why she had such a large following. She was not going to upset the formula and alienate fans.

I would say this is why Katharine Hepburn turned down the lead role in DARK VICTORY, because she played plucky heroines that did not succumb to anything horrible. 

Bette Davis on the other hand was not afraid to play women who got killed. Not only did she die in DARK VICTORY, she also died a year later in THE LETTER. Barbara Stanwyck took this to the extreme, playing unsavory women who were offed in DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS and THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON.

Then we have someone like Shelley Winters who made a career out of playing women who died on screen. But I think she had those opportunities because stars like Joan Crawford and Katharine Hepburn turned down such roles.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Doesn't she die in The Damned Don't Cry (1951) or is she just on her death bed?

Like TB said,  Crawford doesn't die at the end of The Dammed Don't Cry.     Your boy (Kent Smith),  comes to her rescue!   (joke related to the other thread you created that was just at).

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I love this film and am glad you spotlighted it.

Interesting trivia-- Bogart's wife was supposed to be played by Joan Crawford. The part ended up going to Rose Hobart, because Crawford told Jack Warner she liked the script but "Joan Crawford does not die in her movies."

Depends on how you mean "die".   Not necessarily her characters, but otherwise.....

;) 

Sepiatone

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I want to mention something about lead actresses and death scenes. I don't think Crawford was being a diva when she told Warner "Joan Crawford does not die in her movies." I think she was informing him that audiences were accustomed to her playing women who prevailed and survived, despite their life's circumstances. In fact that may be why she had such a large following. She was not going to upset the formula and alienate fans.

I would say this is why Katharine Hepburn turned down the lead role in DARK VICTORY, because she played plucky heroines that did not succumb to anything horrible. 

Bette Davis on the other hand was not afraid to play women who got killed. Not only did she die in DARK VICTORY, she also died a year later in THE LETTER. Barbara Stanwyck took this to the extreme, playing unsavory women who were offed in DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS and THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON.

Then we have someone like Shelley Winters who made a career out of playing women who died on screen. But I think she had those opportunities because stars like Joan Crawford and Katharine Hepburn turned down such roles.

Note that another film where Joan dies is the film Humoresque (1946).     Another good film she made after coming to Warner Bros.      (I believe we discussed her MGM verses her WB film legacy and we both prefer the latter).

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched parts of Conflict last night.   (I have seen it many times):

What I noticed was how Greenstreet was often filmed in a manner similar to his first film,  The Maltese Falcon:   a shot that starts out from the floor pointing up that makes the actor dominate the shot.

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

Note that another film where Joan dies is the film Humoresque (1946).     Another good film she made after coming to Warner Bros.      (I believe we discussed her MGM verses her WB film legacy and we both prefer the latter).

You're right. She does die in HUMORESQUE. Her death scene seems like Fredric March's death scene in A STAR IS BORN (1937), where she walks into the ocean to kill herself.

So I guess she dies in two of her films-- HUMORESQUE and I SAW WHAT YOU DID.

Two on-screen deaths in 89 features. 

I agree that her films from 1945 to 1957 are her best. All her WB output, and her mid-50s work at Columbia, as well as her freelance project at RKO (SUDDEN FEAR, which is my favorite).

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Depends on how you mean "die".   Not necessarily her characters, but otherwise.....

;) 

Sepiatone

Do you mean emotional resignation (for lack of a better phrase)...?

In THEY ALL KISSED THE BRIDE (1942), she has to resign herself to married life with Melvyn Douglas and give up her successful career as a business executive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

I want to mention something about lead actresses and death scenes. I don't think Crawford was being a diva when she told Warner "Joan Crawford does not die in her movies." I think she was informing him that audiences were accustomed to her playing women who prevailed and survived, despite their life's circumstances. In fact that may be why she had such a large following. She was not going to upset the formula and alienate fans.

I would say this is why Katharine Hepburn turned down the lead role in DARK VICTORY, because she played plucky heroines that did not succumb to anything horrible. 

Bette Davis on the other hand was not afraid to play women who got killed. Not only did she die in DARK VICTORY, she also died a year later in THE LETTER. Barbara Stanwyck took this to the extreme, playing unsavory women who were offed in DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS and THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON.

Then we have someone like Shelley Winters who made a career out of playing women who died on screen. But I think she had those opportunities because stars like Joan Crawford and Katharine Hepburn turned down such roles.

Of course, Shelley drowns in A Place in the Sun.  And I doubt if Alice Tripp was offered to the likes of Crawford or Hepburn.  (lol)  Before filming, Monty Clift had fought to get Betsy Blair (Marty) the part, believing her wistful, sweet quality was better than Winters' rattled pathos.  During filming he pleaded with George Stevens to direct Winters so that Tripp would appear more sympathetic which, Clift reasoned, would make the romance between himself and Taylor more bittersweet.  Stevens told him Alice Tripp was supposed to be drab and pitiful and that Shelley was being just that, giving a marvelous performance.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, filmnoirguy said:

Of course, Shelley drowns in A Place in the Sun.  And I doubt if Alice Tripp was offered to the likes of Crawford or Hepburn.  (lol)  Before filming, Monty Clift had fought to get Betsy Blair (Marty) the part, believing her wistful, sweet quality was better than Winters' rattled pathos.  During filming he pleaded with George Stevens to direct Winters so that Tripp would appear more sympathetic which, Clift reasoned, would make the romance between himself and Taylor more bittersweet.  Stevens told him Alice Tripp was supposed to be drab and pitiful and that Shelley was being just that, giving a marvelous performance.

I never said Winters' role in A PLACE IN THE SUN was offered to Crawford or Hepburn.

But Winters carved out a niche for herself that would not have been possible if the bigger name actresses had sought those parts for themselves. After all, they had more box office clout in their heyday.

I am sure Crawford would have done fine with something like WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN, opposite Debbie Reynolds. By the early 70s, Crawford's movie career was in decline while Winters was able to continue in character roles.

Another issue here is that a lot of the old-time lead actresses were afraid to transition into character parts. 

Going back to Rose Hobart, she was essentially transitioning into supporting roles and character parts in the mid-40s. But in the early 30s, she was a star. Mae Clarke is another one who went from star to character actress. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...