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clore

I'm sure glad that I saw the movie first...

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If anyone has recorded THE MURDER MAN and has yet to watch it, do not read the TCM article on the film. It distorts the POV of the film and also in doing that, gives away the ending. And lemme tell ya, this film does have a great finale. Since it is so rarely screened, there's not a soul with whom I am familiar that has said a thing about this film, so the thing was a delight from start to finish.

 

It reminds me of a time when I was going to introduce my ex to CITIZEN KANE. This was a Sunday night airing and it was spoiled for her by a "Peanuts" Sunday comic strip that had Lucy ruin Charlie Brown's first viewing of the film by defining "Rosebud" to him.

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"Rosebud". I just remembered the episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show where the subject was why they gave their son "Rosebud" for a middle name.

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> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote} It reminds me of a time when I was going to introduce my ex to CITIZEN KANE. This was a Sunday night airing and it was spoiled for her by a "Peanuts" Sunday comic strip that had Lucy ruin Charlie Brown's first viewing of the film by defining "Rosebud" to him.

I remember that particular Peanuts' strip very well. It got me so mad that I wrote a letter to the editor about it. I think what happens is that when a film like *CITIZEN KANE* becomes so well known and available (TCM, DVD, etc.) that a lot of us tend to forget that everyone hasn't seen it. I often find this very true with critics, film book authors and teachers.

 

Once I sat in on high school film club's screening of *CITIZEN KANE*, a film which most of the students had never seen before. During his intro the teacher proceeded to give away major plot elements including "Rosebud". He should have known better. The same can be said for Charles Schulz for that matter.

 

Sometimes we all need a reminder that while we may have seen a certain film "a hundred times" there are others who have yet to see it once.

 

 

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I remember that particular Peanuts' strip very well. It got me so mad that I wrote a letter to the editor about it.

 

I got my revenge by avoiding anything related to the comic strip after that. I never bought any "Peanuts" merchandise for either of my two children or my four grandchildren.

 

But I did also send a letter to the paper and I wasn't the only one. By midweek in the paper's letter section, it was apparent that many weren't pleased and there was an apology from the editior.

 

I thought that it was Charles Schulz who owed everyone an apology.

 

By the way, I made a slight error in my OP. Lucy spoiled the film for Linus, not Charlie Brown. Here is a black-and-white repro of the strip in question:

(spoilers ahead)

 

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2010/02/spoilers_linus_lucy_charles_m.html

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I think you people are getting a little carried away with this "giving away the ending" thought. Many well known classic films have been so popularized that its common knowledge about the plot or the ending. Don't we all know the basics about *Psycho* , *Casablanca*, etc. even if you've never seen the films. Its a little different for the later generations after the film has become a classic. The film never quite has the impact that it did when it first came out.

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Many well known classic films have been so popularized that its common knowledge about the plot or the ending.

 

That may well be, but in the OP I brought up a movie that is hardly ever screened. In fact, it is the only MGM film of either Tracy or Stewart that I've never seen. I suppose that some would say the the author of the TCM article is doing readers a favor giving away the surprise ending since most people aren't likely to see it, but I wouldn't be one of them. The film is question was built around the surprise, but the author makes it seem as if the surprise was the plot mechanism.

 

Its a little different for the later generations after the film has become a classic. The film never quite has the impact that it did when it first came out.

 

Knowing the ending could be one of the reasons that the film loses some impact. Maybe every film should end the way that WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION does and have someone come on and plead that viewers not reveal the twist. While I can still enjoy the film after many viewings, the first time was quite the shocker for my family and I as we didn't see it coming.

 

Now, if someone goes and tells me that in TITANIC the boat sinks, it isn't going to ruin the story. But in a case such as this, the author and/or whoever is in charge of such submissions at TCM, could have moved the third paragraph (of seven total) down to the bottom of the page and warned that it contains a spoiler. The whole seven paragraphs contain only two sentences about the plot and the twist was revealed in the second one.

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I am going back over 30 years to that Peanuts strip. There wasn't any internet then, no forums so unless someone was reading a book or perhaps a magazine such as "Cahiers" was one likely to find a reference to CITIZEN KANE and "Rosebud."

