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The 'Live' thread


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  • 1 year later...

Just finished watching THE PROUD REBEL, which was a TCM premiere.

 

I watched it five years ago as a Netflix rental. I'm remembering what I like and don't like about this film as I re-watch it tonight on TCM.

 

I like the simplicity of the story, and Dean Jagger makes a most excellent villain.

 

What I don't like: it takes too long to resolve the main conflict with Jagger and his boys. It really is dragged out. Second, there aren't very many sparks flying between the leads. Also, David is a more natural actor than his father, Alan. And in a way, I feel this film cannot quite step out of the shadows of SHANE (though it probably is unfair to compare them).

 

I do wish Olivia had done more westerns-- I think she's a natural for this genre. 

 

Up next is THE BLUE DAHLIA, which is my favorite of the four Ladd-Lake pairings...

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In the introduction for THE BLUE DAHLIA tonight--Ben showed a clip of his talk with David Ladd in March. David claims his father was sensitive about Doris Dowling being taller than him...she plays the cheating wife...and that Marshall (the director) had her lay down in a shot, so she is not towering over Ladd.

 

Nobody plays whacko like William Bendix...love him in this film. 

 

And how can you not enjoy Hugh Beaumont, pre-Ward.

 

Ben mentioned Raymond Chandler writing the screenplay (an original screenplay from him, not based on a novel). But did not mention that Chandler did not have the ending finished when filming started. Maybe Ben will get to this in the closing wraparound. In fact, Chandler was a recovering alcoholic and needed drink and solitude in order to finish the screenplay.

 

John Houseman was the producer and had to keep a close eye on Chandler, so they would have an ending for the story. But ironically, the Hays office did not like the ending Chandler had concocted and it had to be redone, so as not to offend American servicemen, recently returned from the war.

 

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This is a thread for on-going commentary about what is airing on TCM at this very minute.

You've got to be kidding me.

 

Can't get enough threads out there everyday so now you are inventing what to this reader is just another glorified thread just to get your daily posts up? This has got to be the most pointless idea you have ever had for creating yet ANOTHER thread.

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More about THE BLUE DAHLIA--

 

Many references to drinking in this film. Bendix's character is called Buzz-- as he points out to a girl, 'that's my name.' Then, she points him in the direction of the bar. Also, Dowling's wife character is seen drinking frequently.

 

Howard da Silva's perfectly cast as the creepy casino owner. What a shame he would be blacklisted a few years after this. He's also very good in THE UNDERWORLD STORY, another noir where he plays a shady crook (is there any other kind?).

 

I forgot how long it takes for Veronica Lake to show up in this film. She first appears around the 25-minute mark.

 

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Love this scene where she picks Ladd up in the rain. We have a thread on this forum about the best voices of classic Hollywood actors. And to me, Lake has one of the best. 

 

Just noticed those large round buttons on Lake's coat/jacket. I've seen this film probably ten times and never noticed that before.

 

Even the detective outside in the bushes where Ladd's wife lives is well-cast: veteran character actor Will Wright. 

 

Back in the car with Lake. Ever notice how in so many movies and TV shows, when they film vehicle interiors on a sound stage someone goes overboard rocking the car to make it seem like it is driving along a bumpy road? In this film, the car barely moves. It doesn't even wobble once.

 

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Great scene here:

 

Joyce Harwood: Well, don't you even say 'Good night'?

Johnny Morrison: It's good-bye, and it's tough to say good-bye.

Joyce Harwood: Why is it? You've never seen me before tonight.

Johnny Morrison: Every guy's seen you before somewhere. The trick is to find you.

 

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I've always wondered why they had her sit on the ledge while he's eating breakfast. It's a bit of odd blocking/staging.

 

When he sneaks out the next morning, he throws his coat into a bin. Above the bin is a sign that reads: 'The Clothing You Give Helps Others to Live.' Were these donation bins for the homeless? Was this a common thing in the 40s?

 

more to come...

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BLUE DAHLIA continued:

 

Movies like this make me want to smoke again, seriously. Both interrogation scenes, the one with da Silva...and the one with Wright...can be read differently with the changed ending. I wish they hadn't been pressured to alter the film's ending.

 

Ladd's character supposedly flew 112 missions. That seems like quite a lot. Bendix is brilliant in this role-- he makes Buzz volatile but yet sympathetic. 

 

Wonder if THE BLUE GARDENIA was used for a later Fritz Lang noir, because of this film and its title? 

