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I've seen Young Man With a Horn (my dad's a huge Harry James fan) and thought it pretty good. I've been meaning to watch This Gun For Hire, partly because of Laird Cregar, a talented and interesting actor who appeared in a couple pretty good suspense films in the 40's, The Logder and Hangover Square. He died in his 30's just as his star was beginning to rise. He was also in another decent noir pic, I Wake Up Screaming.

I had to go back to Wikipedia to see which character Laird Cregar played: a big, fastidious, almost effeminate criminal like Sydney Greenstreet in Maltese Falcon. He's sitting at a table talking to Raven (Alan Ladd) in this trailer, starting a little before the 1-minute mark.


I haven't seen Dark Passage but I'm surprised to read that Bacall in it was "without the hard-edged quality that she developed later on."

In her very first film with Bogart, To Have and Have Not, she certainly comes across as one tough cookie, and she was just 19. This is the scene with the famous "whistle" line; the hardness starts coming across at about 1:03.

I wondered about that, actually, when I noticed that THAHN came out before DP. Maybe it's more the character in DP than anything in Bacall herself. Though the quality I'm trying to describe (and maybe it's just a prejudice I picked up on the basis of some brief appearance somewhere) is colder than what's on display in this scene. Definitely a tough cookie, but not ultimately a cold one, which the character she plays in Young Man With a Horn is. But after all she is an actress, so I'm probably making too much of it.

Dark Passage, improbable as it may be, is my favorite Bogart/Bacall movie. It's probably a nostalgia thing because first saw it when I was really young. And then, Agnes Moorhead just makes such a nice, evil villain.


Of these, the only one that I have seen is Tokyo Story. Like you, there were things about it that I enjoyed, but it was very slow. Roger Ebert points out in one of his reviews that the camera only moves one time during a shot in the whole of the film. The daughter-in-law character was touching. But I do not really understand why the film is considered (by the cognoscenti) one of the greatest ever made.

I don't understand it, either. Very very good, yes; one of the greatest ever, not in my opinion. The best thing about it to me was the lengthy landscape/cityscape shots. I agree about the daughter-in-law, too. That was kind of interesting because someone told me many years ago that the most common occasion of murder in Japan was daughters-in-law killing mothers-in-law. I doubt it's true, but I did think of the contrast with this movie.

Very true about Agnes Moorehead. It's very effective, the way she goes in one's perception from ordinary shallow busybody to full-blown villain.

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