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Author Topic: In a Lonely Place (1950)  (Read 3704 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2017, 05:45:45 AM »

I have to admit that this time, the scriptwriter's violent actions were REALLY making me want to look at the TV and say, "Dump him already, girl!" Geez, Gloria Grahame's character was a bit dense. Just how many violent episodes was he supposed to have before she finally clued in that he isn't right for her?
This is a general female trait put in place by providence/evolution to ensure the survivability of the race. Cue Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"

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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2017, 06:30:56 PM »

This is a general female trait put in place by providence/evolution to ensure the survivability of the race. Cue Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"

He nearly killed in near the end of the film! If it hadn't been for that phone call...

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2017, 12:20:01 AM »

Eddie Muller says of his favorite movie: "This movie is film noir for fully grown adults."

intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qva-Rmq4n44&feature=youtu.be

Afterword: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZi8XPI9tY8&feature=youtu.be

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« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2017, 05:30:51 AM »

re: In A Lonely Place It's a good Hollywood Noir, and about the same Hollywood sleaze balls, and tragic figures, we got around today, only back then they were giving us classy crap but now they are giving us mostly, just the crap.  
 
I see it similar to A Streetcar Named Desire, it's the dark side of life, an early psychological noir, one of the strands Noir unwinded into after the demise of the glue of the MPPC. One is as Noir as the other. And Streetcar is much more stylistic visually, to me.
 
"I told my story better." Another nice classic line.

I also think that the original ending would have been way noir-er, though. Would have overcome its lack of great visuals.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 05:33:46 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2017, 09:30:13 AM »

Thanks, D & D.

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« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2017, 09:33:20 AM »

Quote
only back then they were giving us classy crap but now they are giving us mostly, just the crap.
Yes! Sleaziness always looked like so much fun back then, now it just looks gross.

Quote
I also think that the original ending would have been way noir-er, though.
What was the original ending? Didn't know there was another.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2017, 12:50:27 PM »

What was the original ending? Didn't know there was another.
Eddie covers that in his intro.

Yes, that ending would have made it noir-ier, but not better. Muller is right: the film refuses to fulfill the noir tropes; it is a film for grown-ups. The two are connected. Noir is really something that appeals to teenagers and the teenagers in all of us. IALP feints with a noir left jab, then delivers an uppercut from reality's right. We're looking for one thing and it delivers another. It knocks me out every time.

Key to this is Bogart and his iconic presence. Since Casablanca he'd been playing romantic leads, of course, but he'd never given up the Psycho Bogart roles he'd initiated with The Petrified Forest. He continued to play nut-jobs in films like The Two Mrs. Carrolls and Conflict; at the end of his career he'd still be playing loons: Cpt. Queeg, of course, and also the villain in The Desperate Hours. The fun of IALP is knowing there are two types of Bogart roles, and wondering while we watch which one we're getting here. He's at turns the strong hero we've seen before, but at other moments he seems to be cracking up. We have to go the distance to find out his final disposition. Good dramaturgy.

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« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2017, 03:01:24 PM »

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Eddie covers that in his intro.
I should have checked before. Smiley Did now.

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IALP feints with a noir left jab, then delivers an uppercut from reality's right. We're looking for one thing and it delivers another. It knocks me out every time.
Well said, though I think I would have loved the alternate ending. Agreed, it would have been exactly what we expect from Noir, but somehow I love it.

You're right about the two Bogarts too. People who don't know many of his films always consider him the romantic cynic, but really, just as often he played complete nut jobs. Just watched The Desperate Hours, he was good.

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« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2017, 03:46:49 PM »

Yes! Sleaziness always looked like so much fun back then, now it just looks gross.
What was the original ending? Didn't know there was another.

Dixon Steele strangles Laurel Gray to death and the police get there while he's hunched over her body. Don't get much noir-er than that.

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« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2017, 05:52:48 AM »

Dixon Steele strangles Laurel Gray to death and the police get there while he's hunched over her body.
You left out the reason for the arrival of the police. It's Steele's pal Brub come to tell his buddy he's been cleared of charges in the Mildred Atkinson case. Oh, the irony! Oh, the humanity!

Actually, the original ending is similar to the original ending of the novel that became Vertigo. Funny that both Hitchcock and Ray decided to change things. A noir too far?