 

Ladd exudes coolness through dialogue at the motel:

 

Corelli, motel operator: You still want that room?

Johnny Morrison: [sarcastically] You sure nobody's dead in it?

Corelli, motel operator: [leading him to the room] Right back this way. You live in San Francisco?

Johnny Morrison: [laconically] Yeah, when I'm there.

 

 

Chandler seems to make Wright's character thoroughly unlikable-- blackmailing da Silva. I wonder if this part wasn't added after the ending was revised...?

 

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Lake has her own coolness in the scene where she and da Silva talk when she gets back. Soon she's on the road again with Ladd. There's a large letter B on the left windshield where she sits in the vehicle. What does that mean?

 

The scene where Ladd stops the car and gets out to talk about who may have murdered his wife has dialogue that must have been problematic for the Hays office with the original ending. If it had been allowed to play as Chandler and Houseman intended, it would have been a rather damning attitude to exhibit towards the killer, this particular type of killer. 

 

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Back to drinking, as Beaumont tells Bendix it's time for another drink. Detective (Wright) shows up and Beaumont does the drinking. How many times does Wright puff on his cigar during this picture? Might be some kind of record.

 

There isn't much background music in this film. As a result, some scenes seem like watching a stage play. Ladd finally gets wise and leaves the fleabag (motel). The motel clerk, on the phone, says Ladd was a Navy flyer. 

 

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Good scene where Ladd realizes Lake is married to da Silva. Now, Ladd's walking out on her. He's soon back with the boys (Bendix & Beaumont)-- and they're drinking again.

 

more...

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BLUE DAHLIA--

 

So Ladd leaves the boys and gets apprehended by some goons (belonging to da Silva I think). The boys figure out what's happened and go confront da Silva. Bendix is having another bipolar rant. I love it. They should show the metal plate in his skull a bit more. Beaumont can barely keep a straight face when Bendix grinds the dialogue to a pulp. 

 

Back with the goons at the old hideout. These guys wear such great hats. Now the goons are drinking. Anyone in a 12-step recovery program probably should not watch THE BLUE DAHLIA.

 

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Lake comes in to meet the boys. I love this gown she's wearing. Bendix can't handle the monkey music coming from inside the club. Beaumont tells Lake Bendix has a shell fragment above the ear. Great use of sound effects to simulate the pounding in Bendix's head. Now he's ranting about her picking at a flower. Like the woman (Ladd's dead wife) picked at the other flower (dahlia).

 

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Ladd defeats the goons. Then da Silva shows up. Confrontation time-- false confession and shoot-out, with Ladd surviving obviously. 

 

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Back at the club, the captain is there interrogating the boys. Wright has been outed as a blackmailer. Now, they have Bendix on the hot seat. Great dialogue about the flower. Bendix is reminding me of Lon Chaney in OF MICE AND MEN. Especially this 'George, George' stuff. Then, Ladd comes in. There's some business about shooting to light a cigarette.

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Beating in Bendix's head again. This is the rewritten part. What would have been Bendix's confession is changed-- where he says he left Ladd's wife and kept going. In the original script, he didn't leave until he had killed the woman. Now we're heading into the part where the 'real' killer is revealed. I guess it works-- but the earlier scenes do not exactly suggest this solution to the murder.

 

Nice closing scene outside the club with the boys and Lake.

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The film is over. And we're back to Ben. Another clip with David Ladd: and yes, he's mentioning Chandler's alcoholism and drinking to finish the screenplay (supposedly with a doctor's okay). And then the change of the ending, with the villain (killer) being reassigned to another character. So they did cover it all. And I was slightly mistaken-- it was not the Hays office (though they probably raised an eyebrow or two) but some military veterans office that objected to Bendix being the villain. 

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What helped make both of these films (The Proud Rebel & The Blue Dahlia) winners for me this evening was the intimate wraparounds with Ben discussing the films and Alan Ladd with Ladd's son David, who co-starred with his father in THE PROUD REBEL (1958).

 

The more I know about a film and those involved with it, the more I find myself appreciating the film, and the likelihood that I'll watch it again.

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What helped make both of these films (The Proud Rebel & The Blue Dahlia) winners for me this evening was the intimate wraparounds with Ben discussing the films and Alan Ladd with Ladd's son David, who co-starred with his father in THE PROUD REBEL (1958).

 

The more I know about a film and those involved with it, the more I find myself appreciating the film, and the likelihood that I'll watch it again.

