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Anyone see "People Will Talk" (1951)? 'Cause I gots a question...


AddisonDeWitless
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*Full disclosure*: it's allergy season. I took a Benadryl last night and conked out about thirty minutes into this thing, which I found to be rather inn-teresting in spite of the slightly wooden acting by some and the typical, thoroughly unnatural, Joseph L. Mankiewiczian "golly gee, aren't I brilliant?" dialogue (he was the Aaron Sorkin of his day IMO.) I also know that the Q&A forum may be more the place for this, but I'm looking for a wider audience, sue me.

 

So, for those who saw it, explain this: Jeane Crain goes to Cary Grant (the dreamiest Gynecologist EVER) and he tells her, she's pregnant (bonus points for actually saying "The P Word" in a pre-1966 film!) She's not married, so *immediately* after leaving *she tries to commit suicide by shooting herself in the lobby of his office, point blank. She somehow survives ("so few people know where the heart is, they so often miss") but miscarries.*

 

My question: *what the hell?*

 

Do women normally pack heat when they go to the gynecologist? (If so, I understand, you have to do something to make sure the guy warms his hands up.) Do people often misfire in their attempts to kill themselves *at point blank range* ? Wouldn't it have been better for her to have tried offing herself later, not in a public place, not moments after learning of her pregnancy, does this scan with you guys? And since she miscarries, is there not some sort of greater moral question about this that was (perhaps!) missed- *again, I cannot fully criticize this since I did, yes, conk out circa thirty minutes into this thing.*

 

But I admit befuddlement and consternation to this- if I missed something, please- Mankiewicz experts on the board, illuminate me.

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SPOILER ALERT.

 

I missed the first half and only saw the second. Then how did Crain wind up pregnant in the end then? ****? I saw this film years ago, but had forgotten the plot. Not one of my fav. Mank films (way too talky), but a bit daring for its time..........

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Good question. Perhaps she carries a gun for protection, which proved a wasted effort since she couldn't even shoot herself at what you said was POINT BLANK RANGE!! And her character seemed well off enough that suicide couldn't possibly be the only option. Oh, yes I KNOW social moral standards were harsh back in '51, but could SOCIAL death actually be worse than the real thing? Many women in worse social and financial situations than her character have stuck it out, and got through.

 

 

But she wasn't the ONLY suicidal person in this movie. Look at the trouble Walter Slezak goes through to peel the skin off that hunk of sausage to get to the stuff inside. He'd have been better off, in the long run, eating JUST the skin instead of discarding it.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Crain is overwrought with emotions due to her boyfriend being killed in action in Korea, the confirmation of the pregnancy in her mind(as she already had fainted in the college which is already established in the film), had brought her to the point of suicide as the only option. Thus the time and place of using the gun brought us to an early dramatic scene.

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Sepiatone; She was NOT well off enough (money wise) and that was key to the plot. Her father and her lived off her uncle. This guy lived 'from The Good Book' and was a mean, hard man. It was clearly implied that if he found out, he would of kicked her and her father (who was in very poor health), to the curb.

 

Thus for the plot to have her attempt suicide wasn't 'over the top' but realistic given the times and the circumstances. Compare this to a movie like To Each His Own with Olivia DeHavilland. Similar situation but in this movie there is a very touching scene where her father makes it clear what she has done in no ways impacts their relationship and that he is there for her (emotionally as well as financially). But she still goes out of town and gives the baby to someone else to hid it from the town that she was ever pregnant.

 

But I agree 100%, HOW she went about her suicide attempt wasn't realistic at all.

 

 

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I have not watched the movie in many years. I remember it being believable.

 

It is common for a person to survive such a gunshot wound. Death is most often from loss of blood. I would expect personnel and equipment in a clinic to handle that. Greatest danger is if heart is hit. That is nearly always fatal. Comment by the doctor means she missed her heart.

 

I find it easy to believe she would do it in such a place. It is impulse born of episode of depression. It is also a plea for attention. Cold calculation to ensure suicide is successful is a sign of long-term depression.

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Crain's character was young and distraught, and fearing the worst (for her), she had decided that should there be confirmation of pregnancy, she'd take her life. For those times, it was one of many drastic (as we may now see it) solutions so as to not suffer the humiliation and ostracism of an out of wedlock pregnancy. Additionally, the suicide attempt is a plot device to get Grant sympathetic enough to her plight to marry her.