 

Granted, there is a whole gteneration now that may be aware of certain spoilers if only owing to the parodies of them on shows such as THE SIMPSONS which had probably revealed more than any other show to which I've been exposed. My younger son knew of the Darth Vader thing and the Soylent Green revelation long before he ever saw the films.

 

As he grew older, he got used to certain dramatic devices and he realized less than 30 minutes into THE SIXTH SENSE exactly what the outcome was going to be. I knew before the opening credits rolled. No brag, it's just like anyone familiar with MURDER, SHE WROTE after a dozen episodes could find that innocuous line of dialogue early on that would be a key factor in the outcome later.

 

Still, I would expect on a site such as this that a submitted article would be formatted so as to at least warn someone that there is a spoiler below. In the case of THE MURDER MAN, the author distorted the whole plot line anyway. What was depicted on screen is not as he described. If the secret is revealed in the last few minutes, then saying that the plot concerns so-and-so devising a plot to kill one man and incriminate another as if we're all onto it from the beginning, is totally bogus.

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I first saw Citizen Kane in a theater in New York in 1964. I was dating a girl who was also a movie buff, and she saw the film years earlier. We often exchanged names of films that we thought each other should try to eventually see.

 

So, I was in New York briefly in 1964 and found it playing in an old theater. I was just stunned by it. Even the opening title CITIZEN KANE, filling up the entire screen was a shock, and back in those days theater screens were very large. So even the opening title was unusual.

 

Then came the death scene and quickly the newsreel, which was shocking mainly because all the "old" newsfilm of Kane was scratched and high-contrast multiple prints, which made it look real. I had never seen a film in which modern footage had been scratched like that so it would look like a real old newsreel.

 

And then came all the backlighting and the smoke in the screening room scene. That was amazing. I had never seen anything like it.

 

And the film went on and on like that, shocking me with every new sequence. That's why it became an instant classic among real film buffs. That's why it was still showing in New York, 23 years after the film was made.

 

Seeing it for the first time on a large screen in a real theater, decades before it began to be immitated, make it all the more amazing. And I'll bet there were not more than 5,000 people in the whole world who knew about or remembered Citizen Kane in 1964.

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I see your point here clore, however, and not to take anything away from Spence or Jimmy or the film in general, as I enjoyed watching it for the first time as I recall, BUT gotta tell ya that I pretty much had figured out the ending of *The Murder Man* about half way through the picture the other night.

 

And, if you think THAT'S good, my old dear departed Pop would somehow be able to figure out who "done it" in some movies right after the opening credits were shown it seems. AND, I knew for a fact the he had never seen some of those movies before in his life!

 

(...smart man, that Ol' Man o' mine!...though I can't begin to tell ya how many episodes of *Mannix* and such that old **** ruined for me back in the '60s!!!!) ;)

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BUT gotta tell ya that I pretty much had figured out the ending of *The Murder Man* about half way through the picture the other night.

 

Hey, that's pretty good. Usually I'm good at that sort of thing, but perhaps I just didn't expect it in a 1935 MGM programmer. I was more elated about seeing something that I first read about over 40 years ago and have just only now finally caught up to.

 

You were in good mental shape for a film that started at 245am!

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Thanks...but I have to admit that it started at 11:45pm out here in the Arizona time zone. ;)

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Thanks...but I have to admit that it started at 11:45pm out here in the Arizona time zone.

 

I used to represent a TV station out there in Phoenix, it was then known as KOOL, the CBS affiliate. They have since changed the call letters.

 

I was doing research and marleting for them and it took me a while to get used to the fact that they were three hours behind my time for half of the year and two hours behind the other half.

 

I'd be writing promo pieces for shows six to nine months down the road so it was easy to lose one's sense of time.

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I saw The Murdered Man for the first time this week and really liked it but it was clear where the plot was going to take us (i.e. that Spencer killed the guy). I knew it after that scene with his dad at the bar where he talks about his dead wife. Still that didn't impact my enjoyment of the film.

 

 

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If you have a recording of the film and go back to the beginning, if you watch carefully the guy in the back seat of the car... as soon as we hear the first shot from the direction of the shooting gallery, you can see the guy in the car slump over. This is often missed during the first initial viewing of the film. We hear the sound, but we can easily miss the guy slumping over, because he is at some distance from the camera.