Yes, that certainly helped. This is the type of stuff TCM does well. But we have to remember that even movie stars' children have biased perspectives, and their stories may not be verbatim truth. Plus, the focus is really the movies that made these stars like Alan Ladd a household name. The focus is not the host or the guest(s)-- they are merely aiding in our understanding and enjoyment of the film we're watching.

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Big fan of The Blue Dahlia.    My favorite line from the film is when Ladd and Lake are driving along the  Pacific Coast Highway (the 101).     Ladd ask Lake how she decided where she was going.   She said she flipped a coin, with a line like:    "tales I go to Malibu,  heads I go to Laguna".    Ladd asks what she would do if the coin landed on it's side.    Lake says 'go to Long Beach!'.

 

Malibu is at the northern end of So Cal and Laguna at the southern end and Long Beach is about in the middle.    So to a local that exchange is funny.    

 

 

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Big fan of The Blue Dahlia.    My favorite line from the film is when Ladd and Lake are driving along the  Pacific Coast Highway (the 101).     Ladd ask Lake how she decided where she was going.   She said she flipped a coin, with a line like:    "tales I go to Malibu,  heads I go to Laguna".    Ladd asks what she would do if the coin landed on it's side.    Lake says 'go to Long Beach!'.

 

Malibu is at the northern end of So Cal and Laguna at the southern end and Long Beach is about in the middle.    So to a local that exchange is funny.    

I had fun doing this live thread last night, and even more fun reading it back this morning. THE BLUE DAHLIA is a film that holds a special place in my heart-- it was the first screenplay I ever read in college (I believe I read it before I ever saw the movie).

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I am watching TWO ON A GUILLOTINE 'live' on TCM. A woman's booming voice, in the character of a housekeeper, could only belong to the great character actress Connie Gilchrist.

 

Shortly after she gets spooked and leaves the mansion, we have Dean Jones and Connie Stevens go off to a theme park. They enter a house of mirrors.

 

And who is standing there, looking at how fat he is in one of those mirrors that distorts human shapes-- but William Conrad (actor and the director of this film). Kind of a nice Hitchcockian touch to see him do this humorous cameo in his own film.

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Big fan of The Blue Dahlia.    My favorite line from the film is when Ladd and Lake are driving along the  Pacific Coast Highway (the 101).     Ladd ask Lake how she decided where she was going.   She said she flipped a coin, with a line like:    "tales I go to Malibu,  heads I go to Laguna".    Ladd asks what she would do if the coin landed on it's side.    Lake says 'go to Long Beach!'.

 

Malibu is at the northern end of So Cal and Laguna at the southern end and Long Beach is about in the middle.    So to a local that exchange is funny.    

 

While I too appreciated that part of Chandler's dialogue last night while watching this movie,  gotta say here James that for a local SoCal boy, you still ain't quite got your California highway designations down yet.

 

(...'cause ya see, PCH is actually CA Hwy 1, not the 101...and especially as the two run through L.A. County...the 101 is inland and is nicknamed the "El Camino Real Highway", dude) ;)

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TWO ON A GUILLOTINE...

 

Interesting scene showing Connie Stevens & Dean Jones getting all lusty in the living room. Definitely a far cry from the more wholesome family-type entertainment Jones would soon begin making for Disney. 

 

Another great character actress appears, screaming-- this time it's Virginia Gregg, claiming to have seen Stevens' father upstairs-- the (un)dead Cesar Romero. 

 

They're using a symbolic white rabbit in scenes. Not sure what else can be said about that.

 

Gregg is doing a superb job in this next scene, sobbing over the loss of Romero years ago. She was one of Jack Webb's favorites and turned up on all his shows. 

 

I have to admit the cinematography and art direction is very good for what is essentially a B-picture. Sam Leavitt is the cinematographer, with Art Loel responsible for art direction. Why aren't films still made like this today by the major studios?

 

Now Jones wants to take Gregg to the bus station like they did earlier with Gilchrist. He's not buying her version of events.

 

Jones winds up going to the town square with Gregg. Gregg's character, Dolly, is intoxicated and spouting advice. Jones almost seems afraid of her-- she's controlling his reactions in this scene. He gets into the car, she starts hollering and he takes off. She's suddenly spouting profanities at this point. Well, that was a fun scene!

 

I wonder why TCM hasn't aired this film more often.