 

 

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AddisonDeWitless, She doesn't miscarrie.........in the end she thinks she is pregnant again with Cary Grant's baby and they argue back & forth about the due date, she thinks she is due in December, Grant argues she is due in September.........it is then she realizes she was pregnant all along.

 

Maybe the Benadryl hadn't worn off yet, that happens......might try Clariten next time, non drowsy;) ;)

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Ah yes, you are correct. I didn't watch it last night as a friend was making me a recording. I just misremembered - he told here something about the rabbits or frogs getting mixed up in the lab, creating a false diagnosis, right?

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

>

> Maybe the Benadryl hadn't worn off yet, that happens......might try Clariten next time, non drowsy;) ;)

>

Unfortunately, Claritin works for like an hour for me, then wears off completely- ditto Allegra. Poppin' Bennies is the only way I can make it through the day without looking like Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame by noon. (I live in the Southeast and have terrible mold allergies.)

 

Thank you to everyone who hath replied, I soitanly would like to see the film in full, and I realize me criticism won't be fully valid until I make it all the way through *but I still don't buy the whole suicide attempt in the waiting room thing.*

 

 

And now that everyone has explained to me about the false miscarriage, I have to say I have an issue with that too. Isn't it part of the Hippocratic oath that you not deliberately mis-diagnose someone's condition no matter what the motive? I mean, someone just deserves to know *the truth* about their condition. With all the *lengthy*, didactic, diatribing and expostulating sermons Grant went on (and on) about the duties and definition of a doctor in the first half-hour alone- I think he missed a basic lesson here. *Again though- I did conk out before the third act.*

 

 

I also have meant to do some research into the likelihood of someone commiting suicide in a public place - I still say that that is *very unlikely*+.+ P'raps a simple re-write wherein Crain's character attempts killing herself somewhere later would've made the whole thing easier to digest, it's perfectly logical Grant could find this out, p'raps via the radio or police. I also would recommend losing the gun angle as that makes the whole thing even more outlandish. Pills are the way to go on this one.

 

 

Had this been 1950-51 and I found meself on the Fox Lot, I'd've recommended these little changes to Uncle Joe...and in all likelihood found meself on the recieving end of a dressing down of a lifetime.

 

ps- anyone else think Jeane Crain was a little wooden? I like her, but...

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Sep 13, 2012 9:01 AM

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With all the *lengthy*, didactic, diatribing and expostulating sermons Grant went on (and on) about the duties and definition of a doctor in the first half-hour alone-

 

That's why a friend of mine refers to the film as PEOPLE WILL TALK AND TALK AND TALK.

 

I happen to like it, even as a kid it spoke to me for some reason and I never tire of it.

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Thank you, James. I forgot about the mean Uncle part. Still, Grant's clinic did seem a bit pricey for a girl in her circumstance. And since it's been a while since I've seen it, was any mention made about the FATHER?

 

 

In many movies and even TV features that have similar plot lines, the girl refuses to bother the sire because he's some prominent figure who'd be "ruined" if the news ever got out. "And I couldn't DO that to him!" she'd weep. I asked my Mom about what SHE would have done back in those days, as she was about the age Crain was when I was born, and she claimed she would save ALL her money and buy AIR TIME on the radio to let EVERYBODY know about the ****. "I certainly wouldn't KILL myself over it, no matter HOW desperate my situation!" Tough lady was she.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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> {quote:title=twinkeee wrote:}{quote}AddisonDeWitless, She couldn't have been too 'wooden' or she wouldn't have gotten pregnant!;) ;)

she could've given birth to a bouncing baby popsicle stick.

 

psst!

Quiet everybody, but this thing is on u-yay ube-tay. Good print too. I re-watched what I watched already before I fell asleep again at almost the exact same spot all over again. I have to say I found Crain's performance even more lacking the second go-round. A lovely lady, and maybe she was good in other things, but man is she ever sleepwalking through this. Maybe that's how she was told to play it, like she was shellshocked or something. I don't know. I have to say I am also underwhelmed by her work in Pinky, but then again, it's a hard battle for her there seeing as how she is *so* miscast.

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I live in the SE as well, have allergies, and take Loratadine. Its the only thing that works a good 24 hours, for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Having dozed off, and missing the end of the movie, you missed the Hippocratic oath issue being resolved concerning Cary, when he defends himself against the charges he faces, at the college. Sorry you didn't see the resolution....

 

 

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