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« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2017, 12:56:06 AM »

RE: the original ending:

I'd sure love to see it; I wish it were included as a bonus feature, or that someone working in the studio vault would put it on YouTube  Wink Without having seen it, here's my opinion of the original ending vs. the current ending:

As discussed, the original ending is more noir-like. (Though again, nobody in American knew about "noir" then or felt the need to follow any noir formula.) But, as Muller says, Ray chose the current ending because it is more, in Muller's words, "true to life." It's absolutely correct that the current ending is more realistic. And for that reason, it is more heartbreaking. If Dixon had killed Laurel, that's a (perhaps great) movie ending, but not one that people can relate to; but the current ending, in which Dixon destroys, in Muller's words, "the best chance for love that he'll ever have," is a heartbreakingly true to life: People throwing away achievable love and happiness due to silly things like stubbornness and temper, Dixon walking alone through that courtyard, knowing he has just thrown away the one thing that could have made his life not be miserable.


On the other hand, there are a couple of arguments I can make why the original ending would have been better: Firstly, and most importantly, when watching the movie yes, even the first time I never believed for a moment that Steele murdered the hat-check girl. When he "re-enacts" the murder, there wasn't a moment when I thought he had actually committed it. Sure, he has bad drinking and temper problems, but the notion that he actually could have killed the hat-check girl never crossed my mind. So I never really felt the the supposed tension over "Did he do it or not?" So, if he actually kills Laurel and then we find out he was cleared of murder in the hat-check-girl case only then (yes, at the end of the movie would I actually feel that he is indeed capable of murder, and perhaps then, on subsequent viewings of the movie, it would actually make me feel that yes, it was a legitimate question after all as to whether or not he killed the hat-check girl and we are only sure he didn't once he gets cleared at the end. So, showing him kill Laurel actually shows us that Steele is indeed capable of murder, and on subsequent viewings it can sort of put legitimate doubt into the air over whether or not he killed the hat-check girl, until we know he is cleared for sure. (Am I making sense?)

Secondly, one thing I never liked about the movie and again, this is a terrific movie, the few quibbles notwithstanding are those dumb lines, "I was born .... I lived a few weeks when you loved me." Yeah, I get it for a man like Steele, even when he has finally found what could make him happy, he senses that one way or another, likely due to his own stupidity, he will throw it away. But those lines are corny way too unsubtle. And having Laurel say the lines at the end again, way too unsubtle. A movie should never say something is going to happen and then have it happen exactly that way. I just didn't like how Steele says those lines, and then have the movie turn out exactly that way, with Laurel saying the exact line. But, though I don't like the lines at all, at least it's better in the the original ending, with Bogie sitting over the typewriter with those lines types out but nobody actually speaksing the line.

So, those are two reasons I could give why the original ending would be better, besides the simple reason that it's "more noir-like." But, as noted above, there's a very good reason why the current ending could be better as well. So, bottom line is that I'll accept the ending as it is in the movie. Even if you prefer the original, the current ending is damn good. So I am happy to accept it as is.

Of course, if I ever see the original ending, perhaps then I'd have more a more firm opinion about it. I hope that one day we'll be able to see it.

Anyway, unlike Muller, IALP is not my favorite movie or even my favorite noir. But it's a damn good one  Smiley

BTW, I own the Criterion BRD. I was just looking at Beaver's page where he compares the discs http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-ray_reviews_71/in_a_lonely_place_blu-ray.htm and he says that the disc has "the impressive contrast that we have come to expect" from Criterion "darker black levels and brighter white."

But the blacks are actually blacker in the Columbia Tri-Star DVD's! As Beaver himself notes, when discussing what he calls the "impressive contrast" of the Criterion BRD, he says it is not "blown-out as the SD looks in comparison."

When the movie just played on TCM, I watched a few minutes here or there briefly, just enough to tell you that the TCM print also has very dark blacks. (Though I don't know how to measure it against the discs, as I don't have side-by-side screencaps.) Of course, I have no idea whether or not TCM is using the same source as the Columbia DVD's and/or Criterion BRD. But, suffice it to say that all four sources the two Columbia DVD's, the Criterion BRD, and the TCM print all show this being a high-contrast film.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2017, 09:31:37 AM »

If Dixon had killed Laurel, that's a (perhaps great) movie ending, but not one that people can relate to; but the current ending, in which Dixon destroys, in Muller's words, "the best chance for love that he'll ever have," is a heartbreakingly true to life: People throwing away achievable love and happiness due to silly things like stubbornness and temper and an insatiable need to dick bimbos, Dixon walking alone through that courtyard, knowing he has just thrown away the one thing that could have made his life not be miserable.
Spot on, Drink! You have never penned truer words!

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cigar joe
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« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2017, 10:05:59 AM »

like the insert dj Afro

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Jessica Rabbit
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« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2017, 02:56:36 PM »

You guys crack me up.

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2017, 02:59:45 PM »

like the insert dj Afro

An unfortunate pun Shocked

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