 

Watching the scene with the harp. She's playing a recording, quickly turns it off. She hears another strange noise. I love the wallpaper as she goes off to investigate. It's the bunny again, on the stairs, knocking the head of a wax mannequin down. Frightens the bejesus out of Stevens. Jones comes in, calms her down. The head looks like hers-- said to be a replica of her mother's, whom she resembles. I guess you need to quit while you're ahead and still have your head. After all, there's a guillotine inside the mansion somewhere.

 

Next morning, Jones leaves and Stevens is in the house by herself again. Interesting flower print on the front of her sweater/long pullover. She's looking through hat boxes. We then cut to a tavern where Jones has gone, run by a dwarf. Yes, a dwarf. Another character actor shows up-- it's veteran performer Parley Baer sitting at a table, recovering from a hangover. 

 

Jones confronts Baer about what he stands to gain if Stevens leaves the mansion. Baer considers Jones a louse and walks out. 

 

Back at the house, a suntanning Stevens is being harrassed by a reporter (rival of Jones'). This is where Stevens learns Jones is a reporter out to get a story. But he's in love with her, naturally. She goes inside and locks him out. So he takes off, and she comes back out calling after him.

 

Night time. She's dreaming. Floating figure of Stevens superimposed over her sleeping, seeing her father (Romero) and skeletons. Now she's trapped in a coffin with a window. The white rabbit reappears. So does Gregg, throwing a shovelful of dirt on her in the grave. She suddenly wakes up. The dream scene was not quite Dali-esque, but it was effective and so was the music.

 

Now she's in the hallway with a fire poker, going upstairs. Is she going to find her father...?

 

more to come...

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TWO ON A GUILLOTINE...

 

She's upstairs. She finds a box with a headless body in it. She's spooked, running back downstairs. Of course, she has to frantically call Dean Jones where he's staying. He'll be right over. Is it a real body upstairs, or just another wax figure?

 

It would have been interesting if Vincent Price had played the father, like a nod to the earlier HOUSE OF WAX.

 

Now she's bolting shut the main door. She needs a cup of coffee or a cigarette to calm down. Great close-up as she watches the knobs on the door turn. It's cliched, but at least Conrad is keeping it in check. She's certainly wearing a provocative negligee. 

 

Cesar Romero has hardly any screen time in this picture, and he's third-billed. A flute is playing and the white rabbit is back. They're really overdoing this motif. 

 

She begins to scream uncontrollably looking upstairs. There he is. It's Cesar Romero. He runs down to prevent her from escaping. He's alive. Not a ghost. He apparently faked his death and funeral. Is he deranged? Or a benevolent father?

 

He embraces her and calls her Melinda. Her name is Cassie. Melinda is her mother. So he is deranged, thinking his daughter is his wife.

 

Gregg returns. She tries to tell Romero it's Cassie, not Melinda. Melinda's dead. She's gone. She died that night. Dolly (Gregg's character) buried her in the woods. She died because of the guillotine. It was an accident. 

 

Romero thinks he can do the guillotine trick correctly this time. He takes Stevens upstairs, with Gregg protesting. Romero backhands her and she falls down the stairs. Now she's up again, watching him take his daughter/wife up to the guillotine.

 

I guess you could call this a dysfunctional family...

 

more to come...

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TWO ON A GUILLOTINE...


 


Upstairs, he lays his daughter/wife down. He says he saved everything from years ago. Outside, Jones pulls up-- Gregg tells Jones what's going on inside the mansion. Romero could never accept that he killed his wife Melinda. Now Cassie his daughter is laying down, under the guillotine.


 


Romero is hamming it up, but not too badly. Certainly entertaining and I am sure teens of the mid-60s ate this stuff up. Romero looks very good, incidentally. Definitely aging well at this point. 


 


Romero gives a soliloquy before an imaginary audience, as Jones & Gregg race into the house and upstairs. Now for the fateful conclusion. 


 


They see Stevens under the guillotine. I missed the first part of the movie. So I wonder if it started out with him accidentally beheading the wife, as Marie Antoinette. 


 


Jones is having fun, playing off Romero's madness. Now Jones has tricked him and jumped on him. There's a struggle. A powerful struggle. Conrad is using an overhead shot as the actors brawl on the floor. Now some POV shots, back and forth, wobbly hand-held camera, to signify the chaos. They continue to fight, and Romero tries to release the blade.


 


Who will succeed? Jones seems to overpower Romero. But the blade comes down. Crashing down. The head is chopped off. 