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> Granted, there is a whole gteneration now that may be aware of certain spoilers if only owing to the parodies of them on shows such as THE SIMPSONS which had probably revealed more than any other show to which I've been exposed. My younger son knew of the Darth Vader thing and the Soylent Green revelation long before he ever saw the films.

 

I always get a kick out of the Simpsons episode where Bart and Lisa find an "alternate ending" reel to *Casablanca* (Hitler is hiding in Sam's piano, and when he pops up after Victor and Ilsa's plane takes off, Ilsa parachutes down to end the Hitler threat).

 

> As he grew older, he got used to certain dramatic devices and he realized less than 30 minutes into THE SIXTH SENSE exactly what the outcome was going to be. I knew before the opening credits rolled. No brag, it's just like anyone familiar with MURDER, SHE WROTE after a dozen episodes could find that innocuous line of dialogue early on that would be a key factor in the outcome later.

 

Jessica Fletcher killed all those people, and used her powers as a mystery writer to get all those other people to confess. :-)

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Jessica Fletcher killed all those people, and used her powers as a mystery writer to get all those other people to confess.

 

I thought that it was her nephew Grady. I wouldn't invite either of those two anywhere. I stopped watching somewhere toward the end of the second season, it was just all too much to take.

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> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}Thanks...but I have to admit that it started at 11:45pm out here in the Arizona time zone.

>

> I used to represent a TV station out there in Phoenix, it was then known as KOOL, the CBS affiliate. They have since changed the call letters.

>

>

>

>

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> I was doing research and marleting for them and it took me a while to get used to the fact that they were three hours behind my time for half of the year and two hours behind the other half.

>

>

>

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> I'd be writing promo pieces for shows six to nine months down the road so it was easy to lose one's sense of time.

>

Yep, the CBS-affiliate station in Phoenix now goes my the call-letters KPHO, and I get it up here in the MUCH cooler(both temperature-wise AND overall feeling wise) town of Prescott on my cable service.

 

BTW, I'm certainly glad you said you "used to" work for that station, because ya see, the News division of that channel now has the almost insultingly stupid slogan/tagline of "We Tell It Like It Is!". And so I'm so glad to hear that at least YOU didn't come up with such a lame slogan as that! ;)

 

(...though to tell ya the truth, THAT one's not even as bad as the NBC-affiliate KPNX's News slogan down there of: "It's All About You!".....JEEEEEEZ!!!!)

 

:^0

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I thought it was a great movie but I would call it an early attempt at showing how bad the death penalty is in Hollywood. I have not read the article you mention but I assume it is about that aspect of the movie, an "innocent" man set to die when the real killer confesses to save him.

 

The thing is if you take what those crooks did in fleecing everyone they really did kill a lot of people, their futures and their lives. Even today people that do that walk away will little punishment.

 

So the movie is really a letdown in the sense that it doesn't show why this guy Tracy really had to kill them. Because if he didn't they would never have been punished properly.

 

They do say at the end that jury's have a way of taking all this into account (hint, hint) but it still doesn't fix the problem, why he had to commit the murder and set the other guy up.

 

That newspaper could have written all about the financial murder people like that do and get away with it. Maybe the newspaper editors are responsible for all this. ]:)

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The synopsis states it this way "When two crooked financiers ruin XXXXXX's father and cause the suicide of his estranged wife, XXXXXX plans the perfect crime as his revenge."

 

That really wasn't the way the story unfolds, it is what we are given at the end as his motivation. Up until then, we're not supposed to know who is the guilty party. Now granted, some may be able to figure it out, but the way it was written makes it appear as if we're in on the plan from the git.

 

It may or may not spoil the enjoyment of a first-time viewer, but it certainly does distort the plot line.

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Oh I see, yes that does give it away,lol. This movie reminds me of *Fury* which he did a year later, almost the same thing where he gets revenge.

 

 

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I am shocked, shocked that the powers that be at TCM let a spoiler through and not tell/warn that it is there. When I first joined this website the telling of or spoiling plot lines was a criminal offense. Of course from time to time the Now Playing guide gets the details wrong about a movie or even the announcer between the movies gets things wrongs but not very often.

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