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"Kiss of Death" & "Pickup on South Street" on Wed. Feb. 10


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I always thought that one of the really subversive elements of this film is the attitude of Widmark's character. He never really cares whether or not they are "Reds", even when it's confirmed. It seemed to me that he only broke into action following the murder of the Thelma Ritter character, and even moreso following the harm caused to the Jean Peters character. It seemed personal to me, not political, ever for him.

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> {quote:title=markbeckuaf wrote:}{quote}

> It seemed personal to me, not political, ever for him.

 

That's a good point, for him there was also a bit of professional pride involved. I remember him saying somewhere along the way that it was practically impossible for anyone to "spot him" when he was pickpocketing, because of how good he was - and he never would have been caught picking the purse of Jean Peters' character if it hadn't been for the fact that she was being watched from the beginning on account of the suspicion she was passing on information to the reds.

 

So I think that sort of bugged him a little, too.

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I don't mind the heavily anti-Red or anti-fascist stuff though, they are interesting to watch as well! :) I never had a chance to watch THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET yet, but will later today or this weekend, still on the DVR. I just found it interesting how Fuller had Widmark's character in PICKUP never really buy into it. I'm not sure he didn't buy it, it just didn't mean anything to him.

 

Holly: Yes, I think you are right about Widmark's character motivations in PICKUP, it truly was also a matter of professional pride for him. But I think that it didn't matter to him if they were Commies or just run of the mill gangsters or crooks--they messed with his profession, as well as two women he cared about.

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mark,

I hope you will enjoy House on 92nd Street - I believe it is the granddaddy of all the "docu-drama" style noirs, of which you'd see more in the late 40s.

 

And I agree with you about Widmark. His character might have been a crook, and a petty thief - but he was still an all-American crook, and a gentleman as far as it went. ;)

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I watched KOD this weekend for the millionth time with my significant other (please, round of applause for getting him to watch any movie before 1970 and black and white at that) and a few observations/comments -

 

1.) the various slang for an informant is used in this film and is quite comical... "stoolie" "stool pigeon" "squealer" "talker"...we got some good laughs particularly since these terms are still used in criminal circles :)

 

2.) I underestimated Coleen Gray....I don't think the script gave her much and she actually did do with it as much as any other "wife" in a noir could have - think Bel Geddes (Panic in the Streets) or Jocelyn Brando (The Big Heat)...so all in all, I say she was okay....their romantic chemistry was kind of cute (or am I still smitten from v-day weekend?) either way, I have now altered my opinion

 

3.) Who were the two girls that played Mature's kids? The chemistry with him was very realistic and I believed that those were his kids. Mature must have really liked kids.

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> {quote:title=LoveFilmNoir wrote:}{quote}

> 1.) the various slang for an informant is used in this film and is quite comical... "stoolie" "stool pigeon" "squealer" "talker"...we got some good laughs particularly since these terms are still used in criminal circles :)

 

Not to change the subject, but have you seen Johnny Stool Pigeon ? Fun noir.

 

> 3.) Who were the two girls that played Mature's kids? The chemistry with him was very realistic and I believed that those were his kids. Mature must have really liked kids.

 

I just tried imdb.com, they don't seem to be listed. :(

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Richard Widmark sure had a different take on rats in these two movies. In Pickup, he

wasn't too concerned with Moe the snitch. She had to make a living just like everybody

else. In Kiss, he couldn't stand them, and had a fit every time he thought of a dirty stoolie.

If Tommy Udo ever crossed Moe's path, look out lady.

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