 


I bet audiences screamed in absolute horror at that. But it was the mannequin. The head was not real. She's alive. Cassie's alive, as Jones discovers, pulling the blade back up. Where is she? Underneath the apparatus? She's barely breathing.


 


Oh Val, Val..he thought-- she was-- d-d-d-dead. Romero is on the floor. It's all over. The young couple embraces.


 


Well, that was certainly a satisfying final sequence. We have Romero holding on to the wax head. He's still grieving the loss of his wife. A siren is heard outside. 


 


Jones & Stevens go downstairs as the police arrive and go up. Flute playing again. The white rabbit is on the table and disappears into the magician's hat. Warner Brothers 'The End' and closing credits.


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While I too appreciated that part of Chandler's dialogue last night while watching this movie,  gotta say here James that for a local SoCal boy, you still ain't quite got your California highway designations down yet.

 

(...'cause ya see, PCH is actually CA Hwy 1, not the 101...and especially as the two run through L.A. County...the 101 is inland and is nicknamed the "El Camino Real Highway", dude) ;)

And the southern end of Southern California, at least along the coast, would be the southern end of San Diego County, say Imperial Beach across from Playas de Tijuana, some hundred miles further south than Laguna Beach.  And depending on the person, the northern end of Southern California is often thought to be in Santa Bárbara County, say, Point Concepción.

 

However, the parameters you mention pretty much make up the coastal stretch of the greater LA area, with Long Beach smack in the middle.

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And the southern end of Southern California, at least along the coast, would be the southern end of San Diego County, say Imperial Beach across from Playas de Tijuana, some hundred miles further south than Laguna Beach.  And depending on the person, the northern end of Southern California is often thought to be in Santa Bárbara County, say, Point Concepción.

 

However, the parameters you mention pretty much make up the coastal stretch of the greater LA area, with Long Beach smack in the middle.

I am referring to jamesazzguitar here; somehow I couldn't edit it.

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I am referring to jamesazzguitar here; somehow I couldn't edit it.

 

LOL

 

Sorry Arturo, but I was just laughin' at your accidentally leaving out the second "j" in James' handle here, that's all.

 

Simple pleasures for a simple mind here, I guess. ;)

 

(...and yeah, you're right...the "rule of thumb" as far as I know too is that beautiful Santa Barbara Co. is considered to be part of SoCal) 

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And the southern end of Southern California, at least along the coast, would be the southern end of San Diego County, say Imperial Beach across from Playas de Tijuana, some hundred miles further south than Laguna Beach.  And depending on the person, the northern end of Southern California is often thought to be in Santa Bárbara County, say, Point Concepción.

 

However, the parameters you mention pretty much make up the coastal stretch of the greater LA area, with Long Beach smack in the middle.

 

Everyone that I know that lives in the LA \ Orange Country area the southern end of 'So Cal' is right around where the military base starts with the last major city being San Clemente (but back in the 40s it would be Laguna).    We do NOT include San Diego as part of 'So Cal' anymore than we do Santa Barbara.    i.e. these larger cities are outside our region.   e.g. one has to drive pass a lot of nothing (but a lot of very nice looking nothing),  to get to those larger cities.

 

But you're correct that saying 'greater LA area' is technically correct instead of 'So Cal'.

 

Either way,   I wouldn't argue with Lake who clearly says Long Beach is smack in the middle.

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THE KILLING

 

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Ben's intro seemed to focus on Kubrick more than Sterling Hayden, the Star of the Month. I expected that.

 

The film starts with some interesting race track shots. The narration is slightly hokey. I think they could have done without it. In the opening credits, it says Jim Thompson contributed dialogue.

 

Now we have the first flashback, with the officer going into the bar. Who's he looking for? Leo the loan shark (Jay Adler) is at the table. Some hokey dialogue about money. Then we cut to Hayden as Johnny Clay. Great haircut on Hayden. 

 

Coleen Gray says she's not pretty and not smart. Of course, a film written by men would have a woman say that...right? They're interrupted by Marv (Jay Flippen) whom we saw earlier at the track. Fay (Gray's character) leaves, and we have another voice-over narration, taking us to another part of town supposedly thirty minutes earlier.

 

This time a sick woman named Ruthie is in bed, and her husband is hovering nearby. He looks at an address in a newspaper. Now, another voice-over and a cut to a scene with Elisha Cook arriving home, we're told, around 7:15 p.m. His woman (Marie Windsor) is lounging and tells him to fix a drink for her. Life with Sherry and George. Windsor is perfect in these types of roles. He is near the birdcage. He wants dinner, but she hasn't made it. Lazy female type written by men. 

