Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Little Tarrrrrget Practice

What can possibly be said about a classic film sixty-two years old, I ask myself? Well here's a pair of nits I gotta pick with Orson Welles otherwise entertaining 1947 film The Lady From Shanghai. They probably been picked before, but oh well, it's my eternal curse to be a redundant buffoon.

1 - Orson's accent was horrible. Just horrible. I kept expecting him to try and sell me on the worth of his pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. Aye, my deary, and you'll never find my potta gold! So, so distracting.

2 - Rita Hayworth was not meant to be that blond.

I mean sure, she's still Rita Hayworth, with all the genetic perks that being Rita Hayworth encompassed, but the darker longer hair she had in Gilda a couple of years earlier there on the left suits her better, I think. I mean, I don't think I'm alone in believing this - there's probably a reason her hair-flip in Gilda is Hayworth's iconic moment. And yes, I spent time of my life not only contemplating this but posting on this. I need to sit down with myself and have a talk.

Oh let's all waste some time then!



Anyway besides those bits there's obviously much to recommend. The final scene in the mirrored fun-house deserves to be as iconic as it is - a truly astonishing visual set-piece.

And there are reams of dialogue to savor as well; I loved this speech by one of the sailors:

"What's a tough guy?...A guy with an edge...A gun or a knife, a nightstick, or a razor, somethin' the other guy ain't got. Yeah, a little extra reach on a punch, a set of brass knuckles, a stripe on the sleeve, a badge that says cop on it, a rock in your hand, or a bankroll in your pocket. That's an edge, brother. Without an edge, there ain't no tough guy."

Now that right there's a valuable life lesson.

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