 

This scene is a bit long. We're getting to know these characters more in-depth than Hayden and Gray. George is telling Sherry he is about to come into some money (heist). They've been married five years. She threatens to go out while he's with the boys. Finally the scene ends as he starts to tell her about his plans.

 

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Next scene has her going over to her boyfriend's place. Of course, it's Vince Edwards, a hunk that any so-called housewife would enjoy fooling around with, behind the husband's back. They're crazy about each other. They kiss, music up, fade out. Another scene with them-- she mentions the money. He calls her husband a meatball; she says he's a meatball with gravy. Edwards' line deliveries are a bit dopey. They're discussing how he can take the money away from George. They need to learn more about the overall plan.

 

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Now, we're back to Hayden's Johnny. Sitting around a table with the other guys. Explaining how the heist will go off, with Marv's help. They're pros, or so we're told. There's a diagram on the table about the track. Supposedly, $2 million will be the haul, if they get it all from the office. Elisha Cook's dazed expressions are priceless. 

 

Scene is interrupted by Sherry, snooping. They call George a clown-- he spilled to the wife. They're taking him home, going to watch him. After they leave, Johnny has Sherry in front of him on the bed (she's been knocked out cold). Outside, the guys drive off with George. Marv is pacing on the sidewalk. He goes past a car where Vince Edwards is waiting.

 

Back inside, Sherry wakes up. She has a bull story about why she was snooping, playing up to Johnny. He tells her she has a big dollar sign where her heart should be. He tells her to be smart, keep her trap shut and keep her nose out of their business. She tries to kiss him but he doesn't let her. Or does he...?

 

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THE KILLING, part 2

 

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Sherry is back home, talking to George. He wants to know what Johnny said to her, she plays it off cool. She doesn't mention being on the bed with Johnny. She encourages George to get all the money he can. She is manipulating him into making her happy. She's very good in this scene. He wants to know if she loves him. Music up, fade out.

 

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Next scene has Johnny talking with Maurice. He's trying to recruit Maurice to start a fight at the racetack, for $2500. Maurice wants to know what the big plan is-- Johnny says $2500 is a lot of dough, part of it is for not asking questions. Maurice will get a disorderly conduct charge probably for his efforts. Maurice does like the money, and they shake. 

 

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Cut to a makeshift shooting range behind an old shack. Hayden is holding a dog, hands it off to the rifle man. He wants the guy to shoot a horse next Saturday, a big money winner. Nikki can do it, he can create plenty of confusion. Sounds real simple-- for $5000. They have a deal, though Nikki is curious about the bigger plan.

 

In the next scene, Johnny is looking for a place to stay for about a week. He's at a motor court of some sort. Ten dollars a week it costs to stay here. He goes into his room, fade out. 

 

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Now it's four days later, according to narration. Another long-winded discussion between George and Sherry. He's upset that she's pestering him. She needs to mind her own business, and not bud in. She tells him a whopper of a tale about Johnny supposedly taking advantage of her sexually. He covers his face in horror. 

 

We then go to a scene with Johnny and Marv-- establishing their father-son bond. Of course, hints of tragedy within this relationship. Marv wants to go away for awhile.

 

Now we're back at the motor court. Johnny has a box of flowers. He goes into his room, opens the box. It's flowers. But he puts a rifle in there, under the flowers. More narration as Johnny then arrives at the bus station at 8:45. He puts the box of flowers (with the rifle) in a locker at the bus terminal. So far all is going according to plan, the narrator tells us. 

 

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Next, at Mike's place-- Ruthie his wife is in bed again; he says money will help them afford fine doctors that will make her well again. He leaves to hang out with his friends, or so he tells her. But we know he's going off to join the heist. And with that, he leaves.

 

In the mailbox outside, he finds a key. He goes down to the street and arrives at the bus station at 11:29. He opens the locker with the key he found, and takes out the flower/rifles. Then, he boards a bus to the race track. 

 

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THE KILLING, part 3

 

Now it's 12:10, when Mike arrives at the track. He's carrying the box as if it has nothing in it. They obviously did not put the prop (rifle) inside it for that shot. Mike tells another guy he's going to put the flowers in his locker, which he does. George sees him do this. 

 

Next shots involve Mike on duty at work. Then we have exterior horse racing shots. Wonder where the track scenes were filmed..? Santa Anita maybe? Inside, Mike is pouring drinks. Marv comes over to the bar, sloshed. 

 

At 3:32, the officer goes to a phone and notifies someone his set is not working properly. Says his TV keeps going dead. He gets back in his car, and a woman comes running over about something-- but he quickly drives off. Then, we see him arrive outside the track. 

 

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Cut to Maurice earlier-- he has someone making a call for him. Then he's at the track causing a disturbance at the bar, like he has been paid to do. What a great scene. Love this! 

 

After this plays out, we go to Nikki leaving his place and heading to the track. More shots of horses, then back to the parking lot with Nikki. He's getting ready to do what Johnny hired him to do.

 

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Now we have some strange dialogue about blacks, with Nikki using the 'n' word. A black parking lot attendant scurries off. Nikki pulls the rifle out. He is waiting for the horse to come down the track. Very good exterior shots, but then studio process shots with Nikki firing the rifle. The horse has been hit, goes down. Nikki tries to drive off but gets shot himself by the black attendant, at 4:24.

 

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After Nikki's death, we go to Johnny inside the track, by the office. Then, he's at the bar. Wandering around. We see Maurice back at the bar. The riot is happening again, this time from the perspective of the cops called down to break up Maurice's crazy rant, while Johnny and George gain access to the office. A lot of overlap here with the various plot points-- somewhat confusing. 

 

Johnny is then in the locker room. He retrieves the flower/gun box. Opens it. He pulls out the rifle. He's ready now. We hear the horses racing outside.

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more...

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THE KILLING, part 4

 

This is the part where Hayden has put on a clown mask. He goes into the office aiming the rifle. Tells the men to face the wall. He has them fill up a bag with the money. What a grotesque clown mask he has on his face. Almost comical.

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Now he has the money, gets ready to leave. He opens the door and sends the men into the locker room. He takes the mask off and makes a quick change of clothes, tosses the rifle inside the bag and throws it out the window. Now he quickly escapes down some stairs. A cop tries to stop him, but he knocks the cop out cold and casually walks off.

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At this point, instead of narration, we have Marv watching a newscaster describing the series of events on TV. The other men are sitting around. They mention the duffel bag that Johnny threw out the window. This is sort of a slow scene. They're just smoking, waiting. It's 7:15 p.m. George says he needs another drink. Thinks Johnny might short them their share. Sound of an elevator. Is it Johnny?

 

No, it's Vince Edwards and his buddy. They've been waiting since 4 to cut in on the action. Suddenly, George goes crazy and starts shooting. Down goes Edwards, and down goes everyone else. 

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Johnny is pulling up at the motor court, fifteen minutes behind schedule. He finally gets over to the meeting place. George is staggering out the door. He walks past Johnny, out of it, having just murdered everyone upstairs. Johnny takes off to save himself and the money. 

 

Roadside scene. Transferring the cash from the bag into a suitcase. Some of it falls on the ground. Johnny locks the suitcase. Will he get away with this? 

 

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Back at George and Sherry's place, George arrives home. He wants to know why Sherry had an affair with Val (Vince Edwards). He is all bloody, says he's sick. She tries to get rid of him. George then fires his gun on her. She doubles over and collapses on to the floor. Then, George keels over with the birdcage. So much for happily ever after.

 

We then cut to the airport. Coleen Gray appears. She's hardly in this movie. She meets up with Johnny. They go in together, to the ticket counter. Supposedly, the suitcase with all the cash cannot be checked in-- somewhat flimsy excuse for that. I guess it's too large for the passnger compartment. Why not send it on with another plane? The dialogue here is ridiculous. Finally, Johnny agrees to check it as regular baggage.

 

We cut to them getting ready to board the plane to Boston. Shots of a woman and a tiny dog. Animals apparently mean something in this film. The dog takes off and the guy driving the luggage careens around a corner. The suitase falls off and opens (though he had locked it) and the bills fly into the air. Time for them to leave.

 

They're outside trying to get a taxi. Airport security are now suspicious. She tells Johnny to run. What's the difference?, he asks. As the security men approach with guns, it ends.

 

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Ben's closing remarks-- again about Kubrick and budget. He talks about Kubrick's next film, PATHS OF GLORY, with Kirk Douglas. Isn't the focus supposed to be on Sterling Hayden as Star of the Month...?

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